Some of 15 most eco-friendly retailers in the world include a few well-known grocery stores and are listed in a new report naming the most environmentally committed companies. They include: H-E-B (United States), Tesco (Britain), Woolworths (Australia), Monoprix (France), Carrefour (France) and Walmart (Canada).
After reviewing more than 200 "green" retailers in all sectors, researchers from Canada, Scotland, Japan, Spain, and France selected the best companies based on their written environmental policies, which included evaluations of the companies' environmental impact and measurements of the effects of environmental practices on the companies' profits.
Some of the common threads included:
- A strong commitment and passion from the CEO or senior management that the company must reduce its impact on the environment.
- Using external advisors to help develop an eco-friendly strategy.
- A sound environmental plan and strategy for a healthy return on investment.
- Head office and store staff who have environmental responsibilities.
Some of the food retailers' sustainability initiatives include:
- UK retail giant Tesco is taking new measures to assess its carbon footprint across its operations and plans to cut its CO2 emissions by half by 2012.
- Plans are underway at Texas grocery chain H-E-B to upgrade energy sytems (like refrigeration) throughout its stores and to power some of them with wind energy.
- French retailers Carrefour and Monoprix have both launched extensive campaigns to assess the environmental impacts of many of their product lines as well as to encourage the purchase of "eco-labels."
The full report is published Ryerson University's Center for the Study of Commercial Activity (CSCA).