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FLEXO Magazine : November 2013
indUSTrY indICATOrS greenspeak retail Sustainability Conference Leaves Its Mark by Doreen M. Monteleone, Ph.D. Bothbigboxandsmallboxstoresalikewererepre- sented at the Retail Industry Leaders Association’s (RILA) 2013 Retail Sustainability Conference held Oct. 1-3 in Orlando, FL. The three-day summit provided industry executives with educational opportunities, exposure to emerging trends and insight into successful retail sustain- ability initiatives. The theme for this year’s event was “Leave Your Mark.” Along with 450 attendees, the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) was there, discussing the significant strides in sustainability that have been and are being made in the printing industry and how printers can help retailers make their mark “greener.” ConFerenCe WrAP The event started with a presentation by keynote speaker Michael Ward, president of IKEA USA. He shared his vision to use sustainability to drive innovation, transform his company’s business, shape investments and unleash new opportunities. IKEA has been committed to sustainability for many years and is determined to take the next step through its new sustain- ability strategy, “People & Planet Positive.” The company is finding ways to become more sustainable and for people to live more sustainably, by targeting specific aspects that include: • Supply Chain Management from Sourcing to Store • Net-Zero Energy Strategy • Consumer Focus • Affordable Products • Enabling Customers to Focus on Sustainability In his presentation, Ward mentioned more sustainable packaging as a top priority for IKEA. Printing, as we know, is an integral part of the packaging supply chain. Day two kicked-off with a presentation titled “Getting Out of the Sustainability Box.” In this session Bruce Karas, vice presi- dent of environment and sustainability at Coca-Cola and Eric Olson, its senior vice president of business for social respon- sibility, discussed the process by which Coca-Cola and other companies have made sustainability core to their businesses. CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS • Companies large and small discuss ways to develop sustainable packaging • 450 attendees learn how printers help retailers make their business greener • Speakers highlight company-wide improvements in sustainability • Sustainability increasingly viewed as core component of business strategies The final day of the conference opened with a panel discussion. Titled “Finance Is From Mars; Sustainability Is From Venus: Bridging The Gap.” It addressed one of the fundamental challenges associated with integrating sustainability practices into a business, namely working with corporate finance teams to identify the most fiscally ben- eficial projects. The panel, composed of the CFOs from Walgreens and Hyatt Hotels, together with the lead sustain- ability executive from Office Depot and a moderator from PricewaterhouseC- oopers, brought together perspectives from the worlds of finance and sustain- ability to make the case that partnership between these internal functions can drive long-term performance. The conference closed with a final keynote address delivered by noted futurist and chief creative officer of Pop- Tech, Andrew Zolli. Focusing on achieve- ments in sustainability from around the globe, Zolli inspired the audience to think differently about how to commu- nicate and connect to stakeholders in the ongoing effort to reduce the impact humans have on the environment. SgP SuCCeSS STorY In an effort to better integrate the entire supply chain into the worldwide sustainability effort, numerous rep- resentatives from major companies attended sessions and visited exhibitors on the show floor to learn about new sustainability options that might help them leave their mark. They were met at the SGP booth by Flexographic Technical Association’s Doreen Monteleone, an SGP board member, and Specialty Graphic Imaging Association’s Ashley Arneson, SGP’s program coordinator. Visitors were educated about the rigorous SGP certification criteria and how they were developed through a consensus- building process created by the printing industry, for the printing industry. It was the perfect opportunity for SGP to speak directly to companies who make major print-buying decisions and explain SGP’s aim to assure a more sustainable supply chain by means of sustainable printing. JC Penney, among the top 10 print buyers in the United States, was eager to learn more about www.flexography.org NOVEMbEr 2013 FLeXO 25 24 FLeXO NOVEMbEr 2013 www.flexography.org 1-888-478-0998 No Plate Lifting No Plate Mounting Perfect Registration Every time. Discover Your New Media Source for Seamless Imaging Photopolymer Sleeves Laser Engravable Elastomers PrinT buYerS PreSenT Some companies that buy printed material and were represented at the Retail Sustainability Conference: Ace Hardware Best Buy Cabela’s Coca-Cola CVS Dick’s Sporting Goods Disney Dollar General Estee Lauder Family Dollar Store GAP General Electric Home Depot IKEA JC Penney Kroger Lego Lowe’s Nordstrom Office Depot Office Max Pep Boys PETCO PetSmart Publix Supermarkets Radio Shack Safeway Sears Staples Target Texas Instruments Tractor Supply Walgreens Walmart Whirlpool