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Green Retail Research Paper

Autor:   •  November 18, 2015  •  Research Paper  •  3,759 Words (16 Pages)  •  495 Views

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GREEN RETAIL

INTRODUCTION

As is the case in most countries around the world, the retail sector is perhaps the greatest purveyor. This sector is arguably the most extensive in terms of both a communication and distribution network in today’s day and its size and importance in day-to-day functioning is often underestimated (Evans, Denney, McIntyre, Reesor and Van den Bremer, 2006). Assuming the size and importance of this sector, it is also safe to assume that through its various facilities and throughout the supply chain, this sector utilizes a substantial amount of energy thus contributing to a great amount of greenhouse gasses which are let out into the atmosphere (Evans, Denney, McIntyre, Reesor and Van den Bremer, 2006). 

Although this aforementioned broad spectrum of the retail sector allows for a huge probability of the environment being impacted in a negative manner, it also has great potential in terms of significant improvement and change towards environmental conditions, which no other industry has been able to implement as well. That said, the retail sector undoubtedly has a vital role to play in sustainable production and consumption. “It’s key place in the life cycle of consumer products enables influence on both production (greening the supply chain) and consumption (promoting of green products)” (European Commission Report, 2009).

This leads us to the term ‘Green Retail’ also known as ‘Greentailing’, which is best comprehended as a means of managing a retail business that takes advantage of environmentally friendly processes (Green Retail Decisions, 2015). From a social marketing point of view, green retail is defined as “the development and marketing of products designed to minimize negative effects on the physical environment or to improve it quality” (Malhotra, 2012, pg. 16). In other words, any retail practice that lays emphasis on going green or emphasizing environmentally friendly practices may be refereed to as green retail.

According to Smitu Malhotra (2012), both businesses and consumers need to be responsible enough to “work towards stabilization of the natural environment”. Going green is seen as good not only for the environment but also for the bottom line for any company or related process. According to the European Commission report (2009), “the growing awareness that all products and services have environmental impacts felt at all stages of a products lifecycle has occurred in a market context in which the quantity and variety of products has increased exponentially, as greater disposable income has made products more affordable, and innovation and trade have driven product diversity”.

Since sustainability is of such great importance in today’s day, it is vital that retailers recognize this shift in consumer behavior and act in an adequate manner by initiating green actions and working towards fulfilling this new desire in a robust and effective manner. According to a KPMG report on ‘The Evolution of Retailing’, “by identifying energy, carbon, and corporate responsibility initiatives, retailers can reduce costs, improve cash flow, and raise revenue (KPMG, 2009).

When the concept of green retail came about, it focused mainly on offering organic and eco-friendly products in stores however now the focus has widened and green retailers are aiming to build green practices in store operations as well as along the entire supply chain (Avantsa, ). Malhotra (2012) supports this by stating that retailers can influence both suppliers and consumers by “adopting green business practices themselves, providing better choices to customers in the form of green products thereby influencing consumer behavior and influencing suppliers to adopt fair trade and green practices to supply environmental friendly products” (pg. 16).

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