Environmental Issues in Retail and Apparel – Thematic Intelligence

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Environmental Issues in Retail and Apparel Thematic Report Overview

Governments and governing bodies worldwide are enacting a range of regulations surrounding the environment that retailers need to keep abreast of. Scrutiny of retailers’ sustainability credentials and initiatives will ramp up as countries battle to meet emission targets and environmental impacts across their supply chains.

Over half of consumers globally agree that they are loyal to brands that support “green” or environmental matters. However, the proportion of consumers who follow this through into actions, such as stopping purchasing from ultra-fast fashion brands and products that use ingredients such as palm oil, will be low as other concerns take priority namely price and convenience.

The environmental issues in retail and apparel thematic intelligence report provides in-depth insights into retailers’ sustainability credentials and initiatives and consumer attitudes towards sustainability. It further gives an overview of the global ESG regulations by the EU, the US, and China. The report identifies the market players and the key trends shaping the ‘environmental theme’ in the retail & apparel sector.

Report Pages 44
Regions Covered Global
Leading Companies ·       Walmart

·       Amazon

·       Alibaba

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Environmental Issues in Retail and Apparel - Trends

The key trends shaping the environmental theme in the retail and apparel sector are the emergence of the resale market, technological innovations, and recycling schemes to promote circularity among others.

Recycling schemes to promote circularity: Owing to the shift towards greater sustainability in retail, many retailers are taking proactive steps towards creating greater circularity and reducing waste. Retailers are introducing initiatives such as textile recycling schemes, refill stations, and packaging recycling services. These efforts demonstrate a commitment towards greater sustainability and resonate with the changing preferences of environmentally conscious consumers, helping boost retailers’ reputations. For instance, Boots has implemented a recycling scheme for hard-to-recycle health & beauty packaging in selected stores in the UK to minimize waste and encourage consumers to adopt more sustainable practices.

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Environmental Issues in Retail and Apparel - Net Zero Strategies

Retailers are investing in renewable energy and fleet electrification to reduce their Scope 1 and 2 emissions. However, these are also important steps retailers should insist on from their logistics partners and direct suppliers across the value chain to reduce Scope 3 emissions. Purchased goods and services and end-of-life treatment of sold products tend to be the largest components of Scope 3 emissions.

To reduce value chain emissions, retailers must shift from the throwaway consumer culture and adopt a fully circular economy. This means designing products with long-lasting, sustainable materials, alongside redesigning retail systems to enable customers to exchange, repair, and reuse goods.

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Environmental Issues in Retail and Apparel - Global Policy Overview

The EU: The EU is taking a comprehensive approach to ESG regulation, with most regulations currently aimed at decarbonization. Its main plan is the EU Green Deal, which sets out how the bloc intends to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The first set of policies to realize the Green Deal was the Fit for 55 package, which was announced in 2021 and passed in 2023. Fit for 55 includes the EU’s core policy measure for reducing emissions: its emissions trading system (ETS), an emissions cap-and-trade system, which it plans to expand and make more costly for polluting companies.

Environmental Issues in Retail and Apparel – Competitive Landscape

A few of the leading companies currently working on environmental emissions issues are:

  • Walmart
  • Amazon
  • Alibaba

Top Companies Working on Environmental Emissions Issues

Top Companies Working on Environmental Emissions Issues

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  • This GlobalData report breaks down the policy implications for, consumer attitudes towards, and key trends related to environmental issues in the retail and apparel sectors.

Key Highlights

Retailers must keep abreast of rapidly changing ESG regulations.

62% of consumers are loyal to brands that support “green“ or environmental matters

Retailers are experimenting with resale initiatives, with retailers across a range of sectors getting involved.

Reasons to Buy

  • With governing bodies increasingly enacting environmental regulations, retailers must keep on top of the different regulations that may affect their operations.
  • Understand the nuances of consumer attitudes towards sustainability within the retail and apparel sectors.
  • Explore retailers’ current sustainability initiatives to ensure you remain competitive and in line with consumer demand.
  • Companies who invest in the right themes become success stories; those who miss the big themes end up as failures.

Ahold Delhaize
Albert Heijn
Associated British Foods
Best Buy
Eden Reforestation
Farrow & Ball
Fast Retailing
Fnac Darty
Hennes & Mauritz
Home Depot
Infinited Fiber
John Lewis
Marks & Spencer
The Handbag Clinic
Tyson Foods
Volta Trucks
Walgreens Boots Alliance

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Global Policy Overview

Net Zero Strategies

Consumer Attitudes Towards Sustainability

Key Trends


Our Thematic Research Methodology

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