Retailers, CPG Manufacturers to Tackle Green Issues

More than two dozen workshops focusing on today’s most pressing sustainability challenges – from environmental design and renewable energy to corporate communications, green product innovations and sustainable sourcing – will be highlighted at the Sustainability Summit, Dec. 6 to 9 in Arlington, Va.

The summit marks the first time the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), working together as the Trading Partner Alliance, will co-host the event.

“We are bringing the consumer packaged goods industry together to provide retailers and manufacturers with a roadmap for building successful and sustainable businesses,” said Jeanne von Zastrow, FMI senior director of industry relations and sustainability. “No one single company can do it alone. It will take collaborative, innovative partnerships to succeed and realize the benefits of being a sustainable business.”

In addition to retailers and manufacturers, the summit will also bring government officials and advocacy groups to the table as the event seeks to identify model practices and uncover insights from all stakeholders that will accelerate the adoption of environmentally and socially responsible business practices within the consumer products industry.

“Applying sustainable solutions across all facets of our business while continuing to deliver products that enhance consumers’ lives is a top priority for GMA and its members,” said Brooke Weizmann, GMA senior manager of sustainability. “The Sustainability Summit will give companies new tools for incorporating sustainability into their strategic business planning and help align the industry around common sustainability principles.”

The summit will feature a diverse slate of speakers and sessions, including Mintel’s Lynn Dornblaser; a panel discussion on “How Game Changing Companies and Innovation Will Help Feed the World”; new research on “Understanding the Issues, Generational Shoppers, Attitudes vs. Actions and Developing Your Marketing Sustainability Playbook”; and Aron Cramer, president and CEO of Business for Social Responsibility.

In addition, a new guide from FMI, “Sustainability on the Shelves: A Guide for Category Managers,” will be previewed at the summit. The guide serves as a basic overview of sustainability in the food retail sector and a framework to help food retail buyers and category managers respond to both their company’s and customers’ demand for more sustainable products in specific retail categories.

The general sessions and workshops will address strategic issues and offer practical solutions for retailers and manufacturers who seek to differentiate their company by optimizing their sustainability programs. More than 60 industry leaders and sustainability experts from business, government, academia and advocacy groups will share success stories and insights.

“Attendees will hear compelling stories on how companies can engage in sustainability during this fragile economy and still see a return on investment,” von Zastrow said. “Companies are sending teams to cover all the concurrent sessions and strategize on-site so they can return home and begin to maximize the value immediately.”

To learn more and register for the summit, visit

Based in Washington, D.C., GMA is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies.

FMI conducts programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations on behalf of its 1,500 member companies — food retailers and wholesalers — in the United States and around the world.