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RILA Launches Retail Sustainability Practices Measuring Tool

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has released the 2015 Retail Sustainability Management Maturity Matrix, a tool enabling retail sustainability executives to identify ways to strengthen their environmental sustainability programs. Co-developed by RILA and Deloitte Consulting LLP, the Matrix presents the combined knowledge of various industry experts regarding sustainability management practices.

The tool comprises seven sections: Strategy & Commitment, People & Tools, Visibility, Retail Operations, Supply Chain, Products, and Environmental Issues. Each section lays outs business practices to help retailers determine the effectiveness of their sustainability programs. Stronger sustainability programs can result in better financial performance and enhanced brand reputation, among other business. The Matrix also provides benchmarks and guidelines for improving performance.

"The Retail Sustainability Management Maturity Matrix guides retailers through every dimension of their sustainability program, from initial development, to meeting the standard considerations, to a leading-class performance," said Adam Siegel, RILA's VP, sustainability and retail operations. "Further, it documents 'next practices' to signal the future direction of leading companies. We see this as a great opportunity to help retailers measure the sustainability performance of their operations, products and supply chains, and to tell the industry's story."

The Arlington, Va.-based trade organization will employ the Matrix to benchmark the industry in 2015 and beyond through an online survey, the results of which will be used to determine industry priorities. These priorities will determine the issues of focus for RILA events, calls and its annual Retail Sustainability Conference. RILA will additionally create custom reports for survey respondents.

"[T]his Matrix will allow retailers to view [progress] from every angle, and provide them with tangible next steps in their sustainability efforts," noted Kyle Tanger, sustainability director at New York-based Deloitte Consulting LLP.

RILA plans to showcase the Matrix and other retail sustainability tools at the Retail Sustainability Conference, set this year for Sept. 15-18 in Austin, Texas.

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