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Sustainable Consumption & Retail

Today's conscientious consumers are fuelling demand for sustainable products and services. This, in turn, is requiring manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers alike to work together in developing forward-thinking solutions to solve complicated and interrelated end-to-end challenges. In the process of becoming more sustainable, companies can benefit from innovation that reduces operating costs and risks while increasing profits and shareholder value. Some of today's leading manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers froma host of different segments will explore the opportunities and challenges for adopting sustainability into their core operations.

Roundtable: Is Sustainable Retail an Oxymoron?

Time: Thursday, March 15 13:30 - 15:00
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The sector-wide shift from viewing sustainability as a cost centre to recognizing it as an opportunity to reduce risk, improve relationships with customers and employees, and spur business growth and innovation is gaining momentum.  Potentially a key way to differentiate in a competitive market and build brand value, are retailers finally recognizing the merits of a sound sustainability plan in ensuring long-term business success? Or is the overarching need to reduce consumption simply at odds with the very foundation of retailing?  Find out as leading retailers discuss how and why sustainability is being incorporated into their companies on their paths to a better business model.

Andrea Bolger, Head of Business Financial Services, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Canada (Moderator)
Diane Brisebois, President & CEO, Retail Council of Canada, Canada
Tyler Elm, Vice President of Business Sustainability, Corporate Strategy & Business Development, Canadian Tire Corp., Canada
Clint Mahlman, Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, London Drugs Ltd., Canada
Esther Speck, Vice President of Business Sustainability & Community, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Canada

Product Stewardship and Innovative Packaging: Striving for Zero Waste

Time: Thursday, March 15 10:30 - 12:00

Product stewardship programs such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) are encouraging organizations to be increasingly accountable for products at the end of their lifecycle in order to minimize waste and reduce toxins entering into the environment. What is the role for the retail sector in this more holistic approach? How are these companies striving to minimize waste? This session will discuss how leading organizations are addressing environmental concerns through innovative packaging and stewardship practices that are designed to cut costs and reduce waste.

Eric Olson, Senior Vice President of Advisory Services, BSR, USA (Moderator)
Elisabeth Comere, Director, Environment & Government Affairs, Tetra Pak Inc., USA
Heidi Sanborn, Executive Director, California Product Stewardship Council, USA
Charlene Wall-Warren, Sustainability Leader, BASF North America, USA

Sustainable Consumerism: What's Driving Demand for Today's Eco-friendly Products and Services?

Time: Wednesday, March 14 15:30 - 17:00

Today's consumers are more selective, better informed, and expect companies to be doing more for their communities and the environment.  What are the factors shaping the evolving consumer demand for eco-friendly products and services? How can companies effectively communicate with and sell to consumers who are taking environmental and social considerations into account when making their purchasing decisions? How can companies position themselves favourably based on their environmental and social performance while avoiding the risks of overstating their achievements?   

Anthony Watanabe, President & CEO, The Innovolve Group Inc., Canada (Moderator)
Ben Packard, Vice President of Global Responsibility, Starbucks Coffee Company, USA
Andreas Souvaliotis, President, AIR MILES for Social Change, Canada
Gabe Wing, Director of Environmental Health & Safety, Herman Miller, USA
Brian Zeiler-Kligman, Director of Sustainability, Canada's National Brewers, Canada

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