Sustainability at the #TCG2023

Guillaume Charlin, MD & Senior Partner, BCG

Making sustainability in retail a reality

Guillaume Charlin

Sustainability has become a strategic priority for retail businesses, and some of the world’s largest retailers are making real headway in significantly reducing the climate impact along their value chains or embedding sustainable behavior throughout their own organizations. It is a positive sign that the retail sector as a whole is taking sustainability more and more seriously. However, most of the retailers fall within the “opportunistic initiatives” stage of the journey. While they have set bold ambitions, they have not yet achieved the full integration of sustainability into their corporate strategy and throughout the organization. What are the biggest hurdles retailers are currently facing in making sustainability a reality? How can they successfully overcome these hurdles? And what are the benefits they can harness from putting sustainability at the center?

Martins Prieditis, Deputy Head of Unit DG Justice and Consumers, European Commission

Promoting repair of goods for more sustainable consumption

The rate at which we throw away goods prematurely in the EU has been on the rise in the last decades. How should we tackle this phenomenon and the society’s reluctance to repair? The Commission is addressing some of the causes of this problem in various initiatives. It is already acting and will continue to promote repairable design, accessibility of spare parts and information on repairability of goods. They are all key enablers for transition to more sustainable consumption. With the recent proposal promoting the repair of goods, the Commission wants to make repair an easier and more attractive choice for consumers and ultimately making a new paradigm – buy, use, repair – a reality in the EU.

Sarah Schaefer, VP Sustainability Europe, Electrolux & Ozlem Unluer, Head of Sustainability, Arcelik

Sustainable product initiatives: challenges and opportunities for manufacturers and retailers

As part of the wider EU Circular Economy Action Plan, upcoming regulations such as the EU Digital Product Passport and the EU Green Claims will introduce rules that foster transparency and reliability related to sustainability information on products and manufacturing processes. Retailers are increasingly demanding manufacturers to disclose more information on environmental/social impacts of their products, and we see retailers promoting products with their sustainability features in the market when informing consumers. Such initiatives can help consumers make informed choices, but should be carefully constructed to eliminate green washing, and the industry needs a unified set of crtieria that makes an electronics product “sustainable” compared to others in the market. We will examine expectations from manufacturers, retailers, the challenges and the opportunities of the upcoming regulations and how we can benefit from a unified set of criteria as an industry.

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