Retailers address sustainability

The 2012 FMI/GMA Sustainability Summit, hosted by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), will address business issues that sustainability executives can demonstrate worthy of investment.

“Retailers have seen the value in implementing sustainable practices inside their stores, such as energy-efficiency equipment and reusable shopping bags, but now we’re thinking about more complicated goals – such as addressing 121 billion pounds of food waste and tackling this issue with an aggressive strategy that will send more edible food to the hungry and move food waste from landfills toward productive uses, such as animal feed, waste-to-energy and composting,” says Jeanne von Zastrow, senior director of sustainability at FMI. “The Summit will challenge us to address the issues that not only benefit our environment, but also our customers and our bottom lines.”

The Summit, taking place Oct. 3 -5 in Washington, DC, will address the business challenges associated with high-impact sustainability issues. In particular, Bob Willard, consultant and author of “The New Sustainability Advantage,” will demonstrate to executives how sustainability initiatives are effectively transforming the business, creating competitive advantages, spurring innovation, attracting new talent and opening up new revenue streams.

The Summit includes applications from other businesses with innovative practices to ensure the event is as sustainable as possible, partnering with Compost Cab, an urban compost collection service, and Main Event Caterers, a full circle, zero-waste catering service. In addition, social and non-governmental organization participation in the Summit will provide unique consumer outlooks and yield opportunities for collaboration.