If 10% of retailers and their suppliers achieved energy savings of 10%, the estimated opportunity for energy savings in one year would be equivalent to taking half a million cars off the road for one year and provide enough energy for over a million homes.


Oct. 2, 2007 — Two out of three leading U.S. retailers say they have implemented environmentally friendly practices and, among the top 100 largest companies, the percentage jumps to 83%, according to a new survey of chief financial officers in the retail sector.

Corporate image was the main motivator for going green (54% of CFOs cited “image among consumers” and 13% cited “image among shareholders”). Just 15% of respondents said tax breaks or tax incentives were the greatest motivator.

“Retailers are focused on the importance of implementing environmentally friendly and energy efficient business strategies,” says Catherine Fox-Simpson, a partner at BDO Seidman LLP, which conducted the study. “These businesses reap a two-fold benefit from pursuing green practices — consumer appeal and substantial tax breaks.”

Nearly half (44%) of those surveyed say they have upped their investment in green practices during the past two years. Sixty-two percent of the "top 100" have increased their green investments over the same period.

Point of View

It is important that retailers reflect socially responsible behaviors in all aspects – going green just being one of those areas. The real benefit for most retailers will come from the goodwill among their employees and reduced expenses from energy conservation. The most specific has to do with reducing energy costs. Thirty - percent of the average retailer’s electrical bill is just lighting. Better store layout with the use of ambient lighting and more energy efficient data centers make great tangible business sense.

Greg Buzek
President, IHL Consulting


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