There’s no denying it, sustainability sells. Sustainability-marketed products grew 5.6 times faster than conventionally marketed products, and 3.3 times faster than the CPG market in total 1 Sustainable Share Index: Research on IRI Purchasing Data. NYU, STERN Center of Sustainable Business. 2019. . However, the type of sustainability matters to consumers. Retailers can no longer just sell reusable shopping bags and market themselves as “sustainable”. Eco-conscious efforts need to be driving business practices and these efforts need to be transparent. Sustainability is becoming a core consideration for the retail industry, affecting strategy, operations, workforce engagement, and connection to consumers and the community2 Retail Industry Leaders Association. The Value of Sustainability in Retail Marketing. 2018.

The consumer is driving the sustainability movement. Whether it’s for environmental or political reasons, consumers are becoming more conscious about the way they shop and are evaluating their purchase decisions left and right3 Walk-Morris, Tatiana. Retailers market sustainable stores to lure eco-conscious customers. Retail Dive. October 25, 2019. . About 93% of global consumers expect more of the brands they use to support social and environmental issues4 Retail Industry Leaders Association. The Value of Sustainability in Retail Marketing . One retailer leading the sustainability movement is, Netherlands based, Ahold Delhaize who said at the end of 2018 that it’s delivering on its 2020 sustainability targets, including 50% of own-brand food sales recognized for good nutritional value, a 20% reduction in food waste since 2016, and a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2008. By 2025, the company aims to make 100% of its own-brand plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable5 Ahold Delhaize USA raises sustainability standards. Supermarket News. September 20, 2019. . Other retailers like Walmart, Target, and Walgreens are supporting their sustainable initiatives by putting together sustainability action plans involving analyzing their waste streams, setting clear goals, working on materials management, reporting their sustainability efforts, and bringing in products with sustainable product certifications. 

To ensure that brands are proven to be sustainable, retail buyers can check if they are certified by accredited sustainable organizations. Buyers can search for products on RangeMe with the following sustainable product certifications:  

  • Certified B Corporation: This certification means businesses are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment6 Certified B Corporation Guidebook. 2019.
  • Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) Certification: Ensures the sustainability of aquaculture products. 
  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): Certifies the textile processing standard for organic fibers across the entire supply chain.
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified: Ensures that farms are meeting comprehensive environmental, social, and economic criteria associated with the Sustainable Agriculture Standard.
  • Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC): Brands with this certification promote sustainable forest management. 
  • Ecocert: Certifies brands claiming their products are organic. 
  • Global Recycle Standard (GRS): Sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices, and chemical restrictions. 
  • Marine Stewardship Council (MSC): Certifies sustainable seafood.
  • Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI): Ensures that companies and their products are compostable. 
  • EPA Safer Choice: Finds and certifies products that perform and are safer for human health and the environment. 
  • GLOBALG.A.P. Certification: Certifies agriculture businesses and practices are safe and sustainable. 
  • Seafood Watch Green Rating: Ensures that brands sell seafood that has been fished or farmed in ways that have less impact on the environment. 
  • Energy Star: Approves and shares information on the energy consumption of products and devices.
  • Fair Trade Certified: This certification means a brand is a leader in sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. 
  • Green Seal Certification: Certifies products, services, restaurants, and hotels based on their criteria in performance, health, and sustainability. 
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED): Provides certifications to businesses that create healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. 
  • TRUE Zero Waste: Assists and certifies brands in achieving zero waste goals by limiting the amount of trash it takes to operate a business. 
  • Green Business Bureau (GBB): Enables businesses to understand, implement, and certify green business practices. 

The sustainability movement has no plans of slowing down. In 2020, more and more retailers will be bringing in brands that support their sustainability initiatives whether it is limiting their plastic packaging or greenhouse gas emissions. 

Interested in seeing new products added to the searches above? Utilize the Saved Search feature to stay ahead of 2020 sustainability trends. 

To discover more sustainable products check out the Sustainability Collection on RangeMe. 

Not a buyer? Log in to RangeMe here to add your sustainability certifications or sign up for free today!

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