“The defining issue of our time.” That’s how one retailer I know recently referred to sustainability. From small regional chains to global players, retailers of all stripes and sizes are grappling with how to incorporate green thinking across their entire supply chain.
What was once embraced by a small elite group of companies (names like Timberland, Patagonia, Aveda and REI spring to mind), has gone mainstream as mounting environmental concerns (and skyrocketing energy costs) spur more and more chains to develop eco-friendly practices, from reducing packaging to converting truck fleets to biodiesel fuels.
Not surprisingly, a big area of focus—and opportunity—is the physical plant, or the store itself. The way a store is designed, built and operated can have a huge impact on its environmental footprint (not to mention its utility bill and bottom line). To help retailers explore sustainable design, building and operating practices, Chain Store Age will bring together some of the industry’s leading green all-stars—retailers and consultants alike—at our inaugural Green 4 Retail (G4R) Conference, June 18-19, at the Hilton O’Hare in Chicago.
We’re excited about this event for a lot of reasons, not the least being that this is the first-ever conference exclusively dedicated to the implementation of green initiatives in store design, construction and facilities management. The agenda will be focused on real-life solutions and cutting-edge strategies with regard to sustainability, from solar power to LEED certification to energy management.
Here’s a sampling of the speakers who will share their insights and learnings with attendees:
* David DeVos, director of architecture and sustainable design, Kohl’s Department Store; * Justin Doak, manager, LEED Retail Sector, United States Green Building Council (USGBC); * Marc Gordon, VP, store operations, Macy’s; * Jim Hanna, environmental affairs manager, Starbucks Coffee Co.; * Rob Keller, energy management and engineering services director, J.C. Penney Co.; * Ron Rau, director of store operations/maintenance, Limited Brands; and * Yalmaz Siddiqui, director of environmental strategy, Office Depot.
Along with targeted sessions, G4R will offer time for networking, allowing attendees to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing them in this crucial area of store development.
So mark your calendars now. G4R promises to provide an unparalleled opportunity to connect with your green-building peers in the retail industry. Whether you are just getting started on the road to sustainability or well along the path, it’s an event you won’t want to miss. Hope to see you in Chicago.
For more information and updates on G4R, visit