Green For Retail
“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, visitwww.greenforretail.com .
Wal-Mart to sell earth-friendly CDs
SANTA MONICA, Calif. As part of Wal-Mart’s “Earth Month” the company is selling more than 20 Universal Music Group titles that come with special earth-friendly inserts. The inserts are made with special seed paper and, according to the companies, can actually bloom into wildflowers.
The inserts, in addition to being good for the environment, also offer consumers three free digital downloads from Universal Music. Universal also said that a number of its new CDs will be packaged in third-party certified, renewable recycled board and recyclable paper.
ODP urges rejection of Levan nominees
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. Office Depot is continuing to urge its shareholders to reject dissident nominees and elect the company’s nominees to its board of directors at its annual shareholders meeting this April.
In a proxy statement sent to investors, Office Depot said that Alan Levan’s proposed nominees would do little to help improve shareholder value. According to the statement, Levan’s company, Levitt Corp. has seen its share price fall about 93% over the past three years and that its subsidiary, Levitt and Sons, is in bankruptcy. Office Depot also noted that BankAtlantic, of which Levan is chairman and ceo and one of his nominees, is president of real estate, construction and development, share price has dropped approximately 75% over the past three years.
Office Depot also cited news reports that commented on Levan’s failing business ventures, as well as others that said that his nominees are not qualified to serve on Office Depot’s board of directors.
The company pointed out nominee Mark Begelman’s experience with Mars Music, a company he founded in 1997 that went bankrupt in 2002. According to Office Depot, many news reports attributed this failure to a flawed business strategy.
According to Office Depot, when Levan’s other nominee, Martin Hanaka served as chairman of Sports Authority from 1998 to 2003, the company saw its price fall by about 13%.
Office Depot stressed that its directors best understand the company and are well-suited to help the company grow.
“We strongly believe that removing two of the most experienced retailing executives from our board, including our current ceo who is driving the implementation of our strategic turnaround plan, would be highly disruptive, could delay the implementation of internal and external initiatives and could damage prospects for a successful turnaround,” Office Depot said in the proxy statement.