InternetRetailing Expo highlights importance of sustainability

InternetRetailing Expo highlights importance of sustainability
Executives from participating firms Sainsbury’s and Garçon Wines discuss their efforts

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Sustainability is not just a buzzword in the retail industry at the moment. Speaking ahead of April’s InternetRetailing Expo (IRX), the event’s portfolio director Stuart Baker says that sustainability is something that customers demand, and retailers must provide as a result. 

“With many customers keen to find ways to include more climate-friendly practices in their lives, retailers are turning their attention to delivering greener options and information,” he said. 

Sainsbury’s is one of the companies that will participate at IRX, and group e-commerce director Nigel Blunt believes the organisation is taking the necessary measures to improve its impact on the planet. 

“We’re introducing information on our product labels which includes important sustainability details, such as sourcing,” he said. “Our cotton comes from sustainable sources and it’s important that customers making considered, environmentally friendly purchases are aware of this.”

Sainsbury’s has also introduced other sustainable practices such as reusable produce bags and a reduction in packaging at its partner company Argos.  

“The reason for doing it is because it is doing the right thing for people and the planet,” said Blunt. “It’s not about saving costs.”

Also participating at IRX is Garçon Wines, whose founder Santiago Navarro will speak in the warehousing and fulfilment track at the conference. The company has created a unique flat wine bottle made of 100% recycled plastic that can continue to be recycled after use. 

“Sustainability is fundamental to everything we do,” he said. “The round glass wine bottle is an old-fashioned vessel. I wanted to create a bottle that’s fit for purpose in a 21st century world – one that’s beautiful, light-weight, strong and sustainable.”

As it is made of plastic, instead of glass, the product needs very little protective packaging. Each bottle is 87% lighter than the average, which also reduces the amount of carbon dioxide produced across the supply chain. 

Thanks to our innovative wine packaging, we’re improving convenience and functionality, cutting logistics costs, and slashing greenhouse gas emissions to enable happier consumers and, most importantly, a healthier planet,” said Navarro. 

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