Green Retail Initiatives Drive Cost Savings

Green retail initiatives drive down costs and catalyze customer loyalty. Best-in-class performers achieve top-line revenue growth and bottom-line cost savings, says survey.

After surveying over 100 retailers focused on leveraging sustainability initiatives to increase customer loyalty, Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company, published the report, “Getting From Green to Gold: Retail Success Factors and Outcomes,” which outlined information revealed from retail executives about their green and sustainability agendas, priorities, and strategies across all areas of the retail enterprise from the supply chain and headquarters – to stores and facilities.

The top four pressures driving companies to focus on green/sustainable supply chain programs today are the desire for competitive advantage (57% of companies), the need to control rising energy costs (38% of companies), the need to improve brand value and equity (34% of companies), followed by the need for innovation (31% of companies) and pressure around present or expected compliance mandates (30% of companies).

Survey results show that the firms enjoying Best-in-Class performance shared common characteristics involving various aspects of strategy, reporting, visibility, technology, etc. Results show that:

  • The Best-in-Class retailers achieved a 20% decrease in energy costs
  • Best-in-Class retailers achieved an 8% decrease in their overall logistics and transport costs
  • These retailers achieved a decrease of 5% in merchandise costs.

Additionally, the best-in-class retailers achieved significant improvements in customer loyalty measured by improved rates of customer acquisition (+17%), customer retention (+31%), and customer satisfaction (69% of Best-in-Class with CSAT rates above 80%). According to Jhana Senxian, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Specialist at Aberdeen and report author, “Sustainability is as much about change in organizational culture as it is about process transformation. Accordingly, vision, leadership, education, and communication are as important as processes and technology. To be successful, companies must be visionary, holistic, and quantitative in approach.”

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