Updating Your Business Model: Remember Green Work Takes Teamwork

Independent Retailers RecycleThe environmental movement is powerful, and whether you as an independent retailer are partaking in it or not could prove to be the best or worst decision as you position yourself in a competitive market. As a previous Independent Retailer piece mentions, bylined by Nicole Whitney, president and owner of Paloma Pottery, “The time has come for the environment and conserving natural resources to be factored into consumer products and is essential for a competitive economy in the 21st Century.” This statement appears true as not only mom and pop retailers, but also market moguls such as Coca-Cola pursue greener initiatives.

Independent Retailers to Display “Give It Back” Racks

Although green thinking may begin with a single idea, it is teamwork that assists in the successful launch and follow-through of green actions. Take for instance Coca-Cola, whose staff brainstormed around the idea of “Give It Back” Racks. Then, placing the innovative idea into action, Coca-Cola has begun creating recyclable in-store merchandise racks, which with the help of independent retailers will then be recovered, reused and recycled.

Gary Wygant, vice president of Business Development at Coca-Cola Recycling, emphasizes the need for teamwork in the launch of the industry-first closed-loop retail equipment program, “By creating a 100 percent recyclable merchandise display rack, Coca-Cola is asking grocery and convenience stores to join our sustainability efforts by returning or recycling our racks, just like we ask consumers to return or recycle our product packaging.” Coca-Cola is clear in its message that the green effort will not successfully work without the teamwork of its participating independent retailers.

What Is the Goal and Who Else Can Help?

According to Reuters’ columnist, Bart King, “Implementing the closed-loop process and utilizing recyclable materials will improve the chances that Coca-Cola’s displays do not end up in a landfill. Coca-Cola said currently it is diverting, on average, more than 90 percent of its waste at is primary U.S. manufacturing facilities.” Whether it be Coca-Cola or Wal-Mart, looking to implement an environmentally sound supply chain business model, the results need to be measurable. Measurable results can then be presented to consumers, who are increasingly aware of environmental necessities, and in turn who will select the retailer meeting their green expectations.

As mentioned earlier, green work takes teamwork. Independent retailers must embrace this motto, and when adding key players to the team keep in mind organizations like the Environmental Defense Fund and the Carbon Disclosure Project.