New foresight report calls on business to go beyond sustainability towards regenerative retail

Ahead of COP26, Avery Dennison, the global leader in materials science and manufacturing, has teamed up with forecasting consultancy The Future Laboratory, to release a new report: Regenerative Retail Economy. The report is released at a time when the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has challenged retailers to ensure that 20% of the retail industry by revenue is committed to net zero by 2023, and that the entire sector reaches net zero by 2050 at the latest.

This report combines expert interviews with consumer insight and identifies the emerging trends and attitudes that will drive transformation in the decade ahead. It highlights the groundbreaking technologies which will fundamentally change how retail and consumer brands do business as well as breakthrough approaches to e-commerce and omnichannel retailing.

Tyler Chaffo, manager of global sustainability at Avery Dennison Smartrac says, “This is a time of huge disruption as the retail sector looks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as face the challenges of climate change. This report lays out the bold actions required to help retailers transition to net-zero and a regenerative retail economy. In a regenerative retail economy, retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, brands and consumers will each take responsibility and ownership over the collective need for a more sustainable future.”

The digital report, which is available free of charge, includes three predictions for the future of retail exploring the importance of pro-planet packaging, openly and transparently communicating environmental impact, and radical collaboration, which calls not only on governments to move the world to net-zero carbon emissions, but also on business and civil society.

The report highlights that technological investment will be crucial to building a regenerative retail economy, as retailers are moving towards regenerative systems. Research shows that 77% of business leaders listed environmental sensors and IoT as important to meeting their sustainability goals with more than one-fifth claiming to have accelerated their digitalization plans by three years.

Rob Groen in ‘T Wout, marketing director paper & film, Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials comments, “The combination of materials and digital solutions will play a critical role in building a regenerative retail economy. This means recovering and recycling materials at a faster rate than we are using them and creating greener last-mile solutions for packaging, shipping and returns as e-commerce grows. It means digitizing the supply chain so retailers can have a better understanding of their inefficiencies and waste to create more circular business models. And it means not only promising to preserve the planet, but also proactively contributing to make the natural world a better place for all its inhabitants.”

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