Welcome back to our green enterprise checklist for retailers. In my previous posts, I described how to create a vision for sustainability and how to evaluate your operations. The next area on our checklist is evaluating your merchandise.
Successful businesses know they need the right product mix for their target audience. In sourcing green products, find a balance between sustainability and economy. Research a supplier’s product development philosophy to determine if their values resonate with your green vision, as well as fit the needs of your customers.
- Sustainable products:
- Provide sustainable/green versions of products if available. Visit The Sustainable Products Corporation for more information.
- Recycling programs:
- Partner with local and national environmental agencies or salvage companies to find creative solutions to increase recycling options.
- Sleep Country Canada’s Donated Bed program provides customers’ gently used mattresses to needy families.
- Sleep Country diverts thousands of mattresses from landfill each year by paying a Toronto-based recycling depot to break down beds and recycle the components.
- Staples/Business Depot takes back used ink and toner cartridges and recycles them through a patented cleaning and remanufacturing process.
- For every eligible cartridge dropped off by a customer, the retailer donates $1 to participating schools across Canada.
- Buying locally:
- Educate yourself on when buying locally makes the most business and environmental sense. While buying locally certainly helps the local economy, it is not always the most viable option from an environmental perspective.
- Buying locally tends to work best for items like fresh produce. Organizations like Greening Greater Toronto can provide resources for finding local suppliers that fit a retailer’s product mix.
Check back next week as we continue this series. The full list of posts follows:
The Green Retail Checklist
Step 1: Create the vision
Step 2: Evaluate your operations
Step 3: Evaluate your merchandise
Step 4: Evaluate your supplies
Step 6: Evaluate your People