The Retail Forum's 2011 Annual Event took place in Brussels on 10th of November, bringing together around 150 participants from business, civil society and EU institutions. This second high level Annual Event marked the launch of the new phase of the Forum starting in early 2012 and discussed how retailers should contribute to implementing the Resource Efficiency Roadmap in the years to come.
Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik presented the recently adopted Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe, which is calling for a large-scale switch to a resource-efficient economy and outlined the ways in which retailers can contribute to solving these issues. The Commissioner said: "I believe it’s the role of the Retail Forum to lead by example and to stimulate retailers to make a significant contribution to the resource efficiency agenda. … With more ambition, more commitment and more effective implementation of the Retail Forum objectives, I am convinced that we will be even more successful in our fight for green consumption and ultimately creating a prosperous and resource-efficient future."
He was joined by Dr. Rainhardt von Leoprechting, Senior Executive Advisor to the Management Board of Metro Group and President of EuroCommerce, who outlined how the retail sector is working on achieving a resource efficient economy and has stressed the achievements of the Retail Forum through the commitment of its members. He added that "if we make small improvements in the majority of products purchased by the majority of consumers, we will quickly see much greater environmental benefits than if we try to make large improvements in a few products purchased by few consumers." Dick Boer, CEO of Royal Ahold and President of the European Retail Round Table (ERRT) also delivered a keynote speech and emphasised that stakeholders can achieve a lot more in the area of resource efficiency if working together in a cooperative manner, just the way they do in the Retail Forum. He commented that "by defining a shared, pre-competitive agenda in platforms such as the Retail Forum, we can move the needle towards real, sustainable progress across the industry. Frontrunners can make it easier for others to follow the best examples."
A report summarizing members’ achievements in 2010/2011 and the commission’s latest assessment will be posted shortly on the Retail Forum’s website.
To read the keynote speeches, please click here.
For photos and a video of the Annual Event, please see the gallery here.
Source: Retail Forum website