Sustainability strategy in retail is a key focus of this year’s Retail Technology Show, which is set to take place at London’s Olympia venue on 26-27 April 2023.
From keynote presentations to greener thinking exhibitors, there is plenty for sustainability professionals in retail to take in at the two-day conference and exhibition.
Green Retail World has picked out its top greener retailing things to look out for at the event. This publication is a media partner for the show, and our editor will be there on both days – you can register your attendance here.
See below for our Magnificent 7 greener retailing things to look out for at Retail Technology Show.
1. Fireside chat with the BRC’s Andrew Opie
Director of food & sustainability at the British Retail Consortium (BRC), Andrew Opie, will be addressing the Retail Technology Show delegates on day one with an all-encompassing greener retailing presentation.
Those tuning in can expect to hear about the key retailer deliverables in sustainability, and the strategies enabling businesses to achieve company-wide buy-in to their sustainability initiatives.
Opie is also expected to chat about the BRC Climate Action Roadmap, as well as what he sees as the most effective ways to communicate sustainability practices to customers.
Updates on the latest legislation retailers should be focusing on and guidance around net zero strategies will be all part of the presentation, too.
Where to find it: Headline Theatre, 13:45 on Wednesday 26 April
2. Exhibitor NOUMI
There are several green-thinking exhibitors to be found on the exhibition floor, which is primarily made up of tech companies providing the nous and the software to help retailers across their operations. Companies exhibiting range from those supporting better digital marketing processes to companies specialising in supply chain management and securing payments networks.
Our hot pick from a greener retailing perspective is NOUMI, which returns to the show for the second consecutive year but with a refreshed proposition to showcase.
The NOUMI app allows consumers to digitally download all their receipts in one place, and subsequently receive personalised offers through the platform. There are clear benefits for the shopper, here, but for any retailer involved with NOUMI that means they can switch away from paper receipts and cut down on paper usage – which can help with sustainability strategy.
Several retail stores across the UK are using the tech in proof of concept stage. For retailers there are multiple reasons why they might want to invest in NOUMI – including targeted marketing opportunities and much more.
Swing by the stand to hear from Terry Knott, managing director of NOUMI Digital and the rest of the team, who can fill you in with all the details.
Where to find NOUMI: Stand 6B40 on the exhibition floor
3. Keynote with Abel & Cole’s Stefanie Sahmel
What does a sustainable supply chain actually look like and how can it help you manage supply chain risk?
That is the topic for Stefanie Sahmel, head of sustainability & B Corp ambassador at Abel & Cole, to discuss during her opening keynote on day two of the conference.
The presentation will be wide-ranging but attendees can expect to hear about how retailers can collaborate on the supply chain sustainability challenge and manage risk, as well as ways to use technology innovation for supply chain transparency.
Abel & Cole is a leader in this space and Sahmel has multiple examples of greener retailing to share.
Where to find it: Theatre A, 09:40, Thursday 27 April
4. The Start-up Safari
The event organisers have committed to showcasing “cutting-edge technologies” as well as championing the start-up community, so they partnered with consultancy, Baringa, to create a start-up safari for visitors to undertake and find out what’s new via a guided tour.
Included in the safari – among others – are a company providing artificial intelligence-powered online fit technology, a personalised pop-up property platform, and a business promising to deliver a technology that will transform the war on waste.
The latter company is Reath, which provides specialist software for reusable and refillable packaging systems, combining machine readable trackers with reuse.id, its digital passport open data standard. This tech allows retailers to gather and hold data on how their reuse system is functioning including how many times packages are reused and how many pieces of single-use packaging a business has saved.
Where to find it: Running throughout the show but attendees should pre-register
5. Panel debate on sustainability in retail
Although the individual presentations and green-thinking exhibitors will give attendees a chance to learn, nothing beats an in-depth conference panel debate to rapidly gauge multiple opinions on important subjects.
Day two of the conference contains a session called ‘Sustainability Beyond Carbon Footprint: How A Positive Socio-Economic Impact Can Increase A Retailer or Brand’s Perceived Value’. Among other issues, it will cover how retailers and brands are striving to create a positive impact on society and the metrics used to evaluate the success and impact of their initiatives.
- Tiago Quaresma, managing director at The Fantastic World of Portuguese Sardines
- Roz Bridges, acquisition manager (home & garden) at eBay
- Sara Brennan, positive business director at Pentland Brands
- Stefanie Sahmel, head of sustainability at Abel & Cole
- Paula Macaggi, head of partnerships & global strategy at RETHINK Retail
Brennan (pictured below), whose company recently gained B Corp status, also has her own session at 13:05 in the Headline Theatre on Thursday, which is one not to miss for sustainability professionals.
Where to find the panel debate: Theatre A, 11:30, Thursday 27 April
6. Circular thinking presentation with Ikea and Rentle
‘Moving From Linear To Circular Commerce – The Drivers, Opportunities, And Challenges’. That’s the name of a presentation taking place on the morning of day two.
Why is 2023 a good year to start your circular journey? What are the quick benefits and opportunities of starting circular offerings? And is circular commerce a replacement or expansion of linear commerce?
All these questions and more will be discussed by Tuomo Laine, CEO & co-founder of rental software company Rentle, and Håkan Nordkvist, the former head of sustainability & innovation at Ikea.
Where to find the presentation: Theatre A, 10:50, Thursday 27 April
7. Eco-focused businesses in the Discovery Zone
The event organisers have created a Discovery Zone this year to allow visitors to see companies that have never before displayed their wares at the show. All the companies included in this area are no more than five years old, and some of them have a greener retailing focus.
Among the sustainability-related exhibitors in this zone are the aforementioned Rentle, as well as CircularX, which supplies software to empower retailers and brands to design and launch second-hand deals in support of the pre-loved movement we’ve written so much about on these pages.
Where to find it: Look out for the dedicated DZ area on the exhibition floor
If you’re looking to catch up with Green Retail World at Retail Technology Show, it’s likely you’ll find editor, Ben Sillitoe, in one of the sessions or at one of the stands referenced. Please do say “hello” and introduce yourself.
[Main image credit: Retail Technology Show]