While all retailers want to reduce their carbon emissions, most aren't on track to do so, says Mark Ang, co-founder and chief executive officer of GoBolt. That's changing due to consumer pressure.
Regardless of how many retailers want to reduce their carbon footprint, only about 18% are on track to do anything about it. That’s largely due to chief supply chain officers focusing on diversifying and de-risking their supply chains. Sustainability came second, if it was thought about at all, Ang says.
However, “A lot of the more innovative companies that are insurgent in the market now are able to offer more sustainable solutions. And I think there's going to be retailers being able to say, ‘Hey, this is something that we can and should do.’”
Throughout the boom in e-commerce, which has undeniably added to carbon emissions, sustainability took a back seat. “There was a huge focus on doing e-commerce profitably,” Ang says. “I think the investment has been primarily on reliability for shipping in e-commerce. Now, I think it's moving to more sustainability. And I think a lot of that push is coming from the consumer, where you see large numbers making sustainability-driven purchasing decisions. I think now it's coming to the supply chain as well, where most of the carbon emissions are coming from.”
Some surveys suggest as many as 80% of global consumers are concerned with environmental sustainability. “I think consumers are more attentive and acutely aware that it's a problem knocking on our door,” says Ang. “And they feel like they can vote with their wallet and help support brands and businesses that focus on being part of the solution or at least averting the problem. I think that's where consumers are really stepping up and able to help direct the flow of investment.”
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