Sustainable retail: #STORE2016

The guiding theme of this year’s STORE conference was #RETAILMATTERS and if you were there, you know that the need for retailers to become leaders in innovation was a recurring topic. The ability for businesses to adapt, change and do something new and important for today’s consumers was exemplified by the panel, “Practicing Sustainability: Leading the Movement.” The panel was headlined by Steve Matyas, President of Staples Canada, and IKEA Canada’s President, Stefan Sjöstrand.

IKEA focused on a mix of projects – purchasing a wind farm in Alberta – and a design philosophy that includes sustainability as a central pillar.

Staples Canada’s Steve Matyas made the essential point that any company looking to sustainability shouldn’t feel that they need a fully-realized solution in order to take that first step. In his words, “Go for singles, you don’t need a home run.”  By starting small and growing its initiatives, Staples has been able to champion a wide-ranging set of sustainability programs, from zero-waste initiatives to electronics recycling programs to emissions reductions efforts.



Recently, Staples Canada shared with us some of the ways that they use sustainability to connect with and educate their customers. The key is to be able to offer programs that make it easier for Canadians to participate by making sustainable choices in their own lives.


And for those who felt that even more discussion of sustainability could have helped to advance the conversation at #STORE2016, we have some great contributions from major Canadian retailers, including Ontario’s Beer Store, Simons and MEC. In this video, bullfrogpowered outdoors retailer MEC explains how its sustainability program creates value by embodying its members’ values.


The Beer Store, which was  “green before green was cool,” runs a landmark beer deposit return system but also values the way it can help to support local green energy projects through its partnership with Bullfrog Power. Having the logo on its bullfrogpowered stores has sparked conversations with customers and those interactions are important for a public-facing sustainability program.


Simons connects strongly with the themes of #STORE2016, explaining that its green initiatives are an important part of its customer experience. By striving to be more transparent and to communicate their sustainability initiatives in a unique way, Simons is connecting with customers about the things they value.



Interested in learning how Bullfrog Power’s green energy can fit into your sustainability strategy – or how choosing green energy can become the first step of your plan?

Learn more about green energy for business. Talk to us today.