While the majority (58%) of retailers say sustainability is important to their business, many are struggling to safeguard it as a priority – including against profits – and 59% have had to scale back their sustainability activities as a direct result of the pandemic.

At the same time, retailers are under pressure to shout more loudly about their sustainability credentials, even though three quarters (73%) believe customers misunderstand green claims.

As the CMA prepares to investigate green claims in early 2022, and with many of these competing priorities (including the supply chain crisis and staff shortages) due to last for some time, there is an urgent need for industry-wide collaboration and sustainable, workable solutions.

Based on interviews with the UK’s top 100 retailers, we explore:

  • How important is sustainability to retailers?
  • Prioritisation of sustainability against cost concerns
  • Is sustainability moving up or down the agenda, and what are retailers’ biggest motivators?
  • What changes are retailers making, and how are they tackling supply chains?
  • How big a risk is greenwashing?

Date published

06 December 2021

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