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Cleantech and Retail: Technology Offers Solutions for Some of Retail’s Most Vexing Sustainability Problems

Executive Summary

“Cleantech,” or clean technology, makes use of renewable materials and energy sources, reduces the use of natural resources, and cuts or eliminates emissions and waste. Cleantech can help solve sustainability challenges at various stages in the retail supply chain:

  • Increasingly, consumers expect brands and retailers to be responsible for products upstream to raw material origin, and technologies such as blockchain can improve traceability.
  • Logistics is emerging as a key aspect of the sustainability equation. How a retailer imports and distributes merchandise can have a major impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Energy is the fourth-largest in-store operating cost for retailers after labor, rent and marketing.
  • Packaging is coming under increased scrutiny from consumers, regulators and environmental groups who are looking for more environmentally friendly designs.

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