Europe’s retailers climb on board sustainability train

Published on Aug 13th, 2019

Sustainable product sourcing has become a top priority for retailers in key European Union markets, according to figures collected by ITC from five EU countries: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

There is growing consumer support in the EU for environmentally-friendly products, fair and ethical trade, and decent jobs in supplier companies, according to The International Trade Center’s report on sustainability in Europe.

This has led to growing interest among retailers. In fact, 85% of retailers report increased sales of sustainable products over the past five years, with 65% reporting an increase of over 10% in revenues for this segment. The forecast by 92% of retailers is for a continued rise in the next five years of around 10%. On average, retailers earned 59% of their revenues from sustainable products in 2017. Patterns vary across EU countries, but the trend is positive across the board. Germany and the Netherlands have the highest share of sales in this segment.

Of the 550 surveyed retailers, nearly all have implemented strategies to increase sourcing that benefits the environment and the people along their supply chains, such as by cutting waste, utilising renewable inputs, and ensuring fair working conditions for producers.

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