AI in Retail: Beyond The Hype and Into Reality for Store Operations.
The term "AI" is often thrown around, but what does it really mean?
"Climate targets matter, but action to deliver them matters more."
The retail industry has suddenly got very ambitious on climate change. Ahead of the COP26 climate conference, a string of new sustainability commitments and decarbonization pledges were made by major retailers and supermarkets.
But will these ambitious climate pledges now turn into climate action? Here we take a look at what’s driving the urgent shift to sustainable business, and the best action companies should take to reach their targets to halve greenhouse gas emissions by the end of this decade.
These sustainability targets are all aligned to limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, the highest level of ambition expressed in 2015’s Paris Agreement and one of the key objectives of COP26 to avoid the worst impacts of the climate emergency.
The IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report makes it clear that the only goal we must aim for is 1.5°C. The Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi) shines the light on what targets are aligned to that future, allowing retailers to understand the short-term goals they must set to play their part in achieving 1.5°C.
Last week in Glasgow saw the launch of the new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), which creates a globally consistent baseline for the disclosure of ESG and sustainability data. With TCFD disclosure becoming mandatory in the UK, and other countries likely to follow, companies are under greater scrutiny than ever before (not least from their investors and capital providers) to demonstrate their action and results to address climate change.
Retailers sit in the sweet spot between responding to (and stimulating) consumer demand and managing hugely impactful global supply chains. With the rise of climate change impacts worldwide and high-profile activism, people are increasingly voting with their wallets for the companies and products that they see taking the most immediate action to solve climate change.
The UN-backed Race to Zero campaign has brought together the largest-ever coalition of non-state actors committed to taking rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030. With the moral imperative now aligned with a strong business case, CEOs have been eager to join.
Industry initiatives such as the BRC’s Climate Action Roadmap have brought the sector together behind a singular level of ambition, laying out clear pathways to get there across operations, logistics, product, supply chain, data, and reporting. This makes it far easier than before to plan out the step-by-step actions on the path to Net Zero, with emerging best practices and cost-competitive technologies to get there.
If there’s one clear message from COP26 so far, it’s that it’s now all about urgent action. That means deep emissions reductions now; not just offsetting.
In fact, SBTi’s recently published Net Zero Standard requires companies to cut emissions by 90% before offsetting any residual emissions. Walmart is leading here, planning to achieve their Net Zero goal with no carbon offsetting.
For retailers, deep decarbonization means:
Here’s a glimpse of what it looks like in Quorso to get your store teams engaged (working with operations, logistics, merchandising, and supply chain teams) and taking urgent action towards your Net Zero and 2030 decarbonization goals right now.
Wherever you are along the journey, we’re here to help you turn the pledges of the last year, and the energy of COP26, into effective, impactful action throughout your business. Quorso have our very own Sustainable Impact Accelerator: book a demo with us to see exactly how you could be driving your sustainability targets ahead of the pack.