Status: Complete (2019)
Social trends and technological lock-ins hinder innovations towards sustainable retail practices. The throw away culture in our society usually causes the desire for convenience to outweigh sustainability concerns. Consequently, retailers and brands testing innovations often fear the risk of reputation damage. Furthermore, circular technological solutions are often complex and may require infrastructure changes, subsidies/taxes, or adaptions across the entire value chain. A social and technological step change towards more sustainable retail is required to bridge these barriers and achieve sustainable change.
We developed a concept for an Innovation Center for Sustainable Retail (ICSR) aligning the interests of retailers, brand-owners, and other stakeholders. This consortium aims to improve the environmental footprint, creates a platform to exchange knowledge and build strong partnerships, and supports the identification, testing and implementation of innovation opportunities. The ICSR focuses on three areas of innovation: product and business model innovation, packaging innovation, and consumer behavior innovation. The innovations across the entire value chain will be considered to reduce emissions, maximize circularity, and reducing food waste.