Power Retail and The Purpose Agents team up for second annual Sustainability Spotlight

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By Published On: August 16, 20230 Comments

Power Retail and The Purpose Agents Highlight the companies nailing their sustainability practices in the second annual Sustainability Spotlight.

Power Retail has teamed back up with sustainability consultancy, The Purpose Agents, to produce the second annual Sustainability Spotlight Report which highlights the companies leading the charge on sustainability initiatives in retail; and makes a strong call to action to Australian brands to revamp their operations and rethink their business models in order to reduce their environmental impact.

When it comes to choosing retailers, 46 percent of shoppers prefer those who are transparent about their sustainability practices. 49 percent of customers express the likelihood of shopping again with a retailer whose sustainable practices they approve of. This indicates that a significant portion of consumers value and consider sustainability practices when deciding where to shop, suggesting the importance of retailers’ eco-friendly initiatives in retaining customer loyalty. Monetary gain is not and should not be the only motivation for retailers to consider sustainable practices, there is so much more at stake.

This year’s edition takes a particular interest in highlighting the efforts around emissions reductions.

“Managing Scope 3 emissions is crucial for retailers looking to reduce their carbon footprint and manage regulatory, supply chain and financial risk,” writes Sustainability Spotlight collaborator Anna Forster in her article Managing Scope 3 Emissions – A Growing Business Risk but Often Still Uncharted Land in Retail.  “Momentum has been growing in the industry around target setting and measuring of emissions, but action is still lacking. Working with supply chain partners, service providers, and other actors, such as customers, is essential for achieving reduction goals, as it allows for a shared commitment to sustainability and increased accountability on emissions to enable the implementation of solutions that benefit everyone involved.” Anna’s full article deep diving into the topic is available in the report.

The Spotlight is based on a questionnaire which asks retailers to share their efforts in protecting or driving positive impact for people and/ or the planet in three topic areas:

COMPANY ETHOS (12 questions)



The report highlights various case studies across a selection of sustainability categories from retailers that have shared their journey and achievements. This year’s report includes highlights from the following categories: Reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, Circularity, Driving Systematic Change, Stewardship, Diversity & Inclusion, Ethical Sourcing & Transparency, and Waste Reduction.

The journey remains complex and concerns us all. It takes courage to accept the fact that it is an iterative process and vulnerability to share one’s experiences and challenges.

This year’s edition features retailer highlights from the above categories from Modibodi, Michael Hill, Country Road, Adorn Cosmetics, Lenovo, Princess Polly, and Officeworks. And as a new addition this year, the report highlights three service providers who have developed innovative approaches to support retailers on their journey of emissions reduction. Sendle, Better Packaging Co, and RCYCL are featured for their action around Reducing Transport, Packaging, and End of Life Emissions.

This year’s Sustainability Spotlight also features interviews with two pioneers of sustainability evolving the retail space with their unique schemes. Power Retail spoke to Michael Hill about their innovative gold recycling program and RCYCL founder Belinda Paul about the lifecycle of clothing and how retailers can make a difference from the point of sale.

The final section includes, as in the previous year, valuable data on consumer behaviours on sustainability, from Power Retail’s Switched On platform.

“We had a huge response to last year’s report and knew we had to follow it up with something that dives beyond traditional ideas of sustainability,” said Rosalea Catterson, editor of Power Retail. “We put out the call and so many fantastic businesses got in touch. This year’s report really showcases the variety of actions companies can take in that realm across a real variety of industries. We hope this report can inspire readers to make some positive changes and start thinking long term. We thank everyone that submitted their highlights this year and are already looking forward to next year’s edition.”

You can find the full Sustainability Spotlight report here, with the full list of highlighted retailers, retailer interviews and Power Retail data and insights on sustainable retailing.


About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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