Along with the official launch of Retail Space 2009 at MAPIC in Cannes, Real Estate Publishers (REP) unveiled the results of its 2008 Retailers' Sustainability Survey to a packed auditorium in the Palais des Festivals. The survey, commissioned by REP and ICSC Europe and carried out by specialist market research agency Simpson Carter, is based on phone interviews with property executives responsible for 250 retail companies representing 48,000 stores from 27 countries.
Thibaut Vincent, Director of Design and Architecture Group,
Apsys; Filipa Fernandes, Corporate Center Marketing and
Research SES Spar European Shopping Centers; Bernd
Struben, Senior Editor REP; and Marinus Dijkman,
President & CEO REP.
The presentation was hosted by Marinus Dijkman (President & CEO REP) and Bernd Struben (Senior Editor REP) and was followed by presentations in sustainable design and practice by Filipa Fernandes, Corporate Center Marketing and Research SES Spar European Shopping Centers, and Thibaut Vincent, Director of Design and Architecture Group of Apsys.
Second annual survey
REP's second annual Sustainability Survey questioned executives with primary responsibility for international operations or international real estate acquisition about their awareness and attitudes towards such issues and their impact on plans and operations. Interviews were conducted in all the major European languages including Turkish. The survey forms part of REP's annual International Retailers' Survey, which covers a broad range of issues facing retailers expanding in non-domestic markets.
CSR policies more prevalent
Retail is a major contributor to economies and it accounts for significant energy consumption. Estimated savings of up to 20% are possible across the sector, with heating, lighting, refrigeration, and AC representing the largest areas of potential energy savings. The survey showed that awareness of sustainability issues is increasing among retail executives. There was a particularly encouraging increase in companies with CSR policies, up to 41% in 2008 from 28% in the 2007 survey. There was also a very clear correlation between company size and their awareness and adoption of sustainability policies, with 67% of the largest companies having a CSR policy, compared to only 9% of the smallest retailers. Unfortunately the awareness of relevant certifications remains quite low, and many retailers have not yet integrated sustainability into formal reporting procedures, meaning that there is no analysis of their effectiveness as a means to guiding future management decisions.