Your expert for questions
Partner at PwC Strategy&
Mobile: +43 66 4515-2904
The march towards greater sustainability doesn't end with the retail and consumer goods industry. If nothing else, consumers are driving this change by placing greater value on sustainable products. Retailers and manufacturers now have to align their business activities with these ambitions. The greatest challenge facing the industry is to promote sustainability while remaining competitive. Industry players have to ensure transparency along their entire supply chain and make sustainability a visible and measurable hallmark of their highly complex supplier and distribution networks. Our sustainability experts at PwC and Strategy& help retailers and manufacturers tackle this challenge.
Retailers and consumer goods companies are already working together closely to jointly implement sustainability strategies. For example, the Consumer Goods Forum, a global network that brings together the CEOs and senior management teams of over 400 retailers, manufacturers and service providers, has established a strategic organisation that focuses on sustainability, the environment and society. But this collaborative effort alone is not enough. Legislators are increasing pressure on companies to contractually enforce their social and environmental standards along the supply chain. In Germany, for instance, discussions are underway to introduce legislation governing supply chains.
"Consumers, governments and other stakeholders are demanding that retailers and consumer goods companies clearly define sustainability standards in their network. Going forward, companies in the industry will also be measured by the transparency and measurability of their sustainability initiatives."
It is above all consumers who are pushing for the retail and consumer goods industry to become more sustainable: as far as online shopping is concerned, consumer awareness of and interest in sustainability and fair trade products has increased significantly over the past five years. For consumers, the effect they have on the country of production is also becoming increasingly transparent.
NGOs also play an important role in educating consumers: they shine a light on the working conditions in and the environmental impact the consumption of products such as chocolate, shirts or cosmetics have on the country in which the raw materials are sourced. Organisations such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Rainforest Alliance have successfully lobbied for improvements in production standards and fair trade.
The pressure to increase sustainability is mounting: various stakeholders – from consumers to investors and suppliers – expect retailers and manufacturers to be guided by the principles of sustainability in their business activities. This applies to supply and distribution chains, production conditions and transparency. But how can companies meet all these demands? To create sustainable value, retailers and manufacturers of consumer goods should focus their efforts on four aspects:
The sustainability experts at PwC and Strategy& will work with you to implement sustainability throughout your entire company in a way that is easy to grasp for all stakeholders. Our focus rests on four key sustainability issues for the industry:
Make it real: We will breathe life into your sustainability strategy and will help you formulate a successful sustainability agenda for your company. The key to your success is our proven and unique all-in-one approach – from strategy to implementation.
Expertise and know-how: Looking for trustworthy partners and experts who have the relevant industry expertise as well as the technical and functional know-how that you need? Then you've come to the right place!
Collaboration: We see ourselves as pragmatic strategists who always roll up our sleeves to work closely with our clients with the singular goal of creating real added value together as a team.
Do the right thing for society: We are boldly shaping the future with you, our colleagues and society, always taking responsibility for our actions.
Dr. Christian Wulff
Partner, Retail & Consumer Leader, PwC Germany
Tel: +49 40 6378-1312
Partner, Head of Sustainability Services, PwC Germany
Tel: +49 89 5790-5535