Retailers to face more sustainability pressures from banks, says BRC

The director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said that UK retailers will face much more pressure from financial institutions as they become more regulated.

At the Retail Technology Show in London, Andrew Opie said that banks and other investors are increasingly looking to invest in responsible businesses.

Opie warned that there will be more “regulation coming down the track”, forcing retailers to be more transparent about their supply chains and environmental impact, from providing carbon reporting to evidence of ethical labour practices.

The sustainability director also referred to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) tough stance on greenwashing, where it expects businesses to be “absolutely transparent”.

With new powers set to allow the competition watchdog to issue fines of up to 10 per cent of global company turnover if they fail to meet the regulator's Gren Claims Code, Opie said that this is likely to drive retailers to be more transparent about their real environmental impact.

“Your responsibility is not to deceive the customer,” he told retailers at the event.

He told attendees that these days retailers are more focussed on responsible business and the potential risks of not managing their supply chains, and said that moving forward companies should collaborate to address sustainability challenges together.

The Retail Technology Show is taking place at Kensington Olympia, London on 26 and 27 April 2023.

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