As a retailer, the CSR agenda is something you can’t afford to be ignorant about. Environmental and ethical issues have never been higher on the agendas of both consumers and the media.

Retailers can’t be seen to be doing nothing, but their drives to do good are often met with scepticism. With each day, new green heroes and villains are unearthed and fresh issues, problems and theories come to the fore. Doing the right thing has never been more difficult or more necessary.

That’s why we have set up the Responsible Retailing channel, to provide valuable insight and knowledge on how best to adapt your business in challenging and ever-changing times.

I’m Katie Kilgallen, senior features writer at Retail Week and my aim is to create a one-stop resource to inform readers on all the environment and CSR issues the industry faces.

We’ll be looking at themes including battling climate change and carbon reduction; packaging and recycling; fair trade and ethical sourcing; as well as driving efficiencies in the supply chain and energy saving in stores. The channel aims to provide this through regularly updated news, features, comment, analysis and informative how-to guides.

As we launch, the site includes comment from Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) director Dan Rees and a guide to the forthcoming standard Carbon Reduction Label, as well as the latest CSR-related news stories.

In his comment, Rees urges retailers that despite the looming economic slowdown, cutting your ethical trade budget will prove to be a false economy. The guide to carbon labelling aims to cut through the confusion surrounding what could soon be a retail industry standard measurement for a product’s carbon footprint.

But I am also keen to be guided by our readers and address the issues that really matter to them. Please email me with the ideas, issues and questions that are on your mind and I will endeavour to find the best and most up-to-date information and solutions out there.

Dan Rees comment
Carbon Reduction Label