Project on climate work in the retail sector granted 2 million SEK

The Swedish Retail and Wholesale Council has granted almost two million SEK to a research project at Jönköping University within the framework of the agenda “Research relevant to the retail sector”. The project aims to shed light on how actors in the retail sector are taking on the ongoing climate work in the industry.

The project “Green Deal - development of strategic measures for retail's climate commitments” is run by Mart Ots, Timur Uman and Julia Grimm, researchers at Jönköping International Business School (JIBS).

The European Green Deal aims for EU to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. It holds binding targets for a climate-neutral EU by 2050 and legislation to enable a net reduction of greenhouse gases of 55% as early as 2030. The focus of the climate transition has so far been on the manufacturing industry. Still, retail is the industry that can have the most significant impact on consumers’ buying behavior. Leading retail companies have therefore set the ambitious goal of halving the carbon footprint of customers’ purchases of goods and services by 2030.

The ambition and drive to actively control or limit customers’ choices to more sustainable consumption by, for example, changing supply and methods of communication already exists within the industry.

“This concerns everyone. We see great interest from our most well-known retail chains in everything from food to clothing, furniture and electronics. They want to raise these issues and share experiences and solutions to common challenges. This is about playing a vital role in the climate transition and securing future competitiveness,” says Mart Ots.

How are these grand ambitions broken down into more concrete goals, and how will they affect the various areas of trade work? The project will, among other things, look at how to use influencing factors such as merchandising, signage, marketing communication and assortment planning to reach the goal.

“Retail has a unique position as it is close to consumers and can affect many people’s consumption. In our interviews, we will focus on the companies’ thoughts on goals and results, obstacles and how they can be overcome, and the shared experience of what actually works,” says Mart Ots.

The project is one of seven research projects that have been granted funding from the Swedish Trade Council within the framework of the same agenda.