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08/10/2022

Retailers and Suppliers Look for Green Supply Chain Solutions

Jeff Pepperworth, President & CEO of iGPS, and John Gehre, Chief Merchandising Officer of The Container Store, discussed how retailers and suppliers can move towards a more sustainable supply chain at the recent Store Brands Industry Forum on Sustainability.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
Zachary Russell profile picture

Retailers across the board are looking for ways to create a more sustainable supply chain while still managing pandemic-related challenges.

Jeff Pepperworth, President & CEO of iGPS, and John Gehre, Chief Merchandising Officer of The Container Store, discussed creating a greener supply chain at the recent Store Brands Industry Forum on Sustainability hosted by Store Brands Executive Editor/Associate Publisher Greg Sleter.

“Lighter loads demand less fuel consumption, and less miles traveled will help with the impact on the environment,” said Pepperworth, whose company manufactures lightweight plastic pallets. “Packaging, the recyclability of that packaging… the lighter the weight, the lighter the load, the better effect it’s going to have on the environment.”

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Greg Sleter, Jeff Pepperworth, John Gehre
Greg Sleter, Jeff Pepperworth, John Gehre

Gehre added that a sustainable supply chain still boils down to having a strong product that consumers will gravitate towards.

“From my perspective, it starts with the product,” said Gehre. “If it’s going to be sustainable, it still has to be gorgeous, it has to be something the customer wants to buy, and we should definitely be pushing the customer towards products that are sustainably driven. We have a younger generation of shoppers that are going to demand this out of us. Sustainability is not an option, it’s something we have to move forward with.”

Pepperworth and Gehre agreed that not only does a sustainable supply chain mean efficiency for retailers and suppliers, it’s also what consumers want to see as sustainability becomes a key factor in product purchasing.

“We as consumers have the biggest impact on the supply chain just purely by consumption alone,” said Pepperworth. “Our behaviors are changing based on how we perceive manufacturers and retailers… many companies have moved towards ESG reports because these are the things their consumers want to see them taking a proactive approach to.”

The supply chain panel, along with the full Store Brands Industry Forum, can be viewed on-demand here.