Retail without borders - sustainability and the conscious consumer

In her latest Blog, Laura Rimmer, International Compliance Manager, talks about her speaker experience at Retail Without Borders and outlines how businesses need to be aware of potential environmental compliance obligations overseas.

Speaking at an event is always an exciting opportunity. Speaking in a panel discussion with the ability to challenge one another and share knowledge and experience is an invaluable one.

What is Retail without Borders?

In March, Retail Without Borders brought together industry leaders and academics in London to discuss visions and ideas for the ideal global marketplace. Importance was placed on the need to identify trends and track changes to create the infrastructure for a truly international, borderless business world.

Why I attended

For years, Valpak has been placing emphasis on complying with environmental and ethical legislation outside of the UK, assisting companies with issues such as Packaging Waste, Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment, Waste Batteries and Modern Slavery, so when I was asked to participate in the “Sustainability and the Conscious Consumer” panel, I was delighted. The key message for this talk was to demonstrate how consumers are driving sustainable change, demanding transparency across supply chains and altering their habits to account for the ecological impact of their purchases.

Topics discussed

Hosted by media sensation Jon Snow and with other panellists from Partner Circularity Capital, Segura, charity We are Purple and the International Trade Centre, we traversed topics from how eCommerce is empowering women in Kenya to sell and ship products worldwide, to tracking modern slavery through supply chains and identifying key areas of risk often invisible to businesses without accurate data and the ability to translate that data into tangible answers.

In our capacity as the UK’s leading compliance scheme, we championed the fact that as soon as a company is exporting products and placing packaging onto foreign markets, the rules for compliance change. It is a common misconception to think that once you have registered with a compliance scheme in the UK, you will be covered for your obligations overseas.

What I gained from the event

I came away from the day inspired by everyone who spoke to us after the talk and at Valpak’s stand. Listening to opinions and being challenged on our expertise is what pushes us to be a better company ready to make the changes that matter.

Is your business affected?

Do you think your business is affected by any of the topics outlined above? To avoid being caught out, contact a member of our team for a chat to see if there is anything that you need to do to comply and anything that Valpak can do to make the road to compliance simpler.