As consumers seek products that cause minimal environmental harm and bring about positive social impact, and as awareness of supply chain impact grows, retailers must embrace sustainability. Given their unique position in the supply chain between upstream suppliers and downstream consumers, retailers are key to a circular economy in which products at the initial end-of-life stage are returned to the supply chain for continued use. By serving as a connection between suppliers and consumers, retail initiatives can help to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Furthermore, retailers can leverage their unique position in the supply chain to enable and legitimize a focus on social issues across the supply chain. We discuss such actions, the challenges that need to be overcome to have scalable impact, and the mechanisms retailers can utilize to make such progress.
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