NRF Center for Retail Sustainability

NRF Center for Retail Sustainability background

NRF Center for Retail Sustainability

The NRF Center for Retail Sustainability is the industry’s hub designed to support retailers’ efforts to generate economic value while creating net positive environmental, social and community benefits.

The Center highlights industry efforts, provides tools and resources for NRF members and facilitates engagement across retail value chains to make it easier for consumers to find high-quality, affordable and more sustainable products.

Get involved

For more information on how to participate in the work of the Center or other related inquiries, contact

Areas of focus

Consumer insights

Leveraging consumer insights to support a broader understanding about what consumers mean when they express a desire to buy more sustainable products, how different consumers understand sustainability differently, how sustainability priorities shift from product category to product category, and how retailers can better understand the sustainability priorities of their consumers.

Circular economy

Facilitating the emergence of the circular economy by supporting retailer efforts to reduce waste; improve recycling efforts; sell products made from recycled, regenerative and other innovative materials; collect, refurbish and resell products; and improve retail’s reverse logistics processes.

Supply chain traceability

Improving supply chain traceability solutions by clarifying retailer and consumer needs, identifying existing tools, mapping overlapping and unique areas of focus, and supporting standards for data collection and data sharing protocols.

Latest report

Retail Circularity: An Action Guide for Retailers

NRF and Deloitte collaborated to develop Retail Circularity: An Action Guide for Retailers that provides an industry-wide perspective on emerging circular business models. 

The report allows companies to explore relevant circularity activities they can directly control and those they can only influence. It also provides additional insights on resale, repair and recycling opportunities.

circular economy icons
NRF Center for Retail Sustainability background

Led by NRF Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Scot Case, the Center will be governed by an external advisory board comprised of senior-level sustainability executives, industry partners, academics and other subject matter experts. The NRF Center for Retail Sustainability expands upon the work of NRF’s existing Sustainability Council.

The NRF Sustainability Council is a collaborative networking group open to senior executives and their designees focused on corporate social responsibility (CSR), environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), and related sustainability issues. Learn more.

Reverse Logistics Association 

The National Retail Federation acquired the Reverse Logistics Association, a global trade association for the retail returns and reverse logistics industry, in September 2023. 

The acquisition ensures members and the industry will continue to receive the most forward thinking, real world and actionable innovations, research and information to drive the evolution of the world’s supply chain.

Supply chain
NRF members are addressing climate change

Driven by longstanding consumer and investor interest and scientific consensus, many NRF members believe climate change demands action and have been addressing climate change as one of their strategic priorities for years. NRF supports member efforts to address climate change.

Recent content

Explore and Implement: Circular Opportunities for Retailers
video preview image
Discover new insights on circular business models with NRF and Deloitte.
Members only
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5 takeaways from NRF’s inaugural Big Show Asia Pacific
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay at Big Show APAC 2024.
Asia Pacific is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets with limitless opportunities to expand stores and production.
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Retail Circularity: An Action Guide for Retailers
circular economy icons
NRF and Deloitte collaborated to develop a guide for retailers on emerging circular business models.
Read more
5 key findings from the NRF and Deloitte retail circularity action guide
A circularity puzzle.
NRF and Deloitte map the future of circular retail.
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How Ikea is leading the way on sustainability
Retail Gets Real episode 348: Ikea U.S. Country Sustainability Manager on the role of retail in the circular economy.
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Going circular: The future of retail returns and reverse logistics
Sustainability focused icons representing a circular economy.
Retailers find ways to optimize returns, reducing costs and creating new opportunities.
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A glance into consumers’ views on sustainability
Earth Day
New GfK research finds most Americans say concern for the environment is a priority.
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Retailers close the loop on creating a circular retail economy
Reusable tote filled with garments.
The industry is making significant investments to build tools and business models to power future circular solutions.
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3 things retailers need to understand about the world of reverse logistics
Customer returning a product.
The backbone of a circular economy provides a roadmap for sustainable retail.
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How Reformation sticks to its mission and stays ahead of the pack
Reformation CEO Hali Bornstein speaks at NRF 2024: Retail's Big Show.
CEO Hali Borenstein on making a great product, enabling a fast supply chain and using data-informed manufacturing.
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Walmart provides a peek at a connected, sustainable supply chain
Jane Ewing and David Guggina at NRF Supply Chain 360 Summit.
Collaboration ensures a company-wide commitment to leaving things ‘better than we found them’.
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3 ways retailers made it matter at NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show
Sara Eisen of CNBC and Raj Subramaniam of FedEx Corporation at NRF 2024: Retail's Big Show.
Impactful retail is driven by efficient tech and meaningful experiences.
Read more