This year, 2023, we've seen a surge in climate-related catastrophes globally, affecting millions. In addition, July this year marked the hottest month on record worldwide. Events like Europe's heatwave and Canada's wildfires serve as stark reminders: urgent action is needed to prevent the looming consequences. With this in mind, this blog post delves into leveraging RFID technology for sustainable retailing, offering insights into proactive strategies to address these environmental challenges.

What is sustainable retailing?

Sustainable retailing stands for a commitment to minimize environmental impact throughout the retail process. Its focus lies in adopting practices aligned with the core principles of the 3Rs: reducing, reusing, and recycling. This approach involves reducing waste generation, reusing materials or products wherever possible, and actively participating in recycling initiatives. Sustainable retailing aims to create a circular economy where resources are conserved, waste is minimized, and ecological footprints are significantly reduced, ensuring a more environmentally conscious and responsible shopping experience.

How RFID helps retailers become more sustainable

RFID's key strength lies in its ability to comprehensively track all assets, offering individualized attention to each item for optimized outcomes. Providing retailers with full visibility throughout their supply chain, RFID has been demonstrated to be a powerful sustainability tool, here is how:

Reduce orders and production

Thanks to RFID technology, retailers gain clear visibility into their stock, enabling informed decisions on ordering and production. This transparency reduces unnecessary orders resulting from unclear inventory insights. Additionally, the accuracy and speed of RFID stock counts build trust in inventory records, reducing the necessity for excessive safety stock. As a result, this minimizes overstocking and overproduction, contributing to waste reduction and material conservation, supporting sustainable practices.

Better allocation to reduce shipments

RFID provides a transparent view of inventory at store, brand, and supply chain levels, enabling automated insights and improved resource allocation based on gathered data. Retailers can strategically allocate stock to various locations, reducing the need for frequent shipments from distribution centers to stores, fostering smarter inventory management and logistical efficiency while reducing their carbon footprint.

Reduce inventory shrinkage and damage

After production, the most sustainable practice involves maximizing the use of each product, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding assets and inventory to minimize waste. By tagging and tracking individual items, identifying instances of theft, loss, or damage becomes possible, enabling proactive measures to eliminate such occurrences.

Keep track of Reusable Transport Items (RTI)

While the items you sell hold undeniable importance, other assets within your business also play a crucial role in achieving sustainability. One such vital asset for a sustainable operation is Reusable Transport Items (RTIs), encompassing pallets, containers, and plastic boxes utilized for stock transportation across the supply chain.

A major challenge with RTIs lies in their frequent loss, theft, or misplacement throughout the supply chain. Replacing them regularly results in significant waste. Tracking RTIs is crucial in preventing their loss and theft, ensuring they undergo proper maintenance and are promptly returned to their origin points. This practice allows for their continued use until replacements are necessary.

What about the sustainability of RFID hardware itself?

Is RFID environmentally friendly?

As highlighted in this blog, RFID stands as a powerful tool for advancing sustainability within the retail sector. However, that's not the only aspect; partnering with Chainlane means aligning with the most reputable and environmentally conscious global collaborators. For instance, our partner SATO crafts sustainable RFID tags exclusively from certified forest paper instead of using plastic, demonstrating a commitment to environmental responsibility.

In conclusion, just as we approach 2024, the urgent need for sustainability has been undeniable. This blog explored how RFID technology empowers sustainable retailing, from reducing waste to smarter resource allocation. RFID not only enhances operational efficiency but also aligns with environmental responsibility. Embracing RFID in retail isn't just about efficiency; it's a step towards a more sustainable future for our planet.