Landlords and retailers gather to discuss greening

WASHINGTON — The Retail Industry Leaders Association, the International Council of Shopping Centers and Paladino and Co., announced Tuesday a collaborative discussion among retailers and commercial shopping center developers to bridge the current landlord and tenant divide that exists around creating sustainable, energy-efficient retail stores in the United States.

Participants in the June 9 roundtable included Wal-Mart, Petco, Ann Taylor, Target, VF Corp., Best Buy, Westfield, Vornado and Kimco, among others.

The forum, held in Washington, D.C., was the first step in an initial six-month collaboration to identify adoptable industry solutions to tackle current barriers and issues around investing in sustainable and energy-efficient stores and retail centers.

The goal of the collaboration is to explore solutions to the “landlord/tenant divide” specifically for retail, in which progress toward more sustainable lease agreements is limited by market conditions and practices that make it difficult to align return with initial investment in green practices or technologies.

“It is clear that both retailers and landlords are making significant investments in environmental sustainability independently, but ultimately, we will have more success working together,” said Hugh Cherne, senior manager of environmental sustainability for Best Buy Co. and chair of RILA's Energy and GHG Emissions Committee. “This meeting was a great opportunity to get the conversation started and take a look at how best to team up and work on reducing our environmental impact.”