When asked why I took on the task of writing a guide on sustainability for the retail sector, the answer was simple.  As a business strategist, often focused on developing business strategy for brands and retailers, I saw a clear disconnect between the growing desire of many consumers to lead more sustainable lifestyles and the ability of people to make more sustainable choices when shopping.  If more people are going to incorporate more sustainable brands and services into their purchasing patterns, then sustainable choices need to be: Available, easy to find, affordable and desirable for shoppers.  It’s that simple!  But what isn’t simple is  ‘how’ businesses go about making themselves – their physical environment, their products and services – more sustainable and how they ensure that they bring their customers, suppliers and employees on that journey with them.  Those working within the retail sector – suppliers, retail owners and staff-  have a vital role to play to support people to engage with a more sustainable way of living and build more sustainable habits.

So, working with Claire Cogan, a behavioural scientist and researcher, we set about developing a guide for the retail sector to help retailers take practical steps to make their businesses more sustainable.  In partnership with Retail Excellence and Champion Green and with the support of our sponsors AIB, Vodafone, Tap Creative and SuperValu, Think Plan Do Consulting and BehaviourWise launched Sustainable Irish Retail Action (SIRA).  This is a practical step-by-step e-guide to making a retail business more sustainable.  We wanted the guide to be simple and easy for people to read and use so, designed by TapCreative, the guide contains advice, tips, ideas and over 20 case studies from within the retail community in Ireland.  It  also help readers navigate where to go for help with direct links to further information and support.

We didn’t reinvent the wheel – we demystified, simplified and signposted to make it easy for retailers to find out what to do and how to do it.

SIRA Testimonials

Building or evolving into a fully sustainable business is too big an elephant to eat in one meal. SIRA provides a framework to break down and map the concepts and complexity of progressive sustainability. We need this in retail right now.
Sonya Lennon
Entrepreneur & Thought Leader for Equitable Workplaces
Sustainability is important in environmental terms, and means preserving living local communities. Local businesses are a lifeline for charities and community groups, and, by supporting the independent shops and businesses that make Ireland unique, we are preserving an important aspect of our identity and culture.
Evelyn Moynihan, CEO Kilkenny Design
Evelyn Moynihan
CEO, Kilkenny Design
Climate change is no longer a passing concern – it is a clear and present danger for every single person on the planet. Retailers in Ireland are understandably worried about worsening climate change and the giant risk it poses. Retailers need to be proactive to make their businesses more sustainable and that’s why we have been delighted to work with Sharon & Claire on the publication of this Sustainable Irish Retail Action (SIRA) guide.
Duncan Graham CEO Retail Excellence
Duncan Graham
CEO, Retail Excellence
Sustainable Irish Retail Action E-guide
Sustainable Irish Retail Action SIRA e-guide
Sustainable Irish Retail Action SIRA e-guide & Sharon Yourell Lawlor, author of SIRA