Sustainability Starter Kit Focuses on Programs That Yield Financial Returns

ARLINGTON, VA — May 27, 2008 — A new Food Marketing Institute (FMI) strategic guide provides the industry a detailed roadmap to implement a wide range of sustainability programs benefiting the environment, employee and customer health and society. The FMI Sustainability Starter Kit focuses on strategies and practices that make a sustainable impact on the bottom line.

     The Starter Kit is designed for companies of all sizes and at different stages in designing sustainability initiatives. It features numerous examples of successful programs at food retailers, wholesalers and companies outside the industry.

     The guide leads companies through six phases of program development:

  1. Find the Right Place to Start — Shows companies how to align sustainability efforts with core business goals, name a leader, form a cross-functional team, and identify the opportunities presented in the company’s operating environment, including consumer expectations and the competition.

  2. Opportunities and Risks Associated With Sustainability — Describes how to develop the business case based on an assessment of social and environmental trends. This includes how to use the effective analysis tool AUDIO, a discipline to review an Aspect such as energy, its Upstream source and Downstream use, Issues to resolve such as cost, and Opportunities, for example, how to reduce use, sell energy-efficient products and educate consumers.

  3. Sustainability Strategy Development — Shows companies how to integrate sustainability into business strategies and objectives.

  4. Establishing Goal and Metrics — Demonstrates how to measure progress in achieving sustainability goals and the associated financial objectives.

  5. Implementation of Plans — Covers how to engage senior management and employees companywide, monitor progress and publicly report the results.

  6. External Engagement — Illustrates how to partner with suppliers, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as environmental advocates, investors and customers. Such partnerships help validate the importance of a company’s sustainability strategies.

     The Starter Kit includes an extensive glossary of sustainability terms and list of resources. To purchase a copy ($195 for FMI Retailer/Wholesaler Members, $245 for FMI Associate Members and $395 for nonmembers), contact the FMI Store at 202-220-0723 or

     In addition to the Starter Kit, FMI has a comprehensive compendium of strategic resources and consumer research available on our website to help the industry implement sustainability programs including:

•     The Sustainability Opportunity for Retail and Wholesale Executives — a PowerPoint presentation that explains the concept and why it is important to food retailers and wholesalers. Companies can customize this document for internal use.

•     Sustainability and Recycling in the Food Industry — a report that explores shopper practices and attitudes about these topics and how the industry is responding, drawing upon sustainability programs by task force members.

•     Research performed by Catalina Marketing exclusively for FMI, showing how consumers actually practice sustainability in their lifestyles and buying habits. It shows the marketbasket value of the green consumer. This work complements recent research based on consumer surveys and focus groups done by The Hartman Group for the industry.

•     BBMG Meets the Conscious Consumer — new research report by socially responsible branding and marketing firm BBMG uncovers the attitudes and beliefs that are defining conscious consumers, shaping their priorities, and driving their purchase decisions.

•     New report from IRI that finds sustainability is an increasingly important decision factor among American consumers regarding both the products they purchase as well as the stores at which they purchase them. The survey also delves into strategies CPG companies and retailers are adopting to meet new consumer demands.

•     Forum for the Future — Retail Futures offers a glimpse of what the retail experience of 2022 might involve. Through four radically different and detailed scenarios, Retail Futures 2022 explores many of the issues the retail sector will have to face in the years to come. Taken together, the four scenarios provide valuable tools to help the retail sector develop robust, future-proof strategies that will deliver more sustainable retail in a time of radical change.

•     A list of sustainability resources including organizations, publications, conferences, and experts.

To access these resources visit

The Food Industry Sustainability Summit will be held June 16-19, 2008, in Minneapolis, MN. This event will bring together leaders from all sectors of the food industry, other businesses and government, sustainability advocates and the most innovative thinkers on the subject. It will cover the broader issues and, as with all FMI sustainability programs, specific and practical examples of how the concept works in areas such as energy, seafood, produce, store development and design, packaging, marketing, customer relations, transportation and logistics.

For more information on FMI’s sustainability initiatives contact Jeanne von Zastrow, senior director at FMI at 435.259.3342 or

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