Sustainability Finance Lessons, from Adidas to Starbucks

As more retailers seek ways to pay for energy and sustainability upgrades, we’ve seen the benefits of alternative financing approaches accumulate for companies such as Apple, Starbucks, Adidas, and LVMH.

Last year, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) released two financing guides that focus on innovative ways to secure capital for energy and sustainability projects. Since that time, RILA and IMT have released a newly updated version of the guides — complete with recommendations and real-world examples of the latest progress made throughout the industry.

Ideally, every project with compelling financial returns could secure complete funding through a retail company’s standard project proposal process. However, retail finance teams have many strategic priorities to consider when deciding where to invest funds. Energy and sustainability projects compete with multiple departments for limited resources. That means even a highly beneficial energy efficiency project can be rejected depending on requests from other business units that may be more directly related to a company’s bottom line.

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