Australia’s largest retail body to strengthen focus on sustainability

Thursday 22 April 2021

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) today announced the appointment of leading retail sustainability specialist Jason Robertson to the newly created role of Director, Sustainability and Impact, strengthening the ARA’s focus in this key policy area.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said sustainability is one of the greatest challenges we face – both as a community and a sector.

“We are pleased to strengthen our resources in this important space working on initiatives that can deliver sustainable outcomes for customers, business and government,” Mr Zahra said.

“Jason is one of the country’s most experienced retail sustainability experts and he will work closely with ARA members to advise and advocate for their needs and help deliver positive change for the community and environment.

“Retail is already leading the way on so many positive sustainability outcomes. By uniting the sector with one voice and driving collaborative efforts where it makes sense to do so, we hope to take our members’ impact to the next level,” he said.

Mr Robertson will lead the development of a sector wide Sustainability and Social Impact Strategy to drive momentum within the space and will also serve as the inaugural Chair of the ARA Sustainability Advisory Committee.

Working with retailers, large and small, across sustainability, business improvement and operations, Mr Robertson spent 12 years driving the sustainability agenda at David Jones, including as Head of Social Responsibility and Sustainability. He has also led projects for IAG on responsible sourcing and supply chain governance, and for NBN Co where he led the development of a strategic framework for CSR. Prior to that, he worked with SMBs, owner operators and franchisees in Australia’s dynamic food retail sector.

“I’m excited to draw on my past two decades of retail experience to lead efforts across the sector within the sustainability and impact space,” Mr Robertson said.

“We have a great foundation to build upon, with 75% of our major members and 50% of our large members with established sustainability programs in place. We want to leverage all that great work and intend to help all our members become more sustainable and to use the collective weight of Australian retailers to drive positive sustainability outcomes across the sector.

“We will also look at where the ARA can focus its efforts to improve social impact and environmental outcomes while exploring opportunities that reduce the cost of doing business for our members,” he said.

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