Meijer to host virtual sustainability summit

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Bridge Street Market on Grand Rapids' West Side is one of Meijer's small-format stores. Photo by Sam Easter

A Walker-based retailer is looking to make strides in terms of sustainability.

Meijer on Tuesday, March 29, said it plans to host its first supplier summit to expand its offerings of sustainable products. Vendors will have the opportunity to showcase their sustainable products for Meijer merchants to consider selling in stores.

The Meijer Sustainability Summit will take place virtually Monday-Thursday, June 20-23.

Plans for the event came in the wake of a recent survey from Meijer to gauge relevant environmental issues for its business and customers. To meet its sustainability standards, Meijer merchants now are targeting 38 different certifications on vendor products, or their manufacturing and procurement processes.

“At Meijer, we understand that to be a good company, we must be a good neighbor, which is why we integrate environmental sustainability into our daily operations,” said Peter Whitsett, Meijer executive vice president of merchandising and marketing. “But so much of what we do in this space extends beyond what customers see on our shelves, which was why we felt it was time to seek out sustainability-focused vendors to help us expand our significant base of sustainable product offerings.”

Meijer Dog Supplies Merchant Katy Petzak said she is specifically looking for products with sustainable packaging; cleaner and fewer ingredients; and recycled content in products such as dog toys, leashes and collars.

“We know an increasing number of consumers are shopping consciously to live a more sustainable lifestyle, which filters down to their pets,” Petzak said. “We’ve made great strides to carry the products our customers are looking for to meet their lifestyles, and while we are doing great in the sustainability space, we are optimistic this event will be a success.”

Meijer already is moving toward more sustainable offerings. The retailer in 2021 introduced its own line of clothing made from recycled polyester and 100% organic cotton.

The new summit will be in partnership with Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM) and its subsidiary product discovery tool RangeMe. ECRM’s Connect platform will be used to host the event.

Certified vendors with retail-ready products can apply for consideration by Tuesday, April 26.

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