Case Study:

Engaging Retail Tenants in Sustainability
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage;
Chatswood Chase, Dapto Shopping Mall


Recent statistics indicate that consumers increasingly admire companies that appear to be taking action on the environment and that a large percentage of consumers would rather buy from companies doing their best to reduce the impact on the environment. A survey by the Global Strategy Group (2008) suggests that 87% of consumers are more likely to buy products from a retailer committed to environmentally friendly practices.

One of the key challenges for shopping centres wanting to move towards more sustainable retail is how to actively engage their tenants in sustainability programs. The development of a specific module titled Engaging Retail Tenants in Sustainability as part of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage’s Sustainability Advantage Program facilitates this process for shopping centres throughout NSW.

SD Environmental Management updated the External Stakeholder Engagement module for NSW Office of Environment and Heritage’s Sustainability Advantage Program in early 2009 and more recently was asked by NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to develop a focused retail tenant engagement module specifically for NSW shopping centres. The course needed to incorporate an overview of sustainability and behaviour change, an introduction to stakeholder engagement, and case studies from around the world on retail tenant engagement. The workshop should also enable participants to identify the drivers and barriers for tenant engagement and facilitate the development of a retail tenant engagement strategy.

SD Environmental Management developed a 5-hour interactive training module which enables shopping centre managers to identify and prioritise its retail tenants, consider what they know about their tenants’ commitment to sustainability and with the help of interesting national and international case studies, develop a draft retail tenant engagement plan

The course has been well received by shopping centres in Sydney and the south coast and will be offered to other Shopping Centres signed up to the Sustainability Advantage Program over the next 12 months.