Bishop James sets out sustainable challenge

The Bishop of Liverpool has challenged the traditional views of consumers and retailers and the importance of delivering sustainable regeneration solutions.

Speaking today at retail property organisation BCSC’s Conference & Showcase in Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones addressed delegates on the significance of taking an environmental and ethical approach to retailing.

Bishop James explains that cities have always been market places, and that buying and selling is inherent in human nature but is careful not to term us as consumers. He believes that the term ‘consumer’ refers to a disposable society, where waste is prominent and our resources are suffering. Bishop James said that sustainable retailers will be the successful retailers.

Focusing on six essential ingredients for radical urban regeneration, Bishop James sets out what he sees are the crucial factors to carry a city successfully into the next century.

“Retailing will become synonymous with recycling where the brightest and best innovators and imaginations will design how to trade more in the retail environment using less natural resource,” Bishop James said.

Bishop James, who chaired the New Deal for Communities programme in Liverpool (Kensington Regeneration), has been a champion for regeneration that has a sense of community at the core.

Bishop James adds: “We need a circular model where waste is recycled as energy. Cities must become virtuous circles rather than a linear model of consumer waste.”

The current market conditions also rated a mention with Bishop Jones who encouraged retailers to strike a balance in the way they operate.

“My own view is that we need a measure of economic freedom to ensure religious and political freedom and the freedom of the individual; we also need protection for the poor and needy if we are to be a just and civilised society.

“Socially responsible and sustainable retailing lies at the heart of a truly civilised society”

Bishop James, since his appointment to Liverpool a decade ago, has witnessed massive retail-led regeneration transform the city.

“Liverpool One represents an innovative investment on behalf of Grosvenor and the Duke of Westminster. I’ve been impressed by both the commercial scale and by the sense of social responsibility that has characterised the initiative,” Bishop James said.

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Read the Bishop's speech

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