Qurate Retail CEO Perspective: Inspiring a More Sustainable Way to Retail

“At its best, retail is more than just a way to fulfill our material needs. Retail is an opportunity to explore, dream and come together around shared ideas of what could be.”
Jul 27, 2022 5:30 PM ET
David Rawlinson

By: David Rawlinson II, President and CEO of Qurate Retail, Inc.

Today’s global challenges are many and immense. Now more than ever, it is imperative that business leaders harness the unique strengths and relationships of our organizations to help our communities develop creative solutions that meet the needs of all stakeholders. While there are many ways to address corporate responsibility, I would like to share how we have embraced this imperative at Qurate Retail Group.

Over the past four decades, Qurate Retail Group has become a video commerce (“vCommerce”) powerhouse – reaching hundreds of millions of homes and devices worldwide with joyful stories and interesting products, connecting millions of people to our brands and to each other, and building countless virtual communities.

As a team, we recognize that our global vCommerce platform can do more than just delight our customers and inspire them to shop with us; it can inspire a more sustainable way to retail – one that is intentionally inclusive, entrepreneurially-driven, responsibly curated and waste smart. We have a long tradition of doing business the right way.

In 2020, and again in 2021, we laid out new strategies and set measurable, time-bound goals for our corporate responsibility program, focused on three pillars where we believe we can have the greatest impact: Protecting Our Environment, Curating Product Responsibly, and Championing Empowerment and Belonging.

Our team has been working hard on our corporate responsibility strategies, achieving some goals early and making important progress on others. Here are a few highlights of our teams’ accomplishments in 2021:

  • We gave back to our communities by generating $41.6M in annual contributions — the highest amount in Qurate Retail Group history – supporting more than 1,000 nonprofits worldwide focused on multiple areas and issues, including health and wellbeing, hunger and social justice.
  • We elevated diverse voices, most notably by featuring nearly 100 diverse entrepreneurs through Qurate Retail Group’s Small Business Spotlight program, a flagship program that offers diverse small businesses national exposure on QVC®, HSN® and Zulily®.
  • We achieved a perfect 100% on Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index and joined the 2022 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (based on applications submitted in 2021), in addition to adding new diversity training for leaders and team members and expanding our Team Member Resource Groups to 39 worldwide.
  • We helped our consumers to make responsible choices by expanding our use of sustainable materials at Garnet Hill and in multimillion-dollar brands at QVC like AnyBody, zuda and Denim & Co. We launched Zulily’s first Sustainability Shop, along with a new show on sustainable living at QVC Japan.  
  • We collaborated across brands to increase the sustainability of our business by eliminating single-use plastic bottles from corporate office locations worldwide. We achieved another sustainable packaging goal ahead of target and made significant progress toward achieving our first Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal.

As you can see in our second-annual Corporate Responsibility Report, responsibility is a long-term commitment, with as many facets as there are stakeholders to serve and needs to be met. As the CEO of a large organization, I have found it helpful to connect with other like-minded executives who are on the same journey. This is why I joined the Business Roundtable, and why I signed the “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation,” a commitment by more than 180 CEOs to lead their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders.

I look forward to continuing on this journey toward a more sustainable way to retail together, co-authoring a brighter future alongside our industry peers, our customers, our team members, our suppliers, and our communities.

To learn more about Qurate Retail Group’s Corporate Responsibility initiatives or to read the company’s 2021 CR Report, visit: www.qurateretailgroup.com/lp/corporate-responsibility.

David Rawlinson II is the President and CEO of Qurate Retail, Inc. and serves on its board of directors. At Qurate Retail, David leads a select group of seven leading retail brands – QVC®, HSN®, Zulily®, Ballard Designs®, Frontgate®, Garnet Hill® and Grandin Road® – which together form Qurate Retail Group.