Sustainable retailers will be the successful retailers, the Bishop of Liverpool James Jones told the conference as he urged the retail industry to challenge traditional views in order to protect the environment and help the poorer members of society.
"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.
"We need a circular model where waste is recycled as energy. Cities must become virtuous circles rather than a linear model of consumer waste.
"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."
The British Council of Shopping Centres Conference & Showcase is taking place at ACC Liverpool from 10 to 12 November 2008. The event is attended by approximately 3,000 delegates from across the retail property and retail industry.