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The Environment & Sustainability in Retail

Until fairly recently, ‘sustainability in retail’ was a bit of a buzzword with only a few brands and retailers genuinely focusing on them as part of the Mission Statements and Core Values.

However, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies are now at the heart of businesses as they focus on reducing their environmental impact and strive towards carbon net-zero.

The Future of Sustainability in Retail

To future proof your business, especially with younger consumers, it is increasingly important to focus on retail sustainability. Studies have found that 81% of people prefer to buy products from sustainable sellers – this is as important for the brand and retailer alike. This statistic increases for Gen Zs showing the importance of this subject for the future target audiences. 

Brands and retailers can work in partnership to ensure they collectively win with these socially and environmentally responsible consumers. Here are some tips on how best to make sure you not only tick the sustainability box but that you start to live and breathe it:

Energy Saving Equipment & Behaviour

There are simple steps you can take from the light bulbs you use to the energy provider you choose to the paper and ink you choose to purchase (and the amount of it!) plus your choice of logistics companies and your commitment to recycling waste. The biggest challenge is getting your full team on board with an aligned commitment to everyday sustainability practices: 

  • Are you recycling effectively and responsibly? 
  • Does that light need to be on? 
  • Do you need that much water in the kettle before you boil it? 
  • Does the heating/air conditioning have to be on so long? 
  • Do you have to print that document? 
  • Can you use the stairs and not the lift? 
  • Are there plenty of EV charging units at your retail outlets and offices for both your customers and staff to use? 

Can you work from home a few days a week to save on transport impact? 

These are little changes we can all make but create a culture focused on sustainability in retail is essential to any forward-thinking business operation.

Sustainable Packaging & Materials

As a brand and retailer, switching to more sustainable packaging solutions is key. From the packaging the product actually comes in, to its outer casing and everything in between, this is essential when considering sustainability in retail. However, consideration must also be made to POP (Point of Purchase) and POS (Point of Sale) in terms of the actual units, headers, and signage but also the packaging the POS / POP actually comes in. 

That is why at CJ Retail Solutions, we pride ourselves on developing sustainable POP and POS to ensure that this is a clear focus in all in-store marketing from helping with Design Intelligence at the start of the project to ensuring the most environmentally efficient processes and materials are chosen at the start right through to the most sustainable disposal of the units when their lifespan ends. Our focus on Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Relate ensures the excellence of delivery of service with the environment at its heart as we recycle over 90% of our clients’ old POP.

Recycle symbol on iPhone

Get Third-Party Accreditations

Although retail sustainability can be seen as a marketing tool to appeal to eco-aware consumers and retailers as a brand, the strict process of meeting the requirements for these authoritative bodies is a very beneficial exercise. Why?

Because it ensures you are showing a genuine focus on the most important things to showcase your ability to be a sustainable partner for any business. Especially at CJ Retail Solutions, we are ISO 14001 accredited, have gained the ecoVardis Silver award (top 20% of all companies). We also operate with Environmental and SEPA guidelines with all staff trained by the Chartered Institute of Waste Management.

Invest in Carbon Reduction Projects

As part of your commitment to ESG there are plenty of options now available to brands and retailers including protecting forests through investment in planting trees, funding renewable energy and research. Although these are very credible solutions to helping with your commitments, it is important to avoid greenwashing.

However, you choose to ensure your brand and business is being genuinely environmentally responsible, as a brand or retailer it is increasingly essential that you do.

Sustainability in Retail is at the Heart of What We Do

Our award-winning team are experts at blending retail and sustainability in every service we provide, ensuring every ‘instore’ marketing campaign is delivered with the environment in mind. 

It doesn’t matter where you are because we have global coverage as we aim to maximise your brand and consumer connections. Have we got your attention? If so, please contact us today and a member of our team will get back to you, no matter your requirement. Alternatively, you can check out our brochure to find out more about what we do.