Consumers are becoming more concerned about buying from brands which can clearly demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. One major way that retailers are using to communicate their green credentials to customers is through the design of the in-store retail space.
Of course, the measures taken should be about more than the superficial design, and token gestures which are exaggerated in order to draw more customers. They must also genuinely mitigate the damage to the environment that all buildings and commercial activities can inflict.
One of the simplest ways to make a change is to include more use of sustainable packaging. This could be reducing the reliance on plastic bags, by encouraging customers to bring reusable bags, or switching to bags made from recycled paper. Brands are also choosing stockists who use recycled or recyclable packaging for their products.
Some stores which sell beauty products or consumable goods are encouraging customers to bring refillable containers. Encouraging paperless transactions, by emailing receipts and delivery notes, cuts down on waste and pollution, and is also cheaper for the company.
Brands are also looking at ways to reduce their carbon footprint in the supply chain. This could be through sourcing more local suppliers, investing in electric goods vehicles, or using bikes or scooters for local customer deliveries. They are also investing in carbon offsetting, such as tree planting schemes.
Sustainability can be incorporated into the physical design of the store, by using second hand or vintage furniture, and recycled fabrics and other materials. Using reclaimed timber, or timber that is from a certified sustainable forest source, in the construction or fittings of the store is another option to consider.
The energy efficiency of the store can be addressed to reduce carbon emissions, and also lower bills. Simple measures, such as using low-energy LED lights, and insulating walls and roof cavities, will all help to make a difference.
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