Sustainability efforts typically focus on the input of resources, but what about further down the supply chain? Our new report, ‘Closing the retail sustainability circle’, explores how brands are managing and measuring sustainability, as well as some of the alternative options available when it comes to recycling and redeploying end-of-life display materials.
Sustainable practices are becoming increasingly prominent in retail, and while this has been a key focus for some brands over time, many seem to have accelerated their plans and efforts within the past year. From online to bricks and mortar, more and more brands are communicating messages of sustainability – Asos has an exclusive recycled denim brand, Burberry has pledged to end unnecessary use of plastic packaging by 2025 and the Co-op has launched online delivery with electric bikes.
Whether this is primarily consumer led, it’s emerged as a method to undercut competition, or brands genuinely want to improve their practices, the market appears to be taking a step in the right direction. But how well is sustainability being implemented across the board?
With the help of market research company Sapio, we conducted research of 200 retail professionals, including those responsible for the creation, manufacture, management or implementation of brand retail displays. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 85% of respondents said that sustainability was important to their brand. 61% claimed to have very sustainable POP, while 54% said they achieved sustainability in the manufacturing of their retail displays.
Although 71% of the brands we asked consider retail display sustainability to be the highest priority, (trumping sustainable packaging by 10%), we also found that many are falling short of a ‘full circle’ sustainability policy, with less than half addressing this at product end-of-life. This means that a large proportion of redundant retail displays are being sent to landfills, or at best, recycled. However, the majority of materials used to manufacture retail displays aren’t currently recyclable, leaving limited options for environmentally conscious brands.
Having worked with high-profile brands for almost a decade, we appreciate how important the responsible disposal of branded materials is. At 100% we took on this challenge head first and we can now offer our clients an alternative with our bespoke redeploy service, which gives a new lease of life to retail displays at end-of-life. Through a recent project we were able to repurpose old product stands to provide school children in India with new desks. The possibilities are endless and often incredibly rewarding! Challenge us – you might be surprised what we can do.
To find out more about our research, [click here] to download the full sustainability report.