Highlighting retailers’ efforts to be greener. Featuring announcements about products, strategies, and new eco-commitments from Burberry, Ikea and Morrisons.
January news in brief
Running a business leaves a carbon footprint, so any sustainability claims must always be taken with a pinch of salt.
But that’s not to say organisations cannot be greener – and improve their environmental credentials. Indeed, every week we’re hearing of new commercial initiatives that purport to be better for the planet.
Green Retail World’s aim is to highlight when retailers and brands are doing things better and greener – and there are plenty of examples out there. Their inclusion on these pages is not to say they are a sustainable or green business per se.
Each month, this section of the site provides a rolling ticker of industry announcements, initiatives, and manoeuvres related to the green agenda. There will be quick snippets listed on these pages, highlighting what this publication believes are examples of retailers taking a step in the right direction to help reduce their impact on the planet.
Here’s a list of good practice from December. Below are some examples of greener retailing we’ve seen this month:
24 January 2022: Parade gives underwear a Second Life
US underwear brand Parade has launched a recycling scheme in partnership with TerraCycle.
In a first-of-its-kind national recycling programme for underwear, the two companies have launched ‘Second Life by Parade’, which ultimately exists to bring old and used materials back to life.
All brands of underwear are accepted through the scheme, although not bras at this time, and once collected it will be shredded into “textile shoddy” and recycled into materials that are used for acoustic insulation, bedding, carpet padding, furniture, and automotive underlayment.
22 January 2022: M&S on search for deputy head of sustainability
Marks & Spencer (M&S) is looking for an “expert sustainability professional” to tackle a newly created deputy head of sustainability role.
The job position is in M&S’s Plan A team and will involve building the retailer’s strategy on emerging issues around nature and human rights, making it a central part of helping to shape group environmental, social and governance strategy and priorities.
18 January 2022: Decathlon and Hirestreet in ski rental tie-up
Sports equipment retailer Decathlon is now offering a range of ski-related outerwear for hire in partnership with rental specialist Hirestreet.
A range of jackets and trousers are among the items listed, with rental prices a fraction of the RRP. For example, one £139.99 jacket is available to rent from £35.
Hirestreet founder & CEO, Isabella West, said on LinkedIn: “Renting ski wear makes so much sense and Decathlon’s incredible team and their commitment to sustainability have been an inspiration to work with.”
17 January 2022: Burberry refinances to a £300m sustainability-linked loan
Luxury brand Burberry has refinanced its revolving credit facility to a £300 million sustainability-linked loan, coordinated by Lloyds Bank.
The facility is now linked to the achievement of key environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets as part of the business’s ambition to become “climate positive” by 2040. Among the goals are to accelerate emissions reductions across its extended supply chain (Scope 3) by 46% by 2030 and becoming net zero by 2040.
In September 2020, Burberry became the first luxury brand to issue a sustainability bond, enlisting the support of investors to finance ambitious sustainability projects including refurbishing properties across its portfolio which are certified by leading environmental standards and ensuring natural resources are sourced sustainably and pollution from packaging is prevented.
12 January 2022: Ikea Slovakia recycling Christmas trees into furniture
In Slovakia, Ikea’s Bratislava store is encouraging consumers to bring in their old Christmas trees by 31 January, for recycling.
The furniture retailer has said that it will use the wood to help make new products, which it will then donate to local NGOs, schools, and people in need.
Ten old Christmas trees can be transformed into one Billy bookcase, one of the retailer’s most popular products, according to the local country manager David McCabe.
11 January 2022: Lush to host green energy online event
Cosmetics retailer Lush is hosting a green energy online event on 26 January.
Jack Gale, utilities Lead at Lush, and Ecotricity Group’s sustainability lead, Dr. Gary Thomas, will be in conversation from 13:00 GMT.
Among the talking points will be how Lush and Ecotricity are working in partnership to reduce their carbon impact and become Net Zero. There will also be talk of how to build a net zero strategy .
Sign up details are here.
10 January 2022: Morrisons removing use-by dates on most of its milk products
As part of its ‘Sustain’ eco programme, Morrisons is scrapping ‘Use By’ dates on 90% of its own brand milk.
From Monday 31 January, the supermarket chain will encourage customers to use a sniff test at home, as a way of helping to stop millions of pints from being thrown away every year based on what can be inaccurate or overly cautious use-by guidance. Morrisons said it is one way of helping its consumers reduce food waste in the home.
6 January 2021: Samsung to plant two million trees with Veritree
Veritree, a company that helps organisations get involved in positive, nature-based activities, has announced a partnership with Samsung Electronics America for 2022.
Together, the businesses will plant two million mangrove trees over the course of the year.
Through the project, Veritree will bring together Samsung and Madagascar-based tree planting partners to drive positive environmental work. The electronics company will use Veritree’s technology platform to manage, monitor, verify, and track the project’s regenerative impact over time.
5 January 2022: Brakes UK poaches Carlsberg sustainability boss
Pete Statham is the new head of corporate social responsibility & government relations at food service provider, Brakes UK.
He joins from drinks company Carlsberg, where he held the dual role of sustainability manager at Carlsberg’s Marston’s Brewing Company in the UK and at Carlsberg Group.
[Image credit: Green Retail World]