Helen Lord, founder and director of Used Kitchen Exchange (UKE), which is supporting the kbbreview Retail & Design Awards through its sustainability partnership, said: “Being a Sustainability Partner of the awards is a natural fit, a ‘must do’ !
We applaud the forward-thinking idea to run the awards as a carbon-neutral event and the timing for us is perfect – as it aligns with the launch of UKE’s Carbon Calculator, a project funded by Europe and written by Liverpool John Moores University which will enable us to calculate the carbon saved through regeneration for our partners.
Since the screening of Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II there has been a genuine shift in the mood of the public with over 80% of consumers having changed their purchasing behaviour.
Household brands such as Ikea, Waitrose, McDonalds, Iceland etc have responded quickly, despite their size and lack of agility, by making very public changes to the way they handle their waste, as well as the ethics behind the products they sell. There is a very clear message here, UK consumers want to feel that they are part of the solution to imminent climate change and these forward-thinking companies have capitalised on this. It makes sense that the KBB industry should be part of this.
For everyone, there is a very obvious commercial opportunity here. The opportunity to ‘do well by doing good’.
UKE has grown exponentially over the past five years, moving from an early adopters’ secret, into the awareness of the pragmatic early majority. We estimate that there are over 20,000 under-used kitchens in the UK every year being removed ahead of their time, potentially headed for landfill.
This equates to approximately 120,000 tons of carbon waste with embodied and operational carbon contributing the most. UKE are successfully riding the wave of public opinion and I believe the kitchen industry now needs to do the same by promoting a forward thinking, sustainable approach to selling kitchens.
I hope that these awards set a precedent in sustainable thinking, leading to our industry being recognised on the national stage for being a thought leader.