Ethical entrepreneurialism

Sally Cutchie, marketing manager at BC Designs, explains why retailers can benefit from becoming more environmentally friendly and how manufacturers have a huge part to play in helping them achieve this.

The recent announcement by the Government that the UK must cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035 – which will be enshrined in law – will set the country on a course to be a world leader. 

However, to hit those targets, much of how we go about our daily lives will have to alter, including a significant uptake in electric cars, low-carbon heating, renewable energy and even changing our diets. 

While we have 14 years before that deadline, it doesn’t mean that as a sector there aren’t projects we can undertake to play our part. Research has found that there is a huge demand by consumers for a shift in how manufacturers and retailers operate. 

The research by E.On Energy found that more than a third (36%) of Brits are buying more from companies with strong environmental credentials as priorities shifted during the Covid-19 pandemic, with 34% of them knowingly paying extra for greener products and services. Of the consumers surveyed, 72% said they pay attention to whether a business acts in a climate-friendly way, and 65% felt it’s important the products or services they buy do not harm the environment.

In light of this, it is fair to say that KBB manufacturers have a respon-sibility to provide retailers with products that will help meet the needs of the environmentally con–scious consumer. 

While some bathroom products have to meet a certain standard and use materials that do contain plastics, there are now many ways to offset the negative environmental impact that happens during manufacturing. 

Tree planting

An inexpensive way for retailers to commit to making a positive impact to the environment is the More Trees initiative. The charity plants trees in communities where deforestation is at a critical level, while also creating jobs for areas of extreme poverty. One fully-grown tree removes 22kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually. 

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The More Trees initiative costs just £1 per tree and it is a great way of raising a company’s own green credentials. Any company can sign up and commit to planting trees, with no minimum amount required. A fairly new, and uncommon selling tool, the benefit of committing to planting one, five or even 10 trees per bathroom project, might just help clinch the sale. 

Phase one of our plans will see BC Designs become a certified carbon- neutral company. It means we will ensure our carbon footprint is not damaging the environment by offsetting everything we do, from manufacturing, through to transport. As well as having a positive impact on the environment, we hope it will allow retailers to benefit when it comes to providing and selling products that align with customers’ stance on this important topic. 

We hope to be a standard bearer for the KBB sector by aiming to be a carbon-positive company by 2026. This means, we will go beyond zero carbon emissions to create an environmental benefit by removing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It is a significant goal for us but will sit at the heart of our business plans over the coming years.

  • Every day in the week leading up to World Environment Day, we are publishing stories from the KBB industry to do with the environment, sustainability, and water saving. To read more articles on this topic go to www.kbbreview.com/?s=sustainability

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