When it comes to sustainability in retail, the pressure is on! Consumers are leading brands and retailers into making positive changes to lower carbon emissions, fight climate change and ultimately be more environmentally friendly.

The retail sector is the biggest contributor of commercial waste in the UK and Ireland, so creating and maintaining a circular economy is essential to help drive down industry waste and reduce reliance on virgin resources.

Changes don’t stop at products or how they’re packaged, point of sale and in-store retail displays are in the spotlight too. The good news is, there are several things that can be done to make in store display more environmentally friendly.

What is the benefit of sustainable retail displays?

There are two key benefits for retailers who opt to be more sustainable, with the obvious one being the positive impact it will have on the planet and the environment.

Secondly, it’s what consumers are asking for. A recent research report by POPAI UK & Ireland found that 59% of shoppers actively avoid particular types of packaging that would be deemed non-sustainable. The same report also found that 82% of UK shoppers claim that environmentally friendly labelling influences their purchasing decisions, and two thirds of shoppers would like to see a complete ban on non-recyclable packaging.

The reality is, consumers of today are much more aware of what products and brands are carefully considering the environment and they are actively making purchasing decisions driven by this. Unilever presented at POPAI’s Impact22 Sustainability Summit that purposeful brands grow twice as fast than those that are burying their head in the sand.

Retail Displays: 3 simple ways to be more sustainable…

1 – Use sustainable and recyclable display materials

There are a huge number of display material alternatives that can be used to replace traditional, more environmentally harmful products. Many of these materials perform the same, or better than traditional ones too.

For example, plastic is a material that is widely considered bad for the environment. The truth is, there are many types of plastics, some of which are more straightforward to recycle than others. The same can be said for card materials that are coated and require chemicals to remove it prior to recycling.

Recycled HIPS material contains in excess of 80% recycled content and is durable, economical, and widely recyclable making it an ideal material for both short-life and long-life point of sale displays. Choosing recycled HIPS is an excellent low environmental impact material.

2 – Use retail displays that can be reused or repurposed

When planning a display, consider whether it could be used for future campaigns and what needs to be done in order for it to be suitable. Consider every eventuality that might occur, for example, does it need shelves to hold heavier stock? Are the shelves deep enough or tall enough to hold other products?

Interchangeable graphics and branding are also important things to consider so that campaigns can be easily switched from Christmas to Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day to Easter.

3 – Educate and inform store staff about how to sustainably dispose of retail displays

Ensuring retail displays are disposed of correctly at end-of-life is one of the biggest challenges faced by brands and retailers. Educating and informing store staff of the materials used to create each display and providing clear instructions on how it should be recycled will play an important role in making sure it doesn’t end up in landfill.

To help retail marketers be more sustainable, we’ve created the 6Rs of Sustainable Retail Displays, which aim to challenge the retail planning and design process and provide all of the important factors to think about so that retails displays can be as eco-friendly as possible. There’s a downloadable cheat sheet too: https://threepd.co.uk/learningcentre/the-6rs-of-sustainable-retail-displays/

Ready to speak to a Retail Design Specialist?

We’d be happy to help! Our retail design specialists are ready to help you create a retail display that delivers to your objectives and remains within budget.

Want to see what we can do? Take a look at our portfolio

Please contact our sales team on 01530 839777 or email info@threepd.co.uk


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