Green retail: the alternative for a more respectful design with the environment
In recent years we have seen several phenomena emerge strongly. On the one hand, the negative, the consequences of climate change continue to increase. International initiatives such as the Paris Agreement or the Sustainable Development Goals intend to put a stop to it before 2030, but everything remains to be seen.
On the other hand, the positive is that society is increasingly aware of the need for responsible and sustainable consumption. Both phenomena (climate change and social demands) are the ideal breeding ground for promoting green retail, a design that is more respectful with the environment.
In 2020, COVID-19 led a large part of the world population to live in confinement. In many countries, including Spain, industrial production was forced to stop since, in the middle of a State of Alarm, only those essential activities could keep their doors open.
While we stayed at home, we watched the animals take to the streets and, in addition, the levels of pollution were reduced. Now, months later, the data shows us that this feeling of improvement was a mirage and the coronavirus has not slowed down climate change either.
More social awareness
Consumers have been living in a paradigm shift for several years. More and more people are trying to stop this massive consumerism that leads us to buy, buy and buy. In fact, according to a study by OCU and NESI, 73% of Spaniards already value ethical and sustainability-related aspects in their purchase decision.
Much of the population is aware that the way of purchase and consumption can change the world … for the worse or for the better. Therefore, consumers are more prone to responsible consumption. However, there are certain barriers that prevent this new vision of consumption from opening its wings completely.
Lack of information, higher prices, accessibility to sustainable products or the difficulty of finding ethical and responsible companies are the main obstacles that consumers detect.
73% of Spaniards already value ethical and sustainability-related aspects in their purchase decision.
Less polluting and more responsible companies
Today, companies that want to offer added value, differentiate themselves and have a long-term vision have realized how important it is to meet consumer demands in terms of ethics, sustainability and the environment.
In this sense, there are some data that we cannot ignore and that are known to all. For example: according to the UN, only 9% of the nine billion tons of plastic produced in the world is recycled. Furthermore, according to a Greenpeace report, 43% of the planet’s pollution comes from waste from the three main consumer brands in the world.
On the other hand, in September 2010 Kantar published a study on the consumer response to plastic waste. The research offered data that highlights the demands of consumers: 48% of people expect companies to act as leaders of change because they have a responsibility to manufacture products that are friendly to the environment and the planet in general. .
Reports such as those mentioned have contributed to creating a powerful social conscience in favor of more sustainable consumption.
In this context, for companies to face this change in favor of a more responsible consumption is not only a question of marketing or image. It is also a way to build or become a more sustainable and economically profitable business, reducing its impact and also its energy consumption, etc.
Each company has immersed itself in responsible production and consumption from different areas and business perspectives.
H&M and Danone AQUA, for example, have teamed up on a project to transform leftover PET bottles into fashion. Meanwhile, in Spain, the Mahou beer company says goodbye to plastic containers and rings, replacing these materials with biodegradable cardboard boxes.
Beyond the changes in the product itself and the production chain, there are also companies that go one step further and bring sustainability to all facets of the business, also to the design of their establishments, for example.
Green retail: what is it?
With everything mentioned so far in this article, there is no doubt that sustainability in the retail sector is here to stay and is an imperative for companies that want to evolve, grow and remain.
Thus, we have been able to see in recent years a trend related to sustainability: green retail.
In an easy and simple way, we could define green retail as a way to transform traditional points of sale (or create new ones) taking into account as a fundamental pillar that they are friendly and respectful with the planet.
But green retail is much more. It is also an opportunity to evolve, commit to society, caring for the environment and the future of the next generations.
Green retail is much more. It is also an opportunity to evolve, commit to society, caring for the environment and the future of the next generations.
Ways to introduce green retail
Green retail is one of the many legs of sustainability. For this reason, it also has different variants and applications, but from CAAD we are going to point out some of the most important:
- Use as much natural light as possible because the best energy is the one that is not consumed.
- Replace conventional lighting with LED options.
- Use sustainable raw materials such as certified wood.
- Bet on the three Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle. For example, flexible, modular and independent furniture (shelves, counters, etc.) can be used in various establishments, extending the life of the product.
- Reduce packaging to save on unnecessary packaging.
The greatest exponent of green retail: the world’s first ecological shopping center
A great example of green retail started its journey at the end of 2020. Just a few weeks ago, an ecological shopping center opened in Turin, Italy. It is called Green Pea and with its 15,000 m2 of hectares, its motto is “from duty to beauty” and it is presented as “a place of beauty and respect to give birth to a new way of consuming”.
The space is completely removable and has been built with recycled and recyclable materials, thus putting into practice the premise of giving a second life to the materials.
This sustainable philosophy has been integrated into all areas of the shopping center. Even in the name: Green Pea. It is so called because the pea is considered a kind of symbol of respect because it is as round as the Earth and at the same time, it is as green as the planet should be. Without a doubt, a clear message to make us aware that we must exercise a more respectful consumption and with less environmental impact.
© Copyright. Green Pea.
Climate change and the awareness of massive pollution has made citizens open their eyes and demand that companies be more responsible, ethical and sustainable.
Most companies have incorporated these demands into their core business by adopting measures and commitments to reduce emissions, etc. However, now it is the turn of society again. It is time to change the way we consume and bet on more sustainable and planet-friendly products and companies. Will we get it?