Government’s advice to retailers over tackling climate change

Representative iStock image

The UK government has released a set of advisory on how retailers can tackle climate change, ahead of the Cop26 Climate Conference to be held in Glasgow this November.

The advice, developed by the government working with industry, is aimed at small and medium-sized retailers.

Andrew Griffith, the government’s business net-zero champion, said that retailers can play a vital role in cutting the UK’s carbon emissions. 

“From offering customers more sustainable products to removing unnecessary packaging, these small steps can collectively make a big difference in helping us fight climate change and create a brighter and more sustainable future,” Griffith said.

Richard Pennycook, chair of the Retail Sector Council, said: “Retail is a highly competitive industry, and the consumer benefits from great choice and value as a result. 

“But when it comes to creating a more sustainable planet, the Sector Council is clear that we can do great things if we cooperate and share best practices. The UK Business Climate Hub and Green Street are go-to places for independent retailers to find great tips on how to run their business more sustainably and appeal to their customers, who are more and more concerned to do the right thing for the planet.” 

As per UK Business Climate Hub, here is what the government is advising retailers to do in their bit to tackle climate change. 

  • Offering customers more sustainable products 

The government has advised retailers to assess their existing products and see if there are more sustainable options and also to choose products made from recycled/ recyclable materials, with minimal or no plastic packaging.

Start by asking your suppliers what they have available that fits these criteria, and research new suppliers, the advisory says. 

  • Buy local where you can 

Stocking products made closer to home not only allows retailers to support the local economy and community but also can lower carbon emissions as they do not need to travel as far to reach the store.

  • Remove or improve packaging

Reducing the packaging or switching to more eco-friendly packaging will help cut both plastic pollution and emissions. And according to a recent study, almost three-quarters of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging.

  •  Lengthen products lifespan with repairs

 Repairing the defective equipment prevent appliances from ending up on the scrap heap sooner than they should, thereby, reducing carbon emissions at the same time.  

  • Ask before you print receipts

In the UK alone we print over 11.2 billion receipts every year and 90 per cent of them are lost, damaged, or thrown away by consumers. Ask your till provider if you can email receipts to customers instead of printing.