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    ‘Most retail businesses acknowledge importance of sustainability measures’

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    Overwhelming majority of retail business decision makers acknowledge the importance of waste management and recycling in preventing climate change while half recognise their role in the circular economy, states a recent report.

    New data from sustainable waste management company Biffa reveals that over half (51 per cent) of business decision makers in the retail industry surveyed recognise their role in the circular economy. The survey of over 1,000 UK business decision makers (of which 84 are from the retail industry) conducted by the YouGov analysis institute, explored attitudes towards, and engagements with, the circular economy.

    Results reveal that almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of retail businesses surveyed have an established sustainability strategy, with larger businesses the most committed.

    Nine in 10 (88 per cent) retail business decision makers surveyed opined that waste management and recycling are important in preventing climate change. Key metrics for measuring sustainability efforts for surveyed retail businesses include a reduction in general waste (58 per cent), increased recycling volume (47 per cent), and a reduction in carbon emissions (43 per cent).

    In order to achieve sustainability goals, the journey towards a circular economy must be clearly defined. Retail businesses surveyed identify the need for support for financial incentives (42 per cent), clearer legislation (36 per cent), incentivised partnerships (25 per cent), and reduced regulation (26 per cent).

    While most retail businesses surveyed are aware of sustainability and committed to it, 63 per cent of decision makers in this sector that Biffa spoke to consider sustainability to be their least important priority.

    This is compared to cost efficiency (92 per cent), revenue growth and brand strength (88 per cent), and data and reporting (82 per cent). Moreover, evidence indicating primary barriers hindering retail businesses surveyed include sustainability cost (48 per cent), competing business priorities (30 per cent, and lack of infrastructure (29 per cent).

    Roger Wright, waste strategy & packaging manager at Biffa, said, “We’re pleased to see the UK retail businesses surveyed are going through a noticeable change, with a growing focus on protecting the environment and tackling climate change.

    “Small businesses, in particular, are leading this shift by adopting metrics like increase in recycling volume and reduction of general waste. The early adopters already recognise the importance of environmentally friendly practices and also see a great opportunity to meet consumers’ increasing demand for sustainable options by providing them with innovative sustainable solutions. For instance, supermarkets providing eco-friendly food packaging choices.

    “Biffa, in collaboration with Zellar offers valuable assistance by equipping its customers with user-friendly tools to tackle significant obstacles, simplifying the process of adopting sustainable business practices and making it more economically viable”.

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