Resources, best practise & case studies for the retail industry
West End Case Studies
Each month, we will showcase four different West End business strategies and initiatives at the forefront of sustainability and innovation across retail.
Reaching recycling-shy customers with buyback schemesFind Out More
IKEA has launched its buy-back scheme, allowing customers to return older furniture in return for store vouchers or loyalty points. This showcases innovation because the schemes are designed to appeal to customers who may not traditionally be as engaged in recycling. Read more.
H&M: Bottle2FashionFind Out More
H&M's latest initiative - Bottle2Fashion - celebrates international collaboration and turns plastic waste into everyday fashion. Giving a second life to plastic bottle waste, bottle2fashion is a collaborative project for production that is better for our planet. Not only does it support the Indonesian government’s initiative against marine pollution, but it also enables us to lower the footprint of our garments by using recycled materials. Click to read more.
Lush: Bring It BackFind Out More
Lush's Bring It Back recycling scheme allows customers to return any of their Lush plastic packaging back to its shops for recycling. As well as offering the recycling service, Lush incentivises customers to bring their packaging back by offering a discount off purchases. Since launching the scheme in 2020, LUSH Oxford Street has stopped 24’872 pieces of plastic going back into the environment. Click to read more.
Stella McCartney: Product MaterialsFind Out More
Product materials are the foundation of Stella McCartney's sustainability initiatives, combining nature with cutting-edge innovation to create the luxury fashion with minimal impact. From using only recycled cashmere, no leather, fur or skins in production to sourcing fibres in a way to protect our forests, Stella McCartney strives to deliver luxury without a cost to the environment. Click to read more.
Sector Commitments & Resources
The below highlights industry trade body resources and commitments that may apply to your West End business. Read on to find out more about these initiatives and how to get involved.
British Retail Consortium Climate Action Roadmap
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is the trade association for retail businesses, with representation across the UK’s major brands in fashion, home and DIY, mixed retail, stationery and craft, food and drink, fast food, electronics, sport and other specialists.
The BRC produced a Climate Action Roadmap for the retail sector, committing to a science-led strategy to limit global warming to 1.5C.
Supporters of this Roadmap have committed to collectively bring the UK retail industry’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2040.
Supporting this headline objective of net zero by 2040 are 3 key milestones, some in advance of 2040:
- 2030 – net zero for Scope 2 – (retailers’ electricity use)
- 2035 – net zero for Scope 1- (retailers’ fuel, gas and refrigerant use)
- 2040 – net zero for all products sold in the UK across all Scopes
The Roadmap describes how the retail industry can decarbonise, while continuing to deliver an outstanding retail experience, through action in five areas:
- Putting greenhouse gas data at the core of business decision making;
- Operating efficient sites powered by renewable energy;
- Moving to low carbon logistics;
- Sourcing sustainably; and
- Helping our employees and customers to live low carbon lifestyles.
Details and support can be found on the BRC Climate Action Roadmap website
WRAP – The UK Plastics Pact 2025
Chaired by the Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP), the UK Plastics Pact is a voluntary commitment to reduce plastic production and waste by 2025 via committing to four targets:
- Eliminating problematic or unnecessary single-use packaging through redesign, innovation or alternative (reuse) delivery models
- 100% of plastics packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025
- 70% of plastics packaging effectively recycled or composted by 2025
- 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging by 2025.
Signatories include Tesco, McDonalds and Next.
To achieve The UK Plastics Pact targets it is imperative we address some critical issues and find solutions working in collaboration with the plastics value chain. These include:
- Flexible plastic packaging: Flexible plastic represents a quarter of all UK consumer plastic packaging, but only 6% is currently recycled. Urgent action is needed.
- Problem plastics: Eliminating problematic plastics and rethinking and redesigning our plastics so they are more easily recycled.
- Designing for recyclability: Use our polymer choice and recyclability guidance to design packaging fit for the future
- Citizen behaviour change: Hard hitting campaigns, world leading citizen research and insight are transforming recycling behaviours in the UK.
SBTi Net Zero Standard
In October 2021, the Science Based Targets Initiative released its Net Zero Standard. It states that in order to be recognised as a 'net-zero business' acting in line with climate science, businesses must now at least halve their emissions by 2030, and reduce them by 90% by 2050 at the latest, all without the use of carbon offsetting.
Science-based targets provide a clearly-defined pathway for companies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, helping prevent the worst impacts of climate change and future-proof business growth.
Targets are considered ‘science-based’ if they are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.
Several UK retailers have committed to the standard including Dunelm Group PLC, Curry’s, Unilever, Tesco’s, ASDA, and Sainsbury’s.
SME Carbon Calculator
A free calculator is available for SMEs through the UN-backed SME Climate Hub. This tool is as significant advancement on most free calculation tools as it takes into account Scope 3 value chain emissions.
GHG Protocol Land Sector and Removals Guidance
In 2023, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (the standard methodology for corporate measurement of emissions) will be launching new guidance on how to measure emissions and removals from land use, land use change, biogenic products, technological CO2 removals, and related activities. It is expected that this guidance will support the reporting in the TNFD framework. Companies with significant land use emissions, or who invest in carbon removals and storage, should take note of developments. Draft guidance for pilot testing was published in September 2022.
Legislation & Disclosure
The below outlines current and upcoming legislation that may apply to your West End business. This list will be updated throughout the year as legislation changes.
Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)
Requires large UK companies to report on energy efficiency measures and plan for continuous improvement. Read more.
Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)
Requires large UK companies to publish (at a minimum) their Scope 1 and 2 emissions and report on their measures to reduce emissions. Read more.
Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information Regulations 2021
Requires manufactures of energy-related products to make spare parts for products available to customers, to extend the lifespan of goods. Read more.
Green Claims code
In February 2023 the Committee of Advertising Practice released supplementary guidance to the Green Claims Code regarding the use of carbon neutral and net zero claims in advertising. Read more.
Plastic packaging tax
A tax of £200/tonne applies to plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into the UK, that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic. Read more.
Mandatory Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) reporting for large businesses
Listed companies, banks or insurers with more than 500 employees will be required to disclose climate-related financial risks in line with the existing TCFD standards. Read more.
Minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) countdown
The grading criteria for buildings’ energy performance certificates (EPCS) is undergoing several revisions. Notably for retailers, by 2030, all non-domestic rented buildings must meet EPC grade B, with EPC C by 2027 a proposed interim requirement. Read more.
The Environment Act 2021 introduced measures banning the purchase of commodities that are the product of illegal deforestation. DEFRA is consulting on secondary legislation needed to enforce this law and give businesses guidance on compliance. Read more.
Eliminating single use items
The government has introduced a ban on a range of single-use plastic items including plastic plates, trays, bowls, cutlery, and polystyrene food containers. The ban will apply to retailers, takeaways, food vendors, and the hospitality industry and will kick in from October 2023. Read more.
Green claims review for fashion and FMCG retailers
The UK CMA is conducting sector-level investigations into green claims across FMCG and fashion retail. Read more.
Mandatory publication of Net Zero transition plans for large businesses
From 2023 large businesses will be required to publish a net zero transition plan to 2050. The treasury has established an industry task force to oversee the development of a “gold standard” for climate transition plans, set to be finalised this summer. Read more.
Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDRs)
Corporates will be required to disclose a range of sustainability information regarding governance, strategy, risk management, targets and metrics under the emergent Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDRs) framework. Consultation regarding this took place in 2022 and the final rules and guidance are expected in the first half of 2023. Read more.
Due diligence provisions to eliminate deforestation in supply chains
The Environment Act 2021 introduced measures banning the purchase of commodities that are the product of illegal deforestation. In 2022 DEFRA consulted on secondary legislation needed to enforce this law and give businesses guidance on compliance. The Government will publish its approach to implementing new legislation in due course. Read more.
Among developments relating to energy pricing and supply, the Energy Bill will focus on new market standards to accelerate adoption of low carbon technologies such as hydrogen fuel and heat pumps, as well as advancing industrial carbon capture and storage. Read more.
Minimum efficiency standards for lighting
The Government has proposed new energy-efficiency standards for lighting in domestic and non-domestic properties. Performance standards would be higher than current EU legislation and would include only the most efficient LED bulbs being available in shops. If adopted, the proposals would come into force in late 2023. Read more.
EU chemical ban
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has unveiled a proposal that would ban the production, use and sale of around 10,000 per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the European Union. PFAS, often referred to as 'forever chemicals', are industrial chemicals that can take over 1000 years to degrade and are widely used in consumer products. The ECHA will invite public comment on the proposals from March 2023. Read more.
Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
TCFD is a voluntary initiative to improve organisational reporting of climate-related financial risks and opportunities. TCFD reporting will become mandatory for the largest UK businesses (see above), however is increasingly requested by investors across a breadth of organisation types. Read more.
Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD
While TCFD focuses on climate-related impacts, the recently launched TNFD is a risk management and disclosure framework for organisations to report and act on nature-related risks such as biodiversity loss and other impacts to natural capital. Read more.
CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) is the global disclosure system for companies and investors to manage their environmental impacts. CDP is the gold standard for corporate environmental reporting and is fully aligned with the TCFD recommendations. Read more.