Resources, best practise & case studies for the retail industry

Retail in London's West End has a responsibility to lead the way to more sustainable shopping. Home to global flagships, innovative new brands and up and coming concepts, what happens here will be a building block for retail destinations across the globe.

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.

Through Project Earth, Selfridges is pioneering a host of new and exciting shopping experiences with circularity at their heart. The initiatives provide customers with multiple ways to shop more responsibly with initiatives including Selfridges Rental & RESELLFRIDGES. Click to explore 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'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

Stella McCartney: Product Materials

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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.

Ambitions

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

Actions

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.

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.

Current legislation

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

Guidance from the Competition & Markets Authority for businesses who want to make environmental claims about goods and services. Read more.

Upcoming legislation

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.

Mandatory Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) reporting for large businesses

From April 2022, large UK registered businesses will be required to disclose climate-related financial risks in line with the existing TCFD standards. 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. 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 launched a consultation to explore measures that can reduce single use plastic. Bans on single-use items, mandatory labelling on packing and additional charges (similar to the plastic bag tax) are all tabled solutions. Read more.

Green claims review for fashion retailers

Following the recently-launched Green Claims Code (see above), the UK CMA will be conducting a specific sector-level investigation into green claims for the textiles and fashion industry. Read more.

Voluntary disclosures

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