The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has released a new guide to assist businesses in driving Net Zero consumption by educating and encouraging their customers about green living.
If the retail industry is to achieve its aim of being Net-Zero by 2040, it must assist customers in living lower carbon lives and making more environmentally conscious shopping decisions, according to the BRC.
To help with this, it has teamed up with PwC to create a handbook for retailers that includes best practices for influencing consumer behavior as well as an examination of change barriers and how to overcome them.
'Helping Customers Live Low-Carbon Lifestyles,' a free resource for all businesses, identifies four customer types and intends to assist merchants in converting "Non-Ecos" (those who are unaware of or uninterested in low-carbon living) into "Net Zero Heroes" (who care deeply about climate change and engage with ethical and sustainable brands wherever possible). This necessitates shops informing customers about the need of leading a low-carbon lifestyle, as well as how to do so.
The best technique follows the buying cycle of a customer i.e Engage — Educating customers on how to live a low-carbon lifestyle, such as through demonstrations of the benefits of low-carbon alternatives or through competitions that encourage low-carbon living; Buy — Ensuring that people buy low-carbon products and get them delivered, for example, by prominently displaying low-carbon products or promoting renting; Use — Encourage consumers to utilize low-carbon items by including eco settings on products or pushing the use of refill zones.; and Dispose — Assisting consumers in disposing of products responsibly, such as encouraging repairs or establishing second-hand markets.
The guide is part of the BRC's Climate Action Roadmap, which aims to achieve Net Zero by 2040 for the retail industry and its supply chains. This is crucial in order to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. Retail's relevance is clear: in 2017, the whole lifecycle of the sector's sold items had a CO2-equivalent footprint of about 215 million tonnes, accounting for 31% of all GHG emissions linked with UK consumption.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said that climate change is the greatest challenge we face as a society, and we have a responsibility to combat it as an industry. Nearly a third of each household's carbon emissions are attributed to things purchased in their stores. The British Retail Consortium's role in assisting consumers in making better choices will be critical in achieving the UK's Net Zero goals.
Dickinson added that the BRC is collaborating closely with retailers, sharing some of the industry's best practices and using this information to assist and support others. Retailers can help us achieve the Roadmap's Net-Zero goal by influencing consumer behavior and forcing the industry to produce better low-carbon products. Customers want to do the right thing when it comes to climate change, but they need assistance.
Tom Beagent, director, sustainability and climate change at PwC, said that for the sector to reach net-zero by 2040, sustainability needs to be at the very heart of a retailer's strategy, focusing on innovations that please consumers and are good for business while reducing emissions within the business and supply chain. Despite the fact that eco-consumerism is obviously on the rise, they know that some segments of the population have yet to fully embrace sustainable shopping.
Retailers play a critical role in providing better information to less environmentally conscious customers and making it easier for them to make low-carbon decisions. To accomplish this goal, all options must be net-zero by 2040, thus the race is on to make this vision a reality. Only selling attractive net-zero items and services that can be utilized and disposed of as part of a net-zero lifestyle can help retailers contribute to the climate solution.
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