Step-change into sustainable retail interiors.

Matt Hornblower - Sustainability - August 31 2021.

Sustainability is shooting up the corporate agenda in businesses across the board. This step-change is particularly being felt in retail. The pandemic has given consumers opportunity to re-evaluate their habits. Assessing the social impact of personal choice and conserving precious resources have become part of the mainstream mindset. And where consumers lead, retailers will always be fast to follow. Which is why we think that sustainable solutions that appear to be hidden right under our noses, are set to become big business here at Nuttall for all the right reasons.

In the past, retail environments had less focus on sustainability. Sourcing and manufacturing new components and fixtures tended to focus on price rather than the impact on the environment.

But now, we’re going well beyond a tick-box approach to sustainably. We’re innovating and rethinking the way that we approach major projects and supporting clients who want to make a more positive and proactive contribution to the green agenda.

Our direction of travel in sustainability.

In short, we’re exploring upcycling with a selection of our clients – to figure out where and how old, decommissioned components can feature in new schemes. And because we have capacity at our UK warehouse facilities, we’re one of a very few UK providers who can manage inventory for our customers at scale – making this a sensible, practical and cost-effective way of managing rolling programmes of store upgrade and refit.

For some clients, a ‘renew and refresh’ approach works well. It allows us to work with existing fixtures to re-face and re-invigorate tired areas in-store at a fraction of the cost of starting over. These projects enjoy the added benefit that this type of install offers – it can be managed with a lighter touch and without costly disruption to trading. We’ve employed precisely this approach in a recent café refit project for M&S.

We know from our experience with ASDA’s sustainability concept stores that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and green issues are high on retailers’ priorities. We answered a brief that involved showcasing displays made from carbon-kind and recycled materials. But the next natural step is to take a wider view and capitalise on serviceable components and units from across retail estates as part of wider programmes.

We think it’s only a matter of time before upcycling and renewal programmes become a mainstay of retail estate management for progressive players in the marketplace who want to be a hit with today’s conscientious consumers.

Our refurb and refresh projects are focused on ‘zero’ carbon, and we’re ready to support in a number of ways…

1. Materials – we activate sustainable sourcing strategies on a part or a whole project, tracking down substrates and components that are kinder to the planet – made from recycled materials or forestry commissioned timber.

2. Waste – we help clients minimise waste, whether it’s taking care to make sure the materials we take out of sites are responsibly disposed of, or we look to refurb and re-use any serviceable materials and components.

3. Sourcing local, building to last – we can extend the life of a fit-out by focussing on the total cost of ownership and carbon impact. We are able to source and manufacture locally, to reduce the carbon footprint associated with international supply chain and consolidate 3rd party goods, optimising deliveries to reduce the final miles travelled by our products and the installation teams.

All in all, we have the experience, the capability and the desire to create solutions that are altogether kinder to planet earth. If you’d like to talk to us about our approach, we’d love to have a conversation.

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