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The focus on sustainability has accelerated as more and more citizens are decidedly voicing their concern that there is NO PLANET B. If we wish to safeguard our planet and resources, it is essential to prioritise long-term goals for the environment. The commercial retail design industry can be enormously wasteful – a demand for fast solutions, a disposable mindset, and a legacy of high turnover of produced material at low price points.

OUR GOAL IS TO CHANGE OUR INDUSTRY THROUGH SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

We have committed to positively changing our business through our design and operational processes and considering our business’ impact on our employees, clients, and the environment. Since 2023, we have been awarded multiple sustainability accreditations including FSC® certification as an agency, the EcoVadis bronze award and being a member of the SME climate hub. This highlights our efforts in environmental, social and ethical performance, demonstrating our dedication to creating a positive impact on the environment as a whole. These Environmental Management Systems are made up of rigorous frameworks of processes and practices that will help us to deliver our ambition for continuous improvement.

At Design4Retail, our vision is to be part of a movement that leads change towards a more circular and less environmentally impactful industry. We are working to kickstart changes across our operations and within the wider industry. Taking a meaningful stance to tackle the challenge our planet faces requires the courage to take bold actions. These include making mindful retail design choices, considering material lifespan, reconsidering waste, and thinking more locally. Sustainable practice should be the default choice going forward, and as shown in some of our recent projects, it does not have to be an aesthetic compromise anymore.

IN OUR OWN PRACTICES…

…we are setting annual energy reduction targets which we aim to meet by:

_Reviewing our company vehicles’ policy and working towards a fleet of 100% electric/ hybrid vehicles

_Investing in improvements to our warehouse, renovating the roof for better energy efficiency

_Replacing all lighting where practical to low-energy LEDs fitted with motion sensors so they are only active when required

_Introducing a policy on contracts with energy suppliers who are among the best for supplying renewably sourced energy

…we are consuming less and more responsibly, as well as reducing waste by:

_Following a strict recycling programme at D4R HQ

_Encouraging staff not to print unless it makes absolute sense to do so

_Taking the time to dismantle old retail fixtures and fittings so that as many of the materials as possible can be properly recycled – as well as encouraging our partners and internationally recognised client brands to do the same!

_Phasing out hardware that requires the use of non-rechargeable lithium batteries

_Switching over to eco-friendly cleaning products, stationery, and packaging alternatives

… we are giving back by:

_Initiating plans to install solar panels on our warehouse roof to generate renewable energy of our own

_Phasing in material options that not only have a lesser impact on the environment with regard to their sourcing and production but which actively seek to better the environment, such as CO2-absorbing paints

We’ve always believed that great design should – and can – be available to all. From our start twenty years ago, our role has always been to provide the best support to our clients with an approachable face and a can-do attitude. Today, this means being sustainable; it’s the only way to continue to make great design and great experiences available to many people for the years to come.