Non-food retail

Non-food retail

Less than half of the customers we surveyed think retailers are working hard enough to reduce their carbon emissions. Most believe that retailers need to place more importance on taking action to reduce emissions over the next five years.

We asked our customers what they would like retailers to do to reduce their emissions and if they would be prepared to pay more for their purchases. They told us they would be happy to pay around £5 more for the cost of a purchase if the retailer was taking action to reduce its emissions and using its website to tell customers about the measures it was taking.

Below we have listed the actions that customers would like retailers to carry out now and in the future. We have also calculated the top four actions that will enable a retailer to cut its energy bills and reduce carbon emissions by up to 27%.

What customers would like retailers to do now

  • Stop using plastic bags
  • Reuse clothes hangers
  • Install electric vehicle charge points
  • Sell locally sourced products
  • Introduce electronic receipts
  • Reduce packaging or use recycled packaging
  • Use recycled materials in clothing/packaging.

What customers would like retailers to do in future

  • Install solar panels
  • Use electric delivery vehicles
  • Use efficient, eco-friendly appliances
  • Install LED lighting
  • Turn down heating and air-conditioning
  • Install self-closing doors.

What retailers can do to reduce carbon emissions by up to 27%

  • Replace lighting with LEDs
  • Lower the indoor temperature
  • Incentivise colleagues to use public transport/cycling
  • Install solar panels.

Stationery store installs LED lighting and saves £1,700 a year

The Works is a chain of shops that sells stationery, books, toys, arts and crafts. The company has replaced the old lights at their Bolton branch with modern LED lighting which has reduced energy costs, cut carbon emissions and improved the look and feel of the store.

For an installation cost of £5,000, The Works will save £1,700 a year on its energy bills, equivalent to 15,000kWh, and recoup the original cost in two and a half years.

Solar power installed at shopping centre leads to 22% decrease in energy consumption

After installing solar panels across its 4,600 square metre roof, a Leeds shopping centre is now able to generate almost all of its own electricity.

One year after its installation, the UK retail sector’s largest solar energy installation has led to a 22% decrease in electricity consumption at the White Rose shopping centre, allowing its owner Landsec to pass savings on to retailers in the form of a reduction in their utilities service charge.

Landsec installed the 2,902 solar panels in August 2017 which generate 720,000 kWh of energy annually, enough electricity to power 200 homes for an entire year. Find out more.

Bolton retailer installs solar panels and saves £33k a year

Bolton-based prams and pushchairs specialist Cosatto fitted a solar panel system in 2015 at a cost of £62,000. Since then the company’s annual electricity bill has been reduced by around £23,000.

In addition, the solar panels generate more power than Cosatto need, which is sold back to the grid, providing an income of £11,000 per year.

Maintaining the solar panels costs around £1,500 a year but taking this into account still leaves a net saving of over £30,000 a year and means the original investment has been returned in just over two years.

To find out more about cutting energy bills for your retail outlet, take a look at the information below or download our guide.

A guide to reducing carbon emissions for non-food retailers

Ways to go net zero

Find out more about low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines.

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Energy efficiency

Manage your costs and your impact on the environment by changing to LED lights, fitting insulation or by changing to energy efficient appliances.

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Electric vehicles

Everything you need to know about electric vehicles and how to install charge points for you and your customers.

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Solar panels

You could use the sun's energy to generate your own electricity and sell the power you don't need back to the grid.

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