Identifying ways to make a business more sustainable can be a challenge – here founder of The Used Kitchen Company Looeeze Grossman reveals four strategies that you can start adopting for your showroom today.
The average kitchen can generate 1-2 tonnes of waste – and that’s not including the packaging it originally arrived in. With big brands like IKEA switching to packaging derived from mushrooms that are biodegradable, now’s the time for kitchen manufacturers and showrooms to ditch the plastic and look at more sustainable options.
Becoming a more sustainable business is, no doubt, a big change and will take time to implement. But there are ways showrooms can start to improve their sustainability credentials, and they don’t have to be extravagant.
1. Provide a packaging recycling service
The standard household will have limited access to recycling and there are strict rules as to what you can and can’t recycle. However, showrooms can work with larger recycling services that can cope with recycling a broader range of items. By offering customers a recycling service you can help prevent a huge amount of waste from ending up in landfill. If needs be, offer this as an extra service where you take away all the packaging, and even old appliances, for the customer and dispose of them in a sustainable way. As consumers become more aware of how their consumption habits affect the planet, this service provides an additional benefit that might be the difference between them choosing you over a competitor.
2. Re-use and recycle
If you have ex-displays in storage or your current displays need a refresh, then consider selling them through The Used Kitchen Company. Not only could you make more than your money back that you can put towards your next display, but it also offers you the chance to offer a new way of buying in a cost-of-living crisis. It is also a more sustainable option, helping to prevent those displays from ending up in landfill. You can also suggest to customers that they sell their existing kitchen in a bid to fund their new kitchen or even a new ex-display model. It’s a win-win for all.
3. Sign up to the Kitchen Passport
The Kitchen Passport is a sustainability initiative for kitchen owners and showrooms. It’s free and it offers you the chance to create a history for every kitchen you sell, making it super easy for the customer to see what parts can be recycled, and how. It can also inform the customer of important information about their kitchen, such as the energy rating of appliances. The platform simply asks for the year the kitchen was made, the kitchen manufacturer’s details, the materials used in the kitchen’s construction and the names of buyers who have owned the kitchen over the course of its life. It’s an easy way to help customers be more informed about the kitchen they’re buying, and upping your own sustainability credentials.
4. Do all the extra little bits
The smaller things can really make an impact when they’re all put together. Things like switching your energy supplier to a green provider, using a delivery company that has an electric fleet, becoming a paperless office and sending all communication to customers online rather than by post, are all small changes that make a big difference. These actions can make a real impact, not only on your showroom’s carbon footprint but on your reputation as a sustainable showroom to the growing number of millennials who are fast becoming your target audience. If all showrooms could take small steps in the right direction, the difference to the industry would be huge.
In an ideal world, we’d love to see all manufacturers and showrooms switching to biodegradable packaging, and suppliers of packaging making more sustainable products available to the larger market. If this were to become ‘industry standard’ think of the amount of plastic we could prevent from ending up in our oceans, and the reduction of landfill contributions.