5.

Work together

How it helps you

The Covid pandemic truly demonstrated the power of what can be achieved by collaborating. Learning from this and applying it to how we can work together to combat climate change is fundamental. This will help to encourage innovation and to save costs by sharing resources. All retailers want to attract more customers to their High Street and providing planet friendly shopping options is a definite win-win for all.


ACTION: Setup an online community group

Set up an online community group (e.g. over WhatsApp) with local retailers and businesses to:

  • Share equipment and tools rather than buying them
  • See if others could make use of your waste
  • Share knowledge, resources and learnings as you embark on your journey to become more sustainable.

Use industry networks like trade associations and social media platforms to find out what companies in other parts of the country are doing that you could copy or adapt for your business and community.

What others are doing

Smarta Kartan in Sweden has created a helpful website which makes it very easy for customers to find their greener shopping options.
https://www.smartakartan.se/en


ACTION: Partner with organisations and campaigns to drive change through action

Work with local charities and social enterprises on sustainable projects to support your community.

Working with your suppliers, neighbouring retailers and other local businesses can help you create scale and give a louder voice to deliver change.

Collaborate with neighbouring businesses to petition your local council for:

  • Recycling bins and water fountains in public places
  • The provision of in-home food waste and compost bins, as well as to provide community-wide collection services (Defra is currently looking at making these services mandatory).

What others are doing

Totally Locally is a free resource which provides all the marketing materials and ideas to encourage your customers to buy local on your high street find out more at https://totallylocally.org

Hubbub’s Community Fridges are spaces where local residents can share and access surplus food. Local food businesses also donate including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose, Co-op, Costa, M&S, Riverford, Spar and other independents. In 2020, over 100 fridges redistributed the equivalent of over 4 million meals to over 150,000 unique visitors. Hubbub aims to double the number of community fridges around the UK in the next year.


ACTION: Develop sustainable initiatives with fellow retailers

Collaborate with neighbouring businesses to make a collective and sustainable change.
Join forces with fellow retailers when liaising with suppliers to:

  • Make sustainable product or packaging orders together and save on transportation costs and emissions
  • Use your collective power to encourage your suppliers to be more green.

Create a sustainable hub on your high street together to provide shared repairs services, information and workshops to customers; or even shared deliveries if a group of you sell online.

Club together to provide recycling facilities for single use plastic which customers cannot put in their recycling bins at home e.g. single use plastic and textiles to make it easy for customers to recycle these items

What others are doing

As part of Amsterdam’s ‘Denim Deal’, the city will organise collections of old denim from residents and eventually, create a shared repairs shop for all brands to increase the lifespan of jeans and reduce the need to make virgin denim.

Where to find out more

https://www.terracycle.com/en-GB has a variety of recycling platforms and has information of existing programmes which are in place in your area for recycling or products which aren’t usually collected by local councils.


ACTION: Join The ‘Together for our Planet’ campaign

The UK Government is encouraging all businesses to join in the Race to Net Zero. This means that it wants businesses to sign up and then do everything they can to reduce their carbon emissions to help the UK achieve its targets of cutting carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050.

There are a lot of consultants, academics and other knowledgeable people providing lots of theories of what and how to measure net zero and setting science based targets. However don’t worry if you haven’t the time to start researching that now as we know that everybody is time short so that’s why we have done this guide to make it easier for you to get started as all these actions will directly or indirectly reduce carbon emissions.

Where to find out more

This is the UK business climate hub where you can make your pledge https://smeclimatehub.org/uk/

Giki zero https://zero.giki.earth is a great tool if you would like to understand in a simple way the actions you can take as an individual that affect your carbon output. Many of these will apply to smaller businesses as well. This is a helpful tool to share with your team and to do yourself at home.

Try Another Principle

  1. Save energy and switch to renewables
  2. Minimise packaging
  3. Recycle and reuse
  4. Offer greener choices
  5. Work together
  6. Share what you learn