When it comes to the retail environment, there are so many factors that determine how customers perceive your brand. It’s not just about what you sell or how much you sell it for; the entire shopping experience can influence whether customers want to come back again. Whether you are a small business owner looking to save money on new displays, or an in-house innovation advisor trying to implement more sustainable practices, this article will give you some useful tips on how to best design your retail environment with the environment in mind. Reducing environmental impact goes beyond using renewable energy and switching to recycled materials. Here are some of the ways the Activ8 Group can help you become a more sustainably conscious retailer.

Sustainable cardboard

The most immediate impact on the environment comes from the choice of cardboard for your retail displays. Using recycled paper is a given, but it is important to choose the right kind of material that is sustainable and safe for the environment. Traditional corrugated cardboard is made from trees that are either cut down or sourced from managed forests. This means that the only way to meet the volume of demand is with unsustainable harvesting practices that undermine forest ecosystems. Sustainable corrugated cardboard uses recycled paper as the core, but the fibres come from trees that have been salvaged from forests affected by blight.

Cardboard clips

One of the most overlooked details in setting up a sustainable retail environment are the clips used in retail display. The traditional metal or plastic clips are not only loud, but they are also made of non-biodegradable materials that can attract pests and release harmful chemicals when they rust or break down. Sticking to eco-friendly retail display options is the best way to ensure you ensure your display is sustainable. Cardboard display clips are made of the same material as the cardboard used for your display and are just as sturdy.

Soy based inks

Making your display stand out is important. Bright colours and engaging content are just a few methods marketers use to get your customers. With sustainability in mind, we no longer have to use inks which are harmful for the environment. Many markers and pens are made with soy or synthetic inks, which emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that pollute the atmosphere. Using soy-based inks is one of the easiest ways to reduce your store’s carbon footprint. There are a variety of options available, including soy-based markers, paints, and sprays. Be sure to check the label to confirm that they are VOC-free before completing your design.

Water based varnishes

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when it comes to the design of your retail displays is the kind of varnish you use to protect your cardboard. While it might seem like a small detail, the application of varnish is what keeps your displays looking clean and new for years to come. Retailers have a wide variety of options when it comes to choosing varnishes. However, the majority of these products are made with solvents that can release harmful VOCs into the air. A great alternative is a water-based varnish. This can be applied with a brush, which means that you don’t have to pump as much air pollution into your store.

In a nutshell

The retail environment has a significant impact on both the health of your customers and the health of the environment. By choosing environmentally friendly materials for your displays and making smart design decisions, you can create an environment that benefits everyone. From the type of cardboard you use to the varnish you coat it with, there are a number of ways to make your display boards more sustainable. By implementing these tips, you can help reduce the environmental impact of your retail business and make your customers feel welcome in your store.

We’re always eager to provide support and advice on helping business become more sustainable, sooner. Let me know what we can do to help.