According to the ‘Consumer Trends in Sustainability’ report from Solar City, three quarters (75%) of consumers would be more likely to purchase from a company actively making efforts to be sustainable. 


Of course, it’s now impossible to discuss sustainability without mentioning David Attenborough’s documentary that aired last November. The last episode of the BBC’s Blue Planet II had such a huge impact on consumers and businesses alike that it has now been dubbed the ‘Blue Planet Effect’.


Everyone from the government, to Buckingham Palace, to Evian has started to re-evaluate their use of plastic, as well as their wider sustainability and environmental policies. It is an issue that goes beyond industries. Sustainability is more than a marketing ploy to try and win over the conscious consumer; it is, and should be, a policy that is adopted throughout all areas of a business.


One example of a business doing just that is Great Western Railway (GWR). The company’s sustainability plan “puts sustainability and stakeholders at the heart” of everything the company does to ensure that it is able to meet the needs of society without compromising future quality of life. Because the actions we make today, as business and as individuals, will have a huge impact on the future.


Its strategy covers eight key areas: customers; the environment; communities; employees; integrated transport and accessibility; reporting and transparency; procurement; and economy.


But businesses can’t achieve their sustainable missions on their own. In order for GWR to manage and measure its environmental impact, the company will be focusing on its partnerships to boost its recycling and divert waste from landfills. In fact, the company has a goal to achieve a 75% recycling rate and to cut down on the stream of non-hazardous waste to landfill to zero. Already GWR ensure that 0% of waste goes direct to landfill, with offsite processing occurring to improve recycling rates.


Waste reduction is one of the big ways we’re tackling sustainability here at Kerr Office Group. When it comes to sending desks, we ask our manufacturers to transport them differently to the industry standard. Instead of shrink-wrapping each individual top, we ask that the tops are laid down back-to-back with a piece of protective cardboard.


Not only does this mean we are able to cut out polystyrene corner protection altogether, it also enables us to add more desks to one pallet, resulting in fewer truck journeys, therefore reducing our carbon footprint.


We applied this method for a recent project we carried out with GWR. We supplied them with 325 desks and made the following savings:


  • Having more compact tops resulted in 20 fewer pallet spaces in transit, freeing up half a lorry space for other goods and the pallets themselves.
  • We used 3.25 cubic metres less polystyrene
  • Used 1,000 square metres less plastic shrink wrap
  • Used 1,365Lm less foam edge protection


Consumers and brands want to do business with like-minded companies who are actively implementing sustainability policies and practices. If you’d like to reduce your waste when furnishing your office, speak to Kerr today.