A recent report titled Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Retail: The Impact of Green Buildings on People and Profit, has stated that retailers are missing out on a number of key opportunities at present, simply by ignoring the influence of their retail environment.

"Living wall" at the Marks & Spencer Norwich store

To make things clearer, the report outlined the fresh evidence that points to the fact that greener, healthier retail stores are starting to become the more attractive option for consumers, meaning there is the chance for them to be more profitable for retailers.


These types of shops include those that are typically offering good levels of daylight, fresh air and greenery.


“The days of ‘grey box retailers’ are numbered,” said WGBC chief executive Terri Wills, “A new breed of businesses is emerging which understands that better shopping environments lead to better experiences for consumers which, in turn, lead to better economics for retailers.


“This report is about empowering retailers to look within their own properties to understand and monetise how better, more sustainable physical environments can potentially drive profit, and in doing so, ultimately strengthens the business case for greener, healthier buildings.”


UK Green Building Council policy director John Alker said: “This should be a wake-up call for retailers and those with a stake in retail property. They are sitting on a potential gold-mine of data, which can help cement the business case for investing in healthy, greener stores – both new build and refurbishment. Leaders in the sector realise this, we now need to see action across the board.”


If any businesses were looking for an example of companies showing a marked example for the initiative, they need look no further than Marks and Spencer, with the nation-wide department store recently unveiling their ‘eco-store’ in Newcastle. The new store boasts a 167m green wall on the front of the building with some 16,000 plants!


M&S Plan A property manager Zoe Young, who contributed to the report, said: “Working on the report both retail and sustainability professionals agreed health and wellbeing is relevant to enhancing the customer experience – particularly in an ever-changing retail landscape where shoppers have more choices than ever before. The launch of this report provides a catalyst for action in developing shops that enhance health, wellbeing and productivity.”


This most recent study is a by-product of a previous research study from the

World Green Building Council (WGBC) which cited that green buildings could also enhance the productivity of a workforce.


The WGBC revealed that as much as 11% gains in productivity from improved ventilation could be achieved, while up to 23% gains could be achieved in productivity from improved lighting design.


It’s wonderful to see that it’s not just our glamping UK sites that are doing their bit for a greener future!


Image: Evelyn Simak under Creative Commons.

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