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INTERVIEW How floor specialist is leading the way in sustainable retail – and what lessons others can learn ahead of COP26

Flooring Superstore: showing the way to sustainable retail

Ahead of next week’s COP26, fast-growing home interiors retailer, Flooring Superstore, has spoken out to say it would welcome clear legislation and ambitious targets to ensure businesses are working together to contribute towards achieving the country’s goals to reach net zero by 2050.

Dan Foskett, Chief Executive Officer at Flooring Superstore, says that sustainability is a key consideration for business and customers and will be monitoring the discussions from COP26 closely.

“We’d welcome clear legislation that enforces ambitious targets on businesses like ours, so everyone is on a level playing field and is required to take positive action to do their bit to reduce the impact of climate change. Not only do we need guidance and goals, but businesses also need support to help them make a bigger impact, quicker than they could by themselves.”

Since August 2020, the company has committed to planting a tree for every square metre of flooring its sells, which has so far resulted in more than 4 million trees planted. Throughout November it is doubling its tree planting efforts as part of its Black November Goes Green initiative, highlighting the importance of giving back at a time when retail often sees a boom.

“We’ve also funded the removal of over 25,000kgs of plastic from the ocean and protected 30,000 acres of rainforest with the Rainforest Trust,” says Foskett. “On top of that, we’ve supported local community projects, plus introduced new, sustainable products, including Serene, an eco-friendly carpet made from recycled products rescued from the ocean, and a range of rugs and runners made from recycled clothes and materials. But we know this is just the start and there is more we need to do.”

Foskett says that the company is continuing to work on various projects to reduce carbon footprint. These include improving efficiencies across its delivery network, exploring more environmentally friendly packaging options, working with more UK-based factories to reduce transport mileage and partnering with manufacturers who prioritise products made from more sustainable materials.

“We’re aiming to make improvements across all our operations as quickly as advances in technology will allow,” he says.

He continues: “For a business of our size, we’ve achieved a lot already in line with our own sustainability goals and it’s been a significant investment for us. However, we understand that it will take time to achieve everything we want – and need – to do. We believe we can get there quicker with the right support though. For example, incentives or grants on electric vehicles would really help us to accelerate the move towards a greener fleet much quicker.”

Foskett concludes: “It’s important that we’re all held accountable, and we hope more pressure will also be placed on large, global organisations too. We only get one chance at making this vital change, and it’s important everyone works together to achieve it.”

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