Winchester’s first Sustainable Design Clinic showed the city has many committed enthusiasts for a better way of doing business, to protect the planet, improve people’s lives and make a profit. The event was held at Thursday Studio in Winchester on 2 November 2023.
From a business-to-business perspective, one key takeaway was the need for those of us who appreciate the need for change to reframe the benefits for our customers.
Not always ‘doing the right thing’ or ‘protecting the environment’.
- See what this will do for your image
- You will stand out from the competition – be ahead of the game
- It will make your business more attractive for your customers
- This is just what your corporate customers are demanding
Fresh ideas for sustainable design
Representing the lifestyle products industry, Simon Terry, custodian at Anglepoise, spoke about the brand’s Guarantee for Life. He called for “products that last a lifetime and beyond”.
To this end, Anglepoise introduced a repair service. The company was confident that its returns rate for faults is very low. It then launched a home rewiring kit to allow customers to bring their old lamp electrics up to date. It has most recently introduced spares kits. Every Anglepoise lamp is adjustable, modular and repairable.
Terry appealed for people to “celebrate the mend” arguing that Kintsugi should not simply be for ceramics.
Moving onto the FMCG retail scene, Katie Campling outlined the philosophy behind her zero waste refills store, Earthian in Winchester’s Parchment Street.
While most of the focus is on her zero waste sales to customers, Campling showed how much of the commonly discarded paraphernalia in retail can also be repurposed and recycled. Earthian even recycles the backing film from till rolls and has seven closed loop recycling systems operating in the shop.
How to make website and buildings more sustainable
Sim de Roemer, technical director at digital agency Thursday showed how e-commerce can be just as costly to the environment as bricks and mortar operations. He showed how much energy is used to transfer data from hosting services to the user – every single page view produces 0.5g of carbon.
As a result, the internet is responsible for 3.7% of all greenhouse gas emissions. That is more than caused by the aviation industry.
De Roemer explained some of the actions businesses can take to reduce their online impact. The most important is to understand the site’s carbon footprint using a site such as web carbon calculator or ecograder. Once people understand their site’s footprint, they can:
- change hosting to one using renewable energy
- use low impact video and make it on demand not autoplay
- Remove carousels and use low intensity webp images
- Use good copywriting to reduce the need for images and video
Above all, keep the user experience simple and clear: make your site contain “only what matters”.
In the extensive Q&A that followed these presentations, Scot Masker from Masker Architects had some advice for business owners who may feel that they have little control over what happens in their rented building. He outlined the ways business can pressurise their landlords pointing to legislation which commits them to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.
At the end of the clinic, host Philip Tutt-Leppard from 360 integrated PR, called for this event to mark the start of a concerted campaign to improve the take up of sustainable design across the city. Students at Winchester University, the local authority and local business organisations all have a role to play in turning this aspiration into reality.
Get in touch to hear more from 360 integrated PR and join the sustainable design revolution.