SERIOUS MONDAY: SHUT THAT DOOR!

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That’s the advice being given to shops in a bid to reduce energy waste and C02 emissions.

But it’s not the government or any energy saving organisation that is making the call to retailers – it’s a group of worried shoppers who believe businesses could do more to help the environment.

The Close That Door Campaign has been set up in Cambridge and is so far proving a huge success. Dozens of retailers – including national chains – have pledged their support and if shoppers all over the country took similar action, it could make a huge difference.

The campaign, originally launched by three friends, has the backing of Cambridge City Council which has given funding towards the cost of printing leaflets and stickers.

The campaigners say that businesses in the UK spend about £1.6 billion on energy each year and around 20% of this is wasted. Keeping their doors closed will cut down on energy wastage and show customers that an organisation cares about the environment.

The campaign website includes answers to some of the common reasons that retailers give for keeping their door open – such as the fear that a closed door will discourage customers or that they have no choice because their company has an open door policy.

It also gives retailers advice on further measures which can be taken – such as turning down the heat in stores where staff work in shirt sleeves in winter. It says it makes more sense to turn down the thermostat and get staff to wear a jumper or jacket.

As well as saving energy and cutting costs, it means the temperature will be more comfortable for shoppers who are inevitably dressed in warm clothing when they go shopping in winter.

The campaign, which has flyers and window stickers for retailers joining the scheme, already has well known names such as MacDonalds, Marks and Spencer, Dollond and Aitchison and Halfords on board.

And top retailer, Jaeger, was so impressed with the scheme that it has introduced a closed-door policy across its entire store estate.

Jaeger retail director, Mike Thompson, said: “Our policy has been made in direct response to concerns from our customers and the Cambridge Close the Door campaign which reflects our desire to reduce our energy consumption and therefore reduce our carbon footprint.
“Jaeger is taking its environmental impact very seriously and it makes sense not only to provide our customers with a comfortable environment in which to shop but also stop the needless waste of energy by keeping doors open.”

To find out more, log onto http://www.closethedoor.org.uk/ . With any luck, it might  inspire people to launch a version of the campaign in their own city 

Susan

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