New digital tools offer free support for indies looking to improve their sustainability

UK retailers looking to weather the rising energy bill crisis and contribute to the drive for Net Zero can now gain free access to digital tools to help them operate more efficiently and sustainably.

Operations platform SafetyCulture is offering UK retailers free access to its iAuditor app to kick off its new Retail Sustainability Initiative. The technology will be free for teams of up to 10 users, giving them access to ready-to-use digital audit templates on sustainability and issue reporting, as well as thousands of additional templates on brand standards, loss prevention, store inspections and more. 

The retail sector, which continues to feel the economic fallout of the pandemic, is now battling increasing pressures to reduce waste, emissions and its global environmental impact against the backdrop of soaring global energy prices. 

It’s a challenge and cause being championed by business entrepreneur and retail guru Mary Portas, who recently announced her co-chairship of the Better Business Act initiative – a campaign for a change in UK law that would make businesses accountable for their social and environmental impact. 

Portas, who recently spoke at SafetyCulture’s Beyond Change event in Edinburgh, comments: “The climate emergency and changes in consumer behaviour are turning up the temperature for the UK’s retailers. Anyone not already reacting to this wave of social and economic change is risking their business. It’s time for a fundamental change in how we operate – starting by prioritising our people and planet. 

“Leveraging technology that can help that cause by connecting our people and communities, identifying opportunities for continuous improvement, and reducing our environmental impact will be critical to that journey.”

Tech support

To tackle this issue, SafetyCulture has developed its operations platform to help organisations integrate environmentally sound processes into their daily operations and empower their frontline staff to take ownership for building sustainable working practices. For organisations overwhelmed by the task, easy-to-use and ready-prepared checks and training offer an efficient and effective way to start their sustainability journey. 

The platform offers a mobile-first approach to digital audits, supporting businesses to review their processes in accordance with certifications such as ISO14001 and ISO50001, and an easy way to compile mandatory evidence for those obligated to submit for the UK Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) by December 2023. 

Nicky Chenery, general manager EMEA at SafetyCulture, says: “We’re all feeling the pressures of a hike in the cost of living and soaring energy prices, as well as a growing moral imperative to do our bit for our planet. We believe business has to lead that charge and as customers increasingly vote with their wallets, retailers have a critical role to play. 

“We’ve also seen first-hand the challenges faced by the sector, working with brands including American Golf, Decathlon and Pets at Home. Offering our platform free for UK retailers of all sizes alongside dedicated sustainability and retail operational checklists can help those at the start of their journey. Starting by making those positive micro behaviours will build over time to create meaningful change. For leaders looking at the challenges lying ahead and wondering, ‘where do I start?’, we know we can help.

“SafetyCulture ensures every staff member can raise opportunities for improvement, report inefficiencies, and even use sensors to closely monitor assets. Through digitalisation, we’re also further supporting sustainability efforts – our technology eliminates paper waste and resource inefficiencies seen by traditional paper-based processes.”

To learn more about the initiative and get started, click here.