POPAI chats with Will Williams, Strategy & Sustainability Director at 100% Group
So, tell us a bit about 100% Group…
We specialise in activating brands in store by providing a range of retail display solutions from installation, new product updates, maintenance and end of life. The company was founded in 2009 and we’ve grown a lot over the last decade. We now have a team of over 100 people based in Manchester focussed on delivering our services across the UK, Europe and globally.
You’ve been quite vocal about sustainability lately, why is it important to 100%?
We’ve always considered ourselves a caring company and a recent survey across all employees showed this stands out strongly as part of our culture. We are also conscious of the huge amount of waste there is in the retail world and as most of our services involve handling end-of-life POP, it highlighted that action is needed to reduce the impact retail marketing campaigns make on the environment.
With that in mind, we developed a real sustainability policy and approach. Social responsibility is now at the heart of our business strategy, with a vision to become the most sustainable retail installations expert and promote change through collaboration and industry partnerships.
What has that meant for your business?
Well, it started with a review of all aspects of our business and a re-think across our services and day-to-day operations. Where do we source our energy from, how we run our vehicle fleet, how we can reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, how do we manage packaging waste and end of life displays that we collect from stores? Re-think is the first of the 6 R’s framework that we’re proposing to clients to consider sustainable POP.
So what are the 6 R’s and how will using these help clients?
The 6 R’s framework helps brands to review sustainability throughout the full display lifecycle and by doing this, we hope that they will realise a number of benefits.
Re-thinking the approach to design and production of display campaigns as well as Reduced energy usage, waste packaging and emissions all contribute to CSR targets and further clients own sustainability goals. Refreshing & Repairing displays helps to prolong display lifespan, making assets work longer and realising cost-savings over time. Re-using entire displays or re-gifting parts that have served their purpose in-store avoids waste and can benefit others. Finally, as a last resort, through Recycling we can all help to save the planet.
Does working more sustainably make what you do more expensive?
Not at all. There's a myth around sustainability that any sustainable product or service is going to cost more. This really doesn’t have to be the case especially if sustainability is integrated into the business and not an afterthought. In fact, reducing our carbon footprint for example means trying to use less energy, sourced from cheaper renewable sources and making our logistics operations more efficient which also saves costs.
So do you think sustainability is going to be key to your future and your clients futures?
Absolutely. The pandemic seems to have brought sustainability issues into sharper focus for consumers and has highlighted the urgency for retailers and brands to act now. We recognise that we will only achieve success by collaborating with our clients and suppliers on sustainable services and solutions. We are confident we can all reach our sustainability goals, but only if we work on them together. We’re at an early stage in our journey and there is a lot more to be done!