The global economy experienced a “Great Reset” in the last two years. The Covid-19 pandemic, and the political, economic, and social disruptions during this, as well as developments we have seen in more recent months, have fundamentally changed the perspective of world leaders. We are now seeing programmes such as “The Build Back Better Framework” in the USA and “The European Green Deal” take the centre stage.
The question remains, as we move forward on the road to a green economy, how will this impact the DIY, Home Improvement and Garden sectors, and what can be done to ensure we remain relevant in the discussion.
The Green Sector; a Focus of Innovation
When we talk about growth of the green sector we are not only talking about plants and outdoor living. So, what is the green sector in its broader term?
What is the green sector?
The green sector also relates to products that are future-oriented and sustainable, as well as working in a manner that is committed to the future of the planet and the well-being of the public. Protecting biodiversity and promoting this, as well as improving air quality, are all themes that fall under the green sector.
European Green Deal
The European Green Deal is promoting the green sector and economy, with the one of the core objectives of the European Green Deal being to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. This will be promoted through a series of Green Deal measures, such as new regulations on packaging and deforestation.
Even more so, in the USA, the largest DIY and home improvement market, one of the core pillars of Joe Biden’s “The Build Back Better Framework” is the “largest effort to combat climate change in American history” through programmes to reduce costs for shifting to clean energy and historical investment in coastal restoration, forest management and soil conservation.
Importance of the Green Economy in the Do-It-Yourself sector
The DIY and home improvement sector is in a unique position in which it can influence and promote sustainability in its own operations, in addition to in the lives of its customers and consumers. Through the sale of sustainable, energy-saving and waste reducing products, the home improvement industry can have a dramatic impact on green living.
Trends for 2022 in the green sector
Just last month, in his spring statement, the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak scrapped the 5 per cent VAT on green home improvements such as heat pumps and solar panels. This move demonstrates that the UK Government have recognised the necessity to promote the green economy in all homes, and other Governments should follow suit.
We are seeing a variety of schemes promoting green refurbishments to homes, as others are abandoned and replaced. However, what is missing is international regulation in this area. As an example, if the EU is dedicated to becoming climate-neutral by 2050, European wide regulations which support people reducing the emissions from their homes will have to be established.
How to promote the Green Sector
One of the key factors to promoting the green sector is to make customers aware of the types of benefits they will personally see when living in a more sustainability orientated way. Initiatives and changes that require investment now, such as insulation of homes and installing solar panels, require initial investment, but the savings will be seen in the long term.
We are seeing a number of stakeholders promoting the move to sustainable living through personalised and holistic offers. For example, the home improvement retailer Merkur in Slovenia have established their Merkur TEO programme, which offers “complete solutions for your entire home in one place”. These types of complete packages are likely to become more common place if the future and are one way of ensuring customers will be able to access green solutions to sustainable living.
The green sector is becoming an essential sector to consider, especially so as we move towards a green economy. Governments and international bodies are building expectation in this area, through programmes and frameworks that should make the transition more fluid. In its unique position, the DIY, Home Improvement and Garden sector is perfectly placed to act as a global example for sustainable initiatives and practices and promoting these both internally and externally will ensure the sector remains relevant. Presenting the correct product groups and marketing these in the correct way, focusing on personalization and individualized shopping experience, can help tap into this market.