Sign of the times – Bradford Green Street sustainability scheme announces first businesses to sign up

Shoppers who want to buy more sustainably can now look out for the “Green Street” logo on window stickers in Bradford, as the first city centre businesses sign up to the green initiative. 

Any businesses displaying the distinctive Green Street branding on their premises have been accepted onto the pilot scheme, launched by the Retail Sector council (RSC), to help retailers and hospitality outlets cut their carbon footprint and become more environmentally friendly.  

The “Green Street” stickers will be displayed prominently in shop windows as a visible symbol that the business has signed up to the Green Street manifesto and is already making strides to becoming greener business. Early adopters include Bradford City Football Club, Bread + Roses, The Canteen, The Record Café, Rimmington’s Pharmacy,  Huma Humad, Mean Old Scene, and many others. (A full list can be seen here). 

Initial funding has been provided by the Department from the Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with support from Bradford Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority. 

So far, more than 40 Bradford retail and hospitality businesses applied to be part of the Bradford Green Street pilot and 25 are now actively involved in the scheme and at various stages of it.  A number of those business have joined the initiative, each undertaking a sustainability review by a Green Street expert to help them identify quick wins, cost savings and other innovations that all point them towards a greener future.  

The Green Street pioneers also signed up to the initiative’s manifesto which will enable them to continue their green transformation over the coming weeks and months.  

The businesses have agreed to:  

  1. Reduce energy consumption by using more energy efficient equipment, changing behaviours and monitoring energy usage. 
  2. Take steps to prevent, recycle and reuse as much waste as possible. 
  3. Reduce the amount of packaging used and passed on to customers. 
  4. Eliminate as much single use plastic as possible from their businesses.  
  5. Actively explore to provide more locally sourced and sustainable products and services for their customers 
  6. Share learnings and collaborate closely with suppliers to provide a greener supply chain 
  7. Inspire their customers and team to make sustainable changes and become more planet friendly. 

In return for the commitment towards creating a greener Bradford, the pioneers will receive their Green Street badges to proudly display, free support, guidance and marketing support from Green Street experts. Other benefits include unlimited access to digital tools to help them understand how to reach new customers who currently or want to live sustainable lifestyles.  

There will also be opportunities to attend free workshops on topics run by some of the UK’s largest and most successful retailers with expertise in specific topics, and pioneers will be able to share their experiences with other businesses. 

Successful Bradford businesswoman and RSC member Victoria Robertshaw has been instrumental in launching the Green Street pilot in Bradford. She explained: “By embracing Green Street’s philosophy and expertise these businesses are already identifying and adopting new ways of working that will make them more profitable over time by saving on overheads and attracting customers who are keen to become more sustainable. 

“It could be small changes to start with, for example, changing to LED lightbulbs or having a free water refill station on the premises to discourage single use plastic bottles. Other more ambitious targets can be introduced gradually but everything we do points to becoming a smarter, greener business.”  

She added: “Bradford was chosen as the first UK location for a Green Street scheme because the city is known for its strong independent businesses who want to lead in the push to become more sustainable. As more join Green Street and proudly display their logos, shoppers will learn to recognise the badge and know they are supporting a business which is taking positive steps to reducing their carbon footprint.  

“We have already found some great examples of sustainable practices that these businesses are doing which we are looking forward to sharing so that Bradford can be an inspiration for other businesses through the UK.” 

Paula Watson, Director of Operations at Bradford City AFC, said: “We all have a responsibility to protect our planet and look at how we can make improvements for the long-term future of our communities and our businesses.  

“With the help of Green Street, at Bradford City we are committed to understanding more about how we can reduce our impact on the environment and implement a strategy that will improve the long-term sustainability of our club and to help us to keep football affordable for all our supporters.” 

Gina Riley, from fellow Pioneer Bread + Roses added: “Striving towards sustainability is within the ethos of our co-operative and at the heart of what we do, so joining the Green Street initiative has helped us in our mission towards becoming as green as possible. We hope that in becoming a Green Street Pioneer we can encourage other co-operatives and businesses in Bradford and beyond to do the same in becoming more planet friendly.” 

Green Street is also partnering with Leeds-based Green Gain, an eco-efficiency consultancy, specialising in the circular economy. Founder Ashley Robb said: “I’m already proud of the initial success enjoyed by Green Street and the response from Bradford businesses which have signed up to the manifesto. We hope to see many more businesses displaying the green stickers in the near future and show that everyone can make a difference. I really believe this is the next step in bettering the health of the planet.”  

Following the success of the first pilot, the aim is to roll out further Green Street schemes across the UK into dozens of towns, cities and high streets. In addition, the green street website is full of helpful advice and information for all businesses across the UK to access and start to become more sustainable. 

Interested businesses can join the initiative at https://greenstreet.org.uk/join-us/ as well as learn more about sustainability through the www.greenstreet.org.uk website.