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New green partnership signals a sustainable future for retail

The nation’s authority on sustainable buildings and communities, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), has forged a new partnership with Australia’s leading specialist in quality clothing and equipment for travel and adventure, Kathmandu.

Kathmandu is committed to developing a sustainable retail offering, and working with the GBCA to develop a sustainability-focused design framework for its retail tenancies.

“We applaud Kathmandu for embracing a sustainable approach to retail,” says the GBCA’s Chief Executive, Romilly Madew.

“This new partnership signals a new era for Australia’s retail industry.  The retail sector is a long way behind the commercial sector when it comes to sustainability.  Commercial businesses that have taken sustainability seriously are reaping the rewards.  The same will be true for those in the retail space,” Ms Madew explains.

“Kathmandu recognises that minimising our environmental footprint and optimising our contribution to human health and community are integral to our business success.  We aim to incorporate sustainable designs into new stores by working with the GBCA and are looking for ways to improve our energy efficiency in established stores, offices and distribution centres,” says Kathmandu’s Sustainability & Community Manager, Tim Loftus.

“We believe that sustainability is a strategic business decision, and one that will open up new opportunities and reinvent the bricks-and-mortar retail experience,” Mr Loftus says.

Research has found that integrating green design – such as access to natural light and ventilation, and choosing materials that are low in harmful chemicals – can improve retail takings.  A 2003 Heschong Mahone study in the US found evidence that good daylighting was found to increase sales by up to 40 per cent. 

Similarly, a 2012 study from the University of Notre Dame in the US found that bank branches operating from facilities rated using the US Green Building Council’s green building rating tool opened 458 more consumer deposit accounts and had $3 million more in consumer deposit balances per facility per year over non-certified properties. 

“Retail customers are getting more savvy and are increasingly rewarding sustainability with their wallets,” Ms Madew says.

“Now is the time for retailers to embrace change and reposition themselves for the ‘new normal’.  Kathmandu is seizing the first-mover advantage by recognising that sustainability is an opportunity to cement customer relationships and attract and retain staff that demand more pleasant, productive and healthy workplaces,” Ms Madew concludes.


About Kathmandu

Since its establishment in 1987, Kathmandu has become a leading specialist in quality clothing and equipment for travel and adventure in New Zealand, Australia & the United Kingdom. Focused on designing and developing sustainable products, Kathmandu is committed to running a sustainable business and inspiring adventure.