Closing the shop door is a simple, highly effective step, integral to trading ethically. Why:
Air pollution, largely from diesel emissions, kills an estimated 40,000 people across the UK every year. Emissions include NOx gas and particulates so small that we can’t see, smell or taste them. These pass through the lung lining into the bloodstream and so to every organ. Those living and working on busy streets are at greatest risk, so shop staff are in a potentially highly hazardous situation. Closing the door to the street in trading hours reduces NOx and small particulates by one third inside.
Meanwhile, when the heating is on, closing the door saves a small/medium sized shop on the street around 50% of total energy use. Equivalent to 3 return flights to Hong Kong for the heating period, this energy waste costs money. Air curtains are not a solution to open doors, and guidelines for a retail healthy working temperature are only met if shop door is closed while heating or air-conditioning is on.
Across our three stores, Better Food displays the Close the Door sticker to remind our customers and staff to close the door behind them as they enter and leave the store. Through this simple action, we hope to reduce the risk from air pollution to those visiting and working in our stores, and maintain a comfortable environment without the need for excessive heating or air conditioning.