HPP | Retailers must spread eco-message

KBB retailers must take the lead promoting sustainability, says marketing and business development director at Hill’s Panel Products (HPP) Dan Mounsey.

12 Jul, 22

Retailers must take the lead promoting sustainability in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom industry, says marketing and business development director at Hill’s Panel Products (HPP) Dan Mounsey

HPP | Retailers must spread eco-message

Sustainability is a massive topic at the moment and, as a distributor, HPP can help spread the message about the eco credentials of our suppliers and their products by passing that information on to our retailers.

But retailers need to take heed. Sustainability is not on their radar because consumers are not asking questions about it.

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We could let the issue take its course and hope that consumers will start to ask, but that could take too long. So we need retailers to start putting the message out there.

It’s a Catch 22. It would be harsh to say retailers don’t care about sustainability, I’m convinced they do. But is it an important part of their selling pitch?

The retailers are in the best place to get this message out there – someone has to break the cycle of this perceived apathy.”

Carbon-positive chipboard

At HPP, we are already working with our major chipboard suppliers to highlight the eco credential of their products, and are considering creating sustainability labels on goods packaging.

HPP is a Diamond Distributor for Egger, which is one of its major suppliers of melamine faced chipboard products – all made from wood from PEFC and FSC accredited forests.

Working in partnership with Egger, we are making our plants and products the greenest they can be, with our efforts documented in the latest HPP catalogue for trade customers.

Chipboard from Egger and Kronospan is carbon positive material; it stores more carbon than it releases. It has a 10 to 20-year lifecycle and then you can recycle it again afterwards.

The major manufacturers are trying everything they can to get that message through to consumers and we are supporting them by cascading the message.

But it can’t disappear as soon as it gets to retailers. They have to become messengers too.


We are also spreading the word by partnering with Blum, whose Environmental and Energy Policy features resource and energy management measures.

These include heat recovery systems, building insulation, intelligent heating control systems, ground water cooling and energy efficient lighting systems.

The furniture fittings company also makes a substantial number of deliveries by rail and utilises reusable cardboard packaging and an environmentally-friendly packaging system called ECO-Pack.

And we are taking account of sustainability in everything we do at HPP, from vehicles and their emissions, through to processes and packaging in day-to-day operations.

Less than 1% of waste from our plant went into landfill last year which means we are certified as a zero landfill company.

We recycle as much as we can. We burn our offcuts. We have our own boilers that heat the various buildings, and we have installed solar panels.

We have moved from polystyrene corner protectors on our doors and worktops to pulp-based protectors and all of our deliveries are now paperless.

All of this comes down to awareness. If you look back five or 10 years, I’m not sure sustainability was a word on anyone’s lips, particularly in the KBB sector. Now it’s everywhere; everyone is talking about it – sustainability is a hot topic.

This is about education and information. We are a fragmented industry. There is such a vast number of businesses operating in various different sizes and guises, it makes it difficult to have one set of information that is going to reach everybody.

But that’s the problem that needs a solution.