Put your feet up

and enjoy the read...

Sustainability in the home improvements sector

by | 18/05/2023

Just a few short months ago we wrote a blog piece documenting the challenges for small businesses like ours operating in these challenging economic times. Now, these times are still very much with us, but as the new business year gets into full swing, we have been reflecting back on our previous successes and areas for development. This process has reminded me how much great work we have completed and equally the brilliant clients we have the pleasure of dealing with day-to-day. This process has also reenergised our thinking regarding the direction of some of our work and this has motivated me to put pen to paper on this short piece.

As a research agency, a large proportion of the work we undertake is in the home improvements and construction sector. We work with many great brands in this area including household names such as Taylor Wimpey, Dulux Trade, Mira and Bristan. We work across all the stakeholders that operate in this sector from homeowners through tradespeople, designers, architects and builders. But, what has become particularly noticeable in the past year is the burgeoning focus of our work on topics related to green energies and sustainable practises in construction.

Our changing work portfolio

Back towards the start of the last business year we kicked off with a study for a major brand in the bathroom that focused heavily on sustainable packaging and recycling, and this trend accelerated as the year gathered pace and we have completed many more relatable projects:

• Understanding the solar PV market in the UK through interviews with Installers/fitters, Roofers, Resellers, Wholesale/roofing merchants etc
• Attitudes towards sustainability in the home building process with new homeowners
• Electric vehicle charger attitudes, perceptions and expectations with electric vehicle owners
• Consumer attitudes towards water and energy saving technologies
• Installer mindsets on water saving devices
• Business strategies/ attitudes regarding net zero and decarbonisation

Our recent and ongoing collaboration with the BMA also heavily leans into this agenda. While this wider sector focus shouldn’t come as a particular shock to those familiar with the future sustainability and net zero goals of the UK, it is the first time this has been so obviously recognisable from our work portfolio. We have also seen large scale trade shows such as the ‘installer show’ repositioning themselves (now the “Largest heating, plumbing & renewables expo”) to appeal to a wider demographic through the inclusion of those businesses offering sustainable solutions, in addition to the traditional plumbing focus. Similarly, the recent five days of ISH 2023, revolved around innovations that contribute to achieving climate-protection goals and ensuring a responsible and efficient use of available resources.

Is the tradesperson green?

Rightly or wrongly, historically there has been a sector belief that the average tradesperson cares little for being green, citing the pressures of work and lack of understanding or education on such matters. Often they are fitting products selected or purchased by the homeowner, so they may believe there is little opportunity to push the green agenda. But the dial is shifting.

Many brands are talking with trades in more environmentally friendly language (e.g. Triton’s splash on ‘proud to be carbon neutral’ achieving carbon neutral status in 2022) and homeowners are definitely thinking more sustainably too. Allied to this, professional sector representatives such CIPHE are raising awareness with their installer audience, offering advice, guidance, and training in future energy efficient technologies. This ‘three-pronged attack’ will surely be bringing more tradespeople along for the ride so any brands not actively communicating in this way, informing and educating are travelling in the opposite direction to the herd; you have been warned.

If you are considering undertaking your own research into this area do get in touch with us here at Eureka. Our experience is wide-ranging and we would be delighted to help you with your business conundrums. If you are seeking trade research, we have our own engaged community of tradespeople helping us out with research assignments – more information can be seen here.

If you have supported us during this past year, we thank you again. And look forward to working with you and new acquaintances in 2023/24.

For more information about Eureka’s work in the home improvement space please click here.

Eureka! Research

6 Parkside Court | Greenhough Road
Lichfield | Staffordshire | WS13 7AU


Pin It on Pinterest