How Asda's sustainable store got rid of shopping waste

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The commercial challenge

The commercial challenge

Waste reduction is an issue that’s only getting more important. So, when ASDA planned the launch of their first sustainable trial store, they asked us to help develop its strategy, concept and design. Following the trial, these ideas would be rolled out across the country. We looked at opportunities to help customers make more sustainable choices, from reducing waste and plastic to recycling facilities and self-service refill stations. Of course, we had to find ways to encourage a change in behaviour too.

The human problem

Habits are hard to break. Whilst most of us want to be more sustainable, it’s usually not seen as easy enough to change our ingrained habits. So, our real challenge here was human nature and our resistance to change.

Our insight

There’s no point fighting human nature, so we decided to work with it. We focused on the three key pillars to behavioural change recognised by psychologists:

1. Motivation: people rarely change unless they want to.

2. Popularity: people are more likely to take action if others are.

3. Ease: the less effort it seems, the more likely we are to do it.Knowing that people were already motivated, we set out to make sustainable choices seem popular and simple.

Our answer

A problem as huge as environmental destruction can make us feel helpless as individuals. Yet small actions all add up, especially when made collectively. Research showed that reducing waste was an issue people felt was an achievable change, so this became our focus. We created a campaign platform: ‘LET’S CUT OUT WASTE’. This was an invitation for everyone to take easy individual actions that would make a big difference against a common enemy. To communicate our messages effectively, we then created a look and feel that stood apart from conventional sustainability approaches, and rolled it out across every customer touchpoint.

Punch Above Your Weight

Our campaign immediately won the hearts and minds of all the project stakeholders. The range of impactful, easy-to-implement assets we created wasn’t only used in the trial store, but some were rolled out nationally before the trial began. Early feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and the rollout of the designs across national stores continues. Change is on its way.