Footwear-Maker Woodland to Offer Indian Consumers Discounts for Buying Eco-Friendly Products

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Leading leather footwear manufacturer in the Indian subcontinent Woodland has announced an innovative program to reward its customers through eco-friendly initiatives. The company has launched the Pro-Planet program and aims for carbon-neutral retail operations by 2015.

“We want all our stores to be carbon neutral retail chain by 2015, by adopting more environment-friendly measures including planting of saplings all over the country. 2-3 per cent of our profits (around Rs 10 crores) is earmarked for such eco-friendly initiatives every year,” says Harkirat Singh, MD, Woodland Worldwide.

Woodland will also encourage customers to exchange their carbon credits with discounts up to 15-20% on the woodland products.

A comprehensive carbon accounting has already been carried out in Woodland stores in Delhi and the southern state of Karnataka in order to measure the carbon footprint of each store throughout its retail operations. According to the data collected, 30 outlets in Karnataka have a carbon footprint of 1,000 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, whereas 46 outlets in Delhi have a carbon footprint of 2,000 million tonnes of carbon dioxide

Harkirat Singh of Woodland Worldwide says, “We are encouraging our customers to go ‘green’. Our target group is youngsters between 16-24 years who are very informed and concerned about the environment,” says Singh.

Singh says he urges customers to not only go green but also purchase products from companies that follow same motto.

“Once, they buy environment friendly products and collect a carbon credit, they can come and submit it at our store, where we will give them discounts based on the credits. This way we are expecting to collect around 450 carbon credits, thereby doing our bit in helping the environment,” says Amol Dhillan, Vice-President, Strategy & Planning, Woodland India.

The campaign will also encourage customers to avail Woodland e-vouchers by reducing emissions for every solar water heater they use. This will help the stores to negate their carbon footprint by sharing the carbon credits of the customers.

According to the company officials, this green initiative is warmly welcomed by the South market. And the company is looking forward to introducing green camps in other cities to create awareness about the company’s new ‘carbon neutral’ plan.

While the program requires strict accounting methodology to avoid issues like double accounting of the ‘carbon credits’, the initiative as such is highly appreciable as it would incentivize the customers to buy eco-friendly products not just from Woodland but other retail brands as well. The company is said to have partnered with MTV, Lufthansa, and Volkswagen for its eco-friendly initiatives.

The views presented in the above article are author’s personal views only.

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Mridul Chadha

Mridul currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.

Mridul Chadha has 425 posts and counting. See all posts by Mridul Chadha