NEWS | Round-up

Our climate change champion Richard Hagan, managing director of Crystal Doors on the COP26 climate summit and why we all have an important part to play

The climate’s right


BETWEEN OCTOBER 31 and November 12, representatives from nearly 200 countries will descend upon Glasgow for the COP26 UN climate summit. It will be a landmark moment for the future of the planet, and that’s not an overstatement.

At COP26, world leaders and experts will negotiate, hopefully, unprecedented measures to tackle the climate emergency and get us back on course for limiting global temperature rise to between 1.5 to 2°C – the goal agreed six years ago in the Paris Agreement. Very little progress has been made since then, and

we are now at existential crisis level. Scientists have concluded that we are currently on course to blow right past 1.5°C and heat the planet by around 3°C or more by the end of the century – the consequences of which are unfathomable.

COP26 will be full of political disagreements,

backroom bargaining and compromise. What we end up with will ultimately define whether we are able to take control of the climate emergency and limit global temperature rise to habitable levels, or not. The world will be watching, and you should too. But as businesses, we can’t wait for world leaders to play catch-up. If we are to find a way out of this crisis, we all need to act now. The big climate summit may be happening in Glasgow, but tens of thousands of individual climate summits need to be taking place in boardrooms up and down the country as well. I started my own form of climate summit in 2015, consulting local experts to help

If we are to find a way out of this crisis, we all need to act now

me understand how to turn a business that was struggling with its environmental impact into a sustainable enterprise without breaking the bank. Six years later, we are now celebrated as one of the greenest manufacturers in the country. Investments in intelligent, energy-efficient equipment, solar power, self-supplied biomass heating and electric vehicles have paid off – we are not only on track to reach net zero emissions years ahead of most companies, but we are making record profit thanks to a leaner, greener operation and the kudos that comes with leading the way. Having seen what’s possible, my employees are now the ones leading the next steps.

How can KBB businesses get started on their own climate summit? It starts by bringing something to the table. Pledge to halve your emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by at least 2050 via the UK Busi ness Climate Hub website (, which was launched in partnership with COP26. The website provides tailored guidance and tools on the steps you should take next. Share your commitment with the world. Show you mean business.


THERE ARE already signs that the home improvements spending boom may be cooling down, according to one KBB digital marketing expert. Lead Wolf, which specialises in digital marketing and analysis in the KBB market, has seen early indications that aggregate search volumes for the kitchen market for June and July were 38% down on volumes seen in the three months to May. Lead Wolf looked at more than 2,000 search phrases in Google pertaining to kitchen purchases on a data set of 3.35 million. With a significant number of buyers these days doing their research online, Lead Wolf managing director Graeme Wilson said: “We have high confidence that this is representative of present new purchase intent levels. Search volume was an average of 38% higher in the three months to May than the average for June and July. With sales cycles typically 60 to 120 days, it will take time for this trend to manifest in reduced order intake for retailers, and it’s probably a further 30 to 180 days beyond that the suppliers will start to see the impact.” Looking at data for bathroom searches, Lead

Wolf found that these were down 25% in June/ July compared with April/May, which in turn was down 19.4% on March/April. Overall, the June/July search volumes were down 40% on March/April, which puts them below those for December. Wilson added: “Of course, this is only two months’ worth of data. What’s important is that retailers and manufacturers keep an eye on their top of funnel metrics to give them time to forward plan.”

This comes after news emerged from IMRG Capgemini that May and June saw the steepest falls in online retail sales in the history of the index, with electricals down 12.2% year on year in July, while furniture experienced a 27% drop. Wilson added: “But retailers should not worry about the size of the cake, they should worry about the size of their slice. Even if search demand is down 23%, you can mitigate this by improving your performance in Google Search.” He added: “There are lots of things you can

do to try to improve this, such as better content, fast page load times, back-links from other websites, improved technical SEO, and more reviews on Google.”

Singing plumber’s bathroom fit lands him a record deal

PLUMBER, KEV Crane (pictured), landed a record deal after the owner of New Reality Records, Paul Conneally, heard him singing while installing his bathroom. Crane, from Leicestershire, who has been a bathroom fitter for eight years, released his first album at the start of September. The album, called ‘Why Can’t I Be You?’, was Eighties-inspired song was written and produced by Crane. Owner of New Reality Records, Conneally, told the BBC: “I heard Kev singing as he worked. I told him he had a good voice and he mentioned he’d been writing and recording songs in his home studio. He sent me some and I was blown away by his songwriting and his attention to detail in producing a sound that is so Eighties but so now at the same time.” New Reality Records, based in Leicestershire, has signed 16 local artists and was started during the first lockdown. Crane is self-taught in music production and learned how to record and mix over the past 18 months. He told the BBC: “It just feels surreal. I never expected anything like this to happen. I’m just seeing where it leads.”

· October 2021

Home improvement boom may be slowing down, warns expert


Champion Change

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