Today the word sustainability is on everyone's lips - and none more so than franchisees with Schmidt, the kitchen and home interior specialist which is pledged to meet customers' environmental and ethical standards.
Eight out of ten US and UK consumers say that they like brands that help them to be more environmentally friendly and ethical. Schmidt franchisees deliver that: it is the first made-to-measure kitchen and interiors manufacturer to be awarded quadruple certifications for its environmental, health and safety, energy use and quality standards.
Janice Tobitt, the Schmidt franchisee in Sevenoaks, Kent, says: “When customers ask if our products are environmentally friendly, I am confident that Schmidt’s credentials give me all of the evidence I need to make them comfortable and confident in buying from us.”
Schmidt's kitchen and interiors products, manufactured in France, are backed by independent certifications of their environmental credentials. As part of its sustainable development policy, Schmidt:
- Promotes the sustainable management of forests
- Has achieved a 50% reduction in waste per package produced at its manufacturing facilities since 2006
- Sends zero waste to landfill. All waste is recycled
- Uses carbon offsetting to compensate for any carbon generated by waste transport
- Has reduced solvent emissions in finishing workshops by 50% to undercut EU emissions standards by half
- Has removed any carcinogens from the production process, protecting customers, franchisees and workers
- At its newest production site, uses solar panels to save five tonnes of CO2 a year, and harvests a million litres of rainwater annually
Rosalyn Hastings, Expansion Manager for Schmidt in the UK, says: "Today's consumers want to be reassured that the products they are installing into their homes are as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible. When they purchase from Schmidt they can be reassured by our certifications that they are making the right decision. We provide our franchisees with information, training and POS materials to enhance the customers' knowledge and reassure them during their buying experience."
Schmidt is seeking more UK franchisees with management skills to open and run showrooms. You can start with just £80,000 - £100,000 in up-front capital, since Schmidt offers an interest-free loan to cover showroom fit-out, and has arrangements with two UK banks to offer loans to reach the total investment of around £400,000.