Paving a way for a greener tomorrow

Martin Seeley, CEO at MattressNextDay, shares an update on the retailer’s sustainability credentials and why this has become a core component of the business.

Back in April this year, we spoke to online beds and mattresses retailer MattressNextDay, which was recently crowned as Online Bed Retailer of the Year at the Bed Show Industry Awards, as part of our ongoing Green Retail series where they shared their latest developments and targets on sustainability.

Six months on, we caught up with Martin Seeley, CEO at MattressNextDay, to find out how things have progressed as the retailer continues to make huge efforts in implementing sustainability values as part of its core operations.

“Since launching our successful #SustainableSnooze campaign, we have been continually driving towards ambitious eco-friendly goals,” Martin says. “We started the #SustainableSnooze initiative, not only to track and share our carbon emissions and efforts, but also to hold ourselves accountable.

“By setting ambitious targets like planting 1,000,000 trees by 2030 and recycling 100,000 mattresses, it keeps everyone at our company focused on moving in the same sustainable direction. By being as transparent as possible with our emissions and achievements, we not only hold ourselves accountable, but allow our customers to track our progress too.”

Through MattressNextDay’s partnership with Ecologi, the retailer has already planted over 80,000 trees on behalf of customers and staff, absorbing over 300 tonnes of CO2. As well as planting a tree with every single order a customer makes, the business also plant trees each month for every employee to help offset the carbon footprint of their commute. Based on its current rate, MattressNextDay expects to break into the top 100 businesses in the UK to have planted the most trees through Ecologi’s reforestation projects as soon as next year.

“This year, we have invested over £4.4 million in a new dedicated distribution centre with semi-automated systems and a 110% increased warehouse capacity,” Martin said. “In every part of the creation of this facility, from planning to building, sustainability has been a priority.

“During the planning process for the new showroom and distribution centre, our research highlighted issues around artificial light pollution and wildlife. Given that our new facility is located near a key bat habitat and foraging routes, we felt strongly about not contributing additional nighttime light pollution, as this can be extremely disruptive to bats and other nocturnal animals that rely on darkness for navigation and feeding.

“As part of our commitment to a #SustainableSnooze, we made the conscious decision to not install lit signs on our new building, helping to protect the local wildlife and their ability to feed and commute at night. We are proud to make wildlife-friendly decisions as part of our broader sustainability commitment. Small choices like this collectively make a big difference in creating an eco-conscious business.”

As part of this large investment, MattressNextDay has also implemented electric charging points for staff and customer use, numerous communal water stations and reusable bottles, LED lighting throughout the building, a cycle to work scheme for all staff, and plans for solar panels on the roof. The business has continued to use sustainable, recyclable non-plastic film for packaging, a practice it first adopted in 2022.

“In September 2023, we invested £100,000 on two brand new electric forklifts, which have zero site emissions, meaning a cleaner, safer work environment for our employees. These are energy-efficient and have a significantly smaller carbon footprint than our previous forklifts,” Martin says.

“When developing the company and upgrading our technology, it’s been a priority to ensure we’re doing all we can for the environment. I cannot with good conscience invest in anything that actively harms the environment, and wherever possible we are making changes that lead us to a greener, safer future. Reusable water bottles might seem unnecessary to some, but the reduction of plastic waste they will result in is paramount.”

Moving forward, MattressNextDay is being more selective about partnering with manufacturers that align with its sustainability values. “This is now a key consideration in our product selection process, with our purchasing team strengthening their connections with sustainable manufacturers,” Martin said.

Lewis Wills, MattressNextDay’s Purchasing Manager, added: “The development of eco-friendly technology in mattresses is now at an all-time high, and we see this as an opportunity to offer our customers products that not only enhance their sleep, but also help the planet. Afterall, why wouldn’t we?

“We also contribute to the local community, helping those in need during these difficult times. Through a partnership with local Kent charity Necessary Furniture, we donate mattresses each month to those in need. This supports those, from young children to the elderly, struggling amidst the cost-of-living crisis, ensuring as many people as possible get the rest they deserve.”

With measures like reducing emissions, eliminating plastic, choosing sustainable brands, and community giving, MattressNextDay aims to serve as a model for how online and brick and mortar businesses can be profitable while benefiting the planet. “Our strides exemplify how sustainable operations can support environmental and business growth,” Martin said. “The investments made today pave the way for a greener tomorrow and help us on our journey to net zero.”

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