Date: 24 March 2011
The shopworkers Union Usdaw is marking 'Climate Week' by adding its support to the Close the Door Campaign which is asking retailers to conserve energy and improve conditions for shopworkers and customers by keeping their doors closed.
from Cambridge University has found that many high street shops
waste up to 50% of their energy through open door policies and
cause severe discomfort for shop staff who are often forced to work
in cold draughty conditions as a result.
Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary said:
"Usdaw is pleased to
support the work of the Close the Door Campaign. As well as wasting
money and energy, open shop doors in winter can cause great
discomfort to staff who may spend all day in cold or fluctuating
temperatures. Too many shops, including some of the big high street
chain stores, still leave their doors open even in sub zero
temperatures, some also insisting that their staff stand near the
open door to welcome customers."
"The practice is
unacceptable, unnecessary and damaging to both staff and the
environment and we urge retailers to stop it. Closing the door when
it's cold outside makes both staff and customers more comfortable
and is something all shops should be doing."
Dawkins, Director of the Close the Door Campaign
"We had complaints
last winter from staff who were made ill through working in cold
and draughty conditions when the shop door was kept open. Recent
research has shown just how bad this problem is. Having an open
door policy while heating or cooling the shop space means that
staff are working in fluctuating levels of heat and cold,
frequently far outside CIBSE guidelines for healthy working. Air
blowers over the door do not solve the problem. It is clearly not
acceptable to treat staff in this way, quite aside from the
significant energy waste involved, and we are so pleased that Usdaw
has taken this up."
1. Close the Door is campaigning to
get shops to close their doors when using heating or cooling to
save energy, money and improve conditions for staff and customers.
Recently commissioned independent research from Cambridge
University found that closing a shop door while heating was
- Reduces energy usage by up to 50%.
- Enhances comfort of staff and customers, maintaining
temperature at Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
(CIBSE) recommended levels all day, even when outside temperature
- Cuts a shop's annual CO2 emissions by up to 10 tonnes of
CO2, equivalent to three return London Hong Kong
- Assists with the mandatory national 34% target for a
reduction in carbon emissions.
- Maintains energy use at a standard low level.
- Enables heating to be shut off long before the end of the
day without affecting internal temperatures.
- Stops the need for so-called "air curtains" over the
door - among the greatest wasters of energy: a single one
consumes 24 kWh per day. This is equivalent to emitting 91 kg CO2
per week, or more emissions than a return Glasgow London coach
- More information on the campaign can be found at
2. Climate Week runs 21 - 27 March. For more
information visit: http://www.climateweek.com/
3. Usdaw (the Union of Shop,
Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest trade
union, with over 395,000 members. Usdaw is the country's fastest
growing trade union; membership has increased by more than 15% in
the last four years and by over a quarter in the last decade. Most
Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has
many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing,
chemicals and other trades.