Regency Design & Print CEO David Harkness: ‘Taking positive steps to reduce your company’s environmental impact is not and never will be ‘Greenwashing’.’

Hello, I’m David Harkness, from Regency Design.

You’re reading the third instalment in a series of articles I’m writing for Planet Vending to mark my Big Birthday.

Here’s a thought: ‘greenwashing’. When I started this business all those years ago, who had heard that phrase? It didn’t exist then and yet these days, there’s hardly a day goes by in which somebody isn’t pointing an accusatory finger.

Is it always justified, though? I thought I’d look it up on Wikipedia to see if the term actually means what I assume it means. Here’s what I found:

‘Greenwashing’ is a form of advertising or marketing spin in which green PR and green marketing are deceptively used to persuade the public that an organization’s products, aims and policies are environmentally friendly.’

Note the word ‘deceptively’. The definition continues.

‘Companies that intentionally take up greenwashing communication strategies often do so in order to distance themselves from the environmental lapses of themselves or their suppliers.’

 Doing something that is environmentally positive – if you’re a company Boss – can lead to detrimental reactions, especially from competitors, of the ‘yeah, but…’ variety. So, if you’re the kind of businessman who’s genuinely interested in eliminating waste by re-using materials, the best advice I could give you is just get on with it and give your PR department the day off…

Regency DesignRecycling, upcycling; re-using, re-purposing, call it what you like. It’s always been a goal for us at Regency Design, but don’t let that lead you to conclude that we ever lost sight of our raison d’etre: our ability to increase transactions. More sales? More profit. We’re really good at it.

Just to get ‘commercial’ for a moment, I was talking to the MD of a machine manufacturing company recently and whilst we didn’t agree on everything, (that tie!), we easily agreed on this: a coffee machine with a branded surround, places for stirrers, cup recyclers and point-of-sale materials makes a whole lot more transactions than a lone coffee machine manages.

That’s because by adding the extras, you’ve created an environment that appeals to consumers and that’s why we’ve developed, and are delighted to offer for sale, the Regency Eco-Pod. Yes, it’ll tick a so-called ‘eco-box’ or two, but let’s be pragmatic: build your coffee offer around a starter-pack eco-pod – for just £1,000 – and you’ll see your sales soar. Your bottom line improve.

Let’s talk Eco-Pod. Your starter pack from Regency Design consists of a cabinet, (dimensions 540mm wide, 650 deep and 1850 high, if you’re interested); and an A Board, (600 x 800). Both these items are constructed of plastic waste. An eye-catching giant coffee cup and a condiment tray, both made entirely from coffee grounds, complete the winning line up. Just add your coffee machine of choice; the Eco-Pod is compatible with just about all of them.

Regency Design
David Harkness

Sometimes you know, it’s the ‘smaller’ solutions that we create – the ancillary products, if you like, the ‘attention to detail’ – that are most effective in elevating your offer, be it a coffee station, a vending scenario, a micro market or a pop-up. We have an array of these creative solutions to add value to your offer – whatever your budget.

It’s not greenwashing, and it never will be – to make a positive step forward in your mission to reduce your company’s environmental impact. Even if it’s the eminently achievable step of upgrading your coffee offer.  Nevertheless, you might just want to keep it to yourself…


David introduces the members of his team and the values they share.

The first instalment from David at Regency Design is here

The second is here

About the author

Yvonne Reynolds-Young

Planet Vending’s MD and Publisher is Yvonne Reynolds-Young. An island of corporate common sense surrounded by oceans of creative madness, Yvonne is the person to call if your intention is to make something happen. (She controls all the diaries and all the money, FYI). She’s also our Social Media Queen, single-handedly responsible for building PVs presence on LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter and thereby driving record volumes of traffic onto the site.

‘Customer service is my responsibility and it’s my job to make sure we’re always ahead of deadlines’ she says. ‘My background in big business means I speak the same language as our corporate clients and understand the particular pressures they face when working in the vending arena.’

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