Responsible retailing: how product design is shaping sustainable signage

In our recent blog ‘Shopping for leisure’, Nils Karsten, Business Segment Lead for Retail at Sharp/NEC, looks at current trends in the retail sector. By acknowledging that sustainability should no longer be considered a trend, but a long-term strategy, we are consciously addressing this as a separate topic.


Today’s consumers, largely driven by millennials, want to buy from ethical companies who take their social responsibility seriously. They are increasingly suspicious of green-washing and are seeking to engage with brands which clearly demonstrate a genuine desire to operate sustainably.

Sustainability, whilst critical for the planet and guided by government policy, is also good for business.

The drive toward environmental consciousness is favourable towards digital signage as a time- and cost-effective replacement for more consumption-heavy means of communication. Retailers are using digital signage to replace everything from paper signs for wayfinding to life-size pop-up stands for point-of-sale promotions. Advertising content can be updated instantly without waste, nor the associated impact of shipping.

Product design has a major influence on sustainability for digital signage in use. Here, Nils Karsten highlights where Sharp/NEC’s quality and innovation is helping retailers to achieve their sustainability goals.

Visit our dedicated Retail Signage Solutions microsite

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Quality drives sustainable digital signage

High quality product manufacture means extended product lifetimes, deferring replacement, and therefore waste, over a longer time frame.

Durable product design also supports Repair, Reuse and Recycle initiatives, further extending the product lifecycle, whilst helping to Reduce energy consumption – an approach for which Sharp/NEC was recently acknowledged with the Green Signage & Sustainability Award by Invidis Consulting.

Furthermore, the value of reliable and durable signage should not be underestimated in shaping brand perception – a black screen is worse than no screen!

In this blog, we highlight examples of where our product and service innovation address the four Rs – Repair, Reuse, Recycle and Reduce, in shaping sustainable signage.



dvLED is highly serviceable

dvLED technology is becoming more and more prevalent in the retail sector as the technology of choice for large digital surfaces. dvLED is highly serviceable with components that can be repaired and replaced to support its extraordinarily long lifetime of over 10 years.

Sharp/NEC is driven to ensure its customers enjoy the best possible experience over the entire lifetime of its products, to which end, we have developed a comprehensive, tailored service program to accompany our dvLED products.

Find out more about our dvLED service program and why it is fundamental for success.


Modular design extends usage


Sharp/NEC’s innovative open modular design means the display solution you need for today will continue to meet your changing needs in the future. By upgrading the computing power of the display, for instance, signage isn’t disposed of, but repurposed or reconfigured, extending the life of the display and reducing waste.

Our open modular slot-in options offer an interchangeable selection of solutions including computing technology, media playback and signal distribution (e.g. AVoverIP) for unlimited versatility. The embedded device reduces power usage resulting in significant energy savings, whilst cabling and additional mounting systems become obsolete.

Read more about our open modular approach



Metal completes the circle

Even in our entry level display series, Sharp/NEC chooses to use metal, rather than plastic or polycarbonate, for the structural components in our Large Format Display and dvLED solutions. Metal is almost infinitely recyclable and as such is an important element in the circular economy.

Metal is also highly durable, fire-retardant and heat resistant – all vital properties in the manufacture of electronic devices, safeguarding safety and longevity. You can read more about why we choose to use metal, rather than plastic, in this blog:

Plastic or metal? When peace of mind must be top priority

Sharp/NEC uses recycled materials for all its products and avoids hazardous substances. Our large format displays, at 97.4%, are almost entirely recyclable.


Sensor technology increases efficiency

Using sensor technology, any digital display can be transformed into an engaging shopping experience. In combination with audience measurement, retailers can capture valuable data about their customers, enabling them to harness greater efficiencies.


One very simple example is the use of a human presence sensor. The sensor recognises that someone is approaching, this triggers the display to power up with content to entice the shopper to look more closely at a promoted product. Once the person has moved on, the display will power down to save energy.

Another useful tool is Sharp/NEC’s NaViSet Administrator remote management software. Retailers can significantly reduce their power consumption by automating the power state of multiple displays – powering up as stores open and powering down as they close up for the night.

By monitoring usage across connected devices on a network, retailers can quantify their carbon footprint and report on their sustainability achievements.

A complete retail signage solution from a single source

Sharp/NEC’s mission is to provide much more than reliable, long lasting digital signage hardware. As a trusted solutions provider, we work with our customers to ensure they achieve their aspirations, fully supported along the journey to generate a positive ROI where sustainability remains at the core of its business model.

We partner and communicate regularly with the World’s leading CMS providers, guaranteeing full compatibility and a total retail signage solution from a single source. Easescreen, Intuiface, YCD Multimedia, Grassfish, Dise, 22 Miles, Yodeck, Brightsign, Wallsign, and a.m.m; these are just a small selection of our retail focused partners.

Find out more about our Signage Software Partners


For more information about our retail signage solutions, visit our dedicated microsite.

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