Five sustainable business initiatives
This week, as the season of goodwill creeps inexorably closer, we look to our clients’ good deeds for a well-deserved dose of positive cheer.
We’ve previously discussed the importance of action over words when pursuing an authentic brand purpose. Covid has prompted some brilliant examples of this – not least several of our pharma and consumer health clients pledging to make their vaccines affordable for developing countries. But today, we’re turning our attention to some of the broader, long-term initiatives in play; from addressing child hunger to closing the product life-cycle loop.
These examples are inspiring to us – as an agency working towards – B-Corp accreditation – but more pragmatically, we’re seeing a growing number of briefs from businesses looking to understand what they can do in areas as diverse as sustainability and social justice.
To hear more about how our work can help guide your business or brand through this space by applying empathy and human understanding, please get in touch.
The Heinz brand has been notably active in addressing child hunger in the UK under their #silencetherumble banner. This has most recently been through working with the likes of Marcus Rashford as part of the Child Food Poverty Task Force, and supporting the School Breakfast Bill in parliament. But they have also been supporting organisations like the charity Magic Breakfast to provide healthy breakfasts to 50,000 vulnerable children who would otherwise go without since long before the pandemic.
Diageo’s Johnnie Walker brand is a great example of walking the talk on sustainability, launching the world’s first ever plastic-free paper bottle in 2021. This 200 year old brand had led the way in innovating using paper, resin and aluminium to address the urgent need for more sustainable packaging. They’ve been unafraid to challenge category conventions, look for new ways to meet necessary safety standards and along the way have proven, if proof were needed, that change is possible. Thanks Johnnie – keep walking.
Mulberry have created a number of sustainability initiatives under Mulberry Green, a play on their signature brand colour. Commitments include that half of their bags be manufactured in carbon-neutral factories and the use of responsibility sourced leather across their entire range.
Earlier this year, they launched The Mulberry Exchange in their flagship Bond Street store, where customers could have their pre-loved Mulberry bag appraised, and the value put towards a new purchase. Customer were also able to purchase from a curated range of pre-loved bags in store.
Sky launched their Ocean Rescue campaign back in 2017 to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the world’s waters. They’ve invested heavily in alternatives to plastic and a big part of that ‘starts at home’ – you’d struggle to find a single item of disposable plastic across their entire offices. Beyond this, they’ve invested £25m into innovations around plastic reduction and used their reach in professional sport and the world of TV to inspire behaviour change across their European markets.
Few businesses have a global footprint as large or as prominent as McDonald’s, and so it is no surprise that they have received their fair share of criticism over the years. But in more recent times they have committed to come ambitious sustainability targets and continue their support for a number of other positive initiatives. These range from introducing paper straws in their restaurants (and other environmentally friendly products innovations), a zero waste to landfill target, and even providing parents of seriously ill children a way to stay closer to them whilst they’re in hospital.