Denomination sustainability blog series
Number 4: Embracing sustainability for the long haul
The route to sustainability and circularity is fluid and ever-changing. That’s why we talk about it as a journey not a destination. And that’s also why it’s important to create a futureproof format that’s flexible, easy to understand and maintain, as well as giving you the 360º vision needed to protect your business.
Every brand and business is at a different stage on its way to becoming more sustainable – from a baseline of just getting started, all the way through to a gold-standard set-up. But it’s important to remember that the goalposts can move at any time. Even those brands who might be considered best in class today are subject to the changing rules and regulations set by governments and industry bodies.
For example, Extended Producer Responsibility rules (where manufacturers are held accountable for what happens to packaging after use) are already having an impact on the industry in the EU. And next year we can expect more upheaval following the introduction of the UK’s Plastic Tax and Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).
Companies will be responsible for understanding their obligations and meeting them. This is a huge undertaking but one that will be made infinitely easier by partnering with an expert who understands the specifics of your business.
In other words, we can’t afford to be complacent, and must keep up with changes to stay on top of our commitments. Even if it’s a tick, tick, tick today in terms of your response to government targets, internal KPIs, recycling, reducing and reusing, you need to make sure that crown doesn’t slip.
A healthy culture
Futureproofing your business extends beyond waste and environmental management. Wider social and corporate governance factors also come into play and create an overall picture of a firm’s conscientiousness. BrewDog provides a cautionary case study.
The brewer’s environmental achievements are impressive. In August 2020, it became the world’s first carbon-negative beer business. However, it was recently the subject of a very public backlash from employees over a toxic workplace culture. To reach that gold standard, you need to look after the S and the G as much as the E, when it comes to Environmental, Social and Governance issues.
No stone unturned
Part of our role as a partner to drinks businesses – from boutique and premium to mass and entry level – is to throw a light on all the issues that can affect your company’s prospects.
How much do you know about your suppliers? Their company culture? Their commitment to the local community? Or diversity? Sustainability is about so much more than recycled glass and paper stock – and with our well-vetted supply network, you’ll be spared the ignominy of partnering with someone who doesn’t share your progressive, healthy vision of the future.
In the final blog in this series next week, we talk about what sustainability means for your brand positioning and packaging design. What are the best ways to cut through the ‘green noise’ and connect with your target consumers in as authentic and honest a way as possible? We talk about tapping into the modern consumer mindset, as well as keeping investors, stakeholders and the C-suite engaged. And most of all, we look at the ways you can celebrate all the hard work you’ve put into your sustainability initiative.