Building on our report on the impact COVID-19 has had on the sustainability agenda, ESM caught up with a number of industry leaders seeking to drive positive change, including Shweta Harit, Global Vice-President, Evian, Danone.
Whilst it has been a challenging time for the industry, we have all seen how the pandemic caused greenhouse emissions to plummet – a fact driven by the initial commercial standstill and the knock-on decrease in day-to-day pollution.
Rather than acting as a setback, this should instead nudge all businesses to reassess their impact on the environment and initiate collaboration across sectors, allowing us to come together to protect the planet.
For us, it was important to stay on track to reach our sustainability goals in spite of the difficulties everyone has faced. We’re working hard towards our commitment to become fully circular in 2025, but it’s clear that this cannot be done alone. In order to ‘build back better’, we need cross-industry collaboration, working with partners and various stakeholders to ensure that we can achieve our sustainability goals.
For example, this year we announced our global carbon-neutrality certification, which followed years of ambitious reductions made at each stage of the product life cycle, from conception to production to recycling. That said, we must not stop there, and we recognise the need to continue innovating and working with stakeholders to meet our ambitious circularity goal.
We’re also aware that the way plastics are made and used needs to be fixed, and that’s why, in 2018, we committed to becoming a fully circular brand. As part of this commitment, we were proud of two new launches this year: our first no-label bottle, and the launch of our ‘Bottles made from Bottles’ range.
Both are made of 100% rPET, and this is significant. When plastic is recycled and turned into a new bottle, it reduces carbon emissions in production by up to 50%, compared to bottles made from virgin plastic.
Commitments to achieving sustainability should be more than just pledges. They must be an intrinsic part of any business strategy and, most importantly, a brand’s values. Our purpose in protecting the planet is at the forefront of what we do. However, to effect real change in this area, we know that we have to work as a collective. We need to work alongside our consumers so that we all become a part of the solution in tackling the environmental issues we face.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.