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Demystifying your sustainability journey

It is now several years since my then team at a U.K. airport achieved carbon neutrality for ground operations. At the time we were well ahead of the curve and the learning was immense. The achievement was respected by our customers even then, and as a team we felt good about it and worked well together to achieve success on many fronts.

Whether in the airport industry or in CPG and retail, where I’ve spent most of my career, I am delighted to see that sustainability targets for organizations around the world are now necessarily far bigger and bolder. We are all trying to do the right thing for profitability, people and our planet. One of the things I learned is that although this presents challenges, ultimately the goals are well aligned to take the business forward.

For our own brands, this journey is an imperative — whether the business operates in the U.K., the U.S. or any other part of the world. Why? Our own brand products are absolutely the shop window showing what we stand for and the values we hold as an overarching brand.

For own brands, this means collaborative work throughout the supply chain is essential, sharing goals and finding innovative solutions with parties such as growers, product and packaging manufacturers, logistics and waste disposal operators, etc.

This issue of Inside Own Brands, with help from industry experts and our team at S4RB, aims to demystify some of the terminology, measurements, approaches to collaboration and ideas about embedding a sustainable approach into your organization. I am delighted that the S4RB team is so passionate about the sustainability journey and that it is at the heart of their development work.

In this issue you will gain perspectives on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG); sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR). You’ll get insights about deciphering the new packaging regulations and understanding how supplier engagement is essential to this, together with information on systems available to support it.

Among the specific articles from S4RB experts, James Butcher explores breaking the different stages of the sustainability journey into manageable chunks and Darren Heathcote provides insights about embedding sustainability into everyday business. Josie Lee relays key principles to good Scope 3 sustainability reporting and Josie Burt illustrates a survey that measures supplier readiness. 

You’ll also read perspectives from experts outside of S4RB, including a piece by Cheryl Hall on how to avoid confusion and build buy-in when leading sustainability initiatives and one by Sarah Blanchard on how environmental impact scores will disrupt what we buy.

I hope you find this highly topical issue helpful. I believe sustainability is at the heart of business focus globally as we gradually emerge from the pandemic. I look forward to hearing any comments after you have read this issue and whether the sustainability journey is something you would like us to build on for future issues of Inside Own Brands.

Enjoy the read. View the latest issue of Inside Own Brands by clicking here.

Penny Coates

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