These brands are leading the food waste fight

by Nov 15, 2018

Shelton Insight

33% of Americans say waste reduction is a concern that drives greener product purchases when it comes to food and beverages (Shelton EcoPulse 2018).

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Sustainability Win of the Week
Food waste is a problem that affects us all. Every year, 72 billion pounds of food waste end up in landfills and incinerators – and nearly 40% of it comes from consumers. On top of this, there are immense amounts of water, soil, fertilizer and labor that go into food production that ultimately go to waste. Food production is costly, and so is its disposal.

Fortunately, there are a number of companies putting a stop to food waste, including Walmart, Kroger and Leprino Foods, a global supplier of milk and dairy products. Their strategies for ending food waste are quite creative, ranging from practical, small changes that get big results to entire sustainability campaigns and scientific innovations.

Walmart, for instance, has switched to “Best if Used By” labels to prevent premature disposal of food; they also replace individual cracked eggs instead of disposing of full packs. Meanwhile, Kroger has launched the Zero Hunger, Zero Waste initiative to divert surplus food to areas where it’s needed most; they’ve also committed to zero food waste by 2025. Similarly, Leprino Foods has experimented with applying leftover lactose from dairy production toward sustainable agriculture and soil management. And Swedish grocery retailer Coop has started a campaign to teach people to smell their milk rather than trusting the expiration date.

Consumers love a good story – and they love to be filled in on all the exciting and unique ways in which brands are making a difference. The story could be as unique as using leftover lactose to improve soil quality or as simple as teaching consumers the difference in odor between fresh and spoiled milk. These are the sustainability stories that customers remember. And, more importantly, by telling these stories, you get to alleviate their guilt about food waste. And that gives consumers a massive reason to love your brand.

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News of the Week
Revolutionizing the air conditioner industry to solve the cooling challenge – Rocky Mountain Institute

The weather’s getting chilly … but we couldn’t resist this article by Rocky Mountain Institute on the climate impact of air conditioners. The article covers findings of RMI’s recent report, “Solving the Global Cooling Challenge: How to Counter the Climate Threat from Room Air Conditioners.” The main point: combatting the effects of climate change will require “a radically efficient air conditioner with five times less impact” – which is a tall order, but RMI has some tips on getting us there.

Iceland’s Christmas TV advert banned for being too political – The Guardian

This story of a brand taking a bold stand takes a twist. Iceland, a supermarket chain in the UK, recently committed to remove palm oil from its store-brand products. The company planned to release an ad that drives home the “why” behind their decision. But the ad that directly connects everyday products with this environmental challenge won’t be seen on TV.

Despite hurdles, offshore wind energy potential is generating hype in the U.S. – Forbes

In pursuit of renewable energy, states including New York and New Jersey are investigating the benefits of offshore wind energy. Given the high population density in areas of both states – not to mention the ample winds of the Atlantic – offshore wind energy may be a viable solution to reaching renewable energy goals. The article discusses both pros and cons.

Do consumers really care whether brands take a stand?

Yes, they do. But your brand can’t choose just any stand and expect them to love you for it. Learn how social purpose can create connection with consumers.
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