More and more people care about what they are purchasing and who they are purchasing it from. We understand the need to re-use and recycle. As consumers we also know it can be difficult to make better choices, particularly when faced with cost or convenience challenges.
It's true that individually we can all make small changes, and they do add up to a big difference, but to really see large-scale global change, large businesses and brand owners need to lead the way by making fundamental changes in sourcing, product development and by providing options for re-use and recycling. As the majority of us don't shop at farmers markets or in boutique stores, our high street go-to brands need to help us.
In this article, we will provide you with five everyday brands that you can visit to shop more sustainably.
M&S have been leading on social and environmental issues for some years now, a cause which remains central to the brand. In 2007, before sustainability had the focus it does now, M&S started 'Plan A'. Plan A was given its name because they believe there is no Plan B for our planet.
Since 2008, M&S have been operating a reuse and recycling scheme for clothing called 'Shwopping' and collected 35 million unwanted garments.
Over the last two years, M&S has removed 2,000 tonnes of plastics. Over three-quarters of current plastic packaging is currently widely recycled and they're working hard towards a goal of 100% by 2022.
2. Nivea (owned by Beiersdorf)
Since NIVEA made the commitment of "zero waste to landfill", none of their established production centres have sent waste to landfills.
In November 2019 Nivea announced that they have re-designed their Naturally Good Body Lotion bottles to use 50% less plastic.
They strive to use ingredients from natural sources that can grow back or are otherwise self-regenerating and aimed to source 100% of their global paper and carboard materials sustainably by the end of 2020.
H&M is the world's second-largest clothing retailer (based on sales), whose brands include Cos and & Other Stories. This brand has, for seven years in a row, been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index - qualifying in the top 10% of the world's most sustainable companies.
H&M sources around 35% of its materials from recycled and sustainably sourced materials. It aims to use only recycled or other sustainability sourced materials by 2030 and by 2040, it wants to be 100% climate positive.
4. Pip & Nut
Pip & Nut is a fast-growing peanut butter brand which can be found in most large supermarkets.
Pip & Nut became a certified B-Corp in 2019. This is a verified certification for companies using business as a force for good across the board: from how they treat their workers, to their environmental footprint.
Pip & Nut containers are recyclable and BPA free. They are clear that they never have, and never will, use palm oil in their products and they source their chocolate from a family-owned business in Colombia that invests in local communities.
Mars own a variety of brands, such as Wrigley's, M&M's, Galaxy, Twix, Dolmio, Ben's Original, Whiskas. Mars has a wide-ranging 'Sustainable in a Generation Plan', which has been in place since 2017 and was launched with a $1bn investment.
Mars' focus is on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, eliminating unsustainable water use, keeping land use stable and developing products which are reusable, recyclable, or compostable. The company has committed to deforestation-free soy, beef and cocoa supply chains by 2025 and aimed to deliver deforestation-free palm oil by the end of 2020. Mars also has ambitions to use 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.
So what can we do?
The challenges can seem overwhelming, but with each of us making even small changes and considering what we buy and who we buy it from, collectively we can make a difference.
Paraphrasing a quote by Edward Everett Hale,
"We cannot do everything, but still we can do something."
M&S, Beiersdorf, H&M, Pip & Nut and Mars Wrigley/Mars Petcare are all clients of Stobbs.
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