Discover more from Following the Footprints
🌱 COP27 Key Takeaways, and inside The Uncommon's partnership with Kent Wildlife Trust.
Featuring Sapling Spirits, Lixir Drinks, Belu, Wilk and more...
This week we cover:
Quick Take: Let’s Debrief: Our COP27 Key Takeaways
Brand Spotlight: Bringing back the bison: Inside Kent-based wine brand The Uncommon’s partnership with the Kent Wildlife Trust.
In case you missed it: 📣 You're Invited: Our First Festive Drinks! We're partnering with Raye the Store, City Harvest London, Sapling Spirits and Lixir Drinks! Free on Thursday 1st December? See you there!
📣 Sapling Spirits and Lixir Drinks are joining us for our Festive Drinks! 4 days to go, grab your ticket now.
Interested in the intersection of consumer goods and sustainability? Join us this Thursday at 7pm for our first festive drinks. Everyone is welcome!
👉 Low impact drinks provided by Sapling Spirits and Lixir Drinks.
👉 70+ food, drink and wellness brands to browse at Raye the Store.
👉 100% of ticket sales (which you choose the price of) donated to City Harvest London.
Read a full breakdown of what to expect here.
> Good News Last Week
🎯 Belu partnered with Provenance to add verified sustainability claims to products on their website. With “accessible, accurate information about a brand’s origin, journey and impact, shoppers are empowered to drive progress and support businesses they know they can trust through their purchasing power.”
🎯 Vestaire Collective banned fast fashion from being bought, sold or listed on their online marketplace platform for pre-loved fashion. Reinforcing their founding mission to driving change within the fashion industry and fight the fashion industry’s biggest challenge of clothing waste.
🎯 Israeli food tech company Wilk developed the world’s first yoghurt with cultured milk fat and validated by external laboratories. Demonstrating that this technology can create products that match the nutritional and functional profile of traditionally produced dairy.
⭐️ Filippo Berio launched a new collection of extra virgin olive oils made from responsibly harvested olives. Using ingredients sourced form sustainable nurtured groves in a traceable and certified process, QR codes are used to show the origins and map the flavour.
⚡️ Ocado in partnership with Polytag launched the ‘world first’ on-pack technology for product packaging. The trial of a digital deposit return scheme (DRS) in the UK will see QR codes added to milk bottles made form 30% recycled plastic during the next 12-weeks. Consumers can scan their discarded packaging before recycling it to redeem their deposit through an app.
⚡️ John Lewis, in partnership with Hubbub, announced the four winning projects of the Circular Future Fund: the Million Pound Challenge, with the most “innovative, impactful and interesting approaches to boosting the circular economy.” Winners include Dame’s sustainable period products, Pip and Henry for redesigning shoes to make them last longer, the Scottish Library and Information Council’s ‘Lend & Mend’ club and The University of Leeds for innovating technology to for circular polyester.
⚡️ The Glow 2022 UK Brand Sustainability Benchmark Report for the Food 7 grocery Industry found that 87% of adults surveyed believe that it is important for businesses to act responsibly when it comes to society and the environment. Showing that consumer behaviour and expectations are changing and that ESG topics need to be addressed to maximise brand performance and consumer perception.
⚡️ Research company HowGood launched a new measurement platform for food companies to track their scope 3 emissions. According to HowGood, nearly 87% of food companies’ emissions are classified as scope 3. The tool evaluates the amount of carbon foods produce in their supply chain.
> Click on each link to read more.
> Quick Take
Let’s Debrief: Our COP27 Key Takeaways
COP27 set out to be the climate conference where all the words and promises of previous years came together, where over 190 countries delivered, and where action was made. Yet... this wasn’t exactly the case. Deemed as “chaotic” and “overrun by fossil fuel lobbyists” the general consensus was that COP27 in Sharm el-Sheik fell short of what we, the world, needed.
So what happened between November 6th and 18th? Is all hope lost? Here are three of our honest takeaways from COP27 and what we, as both businesses and individuals, do now.
The Paris Agreement and keeping 1.5 alive
The main theme of the previous COP26, the Glasgow Climate Pact, looked to pave the way for keeping the 1.5C goal temperature limit alive. Science has repeatedly told us the devastating impacts of letting temperatures rise beyond this, and one of the goals of COP27 (“Mitigation”) was for all countries to make real change to keep this possible. But, within a sea of fossil fuel companies, lobbyists and energy states, this goal drowned.
Despite the efforts of many other countries, the final decision text failed to mention phasing out fossil fuels. In fact, on the final day of the conference a Saudi Arabian delegate stated “We should not target sources of energy; we should focus on emissions. We should not mention fossil fuels”. And with COP28 set to be hosted in the United Arab Emirates, it is hard to see how a crackdown on fossil fuels will happen there either.
Loss & Damage
The biggest success of COP27 was the much anticipated step forward for economically developing countries, and those most directly affected by climate change, through the Loss & Damage fund. The exact details of the funds are yet to be confirmed, but what we do know is that this is the start of bridging the gap between the developed and developing states. However, there remains a grey area around the funding for high-income, high-emitting “developing” countries - Israel, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Qatar & China - ironically those linked with the blocking of the 1.5C targets.
A First for Food Systems, Oceans & Nature
Another big positive from COP27 was the inclusion of food systems, ocean ecosystems and natural habitats in the final decision text - a first for the COP conferences (which is surprising in itself). The exact detail and commitment related to each can be found in the closing text, but in short summary, nature is no longer being ignored, and we are beginning to see real progress in protection.
For example, Indonesia’s deforestation rate dropped by 25% last year, the Food and Agriculture for Sustainable Transformation Initiative launched a multi stakeholder partnership to accelerate access to finance, build capacity and encourage policy development to ensure food security in countries most vulnerable to climate change. Additionally, The Mangrove Breakthrough was launched to protect 15 million hectares of mangrove globally by 2030.
What does this all mean for your business?
Unfortunately, the chaotic energy at the conference has resonated through to its closing statements, and it’ll take a little bit longer to understand exactly what the outcomes mean for the FMCG sector. What we do know is that keeping 1.5C alive and low carbon activism will need to be lobbied harder, louder and change driven from all industries, not just political powers.
We also know that requirements for businesses to align to 1.5C, Net Zero and transparency will ramp up, and fast. The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) will be releasing new standards in 2023, the UK Transition Plan Taskforce will be setting Net Zero standards for listed companies and financial institutions by 2024, ISO have already released Net Zero guidance on the closing day of COP27, and certifications like B Corp are redeveloping standards to target this too.
Interested? Read on…
Check out the Final Text for COP27 here
UN Climate Press Release here.
10 Key takeaways (we couldn’t cover it all!) from the WEF here.
You can find a more detailed summary here.
> Brand Spotlight
Bringing back the bison: Inside Kent-based wine brand The Uncommon’s partnership with the Kent Wildlife Trust.
Canned wine - it’s having a moment. In a fast-growing industry predicted to reach sales of nearly £430 million in the next 5 years, The Uncommon is emerging as one to watch. Sold in supermarket big hitters like Waitrose, nabbing awards like ‘Best Wine of the Year by Packaging’ and achieving B-Corp certification, the Kentish brand is going from strength to strength. Yet, it’s more than the dapper Gerald, the giraffe personification (giraffication?) of their bubbly white, that’s caught our eye. It’s their commitment to locality and biodiversity.
The world is currently set to lose a shocking 1 million species in the next 20 years. There’s a huge amount that businesses can do to take action (check out our take here) and, with a pioneering investment scheme, The Uncommon are leading by example.
Return of the native: how bison boost biodiversity
The Uncommon have partnered with the Kent Wildlife Trust to support the revitalisation of nature in the countryside surrounding their vineyards. A particular focus was on the recent reintroduction of wild bison, not seen in the area for thousands of years. Acting as ‘ecosystem engineers’ through behaviours like dust-bathing and bark-scraping, bison are highly effective at facilitating local biodiversity (read more here).
The brand intends to achieve even more with a long-term commitment to the partnership, including:
Pledging 2% of their revenue to support Kent Wildlife Trust’s mission to wild 30% of the county by 2030.
Supporting the reintroduction of 2 missing species over the next 5 years.
How and why did they decide to invest?
It can be difficult for small businesses to make such a commitment. How do you decide where to invest, how to invest, how much to invest? We caught up with The Uncommon team to ask how they reached these crucial decisions:
“As a B Corp member, we commit 2% of our revenue each year to charitable causes. Earlier this year, we spent some time researching projects that align with our values. When we read about the pioneering conservation projects Kent Wildlife Trust were initiating in areas local to our vineyard, we knew it was something we wanted to get involved with.”
So, with a pre-identified budget to invest, the team identified a project they felt passionate about and worked with their new partners to assess how and where their money can help:
“We had a few meetings with their partnerships team and identified a rough estimate of what 2% of our revenue would represent… we then worked with their teams to see how our budget could be best placed to support that project and make meaningful change. They are experts and at the cutting edge of R&D and we wish to support them as best we can with awareness, funding and our time.”
This investment involves more than sponsorship - it’s about collaboration.
Backing biodiversity at every step
For The Uncommon, it’s about more than a singular monetary outlay. A further 2% of annual revenue is donated to The Bee Friendly Trust, and wildflowers are planted amongst the vineyards to attract pollinators. Additionally, their fully domestic supply chain means that they have total control over their operations - and total guardianship over their local flora and fauna. Now, with The Uncommon launching in New Zealand, we can’t wait to see their focus on local impact take shape on the other side of the world too.
Keen to follow in their footsteps? Learn more about nature-friendly partnerships via The Wildlife Trust.
Support The Uncommon via their shop:
> In case you missed it
📣 You're Invited: Our First Festive Drinks!
We're partnering with Raye the Store, City Harvest London, Sapling Spirits and Lixir Drinks! Free on Thursday 1st December? See you there!
> Follow up with…
Campaign: Carbon Removal for Black Friday 2022
Book: Mission Lit. Psst, 80% off the e-book with the code ‘FTF’!