Going #netzero: How COP26 is Reshaping CPGs’ and Retailers’ Green Corporate Image

Perihan El Etreby
Copywriter at - M.A. in Creative Writing from Bath University
December 15, 2021
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"Nature isn't just something that is beautiful to see and hear — it is essential in the fight to slow climate change, to our very survival. The science on this is clear: if we don't invest in stopping the destruction of nature, we will fail to avert climate catastrophe — even if we get everything else right," Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International, said.

"We are working across the global south – and now, here at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow — to drive investments to nature for the benefit of people and the climate."

Signatories to the new COP26 agreement must achieve netzero emissions by 2050, and either reduce their emissions to halve by 2030, or adopt science-based targets by the end of 2023.

The charter includes a new requirement that some businesses, including retailers, must engage with their suppliers to make the changes. For example, coal must be phased out of tier one and two suppliers by 2030, with no new coal power being used beyond that date. By the end of 2025, suppliers will need to set science-based aims to fulfill broader climate goals.

Blueprint for retail and beyond

According to this COP26 article, the UK can show global leadership and assist to drive change in decreasing the food sector's climate emissions and environmental footprint using many effective ways.

The Co-op, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's, Tesco, and Waitrose have signed a commitment to lessen the environmental impact of weekly shopping by 50% by 2030, which will assist millions of UK households make their weekly purchases greener while also protecting critical landscapes and species around the world. This has to also be in line with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise to less than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Sainsbury’s has declared that it will install 100% LED lighting across its stores and will be using 100% renewable electricity by the end of the year, in order to meet its shortened target deadline.

Sustainability Commitments for CPGs

According to a survey done by Boston Consulting Group, 87% of consumers mentioned that businesses should integrate environmental concerns in their products, services and operations to a greater extent than in the past. 

Many of the leading CPG firms have already demonstrated their commitment to sustainability by making their packaging more recyclable and/or reducing packaging size and/or waste. They are transforming their company models through innovative techniques and aggressive aims. Procter & Gamble is one of these environmental pioneers, having lowered water usage in some items like laundry soap and reduced product packaging over the past few years. McCormick stands out as well, with targets including sourcing 100% of ingredients responsibly for its leading products by 2025 and increasing the use of renewable energy across the company.

Reduce wastage

There's an unspoken rule in retail: any stock that becomes stale is sold at a steep discount. Some brands, however, are hesitant to do so, fearing dilution. Instead, they dump or even burn this stock in landfills. There is only one long-term answer to this issue. You need to improve how you manage your inventory.

You should never have more or less than you require. Fortunately, today's inventory management systems make this very doable. And with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and other advanced tools, this problem could be easily eliminated.


Digitalization in terms of green supply chain 

Digitalization is determining the future of green supply chains, as it aids in the development of a stable and environmentally friendly transportation system and supply of goods. As a result, logistics firms have started to use smart and connected technologies such as cloud, mobile, sensors, blockchain, BDA (big data analytics), ML (machine learning), and IoT.

With the digital revolution, there are limitless prospects to promote the expansion of GSCM (green supply chain management) by reducing logistics-related emissions by 10% to 12% by 2025, ultimately decarbonizing the global economy.


Greener Marketing

Businesses need to decrease their traditional advertising (aka print). The world is moving towards digital signages. How can this help?

Digital signages do not only reduce deforestation but also help to conserve water. 10,000 sheets of paper require 50,000 liters (13208.603 gallons) of water

Paper, for starters, needs trees, and a great number of them are felled each year for this purpose. The printing of content and physically carrying it to its destination takes place next. And of course, pollution occurs at every stage of this process, from the moment the tree falls until the moment it is turned into an advertisement and eventually discarded when it's no longer needed. In the end, sustainable digital signage offers a greener, cleaner, and less expensive alternative to printed ads. 

Decrease power usage and CO2 emissions

Remember how TV displays went from being bulky, energy-consuming boxes to sleek, energy-saving models? The emergence of new flat screens has cut TV electricity consumption by 60%! Instead of static paper advertising, businesses started to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions by using LED and LCD screens. And today, many of them have started to use digital signage to overcome other business challenges and make the best out of their advertising campaigns as well. 

The chemicals, inks, solvents, and adhesives, are all remnants of the printing process and cause significant harm

Greenhouse gas emissions are increasing, and methane gas is released from landfill decomposition throughout the paper signage cycle. With consistently visible content situated in the right location, sustainable digital signage can capture your target audience and increase conversion rates while reducing CO2 emissions.

As a result of companies' movement for a greener environment, some of the largest names in the digital advertising industry are backing COP26 and striving to plan for long-term sustainability measures. Whether you’re a brand or a retailer, products can help you achieve COP26 objectives and optimize your own business goals as well. How? 

• By eliminating printing and deploying digital signages in stores that would display the right ad, to the right customer, at the right time.

• By acquiring valuable and accurate data that would make you understand your customers and the market better, and utilize your resources accordingly.

• By quickly changing and adjusting your content depending on the customer's different needs and changing demands without the need to go through all the printing process and unneeded costs.

Do you want to increase your business’ sustainability while still increasing your sales numbers? Get Intouch and start your first steps towards contributing to having a greener environment, a more dynamic and creative workspace, and more effective campaigns.

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