Top companies are also looking at innovative methods of integrating green practices in their business functions
Working towards a greener climate is no longer a fringe activity for top brands. Customers are becoming increasingly interested in buying products that are sustainably manufactured with minimum impact on the environment. Hence, top companies are also looking at innovative methods of integrating green practices into their business functions.
What makes a brand sustainable?
Sustainability must be at the core of any business while sourcing, manufacturing and distributing products. Sustainable companies position their impact more on the community and environment than on their bottom line and profit. For a company to become sustainable, it needs to adopt measures like transparency and ethical sourcing of materials, environmentally conscious manufacturing processes, waste-conscious packaging, and shipping products while negating the carbon footprint and diverting landfill waste at their product's end-of-life.
Sustainable sourcing and manufacturing: A number of multinational corporations in recent years have pledged to work only with those suppliers who follow social and environmental standards. In India, 16 clothing brands, including Future Group, Shopper’s Stop, Westside, Max, Raymond, Lifestyle, Aditya Birla Retail, House of Anita Dongre, W, Arvind Brands, Biba, 109F, Spykar, Levi’s, Bestsellers and Trends, pledged to create sustainable fashion under the Project SU.RE, or Sustainable Resolution, launched by the government in 2019. As part of the project, these brands will ensure they make conscious decisions about how, where, and what they are sourcing across the value chain and select sustainable and renewable materials and processes.
Waste-conscious packaging: The growing concern around single-use packaging waste is driving major changes in the consumer packaging industry. Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies and retailers are making commitments to improve packaging systems. In the past few decades, the global packaging industry has enjoyed strong growth on the back of market expansion.
However, this has also burdened the environment with the use of single-use packaging containers. One of the biggest challenges for the industry is recycling.
PVH, the apparel company that owns brands like Calvin Klein, has pledged to adopt packaging methods that are 100 percent sustainable and done with ethically sourced materials by 2025. At present, 74 percent of the brand’s packaging is recyclable.
Coca-Cola has adopted approaches to design, manage and finance waste and recycling programs. According to 2019’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment report, Coca-Cola produces 3 million metric tonnes of plastic packaging per year. The beverage giant pledged to have 50 percent recycled material in all its packaging by 2030. With this aim, the company launched new bottles in the US last year made out of 100 percent recycled materials.
Zero-carbon shipping: Last year, nine big companies, including Ikea, Amazon and Unilever, pledged to move cargo only on ships using zero-carbon fuel by 2040. With the agreement, the big brands hope to push the heavily-polluting shipping industry to decarbonise at a faster pace. According to a BBC report, cargo shipping is responsible for producing one billion tonnes of climate pollution each year, which is as much that of a country like Germany.
Carbon neutralisation: Online travel company MakeMyTrip has partnered with climate tech startup Climes to introduce carbon neutralisation options when booking a flight through its platform. Flyers will now be able to neutralize the carbon footprint of their air travel - entirely or partially.
Commitments made by MakeMyTrip users will be distributed by Climes to carbon removal projects that focus on increasing biodiversity through agroforestry and restoring degraded agricultural lands, across the country. Flyers will additionally have the option of choosing the project they wish to support.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)