Our ‘Igniting a Green Revolution’ event explored the opportunity technology poses in enabling brands and retailers to promote waste reduction, reuse, return and recycling.
We are delighted to report that our ‘Igniting a Green Revolution’ event was a roaring success yesterday! The expert panel was on fine form, delivering insights that delved into the key reasons why recycling and waste management in the UK and around the world isn’t where it needs to be, how technology can be utilised to improve this, and how we can build a circular economy.
It was above and beyond amazing to have guest speakers from the WWF, Innocent, Beauty Kitchen and Topolytics. Other brands participating included Ocado, KP Snacks, and Costa Coffee.
We donated 100% of the proceeds from the ticket sales to a great cause, and that is the WWF – World Wide Fund for Nature charity. It’s not too late to donate though! You can make a contribution anytime, Here. And because we love any excuse to make the world a better place, we donated 500 trees to One Tree Planted as a thank you to our superstar panellists and attendees!
As expected, the event itself was enthralling, emotive and entertaining throughout. Sustainability isn’t just an interest for us and our partners, it’s a passion, and we treat it accordingly when searching for and debating new solutions. But if you didn’t get a chance to catch this yesterday, that’s ok! We have captured some of the highlights and quotes from our brilliant panel of industry experts!
Paula Chin from the WWF kicked things off with an excellent presentation covering the main causes of the climate and nature emergency. Many key areas and global problems were highlighted – to see the full presentation from Paula, make sure you view the video recording at the bottom of this page. But one key takeaway that really caught our eye was Paula’s focus on the cruciality of collaboration of government, businesses and consumers to fix this problem. It really is a three-way street, especially if you want the development and adoption of new technology solutions.
Beauty Kitchen co-founder Jo-Anne Chidley hit the nail on the head when she explained how brands must collaborate to build a circular economy. Squeezing out the competition or lauding new types of packaging over other brands will not bring us any closer to the circular economy the world desperately needs. Instead, we must work together as brands, share best practice (including new technology), and set positive, inspiring examples. Then, and only then, will we be able to complete a puzzle that is impossible to achieve on your own. A good example of this can be seen through the ‘Cradle To Cradle’ certification that Jo recommends. Details here.
Michael Groves, Founder and CEO of Topolytics, made an incredibly important point. He explained how you can’t build rational and green business models if you don’t understand the scale or complexity of the problems we’re up against.
This is especially important for approaches towards net zero and the circular economy. Using data aggregation and analytics (Topolytics’ speciality) we can build a clear picture of the world’s waste (as well as many other things such as energy usage). We can then make sure it’s verified, valued and visible. In turn, we can then track, plan, reduce and mitigate accordingly. The tech involved ranges from satellites to spreadsheets, to water sensors, and it’s all essential if we are to build a clear picture of what’s going on. The clearer the picture, the better chance we have at understanding how to fix the problem.
Louise Stevens, former Head of Circular Economy at Innocent drinks also delivered some useful insights. Firstly, highlighting the importance of the consumer journey and how purchasing decisions can be influenced not only by new technology solutions but also through certification.
Trust is essential, and as the Igniting a Green Revolution report revealed, consumers want to be more responsible and sustainable but need to trust what they’re buying. Part of the way we can do this is through initiatives such as B Corp. Louise described how “we’re now seeing B Corp brand pages on mainstream shopping sites such as Waitrose and Ocado. Consumers can go on there and see that everything they buy from that page is from a purpose-led business.” Of course, this is just one example and needs to be taken to a far greater degree. Ideally, we’ll need a system that takes all sustainability questions into account for every product (e.g. land use, carbon emissions, water use, travel miles etc.), but this is certainly a step in the right direction.
Our MD, Rich Strachan, concluded with a positive note explaining how a lot of the technology we need to combat the climate, waste and natural crises already exists. We are in a golden age of tech innovation right now, particularly when you look at the use of data, AI, the IoT, wearable tech, app tech, and behavioural change technology. In addition to innovation, we must also make sure the appropriate regulation steps up to the plate. Brands will need to help drive this forward – governments won’t bring in the regulation needed unless the right innovations are developed and applied in the way we need.
Collaboration will be key to bringing these solutions into action; together, we can solve these problems.
So there you have it! Some real gems there and plenty of food for thought, but we’ve barely scratched the surface – there is so much more to go through, so make sure you join us for the next one! And if you’re particularly keen to learn more and get involved, we recommend reading our ‘Igniting a Green Revolution’ report. It’s available here:
The report from our behaviour change specialists explores and reveals the keys to boosting sustainable brand and consumer behaviour and provides new insights that we can all learn from and apply to a continued push towards a circular and greener economy.
This new push for insights and behavioural analysis is just the beginning of the Ignite program, so keep your eyes peeled for more events, research and reports from our team. Throughout 2021 and beyond, we will be launching many more initiatives and research findings, so make sure you follow and keep in check with our journey. If your company, NGO, or if you personally would like to get involved and collaborate with us, make sure you holla!
To stay up to date with all new announcements, new green-focused events, research findings, blog posts, future partnerships, and new services, make sure you’re following our social media channels!
And to view a recording of the event, see below!
Published on March 26, 2021, last updated on March 31, 2021