Cocoa-based packaging for chocolate bars?

UK-based paper manufacturer, James Cropper – supplier of food grade packaging materials to many of Britain’s biggest brands and retailers – has developed a new recycling process using waste from chocolate manufacture to produce a food-grade paper that could in turn be used to wrap chocolate bars.  The innovative new process results in a ‘cocoa-coloured’ paper which requires no artificial dyes.  It makes good use of an otherwise wasted by-product – 10 metric tons of cocoa husk waste is created for every single metric ton of dry cocoa bean produced.

The innovative new paper came about after the world’s largest cocoa and chocolate manufacturer, Barry Callebaut, asked James Cropper to review its packaging in an effort to reduce its waste and overall environmental footprint.

This latest innovation comes hot on the heels of another major world-first packaging breakthrough, when James Cropper launched new technology to facilitate the recycling of some of the 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups thrown away in Britain every year.  Its new disposable cup recycling plant in Kendal in the Lake District was opened by The Queen in July.


Gillette takes grocery marketing award for Movember campaign

As Movember gears up again this year, men’s shaving brand Gillette has taken the ‘Brand Experience of the Year’ award in The Grocer’s prestigious Marketing, Advertising and PR awards – for its last Movember campaign, ‘The Best a Mo Can Get’.

The campaign was built around the idea that Gillette’s ProGlide Styler could ‘turn any man into a gentleman.’  During Movember 2012, Gillette brought it to life through social media, with barbers touring the country and the transformation of shop in London into a traditional barber and men’s club. ‘Simple, brilliant and memorable’ said the award judges.

This year, Gillette’s Movember campaign includes a donation of 25p to Movember’s health partners (Prostate Cancer UK and The Institute of Cancer Research) for every product sold with a Movember stamp.  Plus, this year the brand has made a new promise – to pay the Movember charity coffers £100 for every goal scored by any league footballer during the month – providing of course they are sporting a Movember moustache!

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Ethical Entrepreneurship at Ella’s Kitchen’s

Since its foundation in 2006, baby-food brand, Ella’s Kitchen has been a singular success story, growing from a one-man band to a business that now commands an 18% share of the UK’s £250M babyfood industry.  Founder and award-winning entrepreneur, Paul Lindley, has built the company on a strong ethical and nutritional approach.  With the creation of the Ella’s Kitchen Foundation, the business will now direct a proportion of its profits directly into children’s charitable projects across the world.

The Foundation has already funded the building of a pre-school at an orphanage in Zambia.  Closer to home, ‘Ella’s Explorers’ is an initiative which takes underprivileged children out of school on farm visits, helping them better understand where their food comes from.  Paul Lindley is convinced of the value of his approach, saying recently, “The brands that will win in the future will have a purpose, not just a profit.”

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H&M polls customers to identify ‘issues of most concern’

Europe’s second biggest clothing retailer, Hennes & Mauritz (aka H&M) recently invited customers and staff to nominate the issues which they felt deserved the most charitable support going forward.  After more than 100,000 votes were cast, clean water came in first with 40,000 votes, compared to ‘empowering women’ second and educational rights third. 

H&M’s  ‘Conscious Foundation’ – set up in 2007 when the Swedish fashion retailer turned 60 – will now pick three international organizations to work with to address the winning issues.  Last year, the Foundation received 500 million kronor (£48 million) from H&M’s founding family.  In its previous projects, it has collaborated with organisations such as WaterAid and Indian self-help charity, Hand in Hand.

Voters were asked to pick which of five issues the Conscious Foundation should address in coming years.  A dedicated website ran the poll in 18 languages during October, attracting votes from around the world.   The Foundation says it will address its support for all three winning causes equally over the coming year.

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Save water, save cost says Sainsbury’s

With water price hikes in the headlines this month, Sainsbury’s has gone some way to demonstrate what can be achieved in terms of water (and cost) saving by launching two ‘water neutral’ stores.  At its flagship ‘eco’ store at Weymouth and a new supermarket in Leicester, 70% of water use will be met through rainwater harvesting and water-efficiency measures.

The other 30% – where drinking water quality is required – is being ‘offset’ by Sainsbury’s support for water saving initiatives in the local community.  For example, the Weymouth store will ‘offset’ 4.5 m3 of mains water each day through water-saving collaborations with Weymouth College and Wey Valley School, where these measures will of course also help to reduce the educational institutes’ own water bills.

The water saving initiatives are all part of a challenging raft of environmental targets set by the supermarket chain as part of its ‘20×20’ ‘Respect for our environment’ commitments.  In March, Sainsbury’s achieved its first water target – a 50% relative reduction in water use across its estate, despite growing its floor space by nearly 40% since 2005/06.

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Christmas is a coming…

With Christmas rushing headlong towards us, you might want to think about giving your office party a conscience this year.  Homelessness charity, Crisis, has launched its annual Christmas appeal by asking people to dedicate their seasonal parties to the charity and fundraise at the same time.  The Crisis Christmas Partylaunched last month with the help of Jo Brand.

Read more here or download the Crisis Christmas Party Pack at the website: