GREEN SHOOTS UPDATE – APRIL 2014

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) in business continues to be increasingly important. By appealing to consumers’ consciences and desires CSR helps companies to build brand loyalty and develop a personal connection with their customers.

In this month’s Green Shoots we bring you the latest news and information on the innovative ways companies communicate their messages to consumers through CSR initiatives.

At Wild Card we keep our finger on the pulse of environmental and CSR communication opportunities so get in touch if you would like to discuss what we can do for your brand.

House of Lords urges supermarkets to ditch BOGOFs

A new report from the House of Lords has urged supermarkets to move away from deals on food such as BOGOFs (‘buy one get one free’) because of their potential to exacerbate food waste. The Lords EU Committee also said that big retailers should stop cancelling orders of food from farmers after the produce has been grown, a practice which leads to edible food being ploughed back into the fields. And they said that more unused food should be donated to food banks, rather than sent for composting or landfill.

Food waste in Britain results in 15 million tonnes of food being dumped each year. Chairwoman of the Lords EU Committee, Baroness Scott, said that peers were ‘shocked’ at the extent of the problem, commenting, “There is also much that can be done domestically, and in particular by the big retailers, to reduce food waste. We are urging the supermarkets to look again at offers such as ‘buy one get one free’, which can encourage excess consumption which leads to food waste. We also think supermarkets must work much more closely with their suppliers so as not to cancel pre-ordered food which has been grown, is perfectly edible and is then ploughed straight back into the field.”

The Committee went on to urge the UK Government to encourage co-operation to beat waste throughout the food supply chain, such as considering tax incentives to ensure that unsold food that is still fit for human consumption is actually eaten by people and retailers working with food banks rather than composting for energy recovery or sending to landfill.

Globally, consumers in industrialised nations waste up to 222 million tonnes of food a year, which is equivalent to nearly the entire level of net food production of Sub-Saharan Africa. The report also noted that the carbon footprint of worldwide food waste is equivalent to twice the global greenhouse gas emissions of all road transportation in the US.

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Poundland raises a million for Macmillan

Value retailer, Poundland, last month said its employees and customers had raised £1,035,000 for the Macmillan Cancer Support since Poundland nominated it as its charity partner in 2009. The company flagged its achievement with a roadshow which visited all the most successful fundraising stores around the country. It used a giant Macmillan collecting tin and oversized £1 coins to illustrate the size of the fundraising total and generate local publicity.

Fundraising activities by Poundland staff have encompassed a range of physical challenges, including undertaking the 24 hour Three Peaks Challenge, cycling from London to Paris and doing the London Marathon. Poundland’s contribution is helping to fund the practical, emotional, medical and financial support provided by Macmillan Cancer Support to people affected by cancer.

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Make Holidays Greener Month

The travel industry is being encouraged to get busy during July this year for ‘Make Holidays Greener’ month, run by the Travel Foundation and supported by industry magazine, TTG. The theme for this year is ‘clean beaches’ with members of the travel industry encouraged to get involved in the cleanup and highlight the travel industry’s green credentials whilst benefitting tourism and supporting local communities and wildlife at the same time.

‘Make Holidays Greener Month’ is an initiative by the Travel Foundation, which this year is working in partnership with the Marine Conservation Society on ‘The Big Holiday Beach Cleanup!’

Founded in 2003, the Travel Foundation is an independent charity working with the global travel industry towards a sustainable future. It aims to help travel companies to integrate sustainable tourism into their businesses, protecting the environment and creating opportunities for local people in tourism destinations.

For ‘The Big Holiday Beach Cleanup’, the Travel Foundation is offering a range of resources to help organisations set up their own beach cleanup activities around the UK and across the globe, including toolkits and top tips for customer and children’s activities. The aim is to clean up tonnes of rubbish from the environment that can be harmful to wildlife, as well as using tourism’s considerable influence to help stop further littering.

Big Beach Cleanups are already planned in Cyprus, Hurghada in Egypt and the Cape Verde islands.

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Lloyds Bank opens Community Fund to public nominations

Lloyds Bank has extended the reach of its Community Fund by inviting the public to nominate their favourite local group and charity for a Lloyds Bank Community Fund 2014 award. Previously, only Lloyds Bank staff were able to put forward nominations for groups to receive an award. The Fund offers grants to good causes around the UK.

The Community Fund helps local people across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to have a positive impact at the hearts of their communities by giving grants to local good causes. Around 1,400 community groups in around 350 communities will be shortlisted for the public vote due to take place later this year, when they will have the chance to receive awards of between £500 and £3,000.

Community groups nominated for an award are invited to accept their nomination and apply online to the Community Fund. Applications will remain open until 9 May 2014. Lloyds Bank staff then assess and shortlist confirmed applications into four groups per community. These shortlisted groups will then be made available for the public vote in September 2014.

The Community Fund runs along other Lloyds CSR initiatives in the community including its Local Heroes programme to support young athletes.

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Jaguar Land Rover flicks switch on solar

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has installed the UK’s largest rooftop solar panel array at its new state-of-the art Engine Manufacturing Centre in Staffordshire.

JLR’s new Engine Manufacturing Centre has been designed with sustainability in mind and showcases many of the latest sustainable technologies and innovations. The 21,000 photovoltaic panels that make up the solar array on the roof will generate more than 30% of the Engine Manufacturing Centre’s energy requirements – the equivalent to the energy needed to power more than 1,600 homes. The photovoltaic panels will reduce the plant’s CO2 footprint by over 2,400 tonnes per year.

The Engine Manufacturing Centre is the first new plant that Jaguar Land Rover has built from the ground up. The site represents an investment of more than £500 million and will create almost 1400 new jobs by the time the plant reaches full capacity. It will manufacture advanced 4-cylinder engines ‘Ingenium’ designed and built in-house by Jaguar Land Rover for use in the company’s future vehicles including the new Jaguar XE, to be launched in 2015.

Last year, Jaguar Land Rover was the first manufacturer to win Business in the Community’s coveted ‘Responsible Business of the Year’ prize. Over the past five years the company has reduced fleet CO2 emissions by 23% and operating CO2 emissions by 21%, whilst waste to landfill has fallen by 75% and water consumption by 17%.

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