GREEN SHOOTS UPDATE – JULY 2014

Sainsbury’s partners with Google on Food Rescue

Sainsburys

Last month, Sainsbury’s launched a new campaign called Food Rescue, with a mobile and online interactive tool to give consumers practical help and inspiration to reduce food waste. The aim is to help “…busy, cash-conscious families to rediscover habits such as meal planning and using leftovers to make their hard-earned money go further.”

Developed in partnership with Google, Food Rescue is an online resource and mobile app which provides recipe suggestions for using up ingredients. Data from Google suggests that searches for recipes using leftovers have risen by a third over the last year. Sainsbury’s Food Rescue fuses the latest mobile voice recognition technology, so that users can input up to nine ingredients to be presented with inspiration from a database of more than 1,200 recipes. The technology also records the weight of food rescued and the money saved, feeding the data into a fun ‘leader board’ showing which regions of the country are saving the most and the ‘most rescued’ food ingredients.

WRAP estimates that 4.2 million tonnes of avoidable food and drink waste is created in the UK each year, representing an average cost of £60 per month for the average family.

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CH&Co becomes first British catering group to receive full Marine Stewardship Council certification

Marine Stewardship Council certification

CH&Co has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as the first nationwide catering business in the UK to source fish and seafood sustainably, as measured against the MSC’s criteria for the sustainable sourcing of each individual fish species. MSC certification involves a rigorous independent chain of custody audit to demonstrate that MSC-certified fish is sourced through a defined and entirely separate supply chain that means it cannot be mixed up with any non-certified products.

In a separate initiative to promote under-utilised species of fish, CH&Co’s niche city and fine dining business – Lusso – also championed ‘Ugly Fish Friday’ when Lusso chefs positively promote under-used and often discarded wild species of fish such as gurnard, dab and whiting on selected Fridays.

Over the next three years, MSC auditors will conduct annual audits of CH&Co to ensure continued compliance to the MSC standard.

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Cheese maker Wyke Farms boosts sustainability credentials

Wyke Farm

Somerset-based Wyke Farms says it is ‘on a mission’ to operate its business with the absolute minimum of impact on the environment. It has just opened a new £1.3M water recovery plant and is well on the way to completing the second phase of an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant to supply its business with green energy.

Wyke Farms’ existing anaerobic digester plant converts biodegradable farm waste materials (such as pig and cow manure) into biogas energy. When the second phase of the AD system is complete, it should supply £2M of upgraded biogas annually, ensuring that the firm buys no gas from the grid.

The water recovery plant enables Wyke Farms to recover up to 95% of its factory waste water and has already reduced water consumption by 70%. This and the AD project are complemented by a number of other initiatives including solar energy and the use of electric vehicles – all part of a £10M long-term commitment by the brand to be ‘100% Green.’

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A decade on – Philips reports on the success of its EcoDesign philosophy

Philips

In 2004, Philips embraced a new product development philosophy called ‘EcoDesign’ – intended to drive the long term sustainability of its product range through the design process. The aim is to create products which reduce costs, energy consumption and greenhouse emissions, focusing on six key areas of energy efficiency, packaging, substances, weight, recycling/disposal and lifetime product reliability. Last year, sales of Philips’ green products passed 50% of its total sales for the first time – two years ahead of plan.

Although Philips’ approach is not unique, it has a long history. The company first started to drive toxic chemicals out of its production process and look at minimising environmental impact as far back as the 1970s. It’s first ‘EcoVision’ goals were launched in 1998 and its first ‘producer collection’ programmes (to recover and recycle used products) started in the 1990s.

This philosophy continues to drive exciting innovation in all areas of Philips’ product portfolio, from medical equipment in its healthcare portfolio through to lighting. As well as positively impacting on Philips’ sales, it is also reaping dividends in terms of public image: last month the company was named as the fastest-rising technology brand in Interbrand’s annual ranking of the top 50 Best Global Green Brands. Moving up nine places, Philips witnessed the second largest ranking increase of any brand and is now ranked 14, up from 23rd place in 2013.

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Gearing up for Prudential Ride London

Prudential

Next month (August 9-10) is the third annual Prudential RideLondon – London’s multi-award winning two-day festival of cycling. It comprises four major events: an eight mile traffic-free ride for families through central London; a ‘Grand Prix’ to showcase Olympic cyclists of the future; a sportive race in Surrey for 24,000 amateur cyclists and finally a race for 150 professional cyclists to international standards.

Riders will be raising money for a host of different charities, but this year RideLondon has announced its first Charity of the Year, Bliss – the special baby care charity.

Bliss fundraising is being supported by its ambassador, double Olympic Gold medal-winner, Laura Trott, who was herself a premature baby. Last month riders who have dedicated their places in the Surrey 100 event to Bliss were offered the unique chance to attend a cycling masterclass with Laura as part of their preparations.

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And finally…

Monty Python

The Evening Standard is running a unique competition which offers one lucky Monty Python fan the chance to appear in a sketch during one of the group’s last ever live shows. The five surviving Pythons – John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Michael Palin — will reunite for the last time for ten performances at The O2 in London this month.

The competition can be entered by answering a simple question and texting a payment of at least £5 to the Dispossessed Fund. The winner will receive two show tickets and also make a guest appearance in the famous ‘Bruces’ sketch, whereby the Pythons all play characters named Bruce in the fictional Australian University of Woolloomooloo. The Pythons told the Evening Standard: “the winner must be prepared to be very silly for a very serious cause.”

The Dispossessed Fund was launched by the Evening Standard in 2010, to address ‘a shameful tale of two cities.’ London is the richest capital in Europe but almost half the city’s children live below the poverty line. The fund aims to fight the causes behind the poverty, inequality and exclusion experienced by these ‘dispossessed’ Londoners. So far it has raised more than £12.2 million.

If you’d like to enter the competition, click here – but hurry, the closing date is midnight on July 14th!

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