OCTOBER GREEN SHOOTS: CSR ISSUES

Grocery goes pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a host of food and high street brands have introduced special editions, with pink a common theme.

Meanwhile in Asda, which has been a corporate partner of Breast Cancer Care and the Breast Cancer Campaign since 1996, a host of limited edition ‘Tickled Pink’ products have appeared in-store.  In the freezer there’s Tickled Pink Strawberry Vienetta and, in chilled, a special edition New Covent Garden Tomato & Mascarpone Soup.  You can also enjoy Tickled Pink gingerbread biscuits from ASDA’s in-store bakery, or try the special Lucozade Pink Lemonade sports drink.

Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign has grown every year since it was launched and runs across the year, involving Asda colleagues and partners in all sorts of fundraising events.  To date the campaign has raised around £30 million, which has helped fund research including in 2012 the launch of the UK’s first ever national Breast Cancer Tissue Bank.

Dell’Ugo has launched the UK’s first ‘pink pasta’ – a limited edition variety of Beetroot and Goats’ Cheese Fiorelli, presented in an eye-catching pink pack and listed nationally in Waitrose, with 10p from every pack sold going to Breast Cancer Care.

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John Lewis encourages greener purchases with labelling to illustrate life cycle energy costs

In collaboration with the Department of Energy and Climate Change, John Lewis has started to roll out new product labelling which for the first time will show the lifetime electricity running costs on a range of popular white goods. The scheme is intended to help consumers better understand how more energy-efficient goods can impact on household energy bills. For example, on top of the initial cost, the labelling might also illustrate how a standard washer dryer could cost £500 to run over 10 years, whereas an energy efficient model of the same type would only cost £350. A similar scheme has been successfully trialled in Norway and John Lewis will start to roll it out later this year, initially on washing machines and tumble dryers.

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Food industry execs put on their boots for Food for Good

A team of UK food industry leaders has completed a 145km trek across Tanzania, in the process raising £428,000 for Farm Africa’s’ Food for Good’ campaign.   They completed the trek – along a challenging route including scarp slopes and extinct volcanoes – in 6 days, averaging about 25km each day.

The team included senior execs from Aldi, Anglo Beef Processors, Barfoots, Booker, Moy Park, M&S, Typhoo, Waitrose and publisher of The Grocer, William Reed and were led by former director of the NFU and Farm Africa chairman, Richard Macdonald.

The trek is part of the Food for Good initiative which sees the UK food and hospitality industry coming together with Farm Africa to contribute to projects aimed at solving world hunger.  Farm Africa helps African farmers become self sufficient through a range of projects which support land management and sustainable agriculture.  In August a team of high profile chefs also completed a fundraising challenge to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.for the charity.

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McDonalds to promote green labelling for the first time in its US stores

Last month, McDonald’s started marketing sustainably labelled alternatives for the first time in its US stores, with Rainforest Alliance certified coffees and Marine Stewardship Council certified fish in its sandwiches. Now the retailer has accepted that by talking to its US consumers about its sustainability efforts it has an opportunity to build brand trust and loyalty.

Although McDonald’s has been developing its global environmental responsibility programme and sustainable supply chain for some time, until recently, US consumers would have had to search its websites for its position on such issues.

This is in sharp contrast with its European business, where consumer influence has already led the business to source 100% of its non-decaf coffee from Rainforest Alliance, UTZ or Fairtrade International certification.  In the US certification so far has extended only to espresso beans.  McDonald’s has also had sustainable fish in all its stores for nearly a decade but is only now starting to use this as a consumer message in the US.

An interesting story which underlines the higher perceived value of CSR in European markets over the US.

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IKEA aims to bring solar energy to the masses

The world’s biggest home furnishing store, IKEA, has teamed up with global solar giant, Hanergy, to make it easier for families to lead a more sustainable life at home.  IKEA discovered in research that two thirds of people were put off solar energy solutions by the installation cost.  Now IKEA Family members will be able to buy a full solar installation service at high-street price – a standard 3.36kW photovoltaic (PV) system for a semi-detached home could be as little as £5700.

Hanergy is the world’s largest thin-film PV company and is focusing on making solar energy solutions more accessible to the average homeowner. A full installation service will be offered to IKEA customers, including an in-store consultation and design, maintenance and ongoing energy monitoring.

The nationwide initiative kicked off this month at IKEA in Southampton and will be rolled out to all 17 IKEA stores across the UK within the next 10 months.

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The Co-operative Food hosts Tweet4aTable pop-up

The Co-operative Food’s ‘Tweet for a Table’ marketing and social media campaign drew to a close this month with a pop-up restaurant in London.  The campaign was designed to drive engagement with a younger audience and showcase the Co-Op’s own-brand food range over the summer, as well as raising money for The Carer’s Trust, the Co-Operative Food’s charity of the year.

The community based retailer has taken its pop-up dining experience to eight different city locations over the summer, giving people the chance to enjoy a meal for free.  Diners were encouraged to try and win a table by tweeting @Tweet4aTable and describing why they deserved a free meal for themselves and up to three friends.

The purpose built restaurant was made of reconditioned shipping containers and served 200 diners with gastro-style meals each day, based on products in The Co-Operatives own brand range.

Whilst the meals were free of charge, diners were also encouraged to leave a tip, all of which went to The Carer’s Trust, the charity dedicated to improving support and recognition for young carers around the UK.  The Co-Operative aims to raise £5M for the Trust during 2013 through a variety of initiatives.

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Coming up…

Anti-cancer initiative, Movember, will soon be everywhere as the campaign gets going for its tenth year in November.  Movember started in Australia in 2003 and has since grown to become a global charity with operations in 21 countries.  Last year’s campaign is estimated to have raised around £92 million and helped fuel 2.7 billion conversations around men’s health.   New this year is a ‘Generation Mo’ slogan for the campaign.  More next month but in the meantime find out more via the website

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