It may not be sexy, and it may not be glamorous – but it’s important. The amount of column inches devoted to subjects like environmental concerns, global warming and Fairtrade over the last few years is extraordinary – and it can be very easy to skip over it and move on, thinking that you’ve read it all before.
What relevance, you may think, does it have to me if a big company is planning to cut a certain percentage of its carbon emissions or fuel it uses? Why should I care about what massive, multinational companies are up to behind the scenes – as long as the products they make are still bought by my customers?
The simple answer – beyond the obvious wider goal of keeping the planet an inhabitable place for future generations and ensuring that those people in other countries are treated fairly now – is that if they care, then you probably should as well. You can bet your life that moves like this, whilst aimed at the greater good, will ultimately save money as well. Where big companies lead, smaller companies can follow.
The most recent company to announce its lofty intentions is PepsiCo, makers of Walkers, Quaker, Tropicana and Copella. The company has announced that it is cutting its carbon emissions and water usage across the farming of its core crops by 50 per cent over the next five years.
The technical aspects behind how they will do it – with new i-crop precision farming technology – are worth a look:
The thinking behind the introduction of new technology was explained by Richard Perkins of the WWF. “The food industry is starting to recognise that in order to fully embed sustainability and biodiversity in its business practices, a large part of the focus must be on the agricultural supply chain,” he said.
“The focus of the business on improving its key environmental impacts, such as greenhouse gas emissions – in the field and on the farm – is most welcome.”
It’s not just environmentalists who should welcome such a move. Retailers should take inspiration from this sort of move – how can you do your little bit for the environment? What can you do with your own supply chain to make things smoother and save you money? And what effect can this sort of move have on your overall store costs?
Charity begins at home. But it can be inspired by moves from far and wide.
Read more at Pepsico’s website here.