This month, we are celebrating Earth Day, which is dedicated to honouring our planet and raising awareness for climate change since the 1970's. It's a time for us to reflect on the collective effects humans have on the environment and the actionable steps they can take to reduce their environmental impact. It's no surprise that food and product consumption and waste is largely connected to climate change, inspiring many Canadian entrepreneurs to incorporate safer, eco-conscious practices into their vision and values as a business.
For shoppers who are looking to push their eco-conscious routine further, here are a few of the ways our alumni brands are making it easy and accessible to do so.
Zero-Waste and Safe
With the proper planning and strategy, zero waste products can be beneficial not only for the planet, but also for the brand. When we think about the amount of materials used for product design, packaging, manufacturing; it quickly turns into a waste of resources that pile up in a landfill and unnecessary spending on a brand's budget. According to a report done by A Greener Future, in Canada alone, food packaging accounts for 33% of litter, with 3.3 million tonnes of plastic making its way into our landfills every year.
Many CPG companies are adopting a zero waste product model so they can repurpose their waste again and again into new products. One company that is leading the charge with this innovation is Kind Laundry. Its waste-free detergent strips are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional liquid and powder detergents, with 100% recyclable packaging that has a dramatically smaller eco-footprint on the environment. Browse their full collection line here.
Community Impact and Recycling Initiatives
One of the top leading trends, as identified by Acosta in their 2022 CPG report, is that eating at home "remains purposeful, with the awareness of environmental issues related to consumption increasing." Shoppers are recognizing that it is collective action that will change the world and are gravitating towards purchases that can be used for social and environmental good.
Justos have embraced a similar approach through its 1% For the Planet initiative. With Justos' naturally delicious plant-based dips, using ingredients that are proven to reduce the industry's environmental impact, proceeds from every sale is donated to environmental non-profit organizations. Justos has also made it their goal to become carbon neutral by the end of 2023, they're funding ocean cleanups through the Blue Friday initiative, and work with countless community kitchens to combat food insecurity.
Louise Prete Food also join Justos Craft Dips mission by recognizing the shopper responsibility of recycling. Louise Prete Food have created circularity goals to collect, divert, reuse, and recycle 99.7% of what would otherwise enter the waste stream. Be on the lookout for their upcoming plant-your-own-basil program, so you can reuse your favourite Louise Prete jar of pasta sauce to grow the basil you will be using for your next batch of spaghetti sauce.
Bee-coming BCorp Certified
It's not always easy to identify what brands are reputably eco-friendly when we live in a world that is susceptible to greenwashing tactics and misinformation. An easy way to spot it and stop it is by supporting the brands who have put in the hard work to become BCorp Certified.
A BCorp status is only given out by B Lab Global, a non-profit network that recognizes and legitimizes leaders in our communities that are committed to environmental and social good. Most recently, both Drizzle Honey and Justos Plant-Based Dips have received this accreditation after a year long process of showcasing their high business standards of social and environmental performance.
Founder of Drizzle Honey, Aja Horsley was also recently recognized as a 2022 Globe and Mail Changemaker for her impact as an emerging leader. Aja's background as an urban agriculture researcher and her sustainable rooftop beekeeping projects for culinary honey paved the way for Drizzle Honey to become an essential pillar for the bees, local farmers, and our ecosystem. Learn more about the ways Drizzle Honey's environmental impact here and what it means to be BCorp Certified below.