Sustainability a Win Win?

23rd July 2020
This year ACE introduced a category to reflect the growing need to operate businesses in a way that reduces our impact on the environment. The  award was title ” Sustainability Strategy of the Year” and its goal was heralds the brand or organisation that has taken bold steps in implementing the most considered, practical and responsible sustainability strategy or initiative.

ACE received entries from businesses representing the breadth of our industry and in assessing the entries our judges recognised a short list of THREE brands; News UK (Newsprinters), Menzies Distribution & Guardian News & Media.

Each were exceptional entries with the judges commenting favourably for each

  • News UK / Newsprinters were selected following their business-wide focus with, in particular, significant improvements in bagging, waste and energy use
  • Menzies Distribution delivered, and continue to deliver,  a span of initiatives from the use of electric delivery vehicles and effective use of reverse logistics delivering over 10 million items emission free in 2019 or saving 2.3 m KGs of CO2
  • Guardian News & Media were favoured for being first with compostable packaging, first to achieve B Corp status and ambitious 2030 carbon neutral target.

Ultimately the judges selected Guardian News & Media as the winner and awarded a highly commended status to Menzies Distribution.

Sustainability is no longer about how to conduct business for a niche segment of customers. It has become the only way to conduct business for everyone.Sustainability has migrated from a marketing issue about publicity or a niche segment to a foundational issue about the biggest opportunities in the marketplace. For companies to hold their own in a marketplace in which sustainability has emerged as a central imperative, they must think beyond the comfort zone of business as usual.


The Challenge

In a brand repositioning called The New Agenda, the Financial Times argued for a reset of capitalism, declaring “…we challenge business leaders to protect the future of free enterprise and wealth creation by pursuing profit with purpose.”

A Different Way of Doing Business

In an article contained within their “Global Brands Report” Kantar affirm the business challenge of sustainability is its complexity. It could take a top-to-bottom overhaul of operations affecting supply chains, product designs, manufacturing processes, financial metrics, investor relations, employee recruiting and training, human resources policies, community building initiatives, marketing strategies, and more.

Sustainability is an entirely different way of doing business, not just a few tweaks to the current way of doing business. Sustainability requires a systemic view of possibilities and consequences. Business leaders will be challenged in many ways by the uncomfortable requirements of this imperative.

The imperative of uncomfortable growth is what sustainability requires of companies. Kantar # has developed a Sustainable Transformation Framework to enable business leaders to manage the six uncomfortable decisions or pivot points required to operate in a sustainable way.

Getting comfortable with sustainability requires mastering these six imperatives. But there is a structure to these decisions. They provide a systemic way for companies to forge a path that will get them through the thicket of challenges presented by sustainability, ultimately to find a clearing of opportunity in which sustainable advantage is stronger and more profitable. This is the focus and the purpose of the Kantar# Sustainable Transformation Practice.

And for you?

Please tell us about the strategies and methods your brands are using to meet your sustainability goals


#Kantar is the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company. Extracts from their report on Sustainability are used above

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