Inspire people to join your sustainability journey

Emma-Vass-and-Ann-Chambers-at-Ecotone-UK-with-My-Big-Career-1

The expression ‘no man is an island’ is not only true for people but for businesses too.

In November, the total number of B Corp businesses in the UK hit 1,000. That’s 1,000 triple bottom line businesses balancing profit with meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance.

The B Corp movement has grown exponentially since Ecotone was first certified in 2019. In the UK, we were one of just 26 food and drink companies to join the global network. Fast forward to today, and Ecotone has just been recertified with the highest score for a global food company in a movement which is bolder, better and even more impactful than ever before.

It shows how powerful we can be when people and businesses join together to drive positive change and create a sustainable economy. It needs collaboration from all employees, stakeholders, suppliers and communities.

This ranges from larger and essential environmental goals like sustainable packaging, carbon emissions and waste reduction, to the smaller actions we can take, as businesses, to be a force for good.

Ecotone’s unique role as a B Corp business is to offer an alternative to the conventional food model through organic, plant-based food and change the food system from the inside as part of our mission, Food for Biodiversity.

As a mission-led business, we take pride in bringing local communities and our employees on the journey with us to protect, cherish and grow biodiversity.

Here a few simple and effective ways to help bring people together to make a positive impact:

Empower internal champions

Your team are your biggest advocates who share in your company’s passion and goals to do the right thing. They get what you stand for from the inside out.

So it’s essential to keep teams engaged in your company’s CSR strategy.

For medium and large organisations, one way to do this is to create internal taskforces focused on a specific area. This not only helps to keep employees focused but fosters a greater sense of pride, belonging and action.

Another is to offer your team opportunities to volunteer and help to support local community initiatives through dedicated ‘purpose days’.

We recently teamed up with the National Trust South West to offer 11 members of the team at our Clipper Teas factory the chance to support a grass roots project.  They took some time out to  get stuck in with clearing a local pond from an invasive weed which was covering the entire surface area. The team came back full of energy and happy to have made a difference on their doorstep.

Inspire next generation activists

The younger generations are already so enthused and passionate about ways to help save the planet and many take tangible steps as conscious consumers to reduce their individual impact.

We can help take this interest to the next level by showing school students how they can support biodiversity through their future career choices. We need younger people coming into the industry.

We work with an organisation called My Big Career which introduces us to schools in our area. Through My Big Career’s Future Maker programme, we host insight days and mentoring programmes to help pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds find their future career path and show them how a food company can challenge the status quo and make a difference to people and the planet.

Grassroots community action

By mobilising communities at a local level, you can engage with people and help them make a difference in their area.

Our local communities lie at the heart of our business, especially in Dorset where Clipper Teas was founded. We have supported the local youth club in Dorset over the last few years and have some activities lined up like painting the local scout hut and making bee hotels. Our team in the Clipper factory have been instrumental in driving these  initiatives – and we’re proud of them!

We also have a dedicated internal team who help us to make regular donations to our local Fareshare distribution hubs and food banks.

We all have a responsibility and power to do the right thing. People joining together on a culmination of micro-initiatives – alongside the bigger strides – can help to create the change we want to see in the world.

Emma-Vass,-CEO-at-Ecotone-UK1About the author

Emma Vass is CEO at Ecotone UK, the natural and organic food company that’s home to purpose-driven brands Clipper Teas, Kallo, Whole Earth and Mrs Crimble’s. Ecotone was recently recertified as the world’s highest scoring multi-national B Corp food company. It is a mission-led business that strives to protect, cherish and grow biodiversity through organic, natural and plant-based ingredients. Emma has over 20 years’ experience in the FMCG sector. Her previous roles include UK General Manager of herbs and spices business McCormick’s and UK Commercial Director for Danone Dairy.

Follow Ecotone UK on LinkedIn.

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