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From little things, big things grow…

With some innovative thinking, and the willingness to evolve, many modern businesses are delivering the goods without overwhelming the environment.

Here are five examples of change for good.

The forward thinkers see such choices not as hindrances but instead as opportunities. They understand that it is possible to ‘have it all’. And they enact small changes here and there that lead to great things for a company’s brand perception, carbon footprint and bottom line.

Most of the time these small changes in sustainability initiatives have another positive side effect too – they lead to more small positive changes. Here are five examples of change for good.

“Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Drinks, frequently uses: “when it comes to sustainable innovation, the first 33% is easy, the second 33% changes your business model, and the third 33% is pretty much impossible”. The argument is that small changes leave businesses tinkering around with that first 33%. The following 66%, however, requires a wholesale overhaul of businesses practices.”  – ‘Every little helps’: a distraction or the making of big sustainable business? Tim Smedley, The Guardian.

5. Get on your bike.

Companies encouraging employees to bike to work have made a difference not just to their environmental impact but also to the health and wellbeing of their team. 

One example of this can be seen in the 7000 employees of U.S tech company SunPower Corporation, who can earn an extra $20 a month simply by biking to work at least three times a week. Other companies offer free emergency Ubers for cyclists, loaner bikes, free bike repair, brewery tours and much, much more.

4. Cut back

 Laundry detergents have come a long way in a short time thanks to a concerted effort by larger companies to reduce the size of their products and, importantly, educate the public as to why the change was a positive one for all.

When Unilever evolved it’s aerosol sprays for Sure, Dove and Vaseline in 2013 the company halved the volume of propellant gas and cut aluminium use by 25%. The far smaller cans meant fewer trucks were needed for delivery, with road usage cut by 35%.

3. Clean up

Closer to home and New Zealand cosmetic company Ethique has done away with packaging via the development of solid beauty bars. This range does away with a substantial amount of water and waste products. So far the cruelty-free, sustainably sourced brand has saved more than 4.3 million plastic bottles from entering landfill.

2. Pack it up

Local company Yashili were looking to use less wrap on their pallets and came to Universal Packaging with the challenge to decrease waste without negatively impacting efficiency or increasing costs. With traditional film, the average packaging weight of a pallet was the equivalent of 90 plastic supermarket bags. UP ran some tests and recommended Nanowrap, which reduced the wrap weight of each pallet to just 41 supermarket bags. Over a year Yashili will have saved the equivalent weight of 2 million shopping bags.

1. Drink up

Big and small beer brands are developing and introducing simple measures that have resonated hugely with a market increasingly aware of the actual lifespan of packaging materials.

Corona made a big splash with their biodegradable six-pack rings that are made from waste and compostable materials and designed to break down quickly and completely after use. Guinness is rolling out multi-can cardboard packaging in 2020, which will help the company reduce plastic usage by over 400 tonnes annually. We’ll raise a glass to that!

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From little things, big things grow…

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