Food and drink businesses are increasingly aware of the need to be sustainable, but what does that mean for you as a business? How do you know if you’re doing enough? In this blog, we’ll discuss what measures you need to take and how you can be more efficient.

How to be a food and drink sustainability leader

Why do I need to be a sustainability leader?

You need to be a sustainability leader because:

  • Customers have ever-increasing expectations for companies that sell food and beverages. They want food that’s fresh, healthy and sustainably produced, as well as more transparency about the supply chain.
  • Your competition is catching up on sustainability. It’s no longer enough to be just average or better—you need to be setting the standard in order to stay relevant and competitive in this market.
  • You face increasing regulations on product ingredients, packaging materials and waste management practices that can lead to higher costs of doing business if you don’t comply (and lower profits if you do). For example, Europe has ambitious plans for reducing single-use plastics by 2030 through bans on some types of packaging material such as plastic straws or cotton buds—with other countries likely following suit soon after due to public pressure from consumers who want healthier oceans today!

How can I develop one-to-one relationships with my employees to help them buy into sustainability initiatives?

For any sustainability initiative to be successful, it’s vital that your employees are on board. This can be achieved through one-to-one communication with them and helping them understand why you are taking the steps you are.

You need to explain how their involvement will benefit them personally and professionally as well as what impact it will have on the wider business if they’re involved. It’s also worth highlighting how sustainability can make a difference in the world at large by highlighting examples of success stories from other companies who have implemented similar policies or initiatives in the past.

Always keep an open dialogue with your staff about these changes so that everyone understands exactly what is going on and why!

What measures should we focus on as a business?

As a business leader, you can use a balanced scorecard to track your sustainability performance. A balanced scorecard is an approach to measuring success that focuses on both financial and non-financial measures. These are often categorised into four quadrants:

  • Internal Processes (for example, employee satisfaction)
  • External Markets (for example, customer satisfaction)
  • Financials (for example, ROI)
  • Learning & Growth (for example, training programs available).

We recommend you focus on only the measures that are important to your business—don’t get distracted by what doesn’t matter!

How can I become more efficient in my supply chain management, and what are the benefits of this?

Here are some ways you can become more efficient in your supply chain management:

  • Use technology. Your business should implement technology to improve efficiency and productivity, from automating processes to sharing data with suppliers and customers.
  • Use data to make decisions. Data is crucial for providing insights into all aspects of your supply chain, including the lives of workers and farmers that help produce the food and drink your company sells, so don’t forget about it!
  • Share data with suppliers. It’s important that you share information with suppliers so they know what steps they need to take in order to do their part in reducing waste or improving efficiency within their own operations—and ultimately improve how they contribute towards meeting sustainability goals set by yourself (and other companies).

Understand your why.

To be a food and drink sustainability leader, you must first understand your “why”.

What is it that drives you? Why do you want to be an industry leader in sustainability?

The answer should come from deep within yourself. Your why should be based on your values and beliefs about the environment, community and people.

We hope this article has helped you understand why it’s so important to be a food and drink sustainability leader and the steps that can be taken towards becoming one. We believe that by making small changes within your business, like using less packaging or switching to renewable energy sources, not only will it benefit the environment but also help you save money in the long run!

Applications for Food & Drink Heroes are open now until Friday 21st April 2023.

Start your free application here!