At our latest BareAll, four leading pioneers shared with us their good business stories. An inspirational and hugely popular event, here is a recap.
James Read began by passionately sharing his mission to make a difference and inspire change. He touched on why BareAll was created – to give business leaders a platform to share their knowledge and ideas that are making a difference in the world. He ended by saying ‘Leadership is no longer just about a number. As Gandhi famously said “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”’
Turning bread into beer
First up, Julie Prebble from Toast Ale took us on an inspirational journey behind taking food waste and turning it into something great. Set up by passionate food waste campaigner Tristram Stuart who also set up the Feedback Organisation, Julie told us how Toast Ale took the staggering statistic that 24 million slices of bread everyday are being thrown away, and began brewing beer using bread.
The story sparked interest and was launched on Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast. Julie explained that a slice of bread goes into each bottle, turning surplus bread into beer. Launched six months ago, they have already done eight brews, partnered with four breweries, and their first cask ale is going on tap in Bristol. An online recipe is encouraging home brewers to use excess bread in their own beer, and getting people to think and talk about food waste. Julie ended her talk by touching on the global interest the beer has already created, raising awareness of the food waste issue with a fantastic story.
Doing business for good
Next up we welcomed May Al-Karooni, founder of the online reuse platform Globechain. Described by May as the business version of freecycle, she started by pointing out that businesses have messed up in the past by not thinking about sustainability, but now people are looking at doing business for good. Globechain offer a platform to companies getting rid of old equipment, a way to donate to a good cause. May talked about one of their clients, the Arcadia group who have 1,800 stores. They were looking to upgrade 90% of their fixtures and fittings and Globechain helped to distribute these to charity shops. Not only did the charity shops get a fresh new look, Arcadia saved money on the skips that would have been used for scrapping these items, and they also benefited from the positive charity story.
May also mentioned their work with Starbucks, taking the coffee grounds and using them to grow oyster mushrooms, and also how Globechain shipped 15 tonnes of NHS equipment to Sierra Leone, helping two hospitals and a school affected by the Ebola crisis. Excited about the future and how quickly Globechain is growing, May explained companies are really keen to get involved, not only for the money saving aspect but showing how they engage with communities which is important. May summed up her talk and the work that Globechain is doing by saying ‘simple acts can have a really big effect.’
Making packaging from plants
Continuing with our inspirational speakers was Eilidh Brunton, group recycling guru from visionary brand, Vegware. Eilidh explained that currently lots of food packaging cannot be recycled, especially packaging contaminated with food. By making packaging from plants, Eilidh shared with us how Vegware have created the solution to this problem. She explained that by sharing the food waste recycling stream, their packaging is compostable and will break down at the same rate as food waste.
Eilidh shared with us how the company has experienced a 50% growth in the last two years, and how they won River Cottage as a customer by recycling 72% of their Spring Food Fair waste compared to 15% the previous year! High quality, fit for purpose products that stand out in the marketplace, Eilidh talked about the importance of going beyond the packaging, spending time working with customers on how they use their products. Eilidh ended her talk by discussing the work Vegware are doing to inspire the younger generation to recycle, taking ‘The Bin Detective’ into schools.
A sustainable future
Last to take to the stage was Ben Kellard, from Forum for the Future. Ben kicked off by telling us how Forum for the Future are helping accelerate the big shift to a sustainable future. Working with ‘brands with purpose’ such as Unilever’s Persil and Hellmann’s, helping to embed sustainability into their business. Ben pointed out these brands are the ones growing 30% faster than others. The great examples he shared were Hellmann’s mayonnaise now using 100% caged free eggs, and Method, who are pulling out ocean plastics and making bottles with them.
Ben went on to say despite these great examples of circular economy, they can’t do it all on their own. Organisations need to be savvy on how they are interacting with their eco networks, be clear on what that eco system is, and not be afraid to pair up with other businesses and create new and innovative products. Ben ended his talk by saying it was exciting to see a growing number of businesses driving that leadership, thinking proactively, and working with other businesses with people they wouldn’t normally partner with.
A packed agenda with inspirational speakers, all doing business to drive change in the way things are done for the good of the planet and the people. And I think you’ll agree, many valuable points to take away to help you #makeadifference and be a better business.
Make a difference – join us at the next BareAll
Join us at the next BareAll in November. To make sure you’re on the guest list contact Corrina at firstname.lastname@example.org.