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October 4, 2022

Unrelenting media coverage of climate change here and far serves as a constant reminder that our systems of food production, livestock and humans, are a contributing factor in the ongoing threat to the planet’s (and our) long-term security and well-being. .

This tsunami of media attention on the sustainability and climate of the food system is encouraging consumers to make the connection between their favorite brands and the consequences of climate change.

The rapidly growing role of sustainable choice is a lynchpin in the competitive advantage market as consumers begin to express their beliefs and environmental values ​​at the shelf and cash register. Beware of species that choose to sit this one out hoping that the “weather” will cool down. Global temperatures are continuing to rise, prompting extreme changes in climate risks, increased droughts and disruption of entire eco-systems that indicate future shortages in the availability of essential food.

However, there is a division in the march to sustainable sports and policies as some types of livestock have thrown away the tea leaves believing that this arena is a choice of commitment versus promoting the important things to prepare to fix the table for long-term business growth and market share. advance.

Consider these surprising “situational analysis” facts:

Meanwhile, insight research confirms that almost 64 percent of consumers are either enthusiastic or concerned about continued performance in the products they choose. However, it is difficult for people to make solid decisions when shopping and to determine in any given food (pet) category what are the possible quality options.

The shifting sands of the supplement market are real and the face of the pet industry may change in favor of progressive brands that start to establish themselves as climate-smart players. These brands that face the environment may rely on a higher goal and a goal that includes increasing innovation and investment changes to increase their carbon footprint and prepare for sustainable issues.

What does the development process look like? In a recent survey of the preparation of 20 brands in different categories from CPG to food stores and pet food, the results showed near universal consensus on the key areas of vulnerability that need to be addressed.

The Brand Sustainability Solution (BSS) preparation questionnaire project involved organizations such as LVMH, Grupo Bimbo, L’Oreal, Ahold Delhaize, Nature’s Logic pet food and exposed the challenges that cannot be changed in the work in these three areas:

Science-based assessment of Scope 3 emissions: Scope 3 assessment examines commercial issues. A recent report of food industry players from manufacturers to retailers and food service companies, found over 80 percent of the delivery offerings on average were in retail. However for the most part, scientifically supported assessments were either non-existent or limited to Scope 1 and 2 carbon evaluations.

Measurements matter: The right measurement structures must be put in place to track and measure the sales impact from the performance intensity. This type of paper donation plan is often lacking because organizations see promotion as a “good citizen” strategy rather than a business building initiative.

Strong communication left unaddressed: A recent survey of grocery companies in the United Kingdom by the London-based Brand Experience Group, showed that the top three food companies were leaving $900 million in unrealized sales on the table. Why? Because they hadn’t invested in communication channels designed to inform their customers about their policies to continue the important work they were doing to improve. You can’t earn credit and gain credibility with climate-savvy consumers if you’re not telling them your story effectively.

The four areas of positive behavior development are:

Science-backed Life Cycle Assessment of the business – including a Scope 3 assessment to establish a clear picture of the true emissions of the organization.

Customer insight research – customers will always surprise you about what areas of performance improvement are most important to them. You’ll get more credit for solving their problems than for areas that don’t matter to them.

Business metrics – ultimately organizations will make better climate investment decisions when they see it as part of the brand value proposition and a direct link to business benefits.

Effective communication – closing the loop with customers and stakeholders is essential to gain their loyalty and the development of your promotional activities.

Is your pet working to receive positive reinforcement? Progressive brands are moving to strengthen their sustainability and put in the measures and policies needed to address carbon footprints and emissions. Greg Kean, global vice president of innovation, research and development and sustainability at Wellness, reports that his company hopes to complete the Scope 3 review within the next year.

“We have increased the construction of conservation practices in our supply chain which revolves around activities such as conducting a Life Cycle Analysis, installing solar panels and ensuring good working practices. From a technical point of view we are talking about the improvement of packaging and continuing the research of other proteins and the development of animal protection practices,” he explained.

Important for a sustainable future in animal nutrition is the recognition that the widespread use of animal protein carries the emissions problems created by animal agriculture. The wellness brand is working hard to understand where they are on this journey.

Kean said, “We are committed to carbon accounting within our supply chain. We have already started doing a Life Cycle Analysis of energy and water and we are in the final stages of choosing a carbon accounting software that is compatible with the Green House Gas Protocol to start a system of measuring and setting goals to reduce the amount of modified emissions within Scope 1. -3. “

Champion Petfoods, long known for its commitment to innovative partnerships with farms, ranches and fisheries, sees the process as a journey that requires commitment that continues over time. “The development space is huge, and it can be difficult sometimes to know where to start. Pushing forward often comes with significant complexities or increasing costs. Our industry is accepting this sentiment and it is encouraging to see rapid growth and cooperation to solve these problems,” said Nicole Suteau, manager of the company’s development at Champion .

Suteau said Champion remains committed to doing its part to create positive change within the industry and around the world. To that end, Champion said it has set goals for smart sourcing, sustainable packaging and waste reduction.

For its part, Champion sees the strategy to stay ready as a multi-based effort that crosses the company’s functional areas. “We are putting in place a clear plan that is fully accepted by senior management; bringing together key groups to join in developing action plans; enlisting others outside the organization to help, such as our suppliers and the Pet Sustainability Coalition; and ensuring that it is a collaborative process where we can celebrate success and make the whole company accept the challenge, he said.

Suteau said the company is in the middle of a program to supply its fish with the goal of converting 100 percent of the fish used in its kitchen, including fresh, raw, meal and oil, to certified organic. “Right now, we’re over 70 percent of the way there,” he said.

Meanwhile Wellness has moved to secure a packaging solution that meets their values ​​and promotional goals. “Our internal goal is to transform the packaging system by 2025,” said Kean, who said that the company’s key initiatives include “reducing waste through repackaging, reducing emissions and reducing the contribution of animal derived protein by 20 percent by 2030.”

As other breeds of pets prioritize development, standards and policies, the industry gets closer to meeting the desires of pet parents for reliable and sustainable choices in the food of the pet they buy. At the same time, the industry can help address the food system crisis that is causing the climate threat that is currently plaguing the world.

Robert Wheatley is the CEO of Chicago-based Emergent, The Healthy Living Agency. Emergent can help breeders erase dysfunctional development and replace it with clarity and deeper meaning in their parenting relationships and brand communication.