Unless you've been living in a hole (hey, if you have, we won't judge) you've most likely heard of Innocent - if not for their delish range of fruit filled drinks then at least for their knitted bottle top hats in Winter!
What you might not know is that Innocent are pretty badass on making themselves and their products sustainable, and have just achieved their B Corp Certification (we became a B Corp last year and it rocks). We caught up with Rozanne Davis, Head of Sustainability & Nutrition to get all the goss.
You’ve just become a certified B Corp (WOOHOOO) welcome to the gang. For those who don’t know, what is a B Corp and what does it mean for Innocent?
At innocent, we’ve always tried to do business the right way, behaving sustainably, making it a great place to work, giving 10% of our profits to charity and sticking to a strong code of ethics. B Corps are businesses united by one goal – to use business as a Force for Good. So becoming a B Corp felt like an incredibly natural fit for innocent. We are really excited to be joining a growing movement of like-minded businesses, who truly believe that business can be done in a different way.
We believe business has a duty to step forward and prove that it can act truly responsibly, not just with the narrow mindset of profit above all else, but with a genuine commitment to the environment and to all of the people we set out to serve – the people who work here, the people who drink our drinks, and the planet upon which we live and do business. I talk about imagine having 2 extra seats at the table in every project, in every key business decision, in every team – one for the environment and one for people.
It’s a mega hot summer day and you’re going for a picnic…a) Where do you go? And b) Which innocent drink do you take with you?
Well we’ve got a very nice roof terrace on our offices at fruit towers – it’s a stop on our office tour if anyone is interested to see it for themselves! – so I’d maybe pop up there with an innocent bubbles, which is mix of spring water and fruit (and nothing else) that’s lightly sparkling. They’re really refreshing on a hot day.
You plan to make all your bottles from 100% renewable materials by 2022, how are you working to make your packaging more sustainable than ever?
Our mission is to get healthy drinks to people, and plastic is the most sustainable option for protecting our drinks. Most alternatives come with a greater carbon footprint, and climate change is the biggest issue facing our planet.
Plastic is a useful material. The problem is not plastic, the problem is where it’s ending up. It shouldn’t be in our oceans. So, we believe we need a Recycling Revolution. Instead of ditching it, we need to recycle it. We all need to value plastic more. At innocent we’ve been valuing it since 2003 when we started buying recycled plastic and putting it back into all our bottles.
ALL our packaging is fully recyclable making innocent part of the circular economy, the solution we’re helping to pioneer with our partners at Ellen Macarthur Foundation & WRAP.
Our new smoothie bottle is 50% recycled and 15% plant plastic, further supporting the circular economy and reducing our carbon footprint. As you say, our goal is to have 100% renewable bottles by 2022 (made from only recycled and plant plastic).
What is a sustainable ingredient to innocent?
Sustainability is a journey, whatever kind of ingredient you are: strawberry to spinach and all that’s in between. Sustainability for us is about finding a balance between people, planet and profit, and it’s the same for all of our farmers. We learn as much as we can about our ingredients - how they are grown, the challenges for our suppliers and how we can work together and support. We like to have our innocent boots on the ground with our suppliers and together come up with solutions and approaches that can work in the local context.
We also believe strongly in the power of collaboration – it’s the only way we can tackle the complexity and depth of challenges facing our planet. We teamed up with the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform to assess the sustainability of our farmers in all regions and help them to continuously improve. If you get as fired up about sustainability standards in agriculture as we do, you can read more about the initiative here.
You are only allowed only 3 indulgent treats for the rest of your life what would they be? (We’ve assumed number 1 would be D&D so you don’t need to pick that…).
Assuming that I will already be able to dip into Doisy & Dam maca, vanilla and cacao nibs dark choc, it would have to be firstly endless blue skies! Then, my camera and an off the beaten track country village, countryside walk, or ruined castle next to the beach that I can explore and photograph. And finally just a great cup of tea, which always seems to make life feel better.
Thanks so much for chatting choc with us Roz! It's been a dream.
Well what a Summer Series! if you haven't checked out our other Choc Chats then have a browse, we've got Healthy Chef Steph, Optiat, Vegans of LDN and many more. We'll be doing Choc Chat once a month from now on, if you have anyone you'd like us to chat to then let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org