🌱 A New Era of Collaboration: Meet the Brewery Bringing B Corps Together.

Burberry, Allbirds, Toast Ale and more...

Happy Friday!

What we’re covering this week:

  • ‘Radical Collaboration’ - what is it, and what are the benefits?

  • How Toast Ale are bringing B Corps together in their Rise Up series.

  • In case you missed it: The Better Business Act: Transforming The Way We Do Business.


> Good News This Week

🎯  Sipsmith became a certified B Corp, and released their Impact Report detailing their commitment to reduce their emissions and impact. 

🎯 Gousto have announced their plans to trial carbon labelling on meals next year. Total carbon impact will be displayed on a selection of their recipes.

🎯 YAZOO revealed their 100% recycled PET packaging and easy-to-peal sleeves, ahead of schedule. 

⭐️ Costa Coffee and Fareshare announced that their partnership has provided the equivalent of 250,000 meals distributed to frontline charities and community groups. 

⭐️ Dove has announced a partnership with Conservation International to restore 20,000 hectares of forest in Indonesia over the next five years. An estimated 300,000 tons of CO2 will be captured, and it will prevent the release of over 200,000 tons of CO2e emissions.

⚡️ Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng launched Together for our Planet ‘Business Climate Leaders’ campaign to encourage small and micro businesses to commit to cutting emissions in half by 2030 and to net zero by 2050. 

⚡️ 8 tech giants, from Google and Disney, have teamed up to found the Business Alliance to Scale Climate Solutions, in partnership with UN Environment Program, WWF, Environmental Defense Fund and other environmental groups. The aim? To devise ways to scale funding for climate solutions. Curious about the power of collaboration? Read on…

> Click on each link to read more.


> Quick Take

Better Together: How brands are ripping up the rule book and embracing ‘Radical Collaboration’.

Environmental disclosure is fast becoming a necessity. Just compare Unilever, boasting a ‘Triple A’ rating in sustainability leadership from CDP, to Facebook and Tesla, ‘shamed’ by investors for failure to participate. This is about more than investor pleasing, it signals a step-change and a new era in how businesses operate. However, it’s not the only trend forcing businesses to act a little differently - there’s a new era of ‘Radical Collaboration’ fast approaching. Radical Collaboration? We define it as partnerships built on a denial of traditional notions of competition.

Why does it work, and what does it mean for smaller businesses?

An open market is a competitive market, right? In this view, transparency is a balancing act. Databases such as CDP prove that your sustainability strategy is working, but it also shows potential competitors your homework. Since ESG-related disclosure became ‘a thing’, however, this view has been evolving. It began with bigger brands using disclosure to identify useful partners in their supply chain. Then, customers took notice. Transparency became central to customer demand; a means of comparing brands against each other. This meant businesses had to respond, and transparency became a means of knowledge sharing, allowing for the cross-pollination of ideas. Brands across the economy, from Allbirds to Colgate, are now frequently making their green technological innovations open-source, trade secrets be damned. By doing this, brands have not only answered the call for transparency but found a way to do it in a way that’s good for business and their image. No-one likes the kids who won’t share.

Now, we’re seeing another fascinating behavioural change: the coupling-up of big and small brands in direct ‘competition’. Appropriately, it’s the fashion industry setting the trend. Burberry’s design partnership with sustainable lifestyle brand Elvis & Kresse and the New Balance x Reformation shoe line are prime examples.

Why? Two (very important) reasons:

  1. It’s a genuinely effective way of creating a greener economy. 

Collaboration has a bigger positive environmental and social impact. By combining small brand focused innovation with big business influence, better practises can be catapulted into the mainstream. This saves years of inefficiency and, vitally, the environmental damage that would have occurred in the meantime. An example is Allbirds and Adidas, an innovative startup and an industry heavyweight, teaming up to create the lowest carbon footprint performance sneaker ever.

  1. Collaboration is good for businesses - big and small.

By coupling with a big player, smaller brands can gain much-needed exposure. By coupling with a smaller player, big brands can attract the niche customer-base previously unavailable by boosting their eco-credentials. It’s a quick-fix to increasing ‘green-market share’. 

When it comes to the climate crisis, there’s no room for competition. Fortunately, collaboration makes commercial sense as well as environmental sense. Win-win situation? We certainly think so. 

Interested in partnering up?


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> Brand Spotlight

Toast Ale is bringing B Corps together to collaborate ahead of COP26. 

Toast Ale have set out to tackle food waste by turning surplus bread into brilliantly brewed beer. With 1/3rd of all food wasted globally, their mission is a noble one. By replacing virgin barley with surplus bread, they use less land, water and energy to brew each of their beers - meaning their footprint per pint is significantly lower than average. 2,072,429 slices of bread later, they’ve saved 252,043 litres of water and 42 tons of CO2. On top of that, all profits go to charity. 

In 2018 Toast Ale achieved the coveted B Corp status, becoming the first UK beer company to do so. Now, their recent Rise Up series builds on this foundation in a truly collaborative way. Let’s take a look. 

In the lead up to COP26, Toast Ale are releasing a series of 5 limited edition beers in partnership with 5 other pioneering brands. Keeping it in the family, each has achieved B Corp certification - ensuring an absolute alignment of values. Each beer highlights a different part of the ecological crisis; Soil, Biodiversity, Rivers, Oceans and Forests. 

Purpose + Partner = Pints:

  1. Soil - An Oat Pale Ale (4%) brewed with surplus fresh bread and organic oats, in partnership with Rebel Kitchen.

  2. Biodiversity - A Mango IPA (5.5%) brewed with surplus fresh bread and surplus wonky mangoes rescued by Flawsome! Drinks and Oddbox.

  3. Rivers - A Baker's Witbier (5%) brewed with surplus fresh Real Bread from Hobbs House Bakery, baked without additives and using organic flour to protect freshwater sources. 

  4. Oceans - A low-alcohol Lemongrass Lager (0.5%) brewed with surplus fresh bread and Certified Plastic Free teapigs Pure Lemongrass tea.

  5. Forests - A Chocolate Stout (6.2%) brewed with surplus fresh bread and Divine Chocolate cocoa powder that supports sustainable forestry and cocoa production. 

Collaboration has long been a part of Toast Ale’s DNA; from previous partnerships with Bewdog and Windsor & Eton Brewery, to cross-overs with Rubies in the Rubble and the rest of the Rise Up partners. This has kept their offering engaging, competitive and very news-worthy. The result? A triple boost to their profits, audience and advocacy work.

Read more about the Rise Up series here, and show your support via their shop:

Shop Toast Ale


> In case you missed it

The Better Business Act: Transforming The Way We Do Business

The Better Business Act team answer some of our burning questions.

Read the Full Story


> Follow up with…

  1. Impact Report: Sipsmith

  2. Article: Science Based Targets climate campaign starts to bear fruit (FT)

  3. Event: Panel Discussion: The Future of the Food and Drinks Industry

  4. Article: Startups are grappling with the cost of carbon footprinting (Sifted)