Collaboration & creativity to design away from waste

Illustration by @eshakespeare

DIAGEO United Future.

The United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide “the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. Globally, these goals are intended to mobilise efforts to end poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change.

With big commitments being set for the turn of new decades for 2030 and beyond, we’re seeing more and more brands looking to the UN SDGs to guide their sustainability strategies. Diageo have recently announced a new 10-year action plan ‘Society 2030: Spirit of Progress’ that plans to promote positive drinking; champion inclusion and diversity and pioneering grain-to glass sustainability.

The next decade will focus on three core areas, carefully selected to align with UN SDGs and will see Diageo brands work towards:

  • Reach 1 billion people with messages of moderation through its brands
  • Achieve Net Zero carbon emissions across direct operations
  • Increase representation of leaders from ethnically diverse backgrounds to 45%
  • Use 30% less water in every drink it makes

It can all too often feel overwhelming when looking to define your sustainability strategy, but the SDG indicators provide a great framework for defining performance metrics, accountability and business compliance practises. When used to inspire bold commitments and transparency, the goals will help to overcome many of the environmental, social and economic challenges brands face.

To find out more about the UN Sustainable Development Goals, please click here.

OR To read more about the Society 2030: Spirits of Progress, please click here.

Sensitivity & innovation to maximise materials

Illustration by @eshakespeare

Plastic Fantastic.

A multitude of NGOs, like The Ellen MacArthur’s Foundation Plastic Pact, are working to promote plastic packaging is either reusable, recyclable or where viable compostable.

Here in Australia, only 16% of all plastic packaging is recovered for future use*. There are a number of contributing factors that play a role in the efficient recovery of packaging, but design is a critical component that affects, in particular, the latter stages of the packaging value chain.

A prime example being shrink label contamination preventing the proper recycling of PET packaging and bottles.  For multiple component plastic packaging in particular, there are key design considerations that should be met such as product labelling, to component size, adhesives and material selection that collectively ensure the most effective processing as it moves through material recovery facilities (MRF).

It’s essential for brands to understand the waste management requirements to design packaging in a way that is complementary to our existing infrastructures and improve packaging recovery rates for the future.

If you would like to understand how to circular design could enhance your packaging, we would love to chat.

*APCO (2019) Australian Packaging Consumption and Resource Recovery Data 2017-18 p.48

Harmonise with our planet to regenerate

Illustration by @eshakespeare

ENCIRC The bottle that’s ticking all the boxes.

Encirc, a glass container manufacturer, in collaboration with Glass Futures, an industry research and technology organization, have reached a remarkable achievement in a revolutionary trial.

They have demonstrated that new bottles can be made from 100% recycled glass using ultra-low-carbon biofuel energy. These waste organic biofuels are renewable and are estimated to reduce the carbon footprint of each bottle by 90%, and in addition, achieving up to 100% recycled glass will drastically reduce the environmental impact of glass production compared to today’s traditional fossil fuel-based practices.

It is anticipated that this trial will set new industry-wide carbon reduction standards as we work to decarbonize our economies. It is a great example of an industry spear heading more regenerative and renewable practices through collaboration and will be a critical component for brands to consider in setting science-based targets and de-carbonizing packaging as part of their circular strategies.

You can find out more about Encirc’s carbon neutral mission here.

Our Friends of the Earth thoughts are brought to you in collaboration with philo & co.

philo & co are a circular design consultancy helping creative agencies and brands transition to a circular economy. Pippa, the Founder of philo & co, is a Circulab certified circular design consultant and has more than 10 years’ experience within the creative industry working with global design agencies and leading FMCG brands.

Pippa brings a holistic view in solving the systemic challenges required to transition from linear to circular design by embedding regenerative thinking and practices into the heart of organisations. In 2020, she became a Climate Reality Leader following training by the Climate Reality Corps, led by Al Gore. When Pippa is not thinking of how to rid the world of waste, she is usually at the beach or enjoying a hearty meal (and wine) with friends.

Teamwork is dreamwork.