Sustainability in Drinks

Sustainability in Drinks

By: Ben Cooper

Every month, Ben Cooper casts his eye over sustainability efforts in the global drinks industry.



Why the soft drinks category is trapped in a plastic corner - Sustainability Spotlight 29 Nov 2018

Faced with relentless campaigning and mounting public concern about plastic pollution, soft drinks companies have no choice but to act to mitigate the environmental impact of their packaging. As new research is published underlining the increasing importance of sustainable packaging to consumers, Ben Cooper assesses the soft drinks sector's engagement with a recently-launched global initiative on plastic use.


Sugar - Which works best? Doing it yourself or being told what to do? - Sustainability Spotlight 13 Jul 2018

This year saw the launch of the first non-stop passenger service from Australia to the UK, reducing a journey that once took 42 days to a little over 17 hours. Soft drinks companies Down Under may be glad Australia's lawmakers appear so far to have resisted the chance of a quick trip back to the land of their forebears. Had they done so they might have heard their UK government counterparts waxing lyrical about the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) on full-sugar soft drinks.


Company plastic pledges - reason to be positive or time to panic? - Sustainability Spotlight 31 May 2018

The way plastic is used to package food and drinks has shot up the consumer agenda in recent months. In response, there has been a flurry of drinks companies announcing pledges on their use of packaging. The pressure is on to act. However, David Burrows argues businesses should be mindful before leaping on the latest developments in packaging while NGOs are arguing some of the companies' commitments are far from ambitious.


Why consumers don't yet know about your sustainability efforts - Sustainability Spotlight 30 May 2018

A recently-published study suggests consumers may not be as drawn to Anheuser-Busch InBev's new 100% renewable electricity icon as the brewer might hope for. But, Ben Cooper writes, there are factors other than consumer sentiment driving the beverage sector's investment in renewable energy.


Why the drinks industry is falling behind food on sustainability matters - Sustainability Spotlight 14 May 2018

A new report from US-based sustainability non-profit Ceres, which assesses the performance of 613 US-based publicly-traded corporations on a comprehensive range of sustainability criteria, reveals food and drinks to be among the most progressive and highest-achieving sectors. However, the research does not reflect well on the drinks sector specifically.


Water – Why drinks companies must think global but act local - Sustainability Spotlight 6 Apr 2018

When it comes to sustainability, water is always near the top of the list for drinks companies. This month, sustainability commentator Ben Cooper considers recent efforts in this area by several sizeable drinks groups.


Will Keurig Dr Pepper merger prompt change in sustainability strategy? – Sustainability Spotlight 1 Mar 2018

In his latest look at sustainability efforts across the drinks industry, sustainability expert Ben Cooper digs behind last month's headlines of the 'merger' of Keurig Green Mountain and Dr Pepper Snapple Group. What he discovers, from a sustainability perspective, makes for some challenging reading.


Will 2018 be the year we solve the plastic problem? – Sustainability Spotlight 13 Feb 2018

Earlier this month, just-drinks talked to Evian global brand director Patricia Oliva about the water brand's recent commitment to make all its bottles from recycled plastic by 2025. Here, sustainability editor Ben Cooper considers how Evian's move underlines the increased attention being focused on plastics recycling. Ben also flags up some other sustainability hotspots for the coming year.


Is yours one of the drinks companies failing the water management challenge? - Sustainability Spotlight, Part II 9 Oct 2017

In the second part of this month's Sustainability Spotlight, Ben Cooper continues his review of the findings from a new report from Ceres on water stewardship, which identifies the leaders and the laggards in the beverage sector, as well as flags the issues that require particular attention.


Is yours one of the drinks companies failing the water management challenge? - Sustainability Spotlight, Part I 6 Oct 2017

The beverage sector's performance on water stewardship has come under close scrutiny with the publication of a new report from sustainability non-profit organisation Ceres. In a two-part special feature, Ben Cooper examines Ceres' findings and what they say about the beverage sector's response to arguably the most challenging sustainability issue it faces.


What does alcohol's future look like? - Sustainability Spotlight 12 Sep 2017

Recent weeks have seen the publication of reports detailing the contrasting drinking habits of younger and older consumers. Ben Cooper ponders what they mean for the long-term sustainability of the alcohol sector.


How brands are looking to utilise sustainability to connect with consumers - Sustainability Spotlight 8 Aug 2017

In late-July, Coca-Cola European Partners unveiled an increased 2020 target for recycled content in its plastic bottles in the UK. just-drinks' sustainability commentator, Ben Cooper, believes this news also underlines the role that brands can play in encouraging consumers to recycle.


just-drinks speaks to Carlsberg's sustainability director, Simon Boas Hoffmeyer - Sustainability Spotlight 11 Jul 2017

Last month, Carlsberg unveiled ambitious long-term sustainability targets, including a commitment to achieve zero carbon emissions from its breweries by 2030. The company's sustainability director, Simon Boas Hoffmeyer, spoke with Ben Cooper about the rationale behind the new long-range targets.


Drinks industry focuses on road ahead after Trump's Paris climate agreement decision – Sustainability Spotlight 3 Jul 2017

Last month, Donald Trump followed through on his campaign pledge to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord. Ben Cooper looks at how the drinks sector has responded and what US withdrawal means, both for global efforts to address climate change and for multinational beverage corporations.


Do the drinks industry's water stewardship efforts pass muster? - Sustainability Spotlight 3 May 2017

The drinks industry's leading position on water stewardship was recognised last month in an important discussion paper, published jointly by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the CEO Water Mandate, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Pacific Institute, World Resources Institute (WRI) and WWF, looking at the importance of context-based water targets for companies.


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