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3 Case Studies for Sustainability

Creating a sustainability mission and framework can help the environment—and ultimately the bottomline. Businesses all around the globe are beginning to realize this. Perhaps the best way to better business and sustainability is to learn from others. Today, let’s look at three case studies for sustainability in three very different areas—cities, food, and technology—in order to find the common thread that extends to all businesses.

Cities Go Plastic Free

In March, The Miami Beach City Commission voted to approve a 10-year nonalcoholic pouring rights agreement with PepsiCo Beverages North America—and the agreement stipulates the company must provide packaged water and soda in aluminum packaging. The pouring rights agreement applies to city buildings, including the Miami Beach Convention Center, Flamingo Park Tennis and Aquatics Center, the Scott Rakow Youth Center, as well as beachfront concessions.

Plastics are permitted for sports drinks and a few other categories where plastic-free alternatives were not yet available in sufficient quantities. Both the City of Miami Beach and PepsiCo Beverages North America has agreed to look at all future possibilities for plastic-free categories as they arise. This agreement will replace a previous agreement with Coca-Cola, which expired on Dec. 31, 2021.

The Food Revolution

Danone provides dairy and plant-based products, with a focus on health and sustainability. The company has goals around the mission of “One Planet. One Health.” The integrated set of 9 long-term goals embeds the business model, brand, and trust models. The Danone 2030 Goals are aligned with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, thus adopting a language that is universally understood.

Some of the objectives include to impact people’s health locally; preserve and renew the planet’s resources; offer superior food experiences and innovate always; and foster inclusive growth, among others. All together the efforts will help to improve the bottomline for the company, while accelerating sustainability for all.

Big Tech, Big Ambitions

Many technology companies have made big strides to improve sustainability. One example is Microsoft. Just peruse at the progress made specifically in the last year. In FY21 and FY22, Microsoft contracted to remove 2.5 million mtCO2 (metric tons of carbon dioxide), which meets its cumulative two-year goal. Also, in FY21, Microsoft invested in replenishment projects that are expected to generate more than 1.3 million cubic meters of volumetric benefits of water. In FY21, the tech giant also diverted more than 15,200 metric tons of solid waste otherwise headed to landfills and incinerators. These are big steps that are going to make a big difference.

Microsoft has also committed to being carbon negative, water positive, and zero waste by 2030. Here’s how it does it. It sets ambitions based on the science, scales strategy to achieve its goals, sets the tone from the top, makes it central to the business, holds everyone accountable for progress, takes steps to accelerate markets and ecosystems, and reports on everything—not just progress.

While these are three examples of companies making a difference today, many others are making strides toward greater sustainability and improved efficiency. The commonality among all of these is that every organization set specific targets for their business. What sustainability goals have you set in your business?

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