Article

Russell Goldsmith
Russell Goldsmith 31 May 2019

Podcast - How Businesses are Innovating for Long Term Success

The latest csuite podcast was produced in partnership with FutureBrand, and focused on how businesses are innovating for long term success and discussed the launch of the new recycling platform from TerraCycle.

Russell Goldsmith was joined by Jon Tipple, FutureBrand's Worldwide Chief Strategy Officer and Laure Cucuron, General Manager of TerraCycle.

Russ, Laure and Jon

TerraCycle have a mission to eliminate the idea of waste by first looking at a solution to collect and recycle things that can’t normally be recycled and that end up in incinerators or landfill, such as coffee capsules or plastic wrappers.  The company engages consumers in collection programs and then finds recycling solutions for this hard to recycle material.   They also look at how to integrate more recycled contents in packaging in the first place, for example, using ocean plastic to make shampoo bottles. In the UK, they have a partnership with Walkers to recycle crisp packets, with Garnier to recycle cosmetic waste and Acuvue for contact lenses.

Laure said that they really try to engage people in a change of behaviour by offering them solutions to recycle almost everything.  She added that the root of the issue is disposability and single use, which is why they have created a 'Loop'.

Laure said that collection - segregating materials so that they can then recycle them - is the key of the process.  To achieve that, they are engaging consumers in new collection and recycling systems. For example, with Walkers Crisps, you can visit the TerraCycle website, search for 'crisp packets' and then you will be offered two choices

  1. a map with drop off locations, usually located in public areas such as schools or supermarkets, where you easily drop off your crisp packets
  2. the opportunity to become a TerraCycle ambassador and create your own collection location

You are also incentivised by raising money for charity too - so there is an environmental impact and a social impact one too.

What excited FutureBrand when they first heard about TerraCycle was on the purpose side of things.  As part of Interpublic Group, Jon said that having a positive approach to the environment and the positive social making, positive social difference is something that the company is committed to. He added that changing behaviour, disposability, single use etc is also a big issue for his clients too. He therefore thinks that it's important that a company that is involved in culture, involved in creating new cultures for brands, should be in tune with that world. It also makes commercial sense for his company to be at the forefront of some of the most exciting innovations that are happening around sustainability but also that are actually going to begin to change the world not just socially and environmentally but generally commercially for FutureBrand’s clients.

Jon said that organisations are systemised to deliver what they've always delivered and generate revenue in the way they've always delivered revenue. The ability to then change that production line to incorporate new technologies is a big challenge that takes a lot of money and it takes a lot of commitment and it's hard to do. He added that it’s not like the organisations don't know that innovation is something they need to embrace or that they don't realise that they're being challenged by start-ups in the most valuable parts of their business but what they're struggling with is how they find a way to make it work at the scale they need.

Loop launches May 2019 in Paris and New York before expanding to London by the end of the year.  Consumers will be able to order all the products they buy today at a normal retailer. They will put a deposit on each packaging and then receive their own packaging, which will be very different:

  • they are durable, which means that they can be reused within the Loop platform at least 100 times
  • they are much more premium

Once consumers get their products, they use them as with any standard product used today. However, when they are empty, they put them back in their durable Loop Tote bag and ship them very easily back to Loop, where they are then cleaned, sterilised and refilled and then each packaging can go back into the Loop system for hundreds of times.

Laure said that with the Loop system, packaging actually becomes an asset for the manufacturer, which is an incentive for them to make it as durable as possible but that's also an opportunity for them to add functionalities, to change the design

Jon agreed and said that the consumer never wanted to own the packaging, they just want the product. Allowing manufacturers to really see that brand moment as an opportunity to really innovate therefore makes it quite revolutionary. He also sees it as a really exciting opportunity to create something new for the customer who has become relatively blasé about packaging from time to time and thinks that the ability to put something new into their minds that adds to their experience as well makes it a win-win.

Loop will launch with Carrefour in France and Tesco in the UK.  This was quite interesting for Jon as he said that if you look at the consumer-packaged goods businesses that those retailers are working with, i.e. PepsiCo, Unilever etc, those are the companies that he said need help right now as according to the FutureBrand Index, their futures look uncertain to some extent - consumers and other members of the public are ambivalent about the futures of these companies. He therefore said that the ability to start putting things into the market that are generally tangibly seen to be not just making a difference to the environment but actually are aspirational and interesting is one of those things that he thinks should be huge.

For more information on Loop:

Consumers living in the US, visit Loopstore.com
Consumers living in France, visit maboutiqueloop.fr
Consumers living in the UK, go to TerraCycle.co.uk to keep updated on the coming launch of Loop there.

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