The Grocer’s annual conference ‘How to Build a Sustainable Brand’ brought the crucial question of sustainability back to the top of the agenda. While the coronavirus has knocked back progress in a number of areas, for consumers concerns about the environment haven’t gone away. What’s more, there’s new legislation coming through, new environmental commitments are being made, new deadlines being set. So it’s more important than ever that retailers and suppliers get back up to speed on the new environment.

The Grocer’s Broadcast Conference saw a wide range of fantastic speakers in one ‘virtual’ room discussing some of the key areas that are likely to be of most importance to brands in building a sustainable brand.

If you missed the broadcast, then register here to watch it. however, if you have already registered, then click here to watch

Price: £125+vat or access the presentations free if you are a Gold and Platinum member of The Grocer.

The programme is outlined below.

9.00am      Networking in the delegate lounge and one-on-one catch-ups

Session one

9.30am      Shopper insights: how have shopper priorities and attitudes towards the environment changed as a result of the coronavirus? And how should you respond?

Despite the coronavirus, concerns about the environment haven’t gone away. In fact, in some cases they’ve been heightened by the pandemic. But they’ve also been moderated. At the same time the issues shoppers need to consider in their choices – from waste and carbon, to water, recycling, packaging, sourcing, even where you do your shopping – all are in play for today’s environmentally conscious shopper. This session will reveal exclusive research on shopper priorities when it comes to the environment, while a panel will debate the role that shoppers and brands themselves can play in helping to shape future behaviour.

Keynote presentation – Maria Anthony, Client Solutions Director, Streetbees

Trewin Restorick, CEO, Hubbub UK
Jenny Costa, Founder, Rubies In The Rubble
Susan Thomas, Senior Director, Sustainable Commercial Activities, Asda
Rob Metcalfe, Chairman, Richmond & Towers


Session two

10.30am    Net Zero: What do the retailers’ carbon neutral targets mean for suppliers? Who’s planning what? And how can you get ready?

The UK government has vowed that the UK will be net-zero carbon by 2050. And the supermarkets are wasting no time in preparing. Tesco has committed to reach this target by 2035, while rivals have introduced earlier targets of their own – targets that their suppliers need to achieve. So who’s planning what? And how can you get ready?

Keynote presentation – Ken Murphy, CEO, Tesco

James Wright, Managing Director, Jude’s
Emma Piercy, Head of Climate Change & Energy Policy, Food and Drink Federation
Nick Brown, Head of Sustainability, Coca-cola European Partners, Great Britain
Dan Crossley,
Executive Director, Food Ethics Council


Session three

11.30am    How to Make Closed Loop Zero Waste Grocery Work?

From refill stations to online delivery services, the holy grail of a closed loop delivery system is exercising some of the best minds in grocery right now. The launch of Loop was delayed by the coronavirus but it’s set to roll out this summer in Tesco aisles, with several suppliers teaming up. Meanwhile, Planet Organic’s pioneering use of refill stations is being adopted by supermarket chains (Waitrose, Asda, M&S etc.) and convenience stores. And there’s also a growing number of online delivery services offering a closed solution, including established players like Abel & Cole and new startups such as Inn, Roots & Hoots, and The Good Club. How is the thinking on closed loop evolving? How much progress has there been? And what role can brands play in these schemes?

Keynote presentation – Catherine Conway, Founder & Director, Unpackaged Innovation

Ben Patten, Co-founder & CEO, Good Club
Jo Chidley, Co-Founder, Beauty Kitchen & Return•Refill•Repeat
Kene Umeasiegbu, Campaigns Director, Tesco


12.15pm    Lunch break and networking


Session four

1.30pm      Marketing & communications: how to successfully communicate sustainability messages and avoid accusations of greenwash — or worse?

Shoppers are constantly bombarded by sustainability messages. And if you have a positive story to tell you should surely shout about it. But shoppers are also cynical and confused. And the environment is a legal minefield, too, with lobby groups and legal experts ready to trip you up. How do you get your story straight with the shopper? What’s the best tone to strike? How and where should you market sustainability messages? Or should you just keep your head down and say nothing for fear of repercussions?

Keynote presentation – Anna Sudbury, Senior Partner Manager CPG, Pinterest

Katie Vickery, Partner – Head of the International Food Law Team, Osborne Clarke LLP
Victoria Sjardin, VP of Marketing, Kraft Heinz
Ben Greensmith, Lord Chocolonely III / U.K. Country Manager, Tony’s Chocolonely
Christina Miller, Connections Director,  VMLY&R


Session five

2.30pm      Packaging: what are the latest packaging solutions? And how can you mitigate against the impact of your packaging? 

From paper bottles to compostable plastics, we’ve all read about the high-tech packaging solutions coming down the track. So what’s already out there? What’s in the pipeline? And are there any other quick wins and other measures you can take that mitigates against the impact of packaging?

Keynote presentation – Michael Fletcher, Retail Chief Commercial Officer, Co-op

Nikki Clark, Researcher Co-Investigator Perpetual Plastic for Food-to-Go Project, Loughborough University
Jamie Rowles, Head of Investment, Sky Ocean Ventures
David Newman, Managing Director, BBIA


3.15pm    Networking in the delegate lounge and one-to-one

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