Even as the continent struggles with the ongoing pandemic, Europe is showing what a green economy can look like. In 2020, Europe produced more electricity from renewable sources than fossil fuels for the first time.
And consumers are choosing products that have a lower impact on the environment. Here are three executives from Business Insider’s list of 100 transformers leading Europe toward a more sustainable way of life.
Gabriela Hernandez Galindo is the global sustainability director for Danone, best known for its yogurts, but also a successful beverage business. Already this year we have our two global water brands, Volvic and Evian, certified as carbon neutral.
The company has said its water bottles in Europe will be made of 100% recycled plastic from 2025 onwards. Business decisions like these are part of Danone’s plan to spend 2 billion euros over the next three years to fight climate change, a significant pledge for a company with a 13 billion euro dairy business.
So in 2015, we made a commitment as a company to be carbon neutral end to end by 2050. This is a big, big effort that requires first reducing our emissions through investing in renewable energy. We are investing in regenerative agricultural practices everywhere.
The world produces about 900 billion tons of milk from animals every year, leaving a huge environmental impact. Regenerative agriculture is a set of techniques and principles that aim to reduce that impact.
But not all milk is created equal, and consumers are choosing from a wider selection of plant-based alternatives than ever before. It’s like milk But made for humans Oat milk isn’t that interesting, and if you’re going to explain why people should try oat milk, you have to do it in a pretty interesting way.
Wow Wow No cow In 2012, John Schoolcraft became Oatly’s global chief creative officer. At that time, Oatly was a small, local producer of oat milk in Sweden. Today, Oatly is a $2 billion company and can be found on supermarket shelves around the world.
Part of that success can be attributed to the company’s willingness to take risks on advertising campaigns that poke fun at the very idea of sustainability. Michael Lee, one of our creative directors, reads the entire 2018 Sustainability Report as a bedtime story, because he reads in a very monotone voice.
Hello, this is Mike from the oat drink company Oatly, and you are listening to bedtime stories from Oatly’s 2018 Sustainability Report. And the dairy industry is noticing, not just in Europe, but around the world.
Three years ago in the US, when we introduced oat milk, there wasn’t any oat milk. And now there’s probably five or six or seven, eight oat milk producers. Most of them are dairies who refused to make oat milk before because they wanted to sell their dairy products, but now are making oat milk.
That’s a good thing, I think. I think that competition is great. As Oatly has pushed its competitors to reorient their business model towards sustainability, Francois Austin has been consulting for clients that most need to change: the oil and gas industry.
How do you finance the transition? How do you finance the shift into a more sustainable set of business models going forward? As Europe continues to build out carbon-free energy sources, Austin sees his clients aligning values and the bottom line.
I think that people have historically thought there was almost a trade off between profitability and sustainability, but as a number of people have said, sustainability is just good business. My personal feeling is that business has a huge role to play in creating the type of society that we want to have and that we want to be proud of.
I think that in this world, you know, everyone needs to take a part. It’s about collaboration. That’s the name of the game, and that’s what’s happening.