This article has been sponsored by Pernod Ricard India
“By 2050, India will need a landfill the size of New Delhi.”
The frightening statistic echoed loud amid the silence in the hall where Pernod Ricard, the global leader in wine and spirits, was hosting their event in Mumbai on 7 December 2022.
The industry’s first such initiative ‘#OneForOurPlanet’ — focusing on the removal of permanent mono cartons from the packaging — was the first of many sustainable steps that the company is taking to reduce their carbon footprint.
But even as cheers accompanied their promise of achieving this ambitious goal by June 2023, Kartik Mohindra, chief marketing officer of Pernod Ricard India, warned that this will be only a small step against the large problem of climate change.
“Even if we are successful in doing away with the permanent mono cartons, we estimate that we will prevent carbon emissions of 7,310 tonnes every year, save 2.5 lakh trees, and reduce waste-to-landfill by 18,745 tons. This, though a lot, is still little,” he noted.
Reducing environmental impact from grain to glass
Ranjeet Oak, chief commercial officer of Pernod Ricard India reiterates that the company wishes to not only create an environmental impact, but also let it continue. They are hopeful that this initiative will influence eco-conscious purchase decisions among people.
“We aim to inspire consumers to champion this cause and help us evangelize this into a larger movement,” agreed Mohindra, adding that it hasn’t been an overnight decision.
“There was a lot of reconfiguring to do with respect to our supply chains and traders. But they are aligned with our plans,” says Gagandeep Sethi, vice president, manufacturing, Pernod Ricard India.
Assuring customers that mono cartons were being eliminated would in no way compromise the quality of the liquid within, he said that the outer cartons were being bolstered to ensure the strength of the packaging.
Would customers miss the mono carton?
“Unknowingly, customers sometimes purchase from their preferred brands which do not have a mono carton. Even though they may not be aware, they have accepted this change,” adds Oak.
“In fact, according to the findings of our consumer research, one in two consumers discard the mono carton right after purchasing. This goes to show that this packaging is not really essential.”
‘It is not an initiative. It is a movement.’
As the company highlights, this sustainable step is only one under the umbrella of its many goals.
They add that another is having “100 per cent of the packaging be made recyclable, compostable, or reusable by 2025, and employing the use of 40 per cent recycled glass content by the same year”.
“We are looking at reducing our overall carbon footprint by 50 per cent by 2030,” adds Oak.
Along with this, recyclable neck tags will enable consumers to go to a micro-site explaining more about the initiative.
Even as guests mulled over the eco-conscious points mentioned, there was much to admire in the way the event was set up — the ‘forest-themed’ decor with succulent plants on shelves, being the main draw.
Glass bottles on every table substituted the usual plastic ones. In addition to this, separate bins for recyclable waste and food waste were placed at strategic spaces around the room, and the company promised that all leftover food would be shared with NGO Aasra.
“Practice what you preach” seemed to be the mantra of the day, as guests were treated to a musical show by famed percussionist Taufiq Qureshi and his team, who stunned the audience not only with their beats but also by making music using discarded items, such as trash cans, old buckets, dustbin bags, old glasses and used wood.
As the global beverage brand spearheads this campaign, the first of its nature, it creates hope for a chance at a better planet and a better world.
Check out more about the initiative at: https://oneforourplanet.com.