‘Sustainability Guardians’ unveiled as pitch initiative moves to next stage

By Luke Barras-hill |

The landmark Sustainability Pitch programme will now operate on a year-round basis. The panel of  ‘Sustainability Guardians’ will be rotated on a regular basis.

TRBusiness is delighted to announce that it will host the acclaimed travel retail Sustainability Pitch programme on a year-round basis and has appointed an expert judging panel of ‘Sustainability Guardians’ to preside over the entries.

An initial six ‘Sustainability Guardians’ have committed support to the Sustainability Pitch, the sessions of which earned a wave of plaudits during the recent Travel Retail Sustainability Week (19-23 April).

Each Guardian was part of the original 25-strong panel of judges that featured in the Sustainability Pitch agenda at the DF&TR industry’s first virtual event dedicated solely to sustainability.

The Pitch Guardians are: Monica Kominami, Head of Design, Innovation and Sustainability, SEA at Lagardère Travel Retail; Richard Gray, CEO, Aer Rianta International (ARI) Middle East; Nikolett Huszák, Senior Retail Marketing Manager, Budapest Airport; Rajiv Madan, Chief Financial Officer, Delhi Duty Free; Shaye Folk-Blagbrough, Senior Environmental Specialist, Vancouver International Airport; and Caitlin Allen, Beauty Buyer, Harding.

Caitlin Allen, Beauty Buyer, Harding.


Companies can enter the travel retail Sustainability Pitch programme at any time throughout the year, removing the pressure of meeting a specific deadline.*

There will only ever be one pitching company featured in each video and TRBusiness is encouraging pitching companies to enter the Sustainability Pitch year-on-year.

Those entries that meet benchmark scoring criteria will be rewarded with the highly sought-after four-star travel retail ‘Sustainability Trailblazer’ or five-star travel retail ‘Sustainability Hero’.

Monica Kominami, Head of Design, Innovation and Sustainability, SEA at Lagardère Travel Retail said: “I am honoured to be part of the judging panel; it was really interesting to learn what other companies are doing. The company sustainability pitches were inspirational and I intend to share them internally to inspire our team members.

Rajiv Madan, Chief Financial Officer, Delhi Duty Free.

“The movement is growing, and companies and individuals are starting to take action. It is incredibly encouraging to know that more and more companies are making concrete commitments toward sustainable business practices. I want to be part of this and am honoured to continue to help in the Sustainability pitch programme.”

Harding’s Caitlin Allen said: “It’s an honour to be part of such an important initiative within the travel retail industry. Having witnessed the incredible steps that leading brands are taking to improve sustainability has restored my faith in an industry that is often labelled as problematic.

“There is still a long way to go, and I aim to continue encouraging brands to make progressive advances for a more sustainable future.”

Delhi Duty Free’s Rajiv Madan commented: “The initiatives taken by travel retail on sustainability are very encouraging and provides a good opportunity to learn and understand the steps taken by organisations on sustainability. I would like to participate in this endeavour and work with Travel retail in-spite of busy schedule and contribute to the success of this great programme.”

Richard Gray, CEO, Aer Rianta International Middle East.

Launched by TRBusiness during the inaugural Travel Retail Sustainability Week, the Sustainability Pitch provides a unique opportunity for companies to showcase their eco-conscious business strategies while recognising and rewarding sustainable products and initiatives associated with global travel retail.

The extension of the programme on a rolling basis is a direct response to the DF&TR industry’s hunger to learn, engage and implement sustainable changes at a corporate and social level a time when perceptions of branding has never been more important in the eyes of the discerning travel consumer.

Welcoming the initiative, Michael Barrett, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Events at TRBusiness said: “The inaugural Travel Retail Sustainability Week and Sustainability Pitch programme have been a unique experience and ground-breaking moment for the industry as the first event dedicated purely to sustainable business practices and values that encompass both social and environmental responsibility.

“Among the very positive and constructive feedback we have received from judges, speakers and attendees, the most common observations are that the Sustainability Pitch and knowledge and insights shared through the webinars have been inspirational; they feel that they have learned a great deal and the event has been a turning point and extremely influential in shifting the industry focus towards sustainability.

“By extending it from an annual event to a permanent Sustainability Pitch programme, we aim to ensure the attention remains firmly focused on sustainability and continues to showcase and celebrate the industry’s inspiring initiatives from all sectors.”


-Entrant submits a three- to five-minute pitch on their chosen sustainable initiative, strategy, product or plan

-The Sustainability Guardians will scrutinise the pitch video and submit questions to be asked of the pitching company

-TRBusiness will select and put questions to the pitching company who will record answers using Camflare technology

-Answers are sent to the judges who will evaluate the pitches using set guidelines, taking into account the pitch submissions and answers to the questions

-The pitching company is notified should they have met the benchmark travel retail ‘Sustainability Trailblazer’ or travel retail ‘Sustainability Hero’ score

-Pitching companies are then (dependent on the relevant fee being paid) entitled to use the appropriate logo on promotional material, packaging, social media and POS. They will also receive a high-impact marketing campaign to amplify the success (should the benchmark score note be achieved, the pitching company can re-enter within a three-month period)

Should TRBusiness receive a significant volume of entries, a waiting list may be created which could delay a submissions’s exposure to the Guardians judging panel.

Click below to view session one of the travel retail Sustainability Pitch and scroll to footer for links to the other Sustainability Pitch sessions hosted during Travel Retail Sustainability Week.

To request more information about entering the Sustainability Pitch programme, click here.

For more detail on the *qualifying fees for participating, contact: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

To find out how to become a ‘Sustainability Guardian’, contact [email protected]

Sustainability Pitch session two: Moroccanoil, Fraas, Puressentiel

Sustainability Pitch session three: L’Occitane, L’Oréal, The Lego Group

Sustainability Pitch session four: Beam Suntory, Brown-Forman, Guerlain, Join The Pipe


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