Following the 24-page Sustainability Survey published within the TRBusiness April e-zine, Richard Houseago, Head of Customer Marketing, World Travel Retail (WTR) at Mondelēz International says the confectionery giant is taking an important lead in reducing the environmental impact of its in-store activations.
What areas of sustainability are you prioritising this year?
At Mondelēz World Travel Retail (WTR), we are committed to delivering on corporate-wide and industry-specific pledges to offer products that are not only right for travellers, but also right for the planet.
Our key areas of focus include the ingredients for our products, with 99% of our travel retail chocolate product portfolio currently using cocoa that is sourced sustainably through our ‘Cocoa Life’ programme.
In addition, the majority (93.3%) of our packaging is already designed to be recyclable, whereas Toblerone [pictured above] has already achieved the 100% recyclability target. Within the travel retail environment itself, we are tracking, upcycling and repurposing existing point-of-sale material to prolong life and encourage circularity while also innovating with new technologies to reduce our environmental footprint.
We are also excited about our collaborations with strategic partners on a few industry-specific initiatives that we believe will help to progress more sustainable practices within in travel retail.
Apart from reducing carbon footprints, where can travel retail improve when it comes to evaluating ‘greener choices’ in the supply chain?
Waste is the most tangible environmental impact of our products for our travelling consumers. In fact, recent research from TFWA listed single-use plastic, packaging volumes and reducing waste as the three most important issues [for consumers], and we need to consider how we can support traveling consumers in making more sustainable choices when they are shopping in the travel retail environment.
Mondelēz International’s packaging roadmap emphasises creating zero net waste packaging and innovative partnerships to improve recycling globally as part of achieving our 100% recyclability commitment across all of the company’s packaging by 2025.
However, we cannot achieve our sustainability goals by working in silos. We’re constantly in conversation with our suppliers and industry partners to identify and seize every opportunity where we can make greener choices, while also achieving supply chain excellence.
As an example, looking at our logistics and transportation, we are regularly optimising our vehicle types, experimenting with smart solutions to fill our pallets and trucks, as well as shifting to partners in the supply chain who value sustainability as much as we do.
It is broadly acknowledged that just shy of three quarters of travel retail shoppers would be more likely to buy products that display their ‘sustainability credentials’. How are you responding to that demand?
Through upcoming product redesigns, we are putting more emphasis on the communication of the sustainability credentials that many travellers are proactively looking for while shopping, as well as making it more explicit at the point of sale. This will ensure that our dedicated programmes like Cocoa Life become more familiar to travellers to improve their value perception.
Which elements in your production process would be most affected by a switch to ‘eco-friendly’ raw materials?
Travel retail is a channel with very specific in-store activation requirements, for good reason. However, we at Mondelēz WTR believe we can help be a role model for in-store activation practices that are kinder for the planet.
We have already taken a number of steps to reduce our environmental impact in this arena and are collaborating closely with our industry partners like CircleSquare to achieve better results, not just for our own improvement but for the wider industry as well.
This is a topic that we will be discussing in more detail at Travel Retail Sustainability Week.
It is feasible that future travel retail tenders will require interested parties to show evidence of sustainable practices as a condition of their bids. How will you prepare for this?
At Mondelēz WTR, we take sustainability very seriously. From sourcing our ingredients and our approach to packaging, to our activities instore and creating opportunities to give back and offset our footprint, sustainable practices are already a high priority for us.
The sustainability credentials that we are building on are more than just words on a pack; we’re committed to collaborating with other stakeholders in the industry to ensure that we are not just talking about being better, but actually doing better.
Richard Houseago and CircleSquare Account Director Abby Loader are speakers at Travel Retail Sustainability Week (19-24 April).
Both will feature in ‘Back to the drawing board: How sustainability is forging powerful new partnerships’ panel session at 14:00 BST on Wednesday 21 April.