Video 1: Sustainability and Community Partnerships
As businesses make the strategic move from traditional ‘social responsibility' to sustainability, more are exploring the potential for social innovation through community and cross-sector partnerships.
Hil Berg is Responsible Business Advisor to Iceland Foods and has worked alongside MD Richard Walker to lead its sustainability agenda and brand activism campaigns over the last five years. Jeremy Barnes is Head Teacher at All Saints Catholic Primary School in Anfield, Liverpool.
In 2018, the school’s work on the UN SDGs created a conversation with Iceland, which led to an opportunity to meet the Board and share the children’s ideas on protecting nature. The encounter led to a unique partnership, as the school’s team of young environmentalists, the Eco Emeralds, inspired and co-designed the Backyard Nature campaign, aimed at helping children to connect with nature whatever their circumstances. Launched in July 2019, The campaign has since generated over 750,000 hours of nature engagement for children across the UK and seen more than 15,000 sign up as Backyard Nature Guardians. It is supported by 22 environmental charities and the children have gained Royal support – and global attention - for their work.
Video 2: Sustainability and Community Partnerships: The Chocolate and Cocoa Industry
As businesses make the strategic move from traditional ‘social responsibility’ to sustainability, more are exploring the potential for social innovation through community and cross-sector partnerships. Our guest speakers Esther Olojugba, Founder of Gola Treasures, and Juan Andres Santelices, Managing Director Pacari Chocolates UK, will share their experience of sustainable business practices.
Esther Olojugba is driven by the conviction that we can all make a difference. Born in the UK, Esther is a mother, a wife, current MBA student, and entrepreneur with over 10 years’ experience in business. A member of the Mende tribe in Sierra Leone, the Mende’s are a majority group of people who live on the edges of the Gola Rainforest, one of the world’s great biodiversity hotspots. Home to everything from endangered Pygmy hippos to 600 different species of butterfly, the rainforest is a vital ecosystem and an important conservation area today.
Gola Treasures started as a sustainable bean-to-bar chocolate company, working with farmers in the Gola Rainforest to source ethically grown cocoa beans. The company was built on the belief that these suppliers deserve to be paid for their experience and expertise - and a commitment to pay prices that reflect that.
Always looking for more impactful ways to lift women up alongside her, Esther has been imagining a new future for Gola Treasures that matches the scale of her vision for change. Pivoting away from producing chocolate, the company is now on a mission to reimagine supply chains.
Gola Treasures connects small-scale women farmers who grow sustainable, plant-based crops to global markets and businesses to open up economic opportunities for them both to thrive. Because when you invest in women who are committed to caring for our planet, everyone reaps the rewards. The future holds so much hope if we all take action for it. Esther is grateful to have found her calling in empowering women who show us there’s a better way to do business - one where everyone wins.
Juan Andres Santelices is Exclusive Representative for the UK & Republic of Ireland at Pacari Chocolate. Pacari is a family-owned Ecuadorian company with a simple mission: to produce the highest quality organic dark chocolate in the world in the most ethical and sustainable way possible. Pacari Chocolate is the highest rated "Best Buy ethical chocolate" in the UK within 109 products, by Ethical Consumer Magazine.
Pacari chocolate is produced and packaged in Ecuador, a country where cacao beans actually grow. Pacari supports over 4,000 families in Ecuador. They pay these farmers a significant premium over market prices and fairtrade cacao prices, to ensure they are fairly compensated for their products and hard work. Pacari also supports the local economy in other ways by creating job opportunities beyond farming such as technicians, designers, chocolatiers, and sales and shop staff. Pacari also pays 60% more than local average price providing the communities with fair and on-time payments, helping them to improve their livelihoods and protect the environment.
Pacari only uses ingredients that are 100% certified organic and their award-winning chocolates are a perfect example of teamwork between WWF Ecuador, Pacari, and the indigenous communities in Cuyabeno in the Ecuadorian Amazon, who strive for sustainable livelihoods and responsibility towards their natural environment. Recently during 2020, they started to add to their line the chocolate bars with 100% compostable inner packaging. In addition to this, Pacari’s packaging is 100% recyclable.
Pacari has been awarded the Good Brand Award by Sublime Magazine in 2016 and again in 2020, in recognition of advancing Social & Environmental Sustainability.