Eco Strides:  Sustainability News for 18th March

Eco Strides: Introduction

Welcome back to our weekly dive into the eco strides being made across the globe. In this edition of your sustainability news, we spotlight initiatives that mark significant progress toward a greener future. 

This week we feature Morrisons’ innovative support network for farmers transitioning to net-zero. Along with that, there is Innocent Drinks’ substantial commitment to regenerative farming. Finally Bristol City Council’s ambitious clean energy plan. Each story showcases the impactful steps being taken toward environmental stewardship.

These initiatives not only contribute to reducing our carbon footprint but also pave the way for sustainable development across industries and communities. Join us as we explore these inspiring endeavours.  Each one is a testament to the dedication and innovative approaches being adopted in the journey towards sustainability.

Eco Strides: Morrisons Launches Network to Support Farmers With Net-Zero Transition

Morrisons has launched the Sustainable Farm Network as a cornerstone of its commitment to promote sustainable, net-zero farming practices among its suppliers. This innovative program is developed in collaboration with Harper Adams University’s School of Sustainable Food and Farming. It aims to facilitate sustainability in agriculture by equipping farmers with the necessary skills and knowledge. These skills are there to navigate and overcome the challenges of achieving net zero emissions. The network was unveiled during a farmer engagement event at Morrisons’ Skipton store and is set to support over 70 farmers in its first year.

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Furthermore, it offers expert guidance and insights through partnerships with Harper Adams, the School of Sustainable Food and Farming. The initiative underscores Morrisons’ role as a leading supporter of British farming, involving over 2,700 farmers in its direct supply chain.

The program focuses on key areas such as soil health, water management and animal welfare. As well as this, it looks at greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and biodiversity enhancement. Accordingly, the program leverages data analysis and integrates academic research, commercial practices, and on-farm experience. This is done to foster a more sustainable and commercially viable agricultural sector. Additionally, Morrisons is incentivising participating farmers with a rewards program. The program acknowledges milestones toward sustainable and net zero farming practices.

Eco Strides Morrisons Launches Network to Support Farmers on their Net Zero journey
Morrisons launches network to support farmers on their Net Zero journey

Sophie Throup, Technical and Sustainability Director of Manufacturing at Morrisons said: “By launching the Morrisons Sustainable Farm Network, we’re hoping to link them up to industry specialists, academic expertise and crucially, other farmers. Participating farms will be leading examples of how we can hone our practices as we transition towards a more sustainable future”.

Great work by Morrisons.

Eco Strides: Bristol City Council Launches £750m Clean Energy Plan

Bristol City Council has unveiled an ambitious £750 million clean energy initiative. The initiative supports Bristol’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. This comprehensive five-year plan, part of a larger 20-year joint venture. The venture expects to create 1,000 jobs and attract over £100 million in additional investment to the city, exceeding initial estimates. amazingly, the strategy includes the installation of city-wide electric vehicle charging stations. As well as that the city is retrofitting social housing, and enhancing energy efficiency in schools. Finally, it will advance large-scale renewable energy projects.

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Notably, the Bristol Heat Network is set to expand, contributing to the city’s decarbonization efforts. Moreover, by 2028, the plan aims to deploy nearly 200 megawatts of low-carbon energy generation. Significantly this will reduce carbon emissions by around 140,000 tonnes.

Bristol City Leap, a pioneering partnership launched last year with Ameresco and Vattenfall Heat UK, has already begun laying the groundwork for these decarbonisation projects. It is providing energy efficiency measures to low-income households and investing in local communities. Incredibly, the initiative not only focuses on environmental goals but also aims to deliver social value. It is doing this by creating jobs, supporting local suppliers, and improving living conditions. Bristol is making strides towards a more sustainable and inclusive future for all its residents.

Eco Strides - Bristol's £750M net zero strategy has launched city wide to enhance the city's sustainability ambitions
Bristol's £750M net zero strategy has launched city wide to enhance the city's sustainability ambitions

Mark Apsey MBE, Bristol City Leap’s senior vice president said: “Bristol City Leap is a world-first, game-changing approach to decarbonisation that could provide a scalable and replicable model for other cities to follow.” This is a fantastic eco stride – well done Bristol City Council!

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Eco Strides: Innocent Drinks Pledges £1m for Regenerative Farming Projects

Innocent Drinks is investing £1 million in grants through its expanded Farmer Innovation Fund to promote sustainable and regenerative farming practices among its ingredient suppliers. This initiative aims to secure the long-term supply of essential ingredients while transitioning to low-carbon farming practices and enhancing biodiversity. The fund, originally launched in March 2021, addresses the financial risks farmers face when experimenting with new agricultural methods. It targets suppliers of key fruits like apples and oranges, which are significant contributors to the brand’s carbon footprint.

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Furthermore, it is offering grants ranging from £20,000 to £500,000. Innocent’s CEO, Nick Canney, highlighted the fund’s role in connecting consumers with farmers. Importantly, it is ensuring the sustained availability of fruits and vegetables for sustainable and healthy diets.

The initiative also focuses on advocacy, education, and industry-wide collaboration, with plans to share outcomes to accelerate the shift towards sustainable farming. Previous beneficiaries include Döhler and Agrarias Manchegas. Accordingly, it allows the utilising of funds for carbon footprint reduction and precision agriculture technology, respectively. An External Advisory Board, including experts like Dominik Klauser from the SAI Platform, oversees the fund. This emphasises the importance of investing in regenerative farming practices. 

Eco Strides - Innocent Drinks has launched a new £1M fund to help farmers with regenerative farming
Innocent Drinks has launched a new £1M fund to help farmers with regenerative farming projects

Innocent aims to halve its carbon footprint per bottle by 2030 and achieve a net-zero emissions value chain by 2040.

Nick Canney, Innocent Drinks’ CEO said: We are proud to play a part in helping our suppliers secure fruit and vegetables for the long term. We see the Farmer Innovation Fund as a great opportunity to weave a strong connection from our drinkers to our farmers”. Another great eco stride by Innocent Drinks! Well done.

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Sustainable Strides: Wrap Up

This week’s Sustainable Strides stories highlight the innovative and collaborative efforts towards sustainability. The launch of the Just Transition Finance Lab, the UK’s electric bus sales boom, and Walmart’s early achievement of its emissions reduction goal are all testament to the significant strides being made in sustainable development.

These initiatives showcase the power of strategic partnerships and proactive measures in addressing environmental challenges. As we continue to witness these transformative efforts, we are reminded of the importance of sustainability in shaping a better future for all. Stay tuned for more inspiring updates as we continue on this journey towards a greener, more sustainable world.

Play It Green: Empowering Your Sustainability Journey

Ready to take your commitment to sustainability to the next level? Play It Green stands as your partner in creating positive environmental change. From educational resources on sustainable practices and signposting to sustainable services to initiatives like tree planting and social giving, Play It Green offers a holistic approach to environmental stewardship. 

Join us in the journey toward sustainability—embrace eco-conscious practices and be a force for positive change in our world. All whilst staying relevant, meeting legislation and aligning with the values of today’s consumers and employees.

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