Sustainability is a top priority for Europe’s citizens and likewise for brands.
Influenced increasingly by societal needs and trends, the collective consciousness of consumers has become a collective movement of citizens, now inspiring and nudging brands to deliver even more for our planet and our citizens.
As corporate citizens and responsible actors in society, AIM members have an important role to play in meeting economic, environmental and social challenges. Our members continuously invest in their brands to improve their environmental and social impact, as well as the quality of life enjoyed by consumers, employees and the communities in which they operate. This is the right and necessary approach for our planet, our businesses and our citizens.
Our members own many of the world’s leading brands and are acutely aware that consumer trust in those brands is essential to their long-term success.
As understanding and communicating with consumers is an integral part of building strong brands, AIM members are in a unique position to promote environmental sustainability, health and well-being of citizens and their communities, and to shape consumer behaviour and choices. Consumer brand manufacturers do this by focusing on:
To deliver on their commitments, our members follow the AIM Principles on Sustainable Development in order to guarantee maximum value for consumers now and for generations to come.
AIM brands are committed to the Circular Economy. It makes environmental and economic sense to manage resources carefully and, where feasible, to re-inject recovered materials into the economy.
AIM member companies are integrating circular thinking into their business strategies through, among others, responsible raw material sourcing, efficient production processes, more sustainable product design, inspiring more sustainable and better consumer behaviour (AIM Nudging for Good initiative), as well as being at the forefront of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes for efficient waste management and recycling. For more details, please see AIM’s position on the EU Circular Economy Action Plan.
In order to tackle plastic pollution, one of the most urgent environmental problems of our society, brands are committed to finding solutions to reduce use of plastics and weight of packaging, to increase the recyclability and recycling of their plastics packaging, as well as to integrate more recycled content in their products. Regarding the latter, AIM members have already come forward with concrete public company commitments and goals. Find out more in the next section “AIM Brands & Eco-Design” or in our AIM Brands’ Eco-Design Factsheet.
The development of eco-design for packaging represents a strategic part of how brands are integrating circular thinking into their business strategies. Today, AIM brands come forward with their individual company commitments and goals addressing eco-design. For a complete overview, have a look at our AIM Brands’ Eco-Design Factsheet.
Eco-design for packaging aims at minimising the environmental impact of the packed product and its packaging over the entire life cycle. It is often associated with the recyclability of packaging, and although this aspect is important for the eco-design concept, eco-design is more than just design for recycling. Thus, AIM’s Eco-Design Model for brands looks at four important elements:
AIM-PROGRESS is a forum of leading Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) manufacturers and common suppliers, assembled to enable and promote responsible sourcing practices across common supply chains. It is a global initiative supported and sponsored by AIM in Europe and GMA (Grocery Manufacturers of America) in North America.
The AIM-PROGRESS mission is to:
Positively impact people’s lives through our combined leadership of robust responsible sourcing practices throughout our supply chains.
Its key objectives include:
AIM brands are committed to sustainable production, focusing, among others, on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, transferring to renewable energy, decreasing their water use, promoting zero waste to landfill, eliminating waste, reducing packaging weight and fostering recyclable packaging and the use of recycled content.
On an annual basis, our brands report about commitments and efforts in their sustainability reports. An overview of these commitments is available in our Sustainability Insights section.
Through their daily interaction with consumers, branded goods manufacturers are well placed to facilitate change towards more sustainable and healthier consumer choices and lifestyles. However, there is still a gap between consumer intentions and actual behaviour. In this context, policy-makers, academics and businesses acknowledge that in addition to an appropriate sustainability policy framework for business and society, more work is required on behavioural aspects and specifically, the potential of “nudging” consumers to help them change their consumption habits and lifestyles. A “Nudge for Good” is how a brand, on the basis of consumer insights, makes it easy and desirable for people to change behaviour or habits and adopt a healthier, sustainable or responsible lifestyle. Branded goods manufacturers, with their unique consumer insights, communication and marketing skills, have a key role to play in this debate.
In 2015, AIM launched its initiative Nudging for Good to:
In this context, AIM has developed the Nudging for Good Toolkit, which provides practical guidance for brands on how to create nudges to help people adopt healthier and more sustainable lifestyles. An overview on the Brands Nudging for Good topic can be also found in our Nudging for Good Factsheet.
Additionally, every two years, AIM organises the Brands Nudging for Good Awards in order to promote original brand “Nudges for Good” by AIM corporate and national association members. Building on the success of the first edition of the AIM Nudging for Good Awards in 2017, the 2019 Awards contest focuses on how brands inspire consumers towards mindful, responsible and sustainable consumption. The three Awards themes are Health & Well-being, Environmental Sustainability and Social Responsibility.
AIM, the European Brands Association, believes that climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face, as society and as businesses.
Tackling the accelerating pace of climate change requires transformational changes to the broader systems in which brands operate.
As brands we are committed to mitigate climate change by reaching the global consumer goods industry’s goal of driving down carbon emissions through innovation in our production processes, our supply chains and our products.
We also need government policies that create the right context for change and business action to advance the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century.
Only by working together with all concerned stakeholders, in full transparency and with a long-term view, can we embrace what we believe to be the essential purpose of corporations: to improve our society, where CEOs are truly committed to meeting the needs of all stakeholders, not only primary shareholders.