Drivers of Sustainability Brands for a sustainable future

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Brundtland Report

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.

AIM Activities

AIM Principles on Sustainable Development

 

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:

  • Innovating to develop and market goods and services that have a more sustainable life cycle.
  • Optimising the economic and environmental efficiency as well as the social impact of current products and activities in the supply chain.
  • Communicating their efforts on sustainable development based on proven science and in line with EU policy on advertising and claims.

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 & Circular Economy

 

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.

AIM Brands' Eco-Design Commitments

 

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:

  • How Brands optimise their Packaging: innovations in packaging design, reducing/substituting material and the overall weight of packaging, increasing recyclability and recycling, integrating more recycled content in packaging, etc.
  • How Brands work along the Supply Chain: AIM-PROGRESS
  • How Brands engagae Consumers in Sustainability: sustainability information, AIM-NUDGE
  • How Brands optimise their Production Processes: sustainable production, reducing greenhouse gas submissions, transferring to renewable energy, etc.

AIM-PROGRESS - AIM Brands' Responsible Sourcing Initiative

 

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:

  • Building supply chain capability so that member organisations and their suppliers are competent in executing robust responsible sourcing programmes.
  • Effectively assuring compliance in the members supply chains through aligning practices, standards and metrics.
  • Driving continuous improvement in member supply chains.

AIM Brands’ promotion of sustainable production

 

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.  

AIM Nudging for Good - Brands for healthier and more sustainable lifestyles

 

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:

  • Provide leadership and encourage emulation of ways to inspire sustainable and healthy consumer behaviour.
  • Create and provide accessible knowledge to AIM members and other stakeholders.
  • Deliver meaningful contributions to help advance the public debate.

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.

News & Positions

AIM Activities on Sustainability

To find out more about our latest AIM Activities on Sustainability, have a look at our Sustainability News & Positions section!

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Insights

Brands & Sustainability

Keep up-to-date on the latest academic insights, reports, studies and news on Brands & Sustainability through our Sustainability Insights section!

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Key Figures

AIM Brands, Sustainability & Eco Design

Get the overview on AIM Brands’ Eco-Design commitments, innovations and initiatives to drive Sustainability in our Eco-Design Factsheet.

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