My Heart will Go On 🚢

Welcome to "nouveau monde", sort of a "nouveau genre" newsletter to better understand how to make the world better through the lens of retail. This is #17!

This week in nouveau monde, we’ll talk about how Shopify wants to lead the carbon removal shift and also how European retailers make their own path about sustainability in the US. A transatlantic newsletter :-)

Things move fast in retail and sustainability, we’re really happy to help you get the right tips and be inspired !

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Today's newsletter is 1080 words, a 5-minute read.

Shopify goes a step further into sustainability

by Anthony

You may have an opinion about carbon offsetting. Yes, planting trees while still having the same carbon footprint and - as an individual - taking a plane every 2 days might not be the solution... Especially, if you just donate money for that tree planting and you don't really take care of what happens next.

Short infographic of how humans produce carbon and how the Earth integrates it : we can see that what are called sinks are, for the moment, mostly the atmosphere, which causes greenhouse effect :

Yes, technology won't save us and we really need to reduce the left part so that we don't have to manipulate too much the sink part but I still think it's interesting to see that an e-commerce platform puts a lot of energy into the carbon removal emerging industry.

We've already talked about Shopify recently in nouveau monde as they were disclosing their involvement in carbon removal technologies.

They are going a step further by publishing a playbook to help others follow their path.

In this 50 pages documents, Shopify explains us the different types of solutions they've been investing in since they began their own journey towards neutrality.

We can see that they really diversified their portfolio of solutions in the technical subjects they operate but also regarding the maturity of the solutions. Yes, carbon removal is pretty new and has not yet made its proves but a lot of companies and people think they will be at least a part of the solution.

Other parts of the playbook : many advices on how to operate : their main message is to really be open minded regarding these new solutions and also to be bold in theses commitments :

Then, they give people a framework and templates to follow their path.

What's the goal of Shopify with this initiative ? First, it can be seen as a PR thing : it's good for the brand to show it is moving and showing a path.

The second move is to bring customers to these solutions Shopify invested in. Shopify is now a well established company and is certainly able to get people to have a look to these new companies, and therefore let them have a kind of free advertising.

Pretty smart !

European Retailers leading sustainable programs in the US

by Phil

Earlier this year, Ahold Delhaize USA was announcing new health and sustainability goals focused on establishing a more sustainable food supply chain, including more better-for-you foods, greater product transparency, waste reduction and action on climate change, since “the new objectives reflect consumer demand for healthier foods and more information about the content and sourcing of what they eat”, with the objective to o make better-for-you products account for 54% of private-label food sales by 2025. Ahold Delhaize in the US means supermarket chains Stop & Shop, Giant Food, The Giant Company, Food Lion and Hannaford. Big game, and expanding. Top 10 at the PG 100 with a total revenue of more than $50 billions the past year.

Now, Aldi (number 24 in the US in the same list) has enacted a new sustainability charter to lower emission of greenhouse gases, cut food and operational waste, improve packaging and source responsibly — while maintaining accessible and affordable food and grocery options for customers — through 2030.

On the top of the opportunity for retailers to build long-term loyalty by empowering and rewarding customers' ethical behavior, sustainability is perceived by many leaders as critical to their future success. Bring me the Head of PR right away, please!

“Aldi has a responsibility to protect the environment, and we know it’s an important priority for our customers. We are committed to evaluating and implementing sustainable business practices while always offering the highest-quality products at prices that can’t be beat.”

The new sustainability charter is now up and running, the retailer has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA - yeah!) as a “green” power leader, receiving the 2020 Green Power Leadership Award and a 2019 GreenChill Store Certification, as well as a Re-Certification Excellence Award for select stores.

Waste reduction, recycling efforts, in stores, in warehouses, numbers that reflect today the efforts of the Retailer in the sustainable quest were quite difficult to imagine, say 5 years ago maybe? Of course, Aldi is a private brand powerhouse and can have a bigger influence and control on packaging ans so on than other Retailers in the US, but the demonstration seems impressive : for example, the company recycled last year approximately 300,000 tons of material, the greenhouse gas emission equivalent of nearly 9 million gallons of gasoline monthly. The power is being sourced via Green-e, and the company receives renewable energy certificates to validate its clean energy investment. Everything is measurable, and under control. Yes.

Last, Aldi has never offered single-use plastic shopping bags at checkout and only sells reusable plastic and cloth bags, which it estimates has kept more than 15 billion bags out of landfills and oceans.

To read further, EPA is publishing a Green Power Partnership Top 30 Retail with Walmart being right now on the top of the list…and Aldi not being that far away, with a much less square feet presence on the US soil… Usage figures are based on annualized Partner contract amounts (kilowatt-hours), not calendar year totals, and rankings are updated on a quarterly schedule. 

Quick hits

Since we had some success last week with our proposition to join a free webinar set up by the Progressive Grocer, guess what, there is more! Yes, free of charge, perfect for tea time if you’re located in UK (hello there, by the way!).

Sustainability is no longer a nice-to-have for retailers — it’s a must do if they want to meet consumers’ increasing demand for brands that prioritize environmental and social responsibility. But successfully implementing sustainable practices that not only satisfy consumers but also align with business goals requires creative thinking and an outside-the-box approach.

Join Revionics and Aptos on June 8th at 11 a.m. ET to explore two innovative strategies to drive sustainability — pricing and loyalty rewards:

•Pricing best practices that promote sustainability

•Managing the product lifecycle to reduce waste from the start

•Rewards programs to boost customer loyalty and greener behavior

Fast Rewind

We talked about fast delivery in Nouveau Monde #4 with Dija. Last week, Getir, the Turkish company, saw its valuation go to $7.5bn, more than Deliveroo ! A kind of fast grocery delivery bubble… but who’s not interested to get the grocery shopping in 10 minutes at home!

Bonus track by Anthony

Mon ami René would be proud of us to share this song with you.