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New Year, New Goals: Creating an ESG Strategy for Food & Drink Brands

ESG is one of the most prominent drivers of sales across industries. Whether you’re an established food and beverage business or a budding start-up brand, you can benefit from creating and adopting an ESG strategy now – even if it’s a wireframe. 

Harvard Law has found that two-thirds, or approximately 63% of global investors, want to see ESG integrated into prospective investment opportunities, and 78% of consumers stated that they will stop buying from companies that do not prioritize activism and environmental support. (Source: Perillion) There’s no better time to launch your ESG strategy. The question is: How? 

We’re here to help. Below, we’re discussing the different elements that your food and beverage business ESG strategy should have, and covering additional benefits you can enjoy from adopting an ESG strategy in 2023. 

Does my food and beverage business need an ESG strategy? 

Yes, your food and beverage business can benefit from creating and adopting an ESG strategy. Once executed, your ESG strategy can result in lower overall operating costs (due to lower raw-materials cost, transparency, and visibility), as well as improved brand perception and awareness, which may positively impact your bottom line. (Source: McKinsey) 

Whether you’re a grower, farmer, manufacturer, or distributor, ESG affects every level of the food industry – and is rapidly evolving into one of the hottest topics of 2023. 

How do I create a food business ESG strategy

Creating an ESG strategy for food business is essential to your growth and expansion. Read on to learn tips to help you create your food and beverage business ESG strategy for the new year. 

Set clear, attainable goals 

Your ESG strategy won’t be effective unless it has clear goals and a guiding directional force propelling it forward. Ideally, you’ll want to appoint a designated individual or officer to develop and execute the strategy, monitoring with regular stakeholder meetings and periodic reports. Managing through this central point of contact can help you to more effectively determine, reach, and exceed your goals, moving you into the next echelon of ESG success. 

However, a goal isn’t as simple as a mission statement. There are several guidelines and recommended elements that your goal should have, including: 

  • Attainability: Is your goal reasonable to attain in the timeframe specified? 
  • A schedule: Is your goal guided by a schedule or a deadline to attain?
  • Specificity: Is your goal specific enough, or data-driven by a specific metric or count? 
  • Relevancy: Is your goal relevant to the current organizational needs and direction? 
  • Agreement: Are your departments and teams committed to doing their part of the process to meet or exceed the goal? Are there any questions or roadblocks that might be inhibiting your goal’s progress? 

Asking yourself and your managers or officers these key questions can help you set more affective long-term goals, saving valuable time and money throughout every step of your process. 


Analyze and identify areas of need 

Understanding the current holes and inefficiencies in your current operations are essential to forming effective goals and a direction for your ESG strategy. Working through and collaborating with your department members across the organization is an effective way to create a truly holistic picture of your priorities during your strategy's execution and refinement and offer your team new ways to engage with higher-level leadership. 

Create an ESG plan 

Now that you have your goals and your gap analysis, it’s time to move forward. The temptation may be strong to step into “analysis paralysis,” but this can limit your ability to grow and scale effectively. Identifying a core team and officer for this area of business can help you to move more efficiently in executing and optimizing your strategy and can also empower you to delegate and move in a forward direction – even if the results aren’t clear yet. 

Request and implement regular reporting 

Regular reporting is the best way to stay on top of your progress, allowing you to pivot and manage your risks more effectively than any other method. Your designated member should be responsible for giving regular stakeholder updates to the board and your team leaders, encouraging and empowering forward movement for your ESG strategy.

You also use your findings to optimize your strategy, enhance your outreach, and strengthen your marketing efforts – leveraging your progress as an important form of advocacy and inclusion that’s effectively communicated via your brand’s official channels and customer-facing assets. 

Centralize your food and beverage manufacturing business operations with Inecta 

Inecta has led the industry for over 20 years – connecting manufacturers and distributors in the food and beverage space with the tools they need to successfully grow, refine, and scale. Centralizing your processes through a singular, cloud-based system allows you the highest possible level of autonomy and flexibility, empowering you to grow and boost your profits more effectively. 

For more information and to get started today, please visit our website. We look forward to assisting you! 

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