The Sustainability in Licensing Conference – which took place in London last week – played host to a jam-packed agenda of insightful, educational, and inspiring panel sessions as well as the first Products of Change SDG Members Awards, presented by the United Nations.
The Royal Geographical Society in London once again set the scene for another Conference curated to not only showcase the strides towards sustainable development the brand licensing and retail sectors are taking, but to celebrate the collective journey industry players, pioneers, and innovators are on.
This was no better reflected than in the launch of the first ever Products of Change SDG Members Awards in which the POC Community’s own The LEGO Group, Asda, Carousel Calendars, and Wastebusters and the Tesco team were championed for their respective commitment to sustainable development and alignment with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
In a brief ceremony during the tightly-packed Sustainability in Licensing Conference agenda, Caroline Petit, deputy director of the United Nations’ Regional Information Centre joined Products of Change editor and community manager, Rob Hutchins in handing out four carefully selected awards for categories aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals.
The first of the four – aligning with SDG number 17 – Partnership for the Goals, was awarded to the LEGO Group and was collected by Sine Møller, sustainability transformation director, and Jakob Max Hamann, sustainability lead, for the team’s tireless commitment to not only sustainable development across its core business and consumer products operations, but the lead it has taken in driving cross-industry collaboration and partnership.
Award number two was awarded to Asda and George at Asda and was in alignment with SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production. The award was handed to Asda’s senior sustainability manager, Jade Snart; and George at Asda’s sustainability manager, Jennifer Ward as the UK retail giant was championed for its ongoing sustainability strategy that includes concerted steps towards the repair, refurbishment, reuse, and resell of items and consumer goods.
“It was an absolute privilege to be one of the first winners of the POC SDG Members Awards,” said Jade. “I have had the pleasure of being a part of the POC community for the last four years and I felt incredibly honoured to receive it.”
The third award aligned with SDG number 13 – Climate Action and was handed to Carousel Calendars, a company celebrated for its commitment to mapping its impact for a number of years; taking the lead in innovation within its sector by sharing its processes, and for becoming the first in the sector to have its science-based target reduction approved by SBTi. The award was collected by Martin Rees-Davies, Carousel Calendar’s licensing and business development director on behalf of Steve Plackett, managing director.
“I would like to thank Helena and Rob and the whole Products of Change organisation for the inspiring work they do,” said Steve. “We are pleased to be part of a great organisation
“Our environmental efforts over the last five years have been a huge team effort so thanks goes to every single person in our team.”
The fourth and final POC SDG Member Award – aligned with SDG number 9 – Industry Innovation and Infrastructure – went to not one company but two: Wastebusters and the team at Tesco which have both worked hard over the last three years to bring the cross-industry initiative Recycle to Read into stores earlier this year.
Wastebusters’ founder, Katy Newnham was joined by Tesco’s Cheryl Thomson and Felicity Thomson in collecting the accolade, awarded for the implementation of a pilot campaign to drive awareness of re-homing and re-selling while unlocking value for schools in need of resources.
It was highlighted by Products of Change founder, Helena Mansell-Stopher, that while the award was handed to Wastebusters and the Tesco team, the initiative could not have got off the ground without the support of key members and brands within the children’s publishing and toy industries, signifying a real cross-industry effort.
“We are so delighted to receive this prestigious award for Recycle to Read,” said Katy. “We are very proud of the programme as it is both enabling children to care for the environment, see the difference they are making together, and get to read lovely new books.
“We believe in the power of storytelling to capture children’s imaginations and take them on journeys of discovery which is why we have teamed up with some of the greatest storytellers of our time to write a new narrative arc of impossible to possible when it comes to caring for our environment. We are very grateful to our supporters and sponsors including Products of Change and the wonderful Hasbro; Egmont Storyhouse; Immediate Media; Kennedy Publishing; Signature Publishing; Redan Publishing; DC Thompson; Smart Games; Sambro; Golden Bear; Harper Collins; the British toy and Hobby Association; Seymour; Frontline; and more who are joining now to take Recycle to Read across the UK and global.”
This year’ Sustainability in Licensing Conference was heralded a major success by attendees across the board. Plans are now in place to set a date for SiLC 2024.