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Thoughts from category: ethics

a little less

Climate change - no doubt about it, a fairly sizeable problem. It's pretty easy to feel overwhelmed by the science, the required reduction in emissions, and before you know it, you wonder if there is any chance of solving this gargantuan (yes, I had to spell check it) issue.

At innocent we've been working on our carbon footprint for a number of years - be it introducing our 100% recycled plastic bottle, lightweighting our packaging, or challenging our suppliers to improve their energy, water and waste performance year on year.

We feel pretty positive that we can successfully tackle climate change. Most of the actions we take not only reduce our carbon footprint, but also make commercial sense - if you use less you pay less - not exactly rocket science.

We want people to feel more positive about tackling climate change, but talking about air compressors, reductions in blend waste, and energy capture is not inspiring for everyone. So we decided to start collecting examples of what people do in their day to day lives. Whilst each example might not make that much difference with just one person, when loads of people do it, then we start to get somewhere.

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Super Eddie told us how he only turns on the lights in the office when we need them.

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Whereas Delia doesn't turn on the lights at all if she knows her way.

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Caroline makes sure if she does turn on the lights that they are powered by 100% renewable energy.

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So does Ben W (although he was concerned he was having a bad hair day).

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Simon is making sure he only buys new clothes when his existing ones are truly worn out (check out his elbow) - thankfully Rach is pretty handy with her darning skills, and she even makes her own clothes.

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Steve has ditched the car for coming to work, and now uses a train and bicycle combo.

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Kate gave up her car entirely - very impressive.

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Philippa does loads of stuff herself, but is really proud of her mum for putting in solar panels.

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Jeremy uses a lot less toilet paper... we didn't push him for details though.

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And Eva has even gone so far as to change her career to work in sustainability - including studying for her Masters.

We have loads more stories which we will be sharing - we hope that reading these have made you feel a bit more positive about things.

If you want some ideas for stuff you can do - check out http://www.wearewhatwedo.org/. Or if you want to share your actions with us, then please comment on this blog.

Here's to the future.

a jaunt through the city

On Monday morning, Ben H and I ran to work.

10 kilometres to be precise.

We started at St. Paul's. We gave the Queen a wave at Buckingham Palace. We blazed along with the wind in our hair and nothing to stop us - aside from 200 traffic lights, London's entire workforce on foot, and a scenic loo break two thirds in when Ben got caught short.

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Our one man technological guru, Kamal, accompanied us by bike to record the whole thing and update the whole office live as it happened.

Why did we do this?

We did it because 10km is the distance that people in the village of Ajiek in Sudan used to have to walk, every day, to get to a borehole for the water that they needed to live. And whilst we chugged along the Strand, struggling with the weight of the Oyster cards in our pockets (unused, might it be noted), these formidable ladies used to carry up to 21 litres of water for the 10km walk back.

For those who aren't sure how heavy 21 litres is, here's a pictorial representation:

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Ben and I ran in to celebrate the fact that this is no longer the case for these ladies.

Working alongside an incredible NGO called FARM Africa, our innocent foundation has funded the development of a borehole in the village.

This means these women now have an extra 6 hours every day to sell their crops and generate a secure income for their families.

Their children no longer have to stay at home alone waiting for food to be cooked on Mum's return, and they are now able to wash more than once every 10 days because there is sufficient water to do so.

In simple maths, water = the ability to make life changing choices.

Here's the little video that Kamal made about our adventure:

A massive thank you to FARM Africa.

And a huge thank you to all of you who have bought our bottles, cartons, pots and wedges over the years.

In doing so, you've been a part of changing people's lives.

an innocent guide to Copenhagen

The planet's doomed right? It's time to pack the tinned goods and head north. Well not just yet, but we are definitely in last chance territory to keep our climate in a more friendly condition. World leaders will be gathering in Copenhagen this December to try and secure a crucial international agreement for significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. There's a bit more information from our Sustainability Jess about why this is all so important on our new innocent guide to Copenhagen page.


Jess will be visiting the Department of Energy and Climate Change in November to meet Ed Miliband, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Ed Miliband will be attending the Copenhagen meeting so we thought we'd ask him some questions about the meeting, the UK position and climate change. If you have a question you'd like Jess to ask Ed then complete the form here and we'll pick the five most popular questions for Ed to answer. This guy is important in getting the deal we need in Copenhagen, so it should be interesting to hear what he has to say.

Want do even more yourself? Then check out this site.

today in the telegraph

Good morning. It's Saturday and we are blogging live from our village fete. Very exciting.

We picked up the papers on the way to the park and read some stuff in the Telegraph about us being a 'greenwash' company. So we thought we'd clear up a couple of the points raised.

First of all, we did have some out-of-date information on our website, which we changed earlier this week. We need to get more efficient at checking it all, so we shall.

But we still stand by what we have always said - we want to make the best quality drinks with the lowest possible carbon impact. To do so, we buy the best ingredients possible and then find the most carbon-efficient way of getting them to our drinkers. We have a policy of moving our ingredients by land or sea only; we will not air freight them.

Our ingredients come from three main geographical areas - the UK, continental Europe and the tropics. The tropical fruit arrives in Holland via Rotterdam, Europe's main fruit port, and is blended in Holland with the European fruit on a daily basis. We then put the blended fruit into chilled tankers (the same as used for transporting fresh milk) and bring it by boat from Holland to the UK. The tankers come to the UK ports that are closest to our bottling sites (our main sites are in Wales and Somerset) to minimise transporting by road in the UK. We then blend these ingredients with the locally squeezed fruits (eg our oranges) and other local ingredients at our UK bottling plants and then deliver the smoothies to our customers. All of this happens six days a week, as we don't squeeze and blend on Sundays in the UK. This way of blending part of our smoothies in Europe with the European fruit and then in the UK with the other fruit and ingredients means that we minimise the amount of energy used in transporting our ingredients, ensuring we get the best drinks for the least carbon.

And that's that. Now, on with the fete...

how do you like them bananas

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Top bananas at a Rainforest Alliance credited farm we visited.

Bananas are hands down the worlds most popular fruit. They are the most important food crop after rice, wheat and maize. That's a pretty important role to play.

Seeing as bananas are so important, and that we use them as an ingredient in all of our smoothies, we like to make sure we choose exactly the right ones. That not only means choosing the freshest, best quality and best tasting yellow fellows, we also insist that they are all sourced to highest possible ethical standards.

That's why we only use Rainforest Alliance certified bananas found with the help of our friend Carlos.

In order to be credited by the Rainforest Alliance banana growers have to meet a set of important ethical standards which are put in place to help protect communities and the environment. They then get to use the below stamp and become a potential innocent smoothie banana.

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All of this means that you can rest assured that the bananas in your smoothie are helping to protect workers rights and the local environment where they are produced. Not to mention they're damn tasty and good for you.