Why planet over revenue is finest for enterprise
Fresh Prep co-founder Dhruv Sood explains how taking a planetary approach to business is not only the right thing to do, it’s the only way to achieve a sustainable economy.
The three Ps, also known as the “Triple Bottom Line”, are a concept in which companies advocate profit, people and the planet.
In the past, companies have measured success in terms of financial performance alone. Now, purposeful leaders are discovering that they have the power to use their company as a force for good too; Commercial success doesn’t have to come at the expense of the planet.
Even so, a recent report from the Carbon Majors Database found that 100 companies are responsible for around 71 percent of all industrial emissions. Making companies more sustainable starts with being aware of the problem and understanding the importance of making change – both for the company and for the planet.
When I founded Fresh Prep with two school friends in 2015, we wanted to offer a practical solution for preparing meals. We wanted to ensure that our meal set service was a business that consumers could trust and we have ensured this by responsibly using our planet’s resources in our processes and production lines from start to finish.
In March 2019, we were delighted to receive the Status B Corporation, to align ourselves with our values and to define what is important to us as a company – a sustainable business model. Ultimately, the long-term health of our company is linked to the long-term health of the planet and those who inhabit it. We have worked hard to create KPIs and performance metrics to reflect this across all areas of the company, including packaging.
According to a 2018 report by The New Climate Economy, 95% of plastic packaging – the equivalent of $ 120 billion a year – is wasted after first use, and microplastics have been found in 114 types of water. From day one, our vision was to eliminate all single-use packaging from the meal set experience to ensure we didn’t increase such numbers.
Over the years this has required many different packaging iterations as we’ve experimented with multiple materials to conveniently and sustainably store food for customers. We are making this effort because we believe that responsibility for sustainability should not lie with the consumer; Businesses are responsible for turning the tide of plastic waste.
Our meal package delivery, where we visit customers’ doors every week, enabled us to develop a circulatory system where our drivers deliver and collect reusable cool bags and packaging materials. The cool bags are professionally cleaned before being reused for future deliveries.
After three years of research and development, earlier this year we launched our Zero Waste Kit, an alternative to single-use plastic packaging. We estimate that each Zero Waste Kit saves about 19 g of single-use plastic per meal. If all of our customers regularly order Zero Waste Kits every week, we could divert 500 kg of soft plastic waste per week – that’s the weight of a mini caravan!
We have heard time and again that individuals need to do more; The reality, however, is that businesses need to innovate to enable the green solutions that consumers are increasingly demanding.
Our cooking utensils company that started out as a small coffee shop in Vancouver, BC, is now one of the fastest growing companies in Canada, growing 540% in sales over the past three years while exceeding all of our income goals. As COVID-19 increases interest in the food set industry as a whole, our responsiveness and agility have enabled us to provide uninterrupted service to our customers in times of need. We remain well positioned for future growth and always keep an eye on the planet.
We make sustainability easy for our customers by avoiding waste and extending the lifespan of resources through a continuous reuse delivery model. With initiatives like our Zero Waste Kit and prioritizing collaboration with local suppliers, we are committed to serving the community in a sustainable way.
As a company, we still have a way to go. But we constantly strive to build a valuable company while ensuring that short-term interests are never at the expense of our vision and our impact on society.
The intersection of planet and profit is an exciting opportunity to transform an entire market for the better. That’s exactly what we do at Fresh Prep.
Sustainability and minimizing packaging are things that the entire food industry has to face. We can’t speak to the actions of other cooking utensil manufacturers, but we hope that others in our industry will start addressing environmental issues through initiatives that make sense to their business.
Now is the time for businesses to join the solution. Now is the time to reduce emissions and waste and contribute to the management of a planet worth living in.
To some companies, adopting a triple bottom line approach may seem idealistic in a world where profit over the planet is paramount. However, innovative companies like ours have proven time and again that you can do good by doing good.
Check out edie’s B Corp webiner
edie hosted a one-hour webinar on Thursday, October 7th, explaining how companies including edie publisher Faversham House and manufacturer PZ Cussons are actively doing business for good through the B Corp movement.
This one-hour edie webinar, hosted in collaboration with sustainability consultancy and edie’s B Corp partner, Seismic, brings together a selection of certified B Corps to discuss how the process worked, what role the internal sustainability and CSR teams have played and have experienced benefits so far.
Watch the webinar here.
Dhruv Sood – Co-Founder and COO, Fresh Prep
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