Year in Review

Standing up for people and the planet

How our industry – airports, airlines, concessionaires and brand owners – showed their commitment to people and planet through their actions over the past year. While space limitations mean we cannot showcase all the sector initiatives, this snapshot underlines the fact that our industry is as much about business for good as it is for growth.

The Estée Lauder Companies’ ambitious sustainability goals for travel retail

As part of its commitment to ‘embed citizenship and sustainability’ across every aspect of its business, beauty powerhouse The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) outlined its updated and ambitious travel retail-specific sustainability framework this year. The roadmap covers the entire travel retail network including airports, downtown duty free stores, airlines, cruise and border shops. The ELC Travel Retail division has committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions in transportation to travel retail customers and for all corporate business air travel by end of fiscal year 2023. In terms of packaging, it has pledged to transition all travel retail-exclusive paper cartons to responsibly-sourced FSC-certified board by 2025. The company has also announced that it will be removing plastic film-wrap for all travel retail-exclusive products by 2023.

Eliminating plastic film-wrap from travel retail-exclusive sets will avoid 54,000 kilograms of plastic waste, which is the equivalent of removing 5.4 million plastic water bottles, the company said. It has already started to incorporate sustainability practices in new store design and visual merchandising across all brands this year. It will also deploy sustainable building operation practices across all travel retail locations by the end of fiscal year 2023. Some 83% of travel retail-exclusive paper cartons have already been shifted to FSC-certified board. In terms of store design, the travel retail locations for Estée Lauder, La Mer and MAC at Hyundai COEX in Seoul, South Korea were built with an average of 80% recycled display fixtures. For more click here. For a major interview with The Estée Lauder Companies Global President Travel Retail and Retail Development Olivier Bottrie on the legacy of sustainability, click here.

Sustainable change every step of the way: The Estée Lauder Companies’ Melville solar array generates 1,800MWh of solar electricity annually

Balancing profit and purpose at Rituals

In a big statement of intent, wellbeing company Rituals this year pledged to transition its entire product range to 90% natural-origin ingredients by 2023 and shift all its packaging to 100% recyclable/refillable or made with recycled materials by 2025. It also committed to zero waste by 2025. Rituals has already transitioned a significant number of SKUs to 90% natural-origin ingredients with more planned next year. The company has also worked with suppliers to minimise the environmental impact of its supply chain. In addition, it has launched several noteworthy social initiatives including its ‘Super Chill Foundation’ project, an app which teaches children mindfulness techniques, and an Earth Week campaign. Among these many laudable projects, Rituals’ Refill programme has been one of its biggest successes. So far, Rituals’ refill operations have saved 8.5 million litres of water, used 272,682 kgs less materials, offset CO2 with the equivalent of 1,411 return flights (Amsterdam to New York) and saved energy equal to the use of 1,806 households. Click here for an interview with Rituals Innovation & Sustainability Director Niki Schilling, who outlines the brand’s ‘clean, conscious and caring’ approach to holistic sustainability.

Niki Schilling: “Travel retail needs to collaborate and find solutions that balance profit and purpose”

Proof Positive at Beam Suntory

Beam Suntory’s approach to sustainability is summed up in one sentence from its President and CEO Albert Baladi. “Making a positive impact on the planet, consumers and communities isn’t just the right thing to do; it is a must-do for the sustainability of our business and humanity”. The company plans to invest over US$1 billion in protecting the environment, consumers and communities, as part of its ‘Proof Positive’ strategy this year.

Its goals include a -50% reduction in water usage and the planting of 500,000 trees annually by 2030. It will invest US$500 million to encourage consumers to make responsible drinking choices, donate one million volunteer hours and foster greater diversity, equity and inclusion across its businesses. According to Baladi, Proof Positive is “critical roadmap towards 2030, 2040, and beyond for how we will positively impact the environment, our consumers and our communities”. For more, click here.

Supporting wild panda preservation in Haikou

Kiehl’s Travel Retail Asia Pacific marked its ten-year partnership with the Shan Shui Conservation Centre by running two ‘Future Made Better’ indoor and outdoor pop-ups with China Duty Free Group (CDFG) at Mova Mall in Haikou, Hainan in June. The ecologically-designed pop-ups, launched in partnership with CDFG, raised awareness of endangered wild pandas, a powerful symbol of the importance of animal conservation. Kiehl’s has been supporting panda conservation in China by removing hunting traps, purifying water sources, preserving natural habitats and monitoring the panda movements. The Future Made Better pop-ups were constructed with 100% recyclable and reusable materials. The outdoor activation featured an interactive ‘panda jungle’ equipped with augmented reality capacities that took visitors on a journey to learn about the brand’s ‘Kiehl’s Does’ initiatives. The indoor activation featured a treehouse that symbolised the brand’s ongoing partnership with the Shan Shui Conservation Centre. Kiehl’s sustainability efforts go beyond the pop-up with 80% of its brand packaging made with post-consumer recycled materials. It also sources raw material ingredients through responsible farming practices that support 600 farming communities around the world. For more, click here.

A wild panda treehouse: The pop-ups celebrate Kiehl’s ongoing partnership with the Shan Shui Conservation Centre and its mission to protect the wild panda population in China

Biotherm & Coco Capitán: Protecting earth’s ‘blue lung’

L’Oréal-owned skincare brand Biotherm partnered with acclaimed multi-media artist Coco Capitán to host a striking, sustainable pop-up at the Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex in Haitang Bay in June. The ecologically-designed activation — a collaboration with China Duty Free Group — raised awareness on the devastating effects of climate change and pollution to phytoplankton species in the ocean. It shone a light on Biotherm’s sustainable commitments and featured several interactive retailtainment elements to educate and inform visitors about ocean protection. It also highlighted Biotherm’s partnership with OnePlanet Foundation. Throughout June, travellers were able to purchase limited-edition travel retail exclusive sets from Biotherm, featuring designs from Coco Capitán with a call-to-action to protect oceans. The purpose-driven pop-up was constructed with 87% recycled and renewable eco-materials. Biotherm’ Water Lovers sustainability commitments were presented on either side of the activation and presented in a holistic way at every point of the product life cycle. Biotherm also pledged to donate RMB100,000 (US$15,600) to the One Planet Foundation to combat plastic pollution in Hainan. For more, click here.

How do you breathe without the sea? Biotherm issues a call-to-action at its newest eco-friendly pop-up in Hainan

Qatar Airways Group and a mission to protect the planet

As it marked World Environment Day on 5 June, Qatar Airways Group underlined its dedication to environmental leadership across airline, airport operations, aviation and catering services, retail outlets and hotels. Qatar Airways was the first airline in the Middle East to secure accreditation to the highest level in the IATA Environmental Assessment Programme. Hamad International Airport became the first airport in the Middle East region to achieve a 4-star Global Sustainability Assessment System rating as part of plans to expand its capacity to more than 53 million passengers annually by 2022. Qatar Airways is also committed as a oneworld member airline to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, becoming part of the first global alliance to unite behind a common target to achieve carbon neutrality. As in other ways, the group is leading the aviation industry by powerful example. More at this link.

Towards a sustainable future at Qatar Airways

Introducing Ocean Bottle: The reusable bottle that helps save the ocean

Ocean Bottle – The Moodie Davitt Sustainability Partner at the recent Virtual Travel Retail Expo – is an ocean impact company first and bottle company second. The company pledged to rid the ocean of the equivalent of 500,000 plastic bottles – the equivalent of a hefty 5,000kg of ocean waste – as a direct result of its Expo presence. Its mission is to help stop ocean plastic pollution at the source and simultaneously improve the lives of millions of people. Its target is the collection of 7 billion plastic bottles by 2025.

Ocean Bottle has collaborated with Plastic Bank, an initiative which aims to empower a regenerative society – “turning plastic into gold” – by revolutionising the world’s recycling systems. Every purchase of an Ocean Bottle product funds the collection of 1,000 ocean-bound plastic bottles before they reach the water. Locals in coastal communities exchange this plastic for money through a regulated banking system so they can get access to microfinance, tuition, healthcare and other things they need. And every Ocean Bottle product comes equipped with a NFC smart chip which offer customers the opportunity to personally impact ocean waste.

L’Occitane Group: “Towards a nature-positive world”

A powerful voice for protecting the planet in how it behaves, L’Occitane Group recently updated its biodiversity strategy, a core platform of its business. This covers five key factors: use of land and seas, resource exploitation, pollution, invasive species and climate change. The ambitious ‘nature-positive’ ambition requires no net loss of nature from 2020, a net positive state of nature by 2030 and a full recovery by 2050. The biodiversity strategy is being jointly implemented alongside the company’s climate and human development goals. L’Occitane Group is currently on its way to achieving Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030 and becoming B Corp certified by 2023. L’Occitane Group’s biodiversity strategy focuses on five key pillars: measure, avoid, reduce, restore and regenerate and transform. For the full story, click here.

Click here to read L’Occitane Group’s biodiversity strategy in full

Rising to the challenge at Brown-Forman

Brown-Forman updated its ambitious roadmap to sustainability this year, laying down some big targets to reduce the company’s environmental footprint, and increase its positive impact on the community and wider world. The headline target is that by 2045, all Brown-Forman manufacturing facilities and supply chains worldwide should achieve the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. The US drinks specialist’s travel retail division also revealed its planned contributions, which include becoming a 100% carbon neutral travel team by 2022. Brown-Forman Global Travel Retail is also committed to the removal of single use plastics from promotions by 2023 and a -50% in gift packaging by 2027. The full story can be found here.

‘Good times from a good place’

Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail this year committed to leading the channel’s sustainable transformation through the introduction of an innovative Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) Tool. LCA aims to help brand owners assess the potential environmental impact of its short and long-term retail activations. Its global launch followed trials with China Duty Free Group where retail units designed with the tool showed an almost -20% reduction in carbon footprint over their lifecycle. According to Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail CEO Mohit Lal, LCA is “critical in driving our ambitions for sustainability forward”. “Every company involved in travel retail has a role to play in our industry’s sustainable transformation and our eco-design LCA tool is one example of how Pernod Ricard is leading the way.” More on Pernod Ricard’s sustainability credentials can be found here.

Key elements of the Good Times From a Good Place Sustainability & Responsibility strategy at Pernod Ricard. The objective is to reduce carbon footprint and minimise waste.

Future friendly at Gebr. Heinemann

With its ‘future friendly’ concept, leading travel retailer and distributor Gebr. Heinemann has strongly underlined its focus on sustainability and positioned itself as a pioneer in this area within travel retail. Featuring on the company’s webshop and at airport stores in Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg, its ‘Great for you. Better for the planet’ initiative draws travellers’ attention to future-friendly products within the travel retailer’s assortment. The campaign targets not only those who already shop consciously and others whose interest in sustainable consumption could be awakened through reminders.

Gebr. Heinemann plans to focus on products with sustainable packaging and materials and has asked brand partners about their contribution to sustainability and, in particular, the sustainability of their products. By 2030, it said, “we will achieve more than half of our turnover through sustainable products and by working with responsible suppliers”. More on the Gebr. Heinemann sustainability goals can be found here.

‘One Toblerone, One Tree’

Mondelez World Travel Retail recently teamed up with Dufry in a high-profile sustainability initiative to have 50,000 trees planted in South America’s Andes Mountains. The promotion not only leveraged the strength and popularity of the Toblerone brand but also highlighted a partnership with One Tree Planted, a movement that supports help global reforestation efforts (also supported by The Moodie Davitt Report). For each Toblerone sold, one tree will be planted, under the guidance of local leaders using ancient Incan traditions to preserve the landscape and indigenous cultures. The project is one of many from Mondelez as the confectionery group focuses on developing more ethical in-store engagement and promotional activities, more sustainable packaging, and more circular design practices for travel retail.

The company’s Cocoa Life CSR programme Cocoa Life programme addresses the root issues that cocoa farming communities are facing today. These include climate change, gender inequality, poverty and child labour. The programme empowers sustainable cocoa farming communities by educating cocoa farmers about forest conservation and restoration. In addition, Mondelez WTR’s entire travel retail chocolate portfolio uses cocoa that is sourced through its Cocoa Life programme, with the ambition of shifting 100% of cocoa to sustainable sources by 2025. More on this story at the link here.

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The Moodie Davitt eZine Issue 304 | 21 December 2021

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 15 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd). © All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher. To find out more visit and to subscribe, please e-mail

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