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December has rolled its way in, as has our newsletter #3!

Five findings + some thoughts on ESG

December 7, 2022
June 29, 2023
Five findings + some thoughts on ESG

In today’s edition, you’ll find five more bite-sized findings. Plus, our latest episode on packaging is live this week if you’re looking for some listening - search “The Business Pickle” on your podcast platform of choice.

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  1. Rice hulls are the largest agricultural waste product. Rice is the staple food for more than half the world’s population, but the outer casing of rice grains, called the hull or husk, is inedible and removed during harvesting and processing.
  2. In our research into food waste, we learned how Glanris is taking rice hulls and transforming them into an effective water filtration media. Case study to come in an upcoming episode…
  3. Evaluating the impact of a particular project is a rigorous process. It involves a theory of change, accounting for what would have happened anyway without the initiative, determining the extent to which changes can be attributed to it, and assessing the length of time that the measured change is beneficial.
  4. You may have heard the news about UK supermarkets ditching best before dates to tackle food waste. Historically, the practice of ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ date stamping was so inconsistent that by the 1970s there were more than 50 different labelling systems.
  5. Something from our research in progress into environmental responsibility in fashion: “Across nearly every apparel category, consumers keep clothing items about half as long as they did 15 years ago”
Upcoming topics (2)

Last week, Gillian on our team attended an ESG forum hosted by PRIA. Many of the sessions were under Chatham House rules, but a couple of general takeaways from the day:

  • The “S” of ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) is broadening, and not so clearly defined as the “E” and “G” domains. Businesses are starting to include wider considerations here, including cyber security, digital inclusion and employee wellbeing.
  • On the fear of greenwashing: the challenge is to make accurate, defensible claims while telling an engaging story of what your business is doing. Specificity is your friend.
  • On the noise for businesses to try to do everything, a clarifying question to hone your focus: what is material to our business?

What’s your take on ESG? Hit reply and share your thoughts with us.


The Business Pickle is here for leaders ready to do good.

We provide resources and strategic advice for teams to improve their impact. How is your business tracking when it comes to its social and environmental impact? Have you got a plan in place? Do you know where to focus your efforts? If you need a hand, reply to this email for a quick chat about how we might help.


If you're after a new podcast, search for The Business Pickle wherever you're listening. We've published part two of our series on the great packaging pileup and how businesses can find better ways to wrap up our goods.

In our latest episode, we take a closer look at the claims and terms that we see often written on packaging or said about packaging, like recyclable, recycled content, reusable, biodegradable... and try to demystify what they mean in practice.

We also share another framework to help businesses improve their packaging approach from the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, with an example about the world's largest cosmetics company, L'Oreal.

Screenshot 2022-12-02 at 4.52.37 pm

That's all for now, but we'll be back soon with more interesting findings and links to share.

Using business as a force for good can be quite the pickle. While you want to balance profit with purpose, real-world challenges get in the way. We don’t have all the answers at The Business Pickle, but we sure have fun seeking them out.

No lectures or silver bullets. Just lessons learned, research uncovered, and experiences shared by some of the world’s brightest voices on making an impact through business.

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