Has 2020 had a positive impact on sustainability?

Steve Cumley our Head of Retail Innovation tells us what changes he’s seen in the market this year towards sustainability.

 Steve Cumley - Head of Retail Innovation

This year we’ve all been impacted by COVID-19 in different ways, but one of the biggest positive impacts I’ve seen in the market is on sustainability.

As a business with such strong principles in creating a more sustainable future ourselves, it’s been brilliant to see other businesses have the time to pause, take stock and really look at the processes and activities that they’re undertaking. We certainly noticed this led by the FMCG industry, with Pharma and Finance following close behind.

Obviously one of the big reasons for businesses to do this earlier in the year was to prioritise resource and spend. However, what we noticed when sitting down with them, was their dedication in finding more sustainable long-term solutions.

We see sustainability as a continuous journey where Adare and our clients evolve and grow to reduce environmental impacts and deliver effective solutions that aids sustainable progression.


With many businesses working across multiple locations, and even countries, just simply making activity consistent can have many benefits. Not only does it deliver cost reduction by allowing them to benefit from economies of scale, but it can also cut down on the frequency, cost and emissions from production and haulage. This is ideal for big global brands who have access to a centralised platform such as our own, ICHOR, which allows its staff from across multiple countries to take part in global campaigns, order centrally, and production be done on mass.

Another area we’ve seen growth in is looking at alternative materials and processes to improve longevity, and reduce the impact on the environment. This could be investing in longer term materials such as wood or steel for POS to reduce waste to landfill, or simply printing double sided with no laminate on a tent card to allow multiple campaign use and full recyclability. Not only do these save on production costs in the long term, but also the frequency of production and haulage and consequently the environmental impacts.

Sustainability has always been a priority for many of our clients, but it’s very difficult for businesses in a normal working environment to implement big leaps. We’re pleased that COVID-19 has allowed them to speed up achieving their sustainability targets and we’re already seeing this continue into 2021. I’m looking forward to see where this takes our clients and other businesses over the next year.


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