Drivers for sustainability in pet food ingredients

Four drivers for pet food companies to consider in the “why” of sustainable ingredients.

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Sustainability, a trend continuing well into 2024, continues to be a focus to consumers, employees and businesses in the pet food industry.

Consumers especially are becoming more consciously aware of the environment and not only prioritizing it within their lives, but also in their pets’ lives when purchasing pet food.

During an Ask the Pet Food Pro Zoom chat, “Ins & outs of sustainable ingredients for pet food, treats,” Brian Nash, vice president of corporate sustainability for Ingredion, discussed how pet companies can reach their objectives to become more environmentally friendly with sustainable strategies for ingredients.

“I think there’s a few drivers for sustainability, but the biggest one is we want to continue to operate as an effective business years into the future and so on,” said Nash.

According to Nash, there are four main value drivers in the “why” of sustainability efforts: cost control, risk mitigation, brand enhancement, and employee satisfaction or talent attraction and retention.

The four value drivers of sustainability

The first, cost control. If a company can reduce energy consumption or things that go to their operating expenses, that will reduce overall costs.

Second, risk mitigation. Companies are continuously being held accountable for their supply chain and evaluating those risks, within that chain, could help to relieve any. This could be anything from human rights, in terms of sourcing materials and climate change impacts.

“The third value driver is brand enhancement,” said Nash. “We look at where the work that we are doing either in enhancing the Ingredion brand or helping our customers to enhance their brand. That could be the sustainable messaging that consumers are increasingly looking for.”

Consumer goods companies with sustainability brand propositions are seeing “double digit growth” in some spaces.

Lastly, employee satisfaction or talent attraction and retention. Post pandemic there is a “war” for talent. Employees have their choice of where they want to work and are looking more towards companies that are aligned with sustainability, much like consumers.

Not only in younger employees are sustainability and ethical messages important, but especially in younger employees in comparison to higher end talent. They are searching for employment in companies that are doing things to benefit our society and the planet.


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