Employees are one of the most important stakeholder groups for driving a company’s sustainability story. When employees feel that they are making a meaningful impact, identify with their organization’s mission and believe that it does good in the world, they are more motivated and energized to become passionate brand ambassadors.
Coles, one of the leading retailers in Australia, is tapping into that idea with a recent internal event celebrating the launch of its first Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffee range, which is available in Coles stores and online. Taking place at the Coles Store Support Centre in Melbourne, a coffee cart with baristas was stationed in the office for the day, allowing hundreds of Coles’ team members to sample coffee from the new Urban Coffee Culture line. The event was hosted in partnership with Suntory, the supplier of the new line. Suntory baristas prepared the Urban Coffee Culture range, showcasing the 19 different roasts and varieties of Rainforest Alliance Certified beans that are responsibly sourced, driving positive impact for people and nature.
The launch is one part of Coles’ mission to significantly increase the percentage of Coles Own Brand and sustainable products in its stores. All Own Brand tea, coffee, solid block chocolate, Easter eggs and cocoa powder are certified by various certification programs, including Rainforest Alliance, UTZ and Fairtrade. Coles has committed to using certified coffee in all Coles Brand coffee products by 2020 and to continually increase the use of certified coffee, tea and cocoa as ingredients in Own Brand products.
Engaging with employees
With Coles’ aspiration to be the country’s most sustainable supermarket, engaging with the team is a key focus says Anita Pangbourne, Senior Product Technologist Breakfast and Impulse at Coles.
“Coles has 113,000 team members. So that’s 113,000 people who work in the wider Coles business, whether it’s at a store support centre, in store or a distribution center. We want all of those people to be Coles brand ambassadors,” Pangbourne explained. “We want them to be proud to go to their local Coles store and grab our branded products. To do that, we need to make sure they’re introduced to the product in a positive way.”
“We want all of our people to be Coles brand ambassadors. To do that, we need to make sure they’re introduced to the product in a positive way.” Anita Pangbourne, Coles
As team members waited for their flat whites and piccolos, they were able to ask questions and inspect the packaging, giving them a chance to learn more about Coles’ partnership with the Rainforest Alliance.
“We’ve received a lot of positive feedback about the coffee,” Anita said. “I’ve had several people say they didn’t realize we were sourcing Rainforest Alliance Certified beans.”
Raising awareness, step-by-step
As Coles continues to source more certified products to meet its sustainability goals, it will keep team members updated through internal communications channels and product launches.
“Events such as the coffee launch are a great way for us to explain to team members what sustainability means to Coles.”
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