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Marketing and Comms
Unilever, Molson Coors, Co-operative Top Sustainability Champion Awards

The Co-operative Group, Unilever and Molson Coors are among the winners of the 2degrees 2013 Sustainability Champions Awards, which each year recognizes success in the execution of sustainability initiatives.

According to 2degrees editor-in-chief Tom Idle, the awards were designed "to find the greatest examples of best practice from across the sectors. The 12 award categories gave our members the chance to put forward a project they are particularly proud of in a range of topic areas — from energy management (for both short- and long-term paybacks) and waste management, to buildings and properties, water strategy and supply chain." A judging process powered by an online peer voting system determined the victors.

Unilever was recognized in the supply chain category for its efforts to redesign and improve its distribution network for homecare, personal care and food products in the UK and Ireland, winning the top project. The company has expanded its existing food distribution center to include homecare products, enabling combined deliveries. The plan involves most areas of the supply chain, both internally (planning, distribution, quality, customer service) and externally (retail customers, third-party providers, contractors).

Unilever says it now plans to widen the scope of its larger scaled distribution networks to expand the carbon dioxide emissions reductions and delivery improvements achieved by the project.

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In the built environment category, voters gave top honors to the Co-operative Group’s 1 Angel Square, a commercial office block in Manchester, England. The building is designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 80 percent, energy consumption by 50 percent and cut energy costs by £500,000 ($757,000) compared to the Co-operative Group’s previous head office. The building will be powered by rapeseed oil from the Co-op’s own farms to fuel a combined heat, power and cooling system.

Brewing company Molson Coors topped the water risk and strategy category for its successful water stewardship campaign. In 2009, the company developed a global water strategy, which aims to reduce its own water use, and protect the watersheds near business operations. The plan includes a goal to reduce global water use by 15 percent per unit of production by the end of 2012.

Molson Coors says it has established clear metrics and tracks water use at every brewery, which deploy inspectors who walk through facilities looking for leaks. The “Every Drop, Every Ripple” water stewardship campaign includes communications seeking buy-in and participation from employees, suppliers and end users.

For the past five years, 2degrees says it has been helping companies large and small solve their sustainability challenges by facilitating peer-to-peer conversations via its online platform. Today, it claims to be the world’s largest community for sustainable business professionals, with more than 30,000 members.