From plant-based powerhouses to compostable coffee pods, these food and beverage heroes are helping us tackle the climate crisis right from our kitchens.
It has never been so important or confusing to know what you should eat and avoid in order to combat Climate Change.
Avoid meat. Avoid dairy. Some heart is fine, but red meat is not. Cheese is actually worse than chicken. Go vegan. Just eat more vegetables. Don’t waste any. With so many options and mixed messages, it is hard to make good decisions.
These food companies are committed to the environment and have reshaped the way we grow, process, and package food. They’re also working to reduce the impact of climate change. Here are the Marie Claire UK Sustainable Awards 2022 food and drink winners…
Marie Claire UK Sustainability Awards Food and Drink 2022 Winners
Best sustainable-packaging innovation
Halo Coffee Winner
Halo Coffee understands that a superior coffee experience does not have to be expensive. Halo Coffee, focusing on taste and sustainability, created the first fully compostable, bio-plastic-free coffee beans and pods in the world. The entire product can be composted at home.
This is, to my mind, innovation at its best – turning on its head the sustainability we know and changing the status quo to create a truly eco-friendly product. Ally Head, MC health, sustainability, and relationships editor and Sustainability Awards judge says that the ability to use a product and then dispose of it completely in your home could be the future.
Dutch Barn Orchard Vodka
Best sustainable food brand
Winner: All plants
Allplants was founded to encourage people to eat more green food.
Allplants, one of the first brands to be certified as a B Corp in 2018, recently upgraded its accreditation to “Outstanding,” placing the brand among the top 0.1% for the sustainability of all UK food companies.
It also served 4 million plant-based meals between 2016 and 2021 – saving 15,000 tons of CO2 (equivalent to 180 million plastic bottles not being produced), 10 billion liters of water, and 18,000 acres (equivalent to 10,000 football fields) of land.
Giles Gibbons, founder of Good Business and judge of the Sustainability Awards, says: “This is a great example of how a business and brand can make sustainability a mainstream product.”
Sharpham Park Highly commended
Carbon footprint: Best practices
Winner: Minor Figures
Minor Figures, a company that was recently B Corp certified, became the first plant-based milk company to become carbon neutral in 2018. Its sustainability efforts go beyond carbon offsets. Since 2021, when the company began producing Oat M*lk in the UK, it has cut shipping emissions by 27%. The label has also entered zero-waste with OatM*lk refill dispensers, aka Bag in Box. These are appearing in local packaging-free stores across the UK.
Jenny Proudfoot, Marie Claire UK feature editor and judge for the Sustainability Awards, said: “Minor figures and its sustainability missions are certainly deserving of a Marie Claire Award.” This brand is at the forefront of sustainability, from being the first plant-based milk company to achieve carbon neutrality to supporting projects that have biodiversity and social equity as co-benefits. This is particularly true when it comes to its carbon footprint. Minor Figures has identified the best ways it can make an impact, namely by restoring land and planting trees. This priority was made in its development. “I was impressed by how the company listens to its customers, choosing the projects into which it should invest carbon credits.”
Best ethical drinks brand
Winner: Karma Drinks
This small company is on a mission to create the most ethical soft drink in the world. The fizzy drinks are good for the environment, the farmers who produce the ingredients, and you.
“Karma Drinks truly is a brand that’s built on strong ethics. They have several programs that protect the environment and help improve the lives and livelihoods of those who grow the ingredients. They also go above and beyond and believe it is their responsibility to act differently. There is one message that stands out when you visit their website: Karma Drinks wants to transform the way we consume and produce, and this is changing business values. It is inspirational, says Stephanie de Heer. She is our Sustainability Awards Judge and Rainforest Alliance Senior Director of Marketing & Communications.
Highly commended: Journey’s End Vineyards.
Best ethical food brand
Winner: The Ethical Butcher
The Ethical Butcher dispels myths about the impact of meat on the planet by sourcing meat from farmers who actively regenerate soil fertility and biodiversity. This shows that meat production is a climate-positive, vital force.
“If you want to continue eating animal products, this is what you should do. Sequester carbon, let animals eat as they are meant to, and farm the land like it was. Bettina Bordi, owner of Bettina’s Kitchen and a plant-based chef, says that this is a high priority in terms of sustainability.
Best vegan brand
Winner: Minor Figures
Minor Figures, the winner of a double award, not only won the category for ‘Best carbon footprint’ but also for ‘Best Vegan Brand.’ Minor Figures caters to both vegetarians and vegans. In fact, it became a vegan product because James, its chief product man, had gone vegan. The company was forced to follow James’ lead or lose its best taste tester. Campolucci Bordi: “Great company, great ethos. I love their large milk machines in the Zero-Waste shops.”
Best zero-waste brand
Winner: Too Good To Go
Downloading Too Good To Go, a free app that fights food waste, is easy. The B Corp-certified company helps people find surplus food at reduced prices from supermarkets, restaurants, bakeries, and cafes.
The app is available in the UK and works with over 20,000 food businesses that offer surplus food. These include major brands such as Greggs and Greene King. Also, there are many independent food establishments like Planet Organic, Bread Ahead, Ottolenghi, and more.
Head says that Too Good To Go has done a great job in normalizing the purchase of leftover food from supermarkets, restaurants, etc., at a discounted price. They promote zero-waste every day through the food they sell to their 55 million customers. They’re also doing more – they certified as a B Corp for 2019 and have developed partnerships with food banks. They’ve even launched a global campaign to eliminate food waste due to confusion over date labels.
Best sustainable snack brand
Nucao, a plant-based bar from nu+, is made with only organic, responsibly sourced ingredients. The brand is also on a mission to reduce climate change and has committed to planting one tree for each bar purchased or sampled.
The company, which believes that climate-positive snacks are the future, has developed biodegradable, plastic-free foil packaging. When disposed of correctly, it can decompose within months, saving tonnes of plastic from entering our oceans over the years.
Head says: “It is great to see that a brand has sustainability as its core. Not only do they offset their daily carbon emission via reforestation, carbon sequestration and planting almost 11,000,000 mangroves since 2018, but also have their sights on a B Corp certification soon.”
The best eco-friendly kitchen accessories and tools
Winner: Wild & Stone
Wild & Stone is on a mission to help everyone live more sustainably by creating stylish, easy-to-adopt alternatives to plastics that are commonly used in our homes.
The team’s challenges in weaning children led to the development of the sustainable and fun “Over the Rainbow” Weaning Plate. Made from FSC-certified Moso Bamboo, the suction plate is designed for both parents and babies.
“I was very impressed by Wild & Stone Weaning Suction Plate. The brand identified the plate as an everyday household plastic and set out to develop a sustainable replacement. The end result is impressive. Wild & Stone’s commitment to sustainability is evident in everything they do, and I can’t wait to see what comes next,” says Proudfoot.
Best sustainable spirit brand
Winner: Canaima Gin
Canaima is a craft Amazonian Gin produced in small batches to protect and preserve the environment and local communities.
Canaima Gin, as part of its mission to sustainably protect the Amazon, its indigenous people, and its NGOs, such as Saving The Amazon Foundation and Terra Viva Foundation, donates 10% of sales.
Amy Wislocki, Decanter editor and Sustainability Awards judge, says that Canaima is addressing climate change, community development, gender equality, and poverty. Canaima Gin is a good example of a company that thinks holistically, from replanting the trees to sourcing local ingredients and donating to charities in the area.
Best sustainable wine producer
Winner: Journey’s End Vineyards
Journey’s End is a South African award-winning winery that commits to ethical and sustainable farming. It also supports environmental projects. It is the second South African winery to convert to solar energy in 2014. The farm has also been certified by Fairtrade and the Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trade Association.
Journey’s End also founded its own NGO Foundation to combat the worsening poverty and hunger in response to COVID-19. The Foundation provides over 30,000 meals per week through a network of soup kitchens to those who are in need. It has served 1.7 million meals in total since its founding.
“Journey’s End is the complete package. It has played a leading role in promoting sustainability throughout the wine industry. From both an ethical and a planet perspective, almost every aspect of sustainability was covered. Alex Layton is the head of marketing for Decanter and a Sustainability Award judge.
Highly commended: Uncommon
Best sustainable non-alcoholic-drinks brand
DASH uses wonky fruits and vegetables that naturally flavor water (without sugar, sweeteners, or calories), aiming to fight the environmental problem of food waste.
DASH, a B Corp accredited brand, is one of the UK’s fastest-growing drinks brands. The cans and bottles of DASH are made out of recycled aluminum and glass. Each drink also has a carbon label to help the consumer understand how much carbon their purchase will have.
Judge Gibbons says, “It’s great to see an aspirational and sustainable soft drink becoming mainstream.”
Highly commended: Minor figures
The best sustainable tea brand
Winner: Pukka Herbs
Pukka Herbs takes sustainability seriously. From Fair for Life certification and donating 1% of every sale to environmental and social causes to sourcing organic products and becoming carbon neutral in 2019, Pukka is committed to sustainability.
“Pukka Herbs is a brand that has made sustainability an integral part of their DNA. It’s not just something they do; it’s part of who they are. B Corp certification is also a sign of the company’s efforts. It is inspiring and impressive to see how Pukka Herbs worked through the supply chains, highlighting all the positive impacts.
“They have managed to focus on some of today’s most pressing issues in the tea industry and presented in a concise and clear manner how they take responsibility. I liked how they showed what they were doing and how they worked with partners and other organizations to take joint responsibility. This shows that they understand sustainability is only possible if everyone works together. Pukka is a leader for many.”
Highly commended: Twinings
Best sustainable subscription/food-delivery brand
Winner: Mindful Chef
Mindful Chef is the UK’s most popular healthy recipe-box subscription service. What is the aim? Healthy eating is made easy.
The company is a certified B Corp. All its ingredients are sustainably sourced, and for every meal it sells, it donates a meal to a poor child. (The brand has donated 12,000,000 meals, which is the equivalent of feeding 60,000 children for an entire year.
As part of its goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, the company joined forces with ClimatePartner, an independent climate-action solution provider, to allow customers to choose recipes that meet the WWF target to reduce dietary-related emissions.
Gibbons says, “This is a great business that brings health and sustainability together.”
Earth & wheat
Best sustainable drinks-subscription brand
Winner: Draught drop
Draught Drop, the UK’s premier draught wine and beer delivery service aims to offer its customers the highest quality draught wines and beer while emitting up to 80% fewer carbon emissions than single-use alternatives.
The Draught Drop reusable bottle scheme is similar to a milk-float. Customers receive two 1-litre bottles of beer in recyclable glass bottles from a selection of 25 local breweries. The customer can enjoy up to three-and-a-half pints of beer and then leave the bottles at their doorstep for them to exchange with a new one on their next order.
Annabel Thomas, the founder of Nc’nean Distillery and MC sustainability awards judge, said: “Absolutely Brilliant solution to packaging for the drinks industry. The first step towards a truly circular economic system.” “If only the world could function like this!”
Best sustainable food and beverage retailer
Bother wants to revolutionize the way Britain shops and make it more sustainable for the people and the environment. The service is convenient and helps you to keep track of household essentials such as toilet paper, pasta, laundry powder, and toiletries.
Bother is certified as Net Zero Carbon and plants trees with every order, thanks to its partnership with Ecology and The Million Tree Pledge.
Bother, a B Corp with a mission of making eco-friendly home essentials easier to buy and safer for our planet is an innovative idea that has turned the way we shop upside down. Head says that the start-up has achieved net-zero emissions, is carbon-certified, and is on its way to becoming carbon-negative.
The best sustainable fast-food brand
Winner: Vurger Co.
The Vurger Co., a fast-food company, offers a vegan menu and uses packaging that is 100% compostable. (Waste from packaging, in fact, is one of the most significant issues facing the industry.) They also work with partners to achieve a zero-to-landfill policy. The Vurger Co., which sources as much of its food as possible from local producers, has been hailed as the future of fast food.
I was blown away by Vurger’s commitment to the environment, with its sustainability focus running throughout the entire restaurant. The menu is 100 percent vegan, with a focus on small, local brands. Packaging is 100% compostable. There are no plastic bottles at the restaurant, and there is a zero landfill policy. They go even further and only use sustainable energies, powering their restaurant with green energy produced from their waste. The future is here. The Marie Claire Sustainable Awards celebrate pioneering brands such as The Vurger Co. I’m so happy that these brands are being recognized,” says Proudfoot.
Best Sustainable Restaurant (independent).
Winner: Fallow Restaurant
Fallow Restaurant, in London’s Mayfair, offers an environmentally-conscious menu that includes plant-based options that provide a “root-to stem” approach. The restaurant also serves creative dishes with low waste that are meant to help producers.
B Corp certified, the Sapling Fund has planted more than 2,000 trees in and around the UK and offset over 50,000 metric tons of future carbon.
Sunil Makan is the Marie Claire Editor and Sustainability Awards Judge. We have to applaud their innovative approach to giving surplus ingredients an entire makeover.
Best sustainable restaurant (group)
Winner: Lussmanns Sustainable Kitchen
Lussmanns was founded on the belief that sustainable dining can be made accessible to all and still deliver great food and service.
Lussmans, as one of the few restaurant groups in the UK that is completely Marine Stewardship Council friendly, takes a holistic approach to sustainability. In addition to green energy and ethical food provenance, the restaurant group recycles all waste and supports a variety of local and national fundraising initiatives.
“Lussmans has clearly committed itself to its green mission. Last year, it even rebranded as ‘Lussmanns Sustainable Kitchen.’ This is a brand that has a mission, says Proudfoot. “From its green energy and ethical food provenance to sustainable waste management and a commitment to giving back to the community.
Marie Claire UK determined the award recipients based on the judging criteria as well as the information provided by the applicants. The winning brands give all information in good faith.