Toast Ale’s latest impact report shows the power of collaborative activism for B Corp month
Toast Ale, the craft brewery with a mission to end food waste, has launched its impact report to inspire other businesses to engage in activism.
The report sets out how Toast’s business model – applying circular economy business principles to upcycle surplus bread, distributing all profits to fund systemic change and using its voice to influence wider societal change – is delivering positive impact.
The brewery has rescued over two and a half million slices of surplus bread from bakeries. Stacked up, that would reach 3.6 times the height of Everest. The report explains that by preventing this food from being wasted, Toast Ale has avoided 48 tonnes of CO2, freed up over 200,000 square metres of land and saved over 300,000 litres of fresh water.
Through its charitable giving approach, Toast Ale has now donated over £85,000. This includes funds raised by the sale of its collaboration beers with other breweries in 2021, to protect ancient forests with Rainforest Trust UK and to support the transition to regenerative agriculture for UK farms with Soil Heroes.
Toast’s public campaigning work in collaboration with other breweries, B Corp brands and charities and NGOs has reached millions. The Impact Report shares the campaigns that have been engaged in and calls for other businesses to join.
In addition to its own campaigns, Toast is a supporter of the Better Business Act to remove the principle of shareholder primacy (so that all UK companies, not just B Corps, align their interests with those of wider society and the environment).
Toast also supports the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill to enshrine in law the need to limit warming to 1.5° C and to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030.
In December, Toast also spoke out against the policing bill which sought to criminalise noisy protestors. The Bill was debated in parliament again last night and will now go back to the House of Lords.
Louisa Ziane, co-founder and CEO, said: ‘The right to peaceful protest – a feedback mechanism from society to government in a healthy democracy – is critical for us to achieve positive systemic change for people and the planet.
‘Businesses have the power to inform and drive government policy and so we have a responsibility to stand up and use our voices. In our latest Impact report, we wanted to share the activism work we are doing to support our communities, and hope it will inspire others. Now is a time for action.’
Toast’s annual impact report, is published to coincide with B Corp month, an annual celebration of the more than 4000 globally Certified B Corp businesses (over 600 of which are in the UK).
Toast Ale was the first UK brewery to become a B Corp in 2018. To certify, businesses must demonstrate that they meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
B Corps must also produce an annual impact report on the progress they are making to create a positive impact. Whilst currently not a specific requirement, Toast's impact report includes its full organisational carbon footprint. This year it has also shared information about the relative carbon emissions of its beer in cans and bottles to educate customers and drinkers – it shows that cans have a far smaller footprint.
Toast Ale partners with Soil Heroes to balance its emissions with removals that also support biodiversity and resilience, by investing in regenerative agriculture. The nature friendly farming practices funded include no tilling, fewer chemicals, year-long cover crops and wildflower margins. These practices draw down carbon to build soil organic matter, enhance biodiversity, improve the water cycle and produce more nutritious food.
As part of B Corp month, Toast will be at the B Corp ‘Good News’ store at 10a Rathbone Place in London from 1 to 31 March (10 am to 6 pm, Monday to Saturday) and through the #BehindTheB content on social media (@toastale). Toast is also part of the Waitrose B Corp feature in-store and online throughout March.
Toast’s impact report is available to download via its website toastale.com (here).