Pip & Nut is a popular London-based all-natural nut butter brand that doesn’t contain anything but peanuts and salt, and after becoming B Corp certified in November 2019 as part of their efforts to become more conscious, sustainable and ethical, they’re now aiming for Net Zero by 2030 by working with the Carbon Trust. The brand will be retaking the assessment every 3 year to make sure they stay accountable, making sure they are measuring their impact and setting goals to have a more positive impact on the planet and people.
In the process, they’ve focused on initiatives like increasing the amount of recycled plastic in their packaging, reducing transport miles and volunteering with local food banks like Hackney Food Bank. Pip & Nut focuses on providing consumers with the best tasting natural nut butter, with a sustainability lens to ensure that they are delivering on their promise ‘Nut Butter Done Better’ whether it’s for people or the planet.
Like all their products, Pip & Nut Peanut Butter contain absolutely no palm oil, with the only ingredients being hi-oleic Argentinian peanuts and a sprinkling of sea salt, their peanut butter makes a great kitchen cupboard staple. Unsustainable palm oil farming is a leading cause of deforestation. Wildlife such as orangutans, sumatran rhinos and pygmy elephants are endangered as their rainforest habitats are cleared to make way for palm oil plantations. Keeping their nut butters palm-oil free means they are runnier due to its thickening properties, which allows them to embrace their delicious, drizzly texture.
The brand’s work in environment has also focused on looking at its packaging, supplier base and transport miles. With regards to packaging, they have finally transitioned to glass jars from plastic since July 2021, of which most smaller jars are now available in glass. However, It is important to note that sourcing the raw materials for glass is more unsustainable and the higher weight from the product makes transportation require more energy and therefore more unsustainable than plastic in these aspects. Although when recycled, glass definitely beats out plastic because of the ability to be actually recycled rather than 'down-cycled' into other products like plastic is. Hence, the transition to glass will only be beneficial if recycled more frequently, which should have a positive impact as glass is more widely recycled in the UK with 67% glass vs 46% plastic, and the brand has even worked hard on making their jars something that can be re-used over again and again (e.g. overnight oats, etc.).
However, their 1kg peanut butter are still made of plastic tubs. These tubs and their labels are fully recyclable and made of 30% recycled plastic (RPET). These are beneficial initiatives but still not ideal. At the moment, this is a linear system that still follows the traditional product life cycle of product creation, consumption, and discarding. Looking at the current life cycle of the product, it would be much more beneficial if the brand looked into a more circular economy that allowed users to buy more durable tubs of peanut butter, that can be refilled once finished, perhaps at a discounted rate to encourage consumers.
Pip & Nut is largely focused on the UK and Ireland, and jars are transported from Pip & Nut’s manufacturing facilities, which recently underwent a ‘rejig’. They claim to “have reduced the amount of mileage done through various changes throughout our supply chain, including by increasing the number of products we move on pallets. We’ve also moved one of our factories to the UK, which made it close to all our depts.” Ensuring that raw material sourcing and upstream operations are in line with their sustainability goals. Although this is definitely a step in the right direction, the company still chooses to source hi-oleic peanuts from Argentina, and its almonds from California. This is not ideal as the environmental costs of shipping raw ingredients from abroad can be detrimental and would be better if the company was able to find a more locally-produced source that could cut down on emissions from transportation.
The founder mentioned in an interview that their suppliers already have waste management programmes in place and are becoming more energy efficient, however, it could be more beneficial if the company was more involved in this process of manufacturing, e.g. to make advances towards all-renewable energy factories.
Pip & Nut has implemented a number of initiatives for its fast-growing team. For example, a diversity policy has been employed for its recruitment process, which means that all names, ages, and educational institutions are removed from CVs/Resumes ahead of the ‘sifting stage. This policy has encouraged “more diverse groups of people to come through to the first-stage interview.”, allowing for a fairer recruitment process.
To cultivate a stronger focus on community, the company is consciously sourcing office supplies from local producers. In addition, each Pip & Nut employee is allocated three additional days per year out of the office in order to volunteer within their community - at a charity of their choosing. As a brand, Pip & Nut donates one jar of peanut butter to a foodbank for every order placed online, which is a great initiative to reduce the amount of leftover waste that doesn’t get used, and through donations, Hackney Foodbank was recently able to buy a new van to help keep up with the growing demand at their five centres.
All workers are able to work flexibly, with 1 day work from home a week, and vitality health insurance for all full time workers.