Climate Confident

The Circular Economy In Retail - A Chat With Juli Lassow

August 24, 2022 Tom Raftery / Juli Lassow Season 1 Episode 84
Climate Confident
The Circular Economy In Retail - A Chat With Juli Lassow
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Show Notes Transcript

The circular economy is growing in importance. Retail is particularly sensitive to this given how younger generations are being far more sensitive to sustainability issues in their purchase decisions.

With this in mind, I invited circularity consultant Juli Lassow of JHL Solutions to come on the podcast.

We had a scintillating conversation covering why circular economy solutions are gaining in importance, what organisations can do to become more circular, and retailer's own brand circularity initiatives.

During the podcast, I mentioned an episode of the Industry Insights podcast where I interviewed a company that acts as a rental platform for retail organisations, such as Decathlon. I couldn't remember the name of the company though. I checked it out and the company is called Lizee, the co-founder I talked to is Tanguy Frécon, and the full episode of that podcast is available here.

This was a truly fascinating episode of the podcast and I learned loads as always, and I hope you do too.

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Credits
Music credits - Intro by Joseph McDade, and Outro music for this podcast was composed, played, and produced by my daughter Luna Juniper

Juli Lassow:

It's not one giant circle of waste that you're trying to close. You're trying to identify individual waste loops and then prioritize how you want to close them. And you close them in ways that are scalable from an investment perspective of time, energy, and resources. You're able to prioritize those loops based on what's most important to your consumers, your community. Sometimes you need to prioritize quick wins to get started and start messaging

Tom Raftery:

Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening wherever you are in the world. This is the Climate 21 podcast, the number one podcast, showcasing best practices in climate emissions reductions, and I'm your host global vice president for SAP, Tom Raftery. Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast in your podcast app of choice, to be sure you don't miss any episodes. Hi, everyone. Welcome to the climate 21 podcast. My name is Tom Raftery with SAP and with me on the show today, I have my special guest, Juli, Juli, welcome to the podcast. Would you like to introduce yourself?

Juli Lassow:

Oh, I'd be happy to thanks so much for having me, Tom. My name is Juli Lassow. I uh, work in the US as a consultant, supporting retailers and their consumers and supply partners in implementing sustainable and own brand strategies.

Tom Raftery:

Fantastic. And how did you get into that?

Juli Lassow:

Well, I grew up professionally in retail. So coming right out of school, I started at Target stores in the US and always worked in the the merchandising space. So inventory planning, buying, but I spent half of my time in global sourcing and at Target, that's all about finding the right partners to make really amazing own brand products. The products that Target designs and puts on their shelves every day. And I loved that work. I loved the opportunity to work with the global team to find really great ways to deliver products that delighted our guests. But I spent about six years of my time there in what's called the seasonal business. So for your American audience, that's the back of the Target store where you can find everything from Christmas trees and the Christmas tree lights to Easter baskets and Halloween costumes. And that product was so much fun. It was all about celebration, but underlying, it was a lot about waste. We were encouraging people to buy things they didn't really need. And despite Targets, best efforts, sometimes things that weren't made as sustainably as they could be, and really items that were only used for days or weeks. And sometimes even hours before they'd really reached the end of life. And it started to build up a feeling in me that I called. Green guilt . And so when I stepped out of Target about five years ago and launched my own consulting business, I told myself that I'd find a way to help retailers in their partnerships with their suppliers show up, better, show up from a sustainability perspective and have a more positive impact on the environment, their community, the consumers that they sought to serve. And that's when I came across some research in a framework called the circular economy, which has been around for couple decades now. And I know you've had guests on the podcast who've touched on it, so it certainly wasn't a new concept, but it was a newer one to me. And what I loved about it is any good consultant does, is that it's a framework for bringing forward, really complicated approaches around sustainability. And I loved the opportunity that it provided for engagement throughout a consumer product life cycle. So that's what brought me to the space and to the the conversation with you today.

Tom Raftery:

Okay. And what kind of circular economy solutions can you recommend to retail organizations? How can you help them be more sustainable?

Juli Lassow:

Well with retailers, I would say the conversation is changing, but going back a decade or so there was a lot of arms length conversations around sustainability that, they simply didn't control enough of their own supply chain. So it had to be their suppliers that were more sustainable or they didn't control what the consumers did with the products. Once they purchased them, the consumers were free to do whatever they wanted to. But really what I love about circularity is that it gives you an opportunity to break down where your ownership is, and the impacts that you can have. So again, staying within retail, which is my area of passion and focus, retailers can take a much more collaborative approach now when they're setting their sustainability goals whether it's zero emissions or net zero overall, they can partner with their suppliers, outline what those goals look like and it often starts with products and consumer goods spaces, obviously. So making products that create little waste or pollution. Products that can stay in use longer. And when a consumer's done using that product, there's a home for that product that isn't a landfill, but it starts with that product design or the product's packaging design, or even the supply chain design and being really thoughtful of how you're designing a system to minimize that waste and pollution and extend product life.

Tom Raftery:

Okay. Very good. On another podcast that I hosted, the industry insights podcast I had on a company that are providing a service to retailers. And it was really interesting. It was a rental. Platform a white label rental platform. And one of their customers is Decathlon, which is here in Europe. It's a big sports goods outlet. And so they were providing things like for Decathlon instead of selling tents, for example, to people who were going camping, they could rent the tent, take it away for two weeks, then bring it back. Cuz you know, if you buy a tent, you buy it, you go tenting maybe once or twice a year. Or go camping maybe once or twice a year. And that's it and have to put away in this case, you rent it for that time. You give it back, it's refurbished and put out for the next person to come along. So it gets used far more often and you save on storage space and costs. So it seemed like a beautiful win-win. And are these kind of the strategies that you're promoting as well?

Juli Lassow:

Absolutely. And I think one thing about circular that's fantastic is that it doesn't have to be just about positive, sustainable impact. Circularity is building because it's finding ways to develop new and creative revenue streams. And that's an excellent one. Tents at Target, it was a joke because we used to call that department, the rent a tent department, because that's exactly what people do. They'd buy it. They'd use the tent for the weekend away with family or or friends and they'd come back and return it to Target. And so instead of target getting net revenue, they would lose money. Because that product often couldn't get put back on the shelf. If you try to think about putting a tent back in the package that you brought it home in, that's just an exercise in futility. So you'd lose money on it. And now you can think about, yes, this white label program for rentals is absolutely fantastic. The other space where there's an opportunity to drive income and revenue for an organization in the retail space is supporting secondhand or resale. So whether that's taking products back yourself and reselling them. So whether it's your returns, it's a shockingly high number of returns that go right into the landfill, uh, in the retail space that don't ever get back, put back on the shelves, whether they're virtual or, or physical. But also starting in supporting your consumers and building their own secondhand markets. So the revenue stream there is a little bit more indirect, but you're building deeper loyalty with your consumers, which has been really a fantastic unlock. We're seeing younger consumers throughout the world, being much more concerned about associating themselves and their purchase choices with brands and retailers that share their values when it comes to that environmental space and just showing up for good. And so having the consumers actively engaged in your sustainability solutions is a really fantastic way to build that loyalty, as well as find creative ways to build revenue, streams and profitability.

Tom Raftery:

Okay. Great. And. How aware are retail organizations about circularity and what to do in that space? Are they, you know, are they well aware of it? Are they becoming aware of it? Have they never heard of it? Is it a spectrum?

Juli Lassow:

A, spectrum, I think is the right way to answer it. And I would say that's true across whether it's geographically or across industries. A shout out to you and a note to your audience. If they still have the podcast from Gordon Donovan, from a handful of episodes back still in their queue, I'd absolutely recommend to listen to it. It's a great overview of a survey that was done that across several industries from, with C suite leaders For businesses of all sizes and all types. And he mentioned specifically, and it, certainly supports research I've seen as well, that there are certain areas of the world that are much more circular forward. So throughout Europe, certainly we've seen an amazing uptick with circularity being, not just part of the industry, but also part of state and local governments as well. The circularity is being built into their city platforms their growth in governmental regulation platforms. And you're also seeing quite a bit in Asia throughout China from a national level, from a governmental level. There's been circular platforms written into their policies for more than a decade now, uh, I think William McDonough, when he was on your podcast also referenced that he'd worked with China more than a decade ago on these types of strategies. And in a little closer to home for me in the Americas, you're starting to see circularity build. So a lot of the larger organizations will have a sustainability team and often a circularity team Head of Circular as a way to, again, build out a framework that they can implement and build a lot of momentum both internally and externally around their sustainability platforms. And then in certain industries, you're starting to see leaders as well. And energy is certainly a place where you're seeing it, but across retail, it's now becoming a competitive advantage or even just a way to, to keep an industry or part of the industry healthy. When you think of fast fashion, the whole purpose of fast fashion was to use clothes as quickly as possible and make them incredibly disposable, which is taking out an incredible amount of natural resources and then contributing to an amazing amount of waste. Even from a social perspective, there, wasn't a lot of ability when you have such a tight supply chain to, to create value in the communities where you're making products. And what circularity is allowing elements of the fast fashion organizations to do is embrace a less bad model, which arguably is only part of the solution. You need, if you're less bad, you're still bad. But for organizations like H&M that are committing to having their products be sourced a hundred percent sustainably, they're committing to being a hundred percent circular by the end of the decade, which is pretty impressive. They're also engaging their consumers in new ways. So they have, for some time been doing textile recycling on site, they've been doing resale and extended life, programs, which is a diversion or not diversion. It is a change in direction from that fast fashion, highly disposable mentality. And, they're working hard to change that perception.

Tom Raftery:

Yeah, sure. I remember I had a woman called Stephanie Benedetto, who is the founder of Queen of Raw on my Digital Supply Chain podcast last year. And what they do is they enable organizations, fashion, uh, organizations to, maximize their yarn, I guess is the right word. I've forgotten now the exact terminology she was using and to be very circular around it, and the amount of waste she referenced that is there currently was just absolutely appalling. So, you know, it's great to hear that the industry is starting to move to be more circular now, cuz the waste there is atrocious. Absolutely.

Juli Lassow:

Well, there's creative things that you can do with waste. I think that the quote is, and I think I've heard your guest say as well, that waste or pollution is just too much of the wrong thing in the wrong place and finding creative solutions for that can unlock a lot of value. And it's another way to think about driving profitability and revenue, as opposed to having waste, so you're not having high levels of utilization. You're paying to get rid of waste so that you're seeing that in the fields or if you're seeing on the factory floor and finding ways to, to operationalize and commercialize waste is pretty exciting.

Tom Raftery:

No, absolutely. There's you mentioned Target at the start. And I know a lot of the big retail outlets, both here in Europe and in the US have their own private labels. So you know, their own brands that they sell alongside the big brands that we all know, is there a difference between the own brand approach to circularity and the big brands that we know their approach to circularity? Or does that depend from retail outlet to retail outlet?

Juli Lassow:

There's absolutely a difference. And I would say the differences live not only between more of a CPG or a national brand and an own brand, but then also the type of own brand that the product is. So just touching on national brand to start. There, I would say the approach to building out a sustainable approach or bringing your circularity goals to life is really more around collaboration. So there's organizations, such as Unilever and Procter and Gamble that have made incredible commitments to circularity. And Unilever is one of, one of the earlier signature authorities within the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which is a clearly, a well known circular commitment organization. And for someone like a Target, you're partnering with a Unilever or Procter and Gamble, and you're bringing your mutual goals to life. And hopefully the Venn diagram of your goals and their goals will overlap. And you're able to work together and move forward with minimal friction. Sometimes they don't, but it will depend on the size of each player and how they're able to influence each other's approach. So I would say that type of sustainability engagements, all around collaboration influence within the own brand or private label space, you're more thinking of what is the ownership of the development. So in some ways it's much easier because if you are owning that brand and you're developing that brand in house, you can set your brand standards. You can say, this is going to be a net zero program, or packaging will be a hundred percent recyclable. The product will be, have this extended life and this level of impact climate and social impact. But it depends on the level of expertise within your organization to really bring that product to life. So it staying close to home for me, when I think about Target, there's an incredible range of how Targets own brands are brought to life. Some of them are fully designed. They have a visual designer, they have an aesthetic designer, technical designer, and all of that is brought in house. Then the task then is to find the right partner that can bring that vision to life in a way that meets the goals that have been outlined from a social and environmental perspective. Now, for some categories that are a little bit more collaborative, where they're not fully designed internally, Then the partnership with the suppliers and the matrix shifts a bit, and you are looking for the partners that can not only bring the design and engineering expertise, but also that manufacturing and transportation and development expertise to help bring your visions to life. So you're a half a step removed. But I would say, regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, it starts with setting a clear vision for what are my goals across this business for the product packaging and for use case use life. And then to some extent, the logistical and supply chain transportation elements as well. And then what you continue to own internally will depend on the resources internally that you've set up to bring that item to life or the amount that you're relying on the manufacturer and the supplier partner to bring it to life.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, super. And you mentioned the Ellen MacArthur Foundation a couple of times. For people listening, who might not be aware, can you just give us a few words about what the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is?

Juli Lassow:

Yeah, I'd be happy to. So Ellen MacArthur foundation was one of the early resources I found when I was learning about circularity. So for those of you who are circular curious, I like to say it's a definitely a really great place to start. They do a beautiful job outlining circularity, what it is, and then some approaches to bring it to life. So the Ellen MacArthur foundation was founded more than a decade ago now by Ellen MacArthur, uh, as luck would have it, who before starting the foundation was more famous for sailing sailboats around the world, she was a professional racer. And what she found on one of these long voyages that she was on is that she had created a zero waste solution for herself on her boat. And when you're on these trips, you're laser focused on the amount of diesel, the amount of water food you're using, and you work to eliminate waste. And you also, because you can't put it out into the ocean a yachter would never do that, but you also don't wanna be hauling around waste on your yacht, it'll slow you down and it's waste. You don't want it there. So what she was struck by was that she had created this microcosm of circularity, but that the principles really needed to apply everywhere because it was just a circular planet at the end of the day. But she was seeing some gaps and she set out to find an organization that was helping to bring this circular vision to life in a way that she saw it. She didn't find that. And that's when she launched the Ellen MacArthur foundation. They crystallize circulated down to three really clear things. So first it's designing that waste and pollution out of everything. So the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the cities, we build everything. The second principle is all route keeping materials and products and use for longer. And so it's certainly recycling, but it's also remanufacturing, resale, composting, regenerative agriculture, all the great re's live in that bucket. And then the third principle is all around creating regenerative systems. So using nature as our inspiration here, a tree doesn't make any waste. It takes in from the atmosphere. It gives back to the atmosphere. It's fully decomposable, it offers food. And so where you can find and build those types of circular regenerative systems, whether they're natural or technical, That's the key foundation and they really are looking to change at scale. It's not incremental change. It's holistic change across industry, across governmental regulations, and bringing groups along because that's, that's the change that we are going to need. If we're gonna stabilize what we're seeing from a climate risk perspective, biodiversity perspective.

Tom Raftery:

Very good. And for people who are interested in finding resources to help them become more circular, what kind of tools are out there to help?

Juli Lassow:

Well, one of my favorites from the Ellen MacArthur foundation is called Circulytics as in circular analytics. And it's a really fantastic toolkit in the sense that it's set up to help an organization regardless of its size or complexity. Help build out a circular strategic framework and bring it to life. So I'm an organization of one. Well, I'd say one plus, and I have a Circulytics report card. So you go through, you take a series of survey questions about the inputs that you take into your organization, and then the outputs that your organization puts out into the world. And it helps you to understand where you creating circularity, where are some areas of focus and how to build out that strategic plan that makes sense for your business. And one of the things I love about circularity. But one of the misnomers is that it's not one giant circle of waste that you're trying to close. You're trying to identify individual waste loops and then prioritize how you want to close them. And you close them in ways that are scalable from an investment perspective of time, energy, and resources. You're able to prioritize those loops based on what's most important to your consumers, your community. Sometimes you need to prioritize quick wins to get started and start messaging. That doesn't mean you can't have those large interactions outlined. So the other piece that I would add is that some of those larger waste loops that you're looking to close might take you outside of your organization to do it. So you brought up an example just a moment ago, when you were talking about the white label retail program, the rental program. So that's something that there's so many great service providers and partners out there now that can come and support your circular initiatives and bring them to life in ways that drive incredible amount of value, but minimize the amount of investment of resources that your organization has to make.

Tom Raftery:

Cool. I've just forgotten. Or I would've mentioned at the name of the company that provides that white label platform for rental, but I will look it up and I'll put it into the show notes for anyone who's interested. I'll put, a link to that podcast. My head isn't working properly today. I apologize.

Juli Lassow:

Well, It's a wonderful example.

Tom Raftery:

Thank you. You mentioned consumers as well. Just there. What's the connection between say brands and consumers in this space, because we're starting to see, obviously consumers are starting to become more conscious of all this kind of thing. And brands in some cases are responding in some cases, not so much, but talk a little bit about that.

Juli Lassow:

Well, I touched on that. It's certainly generational. You're seeing younger generations increasingly communicate and demonstrate with their buying power that they're wanna be associated with brands and retailers that echo their values and their values are increasingly concerned about environmental sustainability, social justice and brands and retailers are paying attention to that. But the other great accelerator that I would say crosses across generations would be COVID and we saw COVID accelerate change in many areas and in retail and sustainability and circularity are certainly included here. And when you were sitting and you had boxes of products getting delivered to your door or to your porch people started to take into strike relief how much packaging those products had. When you were making your own meals for weeks on end at a higher proportion than perhaps you were starting to become much more concerned with how well that food is made, the packaging, all that food came in and how you could have an influence and impact on it. Even simple things like people living in their spaces and staying so much closer to home than they used to, they had to convert some living spaces into working spaces. You are this isn't coming across on the podcast, but I am in my spare bedroom that I converted into my office. Over the time of COVID. And when I did that, I had a lot of stuff that I needed to find a new home for. And that went to thrift shops. I did a lot of donation, but I certainly sold some of it in resale and I wasn't alone in that. I mean, resale got it largest bump ever during the first 12 months of COVID. And that was a business that was set to double in the US going into COVID. And that rate of acceleration had only increased and has not really dropped off since then. And it's now expanding beyond apparel where it really started in the US and accessory business to more home goods. And so that's been really interesting to see. So to answer your question, a touch more succinctly that brand consumer connection point has really been accelerated generationally, and it's also been accelerated by COVID and it's been fun to see how brands and retailers are now thinking about consumers in taking their partnership and bringing circularity to life. And whether that's a resale model or finding ways to help their consumers compost packaging or find new disposal methods for the product like I said earlier that aren't aligned well.

Tom Raftery:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And as well, I gotta think the other big shift that COVID enabled or enabled no, forced is the shift to the kind of direct to consumer model. So you're getting people buying directly now from the brand. They might have gone to a shop for before. And of course the flip side of this is 30% of those online purchases get returned. So, you know, that almost requires an even faster move towards circularity because of that.

Juli Lassow:

It absolutely does. I think that point is well made and that shows that circularity can show up in not just the design of the products, but also the system designs as well. So you're also seeing in the rise of whether it's direct to consumer, even online purchasing from hybrid. Retailers and brands, the rise of technologies, like better fit technology. So often those returns are driven because you've bought three pairs because you don't know what size you are or you're buying for your children. And I used to be able to take my kids into the department store or the kids' area, the department store and get their shoes fitted and have some amount of assurance from an expert that the shoes were fit. Now, I just don't know, but if you're able to do the scan at home or the modeling versions and get some right sizing, there's some really creative solutions out there. Service providers out there that are helping you understand what the product will fit and even using AI and in virtual imaging, you're now able to see the product on yourself. You could do a body scan or have more informed perspective on what this item will look like on someone with my body type. So all to build that confidence and limit the amount of multiple buying or additional options purchasing that will eventually lead to returns in many cases. But then packaging is another element of that as well. So how are you fitting your package as a fit to purpose and making sure that what's being recycled or even being wrapped around your product. So if you're shipping a book, for example, that doesn't need foam peanuts or an inflatable plastic pillow, you can do that in a sleeve. Just and right- sizing packaging is another really key way that you're seeing those businesses that are very much relying on the last mile delivery to get product to your door trying to become more circular and more conscious in how that product is being designed and how the system around the product is being designed.

Tom Raftery:

Yeah, I'm glad you mentioned packaging actually, because I have an upcoming episode, this is something like an AD for all my podcasts. I have an upcoming episode

Juli Lassow:

Please, do.

Tom Raftery:

of the supply chain one where I talk to a company called Paccurate. So that's P and accurate, and they're working with organizations who are doing packaging and they just, they a backend organization where they create instructions for each individual item that, you know, organizations are packing to send out either to reduce the wastage or to change entirely how something is packed to change the material that it's packed using, or to change the size of the packaging, they send full instructions on every individual item and they do it at scale. So it's gonna, yeah, it's gonna make for a really, really interesting episode of that. So keep an eye out for that.

Juli Lassow:

I absolutely will. I'm sure your audience will as well. It's not often that you get it pun when it comes to supply chain partners too. So kudos to them on that creative naming. That sounds fantastic. Not only, transportation packaging, but the packaging of the products themselves is also a place where we're seeing some really interesting innovation in the US, an organization called TerraCycle has launched like a handful of years ago now a priority called the loop initiative. And so loop is all about creating, and supporting a product and packaging subscription model. So you buy your favorite products and then they come in a reusable packaging container. So once you've used the items, you send the packaging back for another refill and there's organizations like Kroger in the US, it's a mid-size grocery. That is, is supporting this initiative wholeheartedly. So it's the return of these ideas. It's sort of like the milk man approach in the US where you used to get milk delivered to your door. Then you return the bottles and got refills. Now that's everything from your soaps, your shampoos. My favorite is ice cream. I don't need any excuses to eat more ice cream in my life. But when they came out the Hagen Daz version of that, I had to smile and sometimes the universe is extraordinarily kind. And there's, it's just another example of fit for purpose of what consumers are looking for when they're looking to shop. And also supporting ideas like bulk purchasing more and more, and being able to right size the amount of product you're bringing to your, own home. It's not just about going to the club stores and buying 50 rolls of toilet paper. It's about rightsizing and being able to bring into your home, those bulk bins of, grains and cereals and whatnot that it will also help minimize waste. From a consumption perspective, just buying what you need and being able to use it in the time where it's maximum freshness. There's so many benefits to that and allowing consumers to enjoy your products, how they want to is an incredibly impactful way for brands and retailers, to be able to build solutions for their consumers that are going to continue to deepen that loyalty and grow wallet share all of the things that, broadly a growing organization is going to be looking for.

Tom Raftery:

Nice. Nice, nice. I'm reminded there's a restaurant, just a few hundred meters from where I live here that does take out. And basically they say, if you bring your own containers, we'll fill them and charge you by weight so that you bring your container, stick it on the weighing scales. They fill it with whatever foods you want and then they bill you, or they charge you by the weight of whatever it is you're buying. So it's fabulous. You know.

Juli Lassow:

I I love that!

Tom Raftery:

Yeah. You bring three or four containers and you get, I'll have a little bit of that. One, a little bit of that one, a little bit of that one, and then you you're good to go. So it's really cool. It's really cool.

Juli Lassow:

Well, when you think about not, it wasn't that long ago, where it was kind of interesting to bring your own packing parcel or shopping tote to a grocery store or convenience store or do Targets or whatnot. And now I think I've got a handful of them in my car. I've got one in every one of my purses, cuz you never know when you're gonna have to pop into the shop quick. But now I it's just part of my routine. I've changed that behavior. And that's what, again, the really smart brands and retailers are doing is they are building a system that you can be a part of a flywheel where it's just, it's easy and you see a value in it. So you get to customize exactly what you wanna bring home. I get to not have plastic bags, littering my house when I don't need them. And it just makes it easy. And I have a, reusable tote, that's it's I can't remember what the fabric is, but it's a rip stop fabric so that I don't have a ripped paper bag or a plastic bag. And having all of my groceries or my purchases rolling around the bottom of my car And so it's those behavior changes that in a decade or so. Yeah, we probably even less, we're gonna be bringing our reusable totes out to eat, and that's just gonna be expected and it's a fun way to think about how we can be as consumers be part of the solution, which is so empowering.

Tom Raftery:

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Juli, we're coming towards the end of the podcast. Now, is there any question I haven't asked that you wish I had, or any aspect of this that we've not touched on, that you think it's important for people to be aware of?

Juli Lassow:

One thing that I'm excited to see, come into being, and we're hearing more about this and then I'm hoping we're in a pretty short horizon here, but when you think about the nutrition label for food, I think that really started to unlock some awareness in what we were putting in our body and how to think about building a balanced diet for yourself and for your family. And I'm excited to see how that translates into a sustainability label. And I think people are calling it different things, but the idea is how can we become more informed as consumers and even shift that perspective from consuming to being users of goods and being more thoughtful in those purchases and having a be more informed. There's so much of a challenge right now with moving past the idea of greenwashing, where you're seeing claims on labels that are you know, uses 10% less water or 50% organic. And it's, it doesn't really communicate the true impact of what you are deciding to purchase. And so it's an element of truth in advertising. It's an element of education. And again, it's an element of that buy-in, and so , I'm excited to see where that goes. As I mentioned, coming outta circulitics, you get a circularity score. And my vision, my dream state would be able to have people be conversant with what circularity is. And so be to be able to understand what is a good amount of circularity that meets my needs. It's fit to purpose for my needs and my, values and I can shop accordingly. So the more transparency that we see it at the consumer good level. And a way to be able to access that in a concise, easy way is something I'm very excited about. So I would just put that out to the audience to watch and listen for that, in the, coming months and hopefully, hopefully not too distant future.

Tom Raftery:

Yeah, no, it's, it's a point well made and I've mentioned this before. You know, to your point nutrition labels on food, there should be something similar. I buy an oat milk here in, Spain, it's an international one. It's called Oatly and I use it for my coffee. And they have the carbon footprint of each container on the side of the container. You know, I think it's 13 grams CO2 or something per container if I remember correctly, probably not, but anyway, but that information outta context is meaningless. So it's not until it's mandated. That all companies put the carbon footprint. I can then cross compare because I don't know if I have a liter of cow milk versus soy milk versus oat milk. I don't know which one has the lower carbon footprint. So I just continue to buy Oatly because I like it. I know it's less than cow milk, for example. So that that's great. If I had a way of cross comparing, if it was mandated, the way the nutrition labels are mandated to say, you know, you have to put it on for everything that you manufacture, then it would be far better for everybody.

Juli Lassow:

Absolutely. Absolutely. And I love the idea of starting with food and I think you bring up a good point that food industry is probably out further on this than consumer goods, but it doesn't need to stop there. So I think that the scale and the impact has the potential to be pretty significant.

Tom Raftery:

Fantastic. Juli, that's been really interesting if people want to know more about yourself or circularity or any of the topics we discussed in the podcast today, where would you have me direct them?

Juli Lassow:

Yeah, well, two places, one, I am active on LinkedIn, so you can find me there. So it's Juli, J U L I, and then Lassow L A S S O W. And I'm sure this will be capturing the show notes as well. But please feel free to reach out, love to connect on LinkedIn. And then I've got a wealth of resources on my website as well. And that's at jhl-solutions.com. And I'm sure that'll be in the notes as well, but, please come visit there. You can access my email there as well, and please feel free to reach out and drop in. I clearly am very excited about circularity. There's always so much to learn. Today's conversation is a really great example, so I would love to keep the conversation going.

Tom Raftery:

Fantastic. Juli. It's been great. Thanks a million for coming on the podcast today.

Juli Lassow:

I so appreciate it, Tom. It was a delight. Thank you for having me.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, we've come to the end of the show. Thanks everyone for listening. If you'd like to know more about Climate 21, feel free to drop me an email to Tom dot Raftery @ sap.com or connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter. If you liked the show, please don't forget to subscribe to it in your podcast application of choice to get new episodes as soon as they're published. Also, please don't forget to rate and review the podcast. It really does help new people to find the show. Thanks catch you all next time.

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