Feeding Survivors of Disasters Without Single-use Plastics

by Dave Armon, Chief Executive Officer, 3BL Media
Jun 13, 2019 8:00 AM ET
Article

Last fall, 3BL Media honored chef José Andrés as the inaugural Brands Taking Stands Humanitarian Award winner for feeding millions of hungry survivors of devastating hurricanes, earthquakes and other disasters.

We all marveled at the efficiency of Andrés’ World Central Kitchen as the nonprofit rapidly erected feeding centers in Puerto Rico, Haiti and Nicaragua to cook and distribute hot, nutritious meals.

In viewing videos of the Herculean efforts by Andrés and his team, one of our emcees at 3BL Forum, Mark Shamley, noticed that each meal was served on a single-use plastic container, creating additional trash for communities that were already in ruins.

Shamley, vice president of global social impact at Tupperware Brands, jumped into partnership mode.

Fast forward to today, Tupperware announced a partnership to supply durable, multi-use food storage containers and logistical support to provide them at scale when World Central Kitchen responds to disaster.

“A great partnership … came directly out of the 3BL Awards Dinner last fall,” said Alexandra Garcia, chief program officer at World Central Kitchen.  “A new collaboration has been created.”

Conference season is in full swing for 2019. My colleagues at 3BL Media are attending Engage for Good in Chicago this week. Next week, we will convene in Detroit for Sustainable Brands. Later in June, the BBB Foundation of Metro New York’s annual half-day CSR conference takes the stage, followed by Charities@Work. In Minneapolis, GreenBiz launches its latest event, Circularity.

There are myriad reasons for producing, sponsoring or attending events focusing on corporate responsibility and sustainable business. 

One of the most gratifying is seeing collaboration among global corporate giants that might otherwise not find one another. One example is the recent Loop collaborative, allowing consumers to stop disposing empty plastic containers instead returning them to get refilled. Loop now delivers more than 300 consumer goods in reusable packaging, including Tide detergent, Dove deodorant, Coca-Cola soda and Häagen-Dazs ice cream.

While our team at 3BL Media played just a small part by producing 3BL Forum, we are honored that we fostered the constructive, collaborative atmosphere that encouraged innovation for Tupperware Brands and World Central Kitchen around environmental responsibility in disaster zones.

"Tupperware Brands is the perfect partner for us," says Nate Mook, executive director of World Central Kitchen. "We share the common goal of helping local communities quickly return to thriving economies where philanthropy does not displace commerce and where the dignity of a hot meal can serve as an inspirational source of better days to come.

Register for the 3BL Forum: Brands Taking Stands™ – What's Next at MGM National Harbor, Outside Washington, D.C., October 29-30, 2019.