Head of Sustainability at Innocent Drinks, Jessica Sansom is committed to providing a business model of sustainable capitalism - and is doing a pretty good job of it! Creative and not a traditional corporate the Innocent team pioneer the face of CSR with Jessica leading the way. Purchasing and resourcing from ethical and sustainable outlets, Jessica is a figurehead for giving back to the world. An insightful keynote speaker, Jessica helps businesses give back.
Jessica Sansom is the head of sustainability at Innocent Drinks, the number one smoothie brand in the UK, and is responsible for meeting the company’s mantra to 'leave things a little better than we find them'. She has worked in both the private and public sector and as an environmental consultant in her home country of Australia. Her work has focused on the development and implementation of strategic plans to incorporate the principles of sustainable development into everyday business practices. Jessica has a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science and a Masters in Environmental Law. Jessica is in great demand as a conference speaker, focusing on topics such as sustainabilty and CSR (corporate social responsibility).
The History of Innocent
Innocent was born when three university friends decided to set up a lovely fresh fruit juice company. After six months of developing recipes in their kitchen, Richard, Adam and Jon wanted to test their drinks with a wider audience. To do so, they bought £500 of fruit, turned it into smoothies and sold them from a stall at a music festival. They put up a sign that said, ‘Should we give up our jobs to make these smoothies’, and put out a big bin that said NO and one that said YES. Fortunately, at the end of the weekend, the YES bin was full so they went in the next day and resigned.
Innocent is the number one smoothie brand in the UK with a market share of 73%. The company now employs 270 people, and sells over two million little tasty drinks selling in over 11,000 outlets each week. The Innocent range has expanded to include: special smoothies for children, big one litre cartons for families at home and thickies for a yoghurt and fruit blend. The drinks regularly win industry awards, including Best Soft Drink in the UK 2006 (for the fifth year running), Growth Strategy and Business Innovation of the Year at the National Business Awards and Growth Strategy at the European Business Awards.
The Innocent Ethos
The business turned over £100m in 2007, selling over two million smoothies a week in the UK and Europe. The Innocent story shows that with a non-corporate attitude, a fantastic product and creative thinking it is possible to create a fast growing, profitable company that acts responsibly. As a business they want to make it easy for people to do themselves some good - and they want to leave the planet a little bit better than they found it. This is reflected in everything from their use of green electricity at Fruit Towers, to sourcing fruit from places that go the extra mile in terms of looking after the people that work on the farms, and the environment. All their bananas come from Rainforest Alliance accredited farms. Every year they donate 10% of our profits to the Innocent Foundation, which funds NGO’s in the countries where they source their fruits.
Business in the Community Big Tick Award – Cause-Related Marketing
Greatest Britons – Business Achievement
European Business Awards – Growth Strategy of the Year
National Business Awards – Growth Strategy of the Year
National Business Awards – Business Innovation of the Year
Business XL10 – Company of the Year
E&Y Young Entrepreneur of the Year
National Business Awards – Small/Medium Business of the Year
Growing Business Awards – Most Promising New Company
Orange Small Business of the Year
Orange Marketing Campaign of the Year
Orange Innovative Company of the Year
Best Investors in People – National Business Awards
Innovative Company of the Year – Growing Business Awards