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Eden Project leads the way in sustainable licensing

Wed 03 Feb 2021 | 12:33 pm GMT
Michelle Urquhart | Products of Change Writer

Eden Project leads the way in sustainable licensing. Image: Hufton Crow

With sustainability at the heart of the programme, licensees with a similar ethos were targeted on the basis of provenance, the stories behind their products providing a link with the Eden Project. Nestled in a huge crater in the heart of Cornwall, the Eden Project is a symbol both of regeneration and the power of imagination and belief. By the early 2000s, the desolate landscape of a working china clay pit had been transformed into a visitor destination, with massive biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity and a huge indoor garden complete with stunning plants enjoying a Mediterranean climate. In summer, the striking Outdoor Gardens now host summer concerts with world-renowned artists, while during the Christmas season, visitors are invited to ice skate or meet Father Christmas and his elves in the most magical of settings. The Eden Project’s licensing programme was launched as a way of extending the reach of the brand, inviting a broader audience to be part of the Eden story while providing additional funds to help support this educational charity and social enterprise. With sustainability at the heart of the programme, licensees with a similar ethos were targeted on the basis of provenance, the stories behind their products providing a link with the Eden Project. The challenge for licensing agent Nutmeg Licensing was to find environmentally responsible companies offering innovative products with a story to tell, all faithful to the ethos of the brand. Fast forward five years and another transformation has taken place. Eden Project International was established in 2017 with a mission to build collaborative projects around the world, focusing on global challenges posed by factors such as soil, water, food, biodiversity. Work has begun on the next Eden Project in Qingdao, China, due to open in 2023 and well positioned to inspire and inform a sizeable (including local) population. Further projects are planned for China, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Chad, as well as more locally in Dundee, Derry (Londonderry) and Morecambe, where funding is being sought for Eden Project North, an inspirational new visitor attraction designed to reimagine health and wellbeing while bringing social and economic benefits to Morecambe and the wider region. The licensing programme has moved on apace too, with strong partnerships forged around common values and a passion for responsibly sourced products. Eden Project licensed products can be found across the retail spectrum, with recent highlights including LSA’s award-winning Canopy range of recycled glass drinkware, vases and planters on display on the Fifth Floor of Harvey Nichols prior to Christmas, and Portico’s gifting ranges of ‘on the go’ homewares selling through at Boots over the Christmas period. Fresh Coffee’s coffee pods’ new packaging will launch in spring, designed to call out its climate neutral, Fair Trade and 100% Rainforest Alliance certification, providing consumers with even more reasons to choose Eden Project coffee. The Eden Project’s partnership with ScanCom International has resulted in a beautiful range of garden furniture that blends innovative design with environmentally responsible sourcing, marketed under their LifestyleGarden brand. Visitors to Eden Project Cornwall are able to learn more about a world first by LifestyleGarden; a commercially available DuraOcean chair produced utilising 3.5kg of plastic reclaimed from the sea. Growing recognition of the very real impacts of climate change is helping to accelerate the adoption of sustainable approaches by businesses. Circular economy practices are becoming more mainstream; products are being designed for longevity, to be reparable, refurbished or remanufactured, or finally recycled, eliminating waste. Services are being offered to promote sharing and ultimately the more efficient use of products. These are the principles that will underpin the Eden Project licensing programme moving forward, with opportunities to form new partnerships with these future-fit companies becoming more plentiful as attitudes shift. With responsible consumption starting to resonate with consumers around the world, the Eden Project is optimistic about the future of its licensing programme. As Tracey Smith, Commercial Manager at Eden Project International points out: “With sustainability at the heart of everything we do, the Eden Project brand is perfectly positioned to tell the story about the sustainable values behind our licensees’ products. We also have a unique opportunity to build deeper partnerships with our licensees through our projects, which in turn makes the stories behind their products even more meaningful.” Nutmeg Licensing’s June Kirkwood agrees, “With so many innovative companies reimagining the consumer landscape, this is a great opportunity for the Eden Project to help lead the way in sustainable licensing.” June Kirkwood is MD of Nutmeg Licensing, for more information about Eden please contact June
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