Products of Change


Fri 19 May 2023 | by Rob Hutchins

Friday Thoughts | The Need for Speed

The news no one can avoid this week is that the alarm bell has been sounded. The World Meteorological Organisation has declared there’s now a 66% chance we’ll exceed the 1.5ºC threshold at some point between now and 2027. This does not mean that global temperatures will permanently exceed the 1.5ºC ambition of the Paris Agreement, so this will not be chalked up as a failure of that mission, but it does mean we’ll be entering uncharted territory as we push past the height average recorded to date of 1.28ºC above pre-industrial levels. Response has – as you may expect – been the call to action that business and nations simply “must speed up”. Links have already been made between global warming and the startling news of floods in Italy, as scientists warn that the impacts of climate change are now banging on the doors of Europe. The good news is inch-by-inch we are starting to see ground being gained. This week, we’ve seen Water UK pledge to invest £10bn this decade to modernise sewer infrastructure and reduce sewage overflows that spill into waterways across the country. What’s more, the organisation has apologised for not acting sooner – is it a sign that the tide really could be starting to turn? We can only hope. It most certainly offers a kernel of encouragement and jumping point for those like Products of Change member and founder of Wastebuster, Katy Newnham for whom preparations are well underway for the United Nation’s Water Week next year. Speaking of preparations, we’re in turbo-mode here at Products of Change as we enter the Las Vegas Licensing Expo countdown. Thanks to the wonderful team at Informa Markets, we will once again be hitting the show floor with our own space to showcase the innovative brands and manufacturers who are moving the needle to do things differently and with greater care for and awareness of their impact on the environment. As ever, we want to exhibit the journey that this industry is on when it comes to sustainable development so attendees and visitors can feel inspired by not only what can be achieved but the ambitious goals the pioneers of this wonderful industry have set. For the first time, Products of Change will use Licensing Expo as a place to have those conversations between business leaders and brand owners. We will be hosting a roster of Roundtable events over the course of the show to bring together the biggest names in sports licensing, service providers, and across the industry as we spark discussion around sports, carbon, and transparency within the sector. The idea is to use Licensing Expo this year as the launch pad for the next stage of industry action. And to reinforce that, we’ve got a very special launch planned, too. We will also be taking to the stage to deliver what really does promise to be an agenda setting panel session featuring some of the biggest brands in our sector. And if these guys can come and be a part of the conversation, there’s nothing stopping everyone else. It’s at this point we welcome the newest members to the Products of Change community: DK Books and The Entertainer. We are incredibly excited to see this membership grow stronger each week – it’s a true indication of the compulsion and determination our industries have to take decisive, positive action and rewrite the future of industry and the world in which it operates. You are of course invited to come and part of this. Next week we will be hosting our latest Packaging Workstream update with Mike Swain as we look into the latest details surrounding the Packaging Extended Producer Responsibility tax at 4.00pm on Tuesday, 23rd May. Members can register here. This will be followed by our latest Fashion Workstream, when POC’s Ambassador for Fashion, Julia Redman will be joined by special guest Zak Johnson, founder at Reborn and Naeco to showcase innovations within the fashion sector. This session will take place at 4.00pm on Wednesday, 24th May. Members can register for this discussion here. Let’s use these discussions as the opportunity to set a new course for business. This is our chance to act, so let’s take it.