How might we as a beverage company support the health of people and our planet?
About Rauch Fruchtsäfte
Since our foundation in 1919, Rauch transformed from a small fruit juice factory to one of the leading producers in Europe. Looking to the future, we strive to combine innovation and impact to lead our industry towards sustainable change.
The COVID-19 crisis strengthened our belief to make sustainability a priority in every part of our business. At the InnoDays, we want to focus on two specific aspects of sustainability: the health of people and the health of our planet.
For people’s wellbeing, a healthy lifestyle is paramount. At Rauch, we aim to support our consumers by providing them with healthy products. For instance, we continuously reduce the amount of sugar in all our product lines, and we are continuously looking for healthier options to include in our product portfolio. We are particularly excited about our new “Juice Bars” that offer freshly squeezed juices. Besides product innovations, we care about making a positive impact on the lives of families and individuals. We are particularly passionate about wellbeing education. We work closely with schools to help children learn to “Drink Smart” – make informed decisions about which beverages are the most suitable depending on the time of the day, the season, and their activities. Finally, we recently started a healthy lifestyle blog geared to our consumers, where we discuss the benefits of fruit to boost the immune system and improve general health.
For our planet’s health, lowering the environmental impact is crucial. We think about our environmental impact along what we call the “juice chain”. The juice chain starts with sourcing raw materials. The journey continues at the factory, where we continuously strive to make production “greener”. In the factory, raw materials are transformed into delicious products, including fruit juices, teas and flavored waters. The products are then packaged and distributed to stores, where they meet the consumers. The juice chain ends when the products become trash (or no-trash).
Among the environmental issues along the juice chain, we are particularly aware of the effect of waste, water management, and CO2 footprint. To curb the downsides of high water consumption, we now turn water sewage into biogas that allows us to save up to 10% of our gas consumption and reduce the CO2 emissions. The supply chain is another big issue since the CO2 footprint created through product distribution and sourcing of raw material is still high. However, we are moving towards more efficient transport modes, such as rail freight transport. Additionally we are reducing the required packaging continuously. You can find a comprehensive list of environmental initiatives on our website.
Despite our increasing efforts and initiatives to promote the health of our people and the health of our planet, we often face dilemmas such as the following:
– Freshly squeezed juice is perceived to be healthier than concentrate, yet the logistic efforts and CO2 emissions required to ship freshly squeezed juice are very high.
– Despite our efforts to consistently replace plastic bottles with glass, glass requires triple the transportation efforts due to its weight.
– Lower sugar (or no sugar) means healthier products, however maintaining flavor and taste becomes much harder. Even if consumers know the benefits, they often stop consuming less sweet drinks because of their inferior taste.
– In our region fruit choice and availability is limited and we source fruit and concentrate from different regions. Doing so we support local farmers in less-privileged regions. However consumers in Austria increasingly value regionality, which is a value that is opposed to flavor variety, affordable prices and support for disadvantages regions.
– Having a “green factory” is good for the environment and reduction of CO2, however it may pose a threat for the safety and quality of food producing companies like us due to the risks that having plants and insects in proximity of the factory (in fact, it is often not even allowed by quality assurance regulations).
– Besides actually reducing CO2 emissions, CO2 certificates represent a way to offset the amount of greenhouse emissions that a company produces through a climate protection project, however consumers often consider certificates as a green-washing measure, rather than a credible effort to reduce the CO2 footprint.
These are only some of the dilemmas we face on our quest for healthier people and a healthier planet.
We believe we can tackle the issues of a healthy lifestyle and environmental footprint by leveraging innovation and technology to create new products, processes and business models. Consider the following questions to trigger your thoughts:
How can we support our consumers, especially teenagers to embrace healthy consumption habits? How do we help consumers include our products as part of a balanced diet? What characteristics should new healthy products (and their packaging!) have, so that consumers actually buy them? How can we use digital tools to promote a more active lifestyle and mindful consumption?
How can we reduce our carbon footprint through a more efficient “juice chain” from tree to trash? What business models do we need to address the problems of farmers in less privileged areas, achieve a positive environmental impact and provide our consumers with healthier options? How can we design a green factory that does not pose health and safety hazards to our products? How to credibly show our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions through certificates? What measures can be taken to educate consumers on CO2 certificates and raise credibility of our efforts? How can new sustainable approaches, such as the circular economy, help us rethink our business model and create new ones? How might we involve the consumers to create a more sustainable future for our products?
At the InnoDays, you can choose to answer one or more sets of questions with your solution.
We are looking for new products and business models. The winning idea should take into account the following criteria:
– Promote healthy lifestyle
– Create positive environmental externalities
– Benefit our business
The most promising ideas will be presented at Rauch headquarter to discuss implementation opportunities. Besides shaping the fruit juice experience of the future, the entire winning team will receive a yearly supply of their favorite Rauch products and VIP Tickets to one of our sponsored sports events.
Data can help companies to achieve their environmental goals, for instance sensors and QR codes can help tracking CO2 emissions in the product journey. A better CO2 tracking system can support companies’ efforts to optimize their supply chain to reduce both costs and emissions. Despite the obvious potential of a data based approach to sustainability, there is a cyber risk involved that needs to be addressed through careful design of technological infrastructures. As an example, the blockchain technology is promising not only to reduce the cyber-security risk involved in supply chain data based transactions, but also to enhance product traceability and enable consumers to get assurance of the juice quality and of the responsible ways in which it is produced. We encourage you to keep security and privacy aspects in mind when designing your solution for the health of the planet and people. Moreover, we encourage you to think about ways in which innovative technologies can be leveraged to support Rauch sustainability efforts.
*For participants from Korea University who focus on the security aspects of the challenge