Going green helped craft-beer Toast Ale secure national media coverage and win new partnerships with global brands. Now, they’re an award-winning brand and have sold over 2,000,000 pints.

Read their story, and find resources and tools to implement similar changes in your own business.

About Toast Ale

Toast Ale brews beer with surplus bread from industrial bakeries. As well as tackling food waste – with 1.4 million cans and bottles sold in 2021 – the company is inspiring consumers, politicians and the wider drinks industry to take action on sustainability.

Industry: Food and Beverage Services

Location: London

Louisa Ziane, Co-Founder and COO

Louisa Ziane, Co-Founder and COO

"There’s no question that banks will be pushing us harder than government to decarbonise. It will get to a point where businesses can’t borrow, or get insurance, if they are big emitters."

Winning contracts with a
stand-out brand

It’s really important for brands to differentiate themselves, to tell a story that stands out. And there’s growing demand for sustainability from trade customers and consumers. People are looking at how they can be more in touch with nature and reduce their footprint.

Of course, you always need a good quality, affordable product. But we’re winning contracts because we have all of that and are more sustainable than other businesses.

Those range from being the beer of choice at eco-lifestyle festivals and plant-based restaurants like Neat Burger, to events for corporates like PwC who are themselves trying to be more sustainable and engage their staff in climate issues.

Knowing how much carbon you produce is an important first step in taking action to make your business more sustainable and create a more powerful and desirable brand.

Partnerships with global brands

We’ve worked with big brands like Warburtons, helping them tackle their waste challenges. They supplied us with wonky crumpets for a special collaboration beer! We’ve done 86 collaborations with other beer brands, including big ones like Guinness.

Our sustainability opens doors to work with larger partners. As an SME, you might think “they’re never going to listen to me” – but often these companies are looking for smaller, more agile partners with a unique angle.

That angle helps with our PR too. We’ve appeared in trade titles like The Grocer as well as The Guardian, The Telegraph, Forbes and BBC programmes from the nightly news to Saturday Kitchen. We had 156 pieces of coverage in 2021 – all focusing on our sustainability story.

Once your business has checked its carbon footprint and started to take action, the next step is sharing your progress. This will give customers, employees and other businesses confidence that you’re reducing carbon and moving toward net zero.

Toast collaborations

Helping staff and customers feel good

We’re highly rated on Google reviews, where people talk about the fact they’re doing good by drinking our beer. But our mission and values are central to building our business culture, too. And that helps us retain staff.

This all started with looking at waste – which is a cost and inconvenience for most businesses – and thinking differently. We’re living proof that sustainability can give your business an edge, in so many ways.

Discover ways to tell the story of what you’re doing in a way that helps recruit and retain staff looking to work for a sustainable employer. 

Resources to help your business go green

Whatever business you’re in, our free resources show how you can use action on sustainability:

Or use this handy tool from Zero Carbon Business to get a bespoke net zero plan tailored to your SME's sector and location.

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