“The Good Challenge puts our creativity and passion into practice”

Vanessa Wright is Pernod Ricard’s VP Global Sustainability and the woman behind the group’s strategy for sustainability and responsibility, Good Times from a Good Place. She is also one of the driving forces behind The Good Challenge and part of the global jury that has the final say in the competition. We asked her to explain how The Good Challenge is supposed to link creative ideas with the company’s sustainability strategy.

What is the idea behind The Good Challenge?

In short, it’s about asking our fantastic employees to be a driving force for change. We have very ambitious sustainability and responsibility targets, but we also have thousands of creative and innovative minds here that are going to make sure they are reached. So, asking them for new and original ideas is not only fun and inspiring, but also necessary for us to succeed. 

What do you hope to see from the contestants?

The Good Challenge is far more than a competition. It puts the innovation, creativity and passion for progression we see every day within the organization into practice to make a real change. So, I hope that my co-workers find solutions that make us in the jury say “Why haven’t we come up with that before? That’s brilliant!”.

How important are innovation and creativity in creating a more sustainable society?

It’s vital for solving any problem. If you want real change to happen, you need new perspectives and have to set aside ‘old habits’. Time and time again, we see that positive change mainly comes from people that approach seemingly impossible obstacles from different angles.

The contestants are told to come up with ideas that support Pernod Ricard’s Sustainability & Responsibility strategy Good Times from a Good Place. Can you briefly explain the strategy?

It addresses four key areas: nurturing terroir, valuing people, circular making and responsible hosting. Since every product takes its character from the land where it was grown – the terroir – we are working relentlessly to achieve a high level of biodiversity and regenerative agriculture to ensure both the quality and the longevity of the soil. Valuing people means we respect people everywhere and want to increase diversity and fairness for people both within the organization and across our products’ supply chains. Circular making relates to our efforts to minimize waste and carbon emissions while achieving water balance and sustainable packaging. And last but not least, we also take action on harmful drinking with several initiatives that both fight alcohol misuse and encourage responsible consumption.