The Pet Sustainability Coalition (PSC) on April 4 officially unveiled its Positive Impact Program, designed to drive recognition for brands and suppliers actively measuring and improving their environmental impact. The program will now extend incentives and encourage sustainable purchasing among pet industry retailers as well. The initiative is an expanded version of the organization’s prior Green Paw Program.

“It is time to get retailers on board as their purchasing choices determine the rate at which our industry advances toward a better future for all,” said Caitlyn Dudas, executive director of PSC.

PSC has been working with individual pet industry brands and manufacturers on implementing and improving sustainable business practices since 2013. The Positive Impact Program aims to bring retailers into the fold by encouraging and incentivizing them to consider the sustainability performance of brands when making purchasing decisions.

“Retailers also play an extremely critical role in the speed at which the sustainability movement advances in our industry… The more retailers support sustainable brands, the faster the movement will advance,” said Andrea Czobor, program coordinator at PSC.

PSC invited retailers to join the Positive Impact Program as beta partners at no cost. Participating retailers will receive benefits from the organization, including consumer-facing content, employee training resources, product displays and other support for integrating sustainable purchasing practices.

The program is also expected to increase employee retention, drive sales and help retailers meet consumer demands as sustainability and transparency are becoming a top priority for many, Czobor said. Through the BETA Retailer Partnership, retailers have the opportunity to be featured on PSC’s social media channels. Retailers will also be invited and recognized at PSC exclusive community events.

“A huge percentage of consumers say they would be more loyal to a purpose-driven company and try new products, promote these brands within their own circle of exposure and, most importantly, they would be willing to pay and put their money where their mouths are,” Czobor said. “Millennials are the first generation in history doing so, and they’re also the largest pet-owning population.”

The new Positive Impact Program also introduced a three-tier, performance-based benefit package, which includes educational and promotional materials and opportunities, for participating manufacturers and brands.

Pet brands and manufacturers are vetted by a third-party assessment to determine how their unique business practices affect the environment and surrounding communities, then monitored to measure continued improvement in those areas over time.

Companies who have completed the assessment and show improvement receive access to the first tier of program benefits, which includes promotional and educational materials for trade shows. The second and third tier offer expanded benefits for companies who have completed a one-hour verification and perform among the top 20 verified companies, and those who complete the verification and rank in the highest performance category.

Brands and manufacturers pay annually based on their revenues to participate in the Positive Impact Program. PSC members will have access to discounted fees.

PSC first announced its new Positive Impact Program during Global Pet Expo on March 20, 2019.

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