The team behind baby food brand Ella's Kitchen doesn't sugar-coat the need for climate action.

Mark Cuddigan, CEO of Ella's Kitchen, believes that we can't wait for governments to solve the environmental crisis. "We're not going to get there if companies and business leaders don't step up and take charge," he says.

Based in a small collection of converted barns in Henley-on-Thames, Ella's Kitchen was founded in 2006 by Paul Lindley. Lindley embedded his mission to improve children's lives by developing healthy relationships with food within the growing company.

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The business is now the UK's number one baby food brand with a global turnover of over £100 million and products in over 40 countries.

Since Cuddigan joined in 2011, the business’ turnover has tripled. This financial growth has strengthened the organic baby and toddler food company's commitment to creating a lasting impact beyond their bottom line - by balancing profit with purpose.

In 2016, the business became the second in the UK to be certified as a B Corporation. Only companies with the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability are awarded the certification.

Cuddigan, a sustainability expert, pushed this certification forward and solidified Ella's Kitchen as a forerunner in the movement. At Impact Summit 2020 in May, he will speak about the company's journey and its commitment to environmental sustainability.

Impact Summit, held by Edinburgh-based company FutureX, is the UK's leading impact event. The summit is a platform for business leaders who are changing the status quo and using purpose-driven business models as a means of tackling global challenges.

Commenting on the summit, Cuddigan says: "This is my first year attending Impact Summit, and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm glad of any opportunity to talk about things that I'm passionate about - Ella's Kitchen, the environment, B Corps, and how business can, and will, be part of the solution.”

"Creating a sustainable business," Cuddigan says, "is doing the right thing.

"If you run your business in the right way, you'll be more successful … on every single measure. You will have a happier team who will produce great work - and you will attract talented people committed to achieving your mission.

 "I think we have close to a million people working in our supply chain. How cool would it be if we were able to influence all of those companies to run their businesses better!"

The company now produces well over 200 products, made with 100% organic ingredients. The range is suitable for babies aged from four months to three years and over, including baby and toddler food, smoothies and snacks.

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Ella's Kitchen pouches are instantly recognisable on any supermarket shelf. The healthier products are a firm favourite with parents owing to the absence of any added sugar, salt or water, additives, E numbers or GM products.

The company boasts impressive green credentials and is an active campaigner on issues surrounding childhood nutrition.

The 'EllaCycle' scheme, which encourages parents to recycle and reuse Ella's Kitchen packaging, increased the number of customers recycling pouches by 22% last year. However, the pouches themselves still rely on plastic materials for production.

"It's probably our single biggest project in the business - coming up with a fully recyclable pouch," admits Cuddigan.

"But even once we achieve that, 70% of plastic that can be recycled simply is not. The system is broken.

"When you delve into sustainability systems, it quickly becomes complicated - but we just want to do the right thing. As the years go by, we adapt, change and plan like any sustainable company. We need to do more."

Events like Impact Summit are crucial in helping companies like Ella's Kitchen connect with others to inspire real change. There, business leaders will build a network that fosters employee, community and environmental responsibility.

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"I saw an astronaut speak recently and he said, when astronauts go to space and look at Earth for the first time, they are hit with one thought and one emotion," says Cuddigan.

"The thought is, 'wow, isn't the planet beautiful'; the emotion is a sense of sadness that no one is coming to save us. There's no plan in place or someone to take charge and say, 'Don't worry, I've got this'.

"If we, as consumers and business people, are not going to lead this change we need, then who is?"

Impact Summit 2020 will take place at SWG3 in Glasgow on Wednesday, May 20th. To find out more and to book tickets, visit www.impact-summit.org