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Toast Ale raises £2 million with its ‘Equity for Good’ model

Toast Ale, the social enterprise brewery that uses surplus bakery bread, has raised over £2 million from investors including the National Geographic Society, Heineken International and sustainable business-leader Paul Polman.

All investors have committed to Toast’s investment model named ‘Equity for Good’ which requires shareholders to reinvest any capital gains on selling the shares into social impact businesses and funds, ensuring the value created is invested for good. As part of the agreement, investors also do not receive dividends, as all Toast’s distributable profits go to charity.

Magne Setnes, chief supply chain officer at Heineken said: “We have an ambition to reach net zero carbon emissions in our production by 2030 and our full value chain by 2040. We believe achieving these ambitions requires working in partnerships that can scale innovation and research to develop best practices. We are delighted to collaborate with Toast, it is through our collective effort that we can achieve our shared goals, scaling our positive contribution and limiting our negative
impacts on the environment. Like Toast, our ambition is to maximise the circulatory of all our products, in other words move from take-make-waste to reduce-reuse-recycle.”

Crystal Brown, chief communications, marketing, and brand officer at the National Geographic Society said: “As an organisation working to help illuminate and protect the wonder of our world, the National Geographic Society is proud to be an investor in Toast Ale. Our impact around the world is made possible by National Geographic Explorers such as Toast Ale co-founder Tristram Stuart, and we applaud Toast’s efforts to take food waste reduction to scale.”

Louisa Ziane, co-founder and chief operating officer at Toast Ale added: “We set out with a mission to brew great beers and spread big ideas that can change the world, and are proud of the positive impact we have. Collaboration has always been key to our strategy for achieving change, and we’re excited to be able to scale our work to support bakeries and breweries to embrace the circular economy”.

Funds will support the continued growth of Toast’s beer business, brewing beers using surplus bread and inspiring action to reduce the environmental impact of our food system. Funds will also be used for research and development to help more bakeries to prevent waste, and enable more breweries to use surplus bread to reduce the environmental footprint of their beers.

Toast has collaborated with 86 breweries since it launched in 2016, supporting them to use surplus bread in their brewing. However, the industry has not yet fully embraced the circular economy due to challenges such as the food safe sourcing and effective processing of bread, and the efficient use of bread in the brewhouse.

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