Friday Five: Sainsbury’s to invest in sustainable start-ups

4 min readJul 29, 2022

Zone’s Rianna Mitchell handpicks and shares the five best news stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. Sainsbury’s invest in sustainable start-ups

Sainsbury’s — the UK’s second-largest supermarket chain — has launched a new initiative to aid sustainable technology start-up firms. Over the next four years, the food retailer plans to invest a minimum of £5 million into new businesses commercialising technologies that aim to lower carbon emissions and water usage as part of their commitment to helping tackle the climate crisis.

Sainsbury’s will make investments through its Innovation Investment scheme, a venture developed in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), who will scout for opportunities and plough money into early-stage companies across various sectors. Sainsbury’s expects to make their first investment by the end of 2022.

Hands exchanging SIM cards and mobile vouchers

2. The ‘food bank’ for online data

As the cost of living crisis squeezes millions of households, many people have ditched their online access to save money and afford basic amenities. Mobile operator Virgin Media 02 is donating 20GB of free data per month to people who need data but struggle to bear the expense to help them stay connected.

The National Databank — founded by Virgin Media 02 and digital inclusion charity Good Things Foundation — was designed to tackle data poverty. The organisation assimilates its service to a food bank, but for free mobile data, calls, and texts, which approximately 400 UK community organisations and groups that work with the charity can access in the form of SIM cards or 02 vouchers to provide to the people they support.

Depressed picture of Meta owner, Mark Zuckerberg

3. Meta reports first-ever revenue drop

For the first time in Meta’s history, it reported a year-on-year revenue decline as advertisers cut their spending on Facebook. Although major ad forecasters have slashed their overall ad spending outlooks for the year, Meta’s business model and reputational issues may have shifted them to competitors, such as the detrimental impact of the 2020 advertiser boycott.

Google, Meta, and Amazon have collected all the profits of incremental ad spending for years, but according to Barclays, TikTok and Apple are on route to gaining market share this year at the expense of Facebook. However, Meta remains the second-biggest ad business after Google.

Man on laptop in work office

4. Workers demand a four-day workweek

New research revealed a high demand for a four-day workweek and hybrid work model among office workers. Business chat platform provider Slack discovered that 86% of UK office workers would prefer to work more hours a day over four days, while 66% would seek a new job if their company failed to provide hybrid or remote working.

An increase in companies seeking to revamp working cultures has been trialling the viability of a shorter work week, and the results suggest a boost in productivity and a better work-life balance for employees.

Happy staff having meeting in work office

5. Reshaping organisational culture with purpose at its heart

At the CIPD Festival of Work 2022, Zone attended a conference about reshaping and redefining organisational culture with purpose at its heart with guest speakers Genevieve Edwards, CEO of Bowel Cancer UK, and Fiona Brunskill, Director of People and Culture at Transport for London (TfL).

Zone’s Marketing Executive, Rianna Mitchell, shares some tips from the session on how organisations can embed purpose at the centre of their strategy, decision-making and culture. She touches on the significance of building trust, being inclusive, innovation and climate for developing the right organisational purpose in hybrid and agile working environments.




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