Oatly at Stockholm Climate Week - Making plant-based the norm, not the alternative

Cecilia McAleavey, Director of Sustainable Eating and Public Affairs at Oatly delivered a comprehensive, data-driven pitch for why plant-based foods need to take center stage in our food production and consumption at Stockholm Climate Week.
Oatly has long been an increasingly well known brand more than 20 markets around the world, household name and iconic brand, known just as much for our quirky advertising campaigns and delicious oat milk.
As one of We Don’t Have Time’s latest partners, we had lots to contribute to Stockholm Climate Week, both in keynotes and panel discussions.
Our case for oat milk has always been very strong, as Cecilia pointed out on stage: “On average you have less climate impact, less land use, and less water use, comparing traditional cow's milk to oat milk.”
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Cecilia McAleavey on stage at Stockholm Climate Week, Day 1

And considering that nearly half of the world’s “habitable land” is actually used for agriculture, it stands to reason that switching to an increased proportion of plant-based food and drink now ahead of our impending 10 billion person population is not only better for the planet but also smarter for our agriculture.
So, how can this be accomplished across an entire sector? As Cecilia put it, it’s all about “challenging norms”.
Changing narratives has been an integral part of Oatly’s brand, both in normalizing oat milk as a milk alternative and now as the climate-smart choice for the consumer - and it requires a complete recalibration of how we think about food systems.
Maria Smith, Secretary General of Axfoundation, who joined our panel at the event, reinforced this: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them”.
The challenge is clear, though. There needs to be support at every level of society to make this a sector-wide shift.
“You have businesses, consumers and NGOs walking hand in hand and pushing, but policies are lagging behind… preserving the status quo,” even though support at this level, as Cecilia puts it, is vital to truly “change the system.”
“What is inspiring is that there are solutions, there are forces for change and there are so many initiatives but it’s just about giving them room to grow.”
We’re already making headlines for knocking on the door of EU policymakers in this regard, and for our campaign to make plant-based drinks an integral part of the EU’s School Milk scheme, which we shared a recent article on right here!
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Across two dialogues over two days at Stockholm Climate Week, Oatly have shown that our holistic, data-driven campaigns from farm to consumer are the way forward - and can leave room for everyone to be “part of the solution” to the agricultural climate crisis.

Rewatch Stockholm Climate Week anytime on We Don’t Have Time Play.
  • Sarah Chabane

    1 w

    I think Oatly is doing a great job both on the awareness level and activism for the norms to change, we need for similar company to flip the script!

    • Aisha Rickard

      1 w

      I’ve switched to Oatly from dairy in my coffee and won’t be switching back. It’s delicious! I wish there was a way to recycle the teyrapaks though 🥲

      • Sarah Chabane

        1 w

        @aisha_rickard Can't you recycle them where you live?

      • Adam Wallin

        1 w

        We really need all aspects of the food supply chain on board. Looking forward to hearing more about how we can involve farmers, politicians and consumers!

        • bonke reinhard

          1 w

          Well articulated

          • Patrick Kiash

            2 w

            Great article! Everyone must be part of the solution.. continue changing the system and offering room to grow as solunist.

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