FINANCE & INVESTMENT -
Wilmar International, the world’s largest producer of palm oil, has announced major steps forward in reducing its environmental and social impacts. The company has worked out an innovative financial deal with ING to link its existing loan to its sustainability performance, and has unveiled a policy aimed at protecting children living on its palm oil plantations. But human rights campaigners say it may be little more than a band-aid.
ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE -
“The most important resource a customer, coffee brand or even the roaster has in the coffee industry is the relationship with a farmer,” said Thrive Farmers’ co-founder and chief sustainability officer, Ken Lander, from his small coffee farm tucked away in the village of San Rafael de Abangares, Costa Rica.
CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING -
Thermoplastics resin producer Braskem has been keeping busy, entering into a series of new partnerships to make bio-based packaging the mainstream choice for the personal care and consumer goods industries.
BEHAVIOR CHANGE -
Consumers have a critical role to play in pushing forward the sustainability agenda, particularly when it comes to food. But initiating change requires both educating the public about the issues and inspiring them to action, the latter of which isn’t always a straightforward process.
PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION -
In an era where brands are becoming increasingly socially conscious to keep up with societal trends, Marc Skid is no exception. The recently launched online underwear retailer is using the finest, sustainably grown materials to provide its customers both a high-quality product and an opportunity to donate to feed, cure and save the world.
SUPPLY CHAIN -
An estimated 750,000 farmers in India produce 80 percent of the world’s supply of mint and the oil derived from the crop — commonly referred to as “liquid gold” — is an important source of income for farmers.
WASTE NOT -
In the face of climate change, embracing new methods of agricultural production, consuming responsibly and adopting circular business models will be critical to forging a sustainable future and achieving both income and food security.
NEW METRICS -
Live Well San Diego: A visionary partnership to define and measure 10 quality-of-life metrics
By Anna Shugoll
Nature could hold the key to reversing or mitigating the effects of climate change — a concept that the Biomimicry Institute and Ray C. Anderson Foundation are banking on. The two organizations have issued a call to action for entrepreneurs to look to the planet’s living systems to create viable solutions to the global climate crisis.
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT -
We recently sat down with Atlanta McIlwraith (@timberland_ATL), Senior Manager of Community Engagement at Timberland, to learn about the exciting work Timberland is doing to re-introduce organic crops and support communities with urban greening projects.
In addition to supporting sustainable agroforestry models around the world, read on to learn about Atlanta’s personal work with organic agriculture, including her Christmas tree lot and nonprofit farm.
BUSINESS CASE -
On October 25, panelists representing both global brands and smaller local organizations convened in San Francisco to discuss their successes and potential in incorporating climate-friendly agricultural practices into their supply chains. The panel took place at The Perennial, a Bay Area restaurant committed to sustainable farming with the conviction that “food has the power to reverse climate change.” The panel discussion built on that theme, with further exploration into how the textile industry also has the power to enact positive impact on climate.
In an unprecedented move, Clarins Fragrance Group is blazing new transparency trails, with brands MUGLER and AZZARO committing to produce perfume alcohol in a way that meets rigorous environmental and social requirements under a groundbreaking “made in France” program.
The key aim of the “responsible alcohol” project is to promote biodiversity in agricultural practices. Other benefits of the program include local production, which will create a short circuit between harvest and transformation sites.
PRESS RELEASE -
The Ford Motor Company Fund celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its signature Ford College Community Challenge (C3) yesterday with a special mobility-themed competition, “Making Lives Better by Changing the Way People Move.”
Three of the original ten winning college teams were invited to Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn on October 26 to pitch their mobility solutions to a panel of Ford executives for a chance to win a Ford Transit Connect (and additional cash awards) to help make their mobility solutions a reality.
Winners of the competition are:
SUPPLY CHAIN -
Soy and beef production have played significant roles in the exploitation of the Amazonian rainforest, but the rollout of regulations to protect these precious natural resources have had unexpected consequences, driving these activities into regions that have largely been left untouched, such as Brazil’s Cerrado, a vast tropical savanna ecoregion of 2 million square kilometers.
Following a recent commitment to source 100 percent sustainable cotton by 2020, Target has introduced a new climate policy and Science-Based Target Initiative-aligned goals aimed at reducing its carbon footprint.
PRESS RELEASE -
It’s been nearly a year since Target announced its commitments around responsible sourcing and sustainable products, and since then, we’ve shared a closer look at our goals and progress in several areas, including forest products, chemicals, packaging, and eliminating forced labor.
NEW METRICS -
The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) and the Cool Farm Alliance (CFA) — a nonprofit industry platform and creator of the Cool Farm Tool sustainable agriculture calculator — have signed a memorandum of understanding to improve alignment and reporting of farm-level metrics data. Through the partnership, TSC aims to make the process of reporting on farm-level metrics easier for farmers and food manufacturers.
In an effort to advance the goals outlined in its Sustainable Living Plan, in which it aims to positively impact the lives of 5.5 million people by 2020, consumer goods giant Unilever has announced a new partnership with the Better Than Cash Alliance.
MARKETING AND COMMS -
Brands have identified labor recruitment as one of the riskiest parts of their supply chains, and rightly so. Human trafficking, forced labor and wage theft often have their origin in recruiting practices.
PRESS RELEASE -
DuPont has released its 2017 Sustainability Report, highlighting progress toward its 2020 Sustainability Goals and ongoing engagement in areas reflected in the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as food security, environmental stewardship, and diversity and inclusion.