SUPPLY CHAIN -
Today, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) released a new progress report, titled Testing Commitments to Cut Conflict Palm Oil, ranking the relative strength of palm oil commitments made since the launch of its Snack Food 20 campaign two years ago. The 2015 progress report shines a spotlight on the laggards in the Snack Food 20 and outlines the actions that these companies — as well as the frontrunners who are pushing ahead on their commitments — can and must take to rapidly cut Conflict Palm Oil from our food system.
Healthcare firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) and Save the Children have announced a partnership to protect the millions of children who are at risk of natural or man-made climate disasters.The Resilient Children/Resilient Communities Initiative — funded through a $2 million, three-year grant from GSK — will analyze and recommend procedures, trainings and guidance to help localities shield children from post-disaster devastation.
Today, 24 companies with a substantial footprint in California, including Ben & Jerry’s, eBay, Gap, Levi Strauss, The North Face and Sungevity, announced their support for SB-350, the “Golden State’s Standard 50-50-50,” that sets new benchmarks for increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency, and decreasing petroleum use by 2030. Their support was communicated in a letter sent to the bill’s author, Senate President pro Tempore, Kevin de León.
PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION -
Shareholders of ExxonMobil and Chevron and members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) say they will focus on climate change at the companies’ annual general meetings (AGMs) this coming Wednesday.
Last week, California governor Jerry Brown signed an international agreement with 11 other state and province leaders, collectively representing more than 100 million people, to keep the global average temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.Under 2 MOU is a subnational agreement designed to lead nations towards a legally binding global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ahead of this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris this December.
Today, Unilever announced plans to partner with leading mass social movements Global Citizen and Live Earth: Road to Paris, which respectively commit to activating consumers to demand climate action at COP21 and reducing extreme poverty by 2030.
ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE -
Over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate to participate in discussions about climate change threats and environmental issues with people across private, public, governmental, and research sectors. Whether at an island retreat in Puget Sound, a corporate conference at a resort or in the halls of our esteemed universities, the same questions get asked: How can we get people to care more? How do we motivate people? What’s it going to take?What if these are the wrong questions to be asking?Let’s consider this question by first reconsidering the context.
ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE -
The link between a healthy environment and public health outcomes has become increasingly evident. President Obama recently used his proclamation of Public Health Week to highlight the relationship between a changing climate and public health, citing increased cases of asthma and injuries from severe weather as examples. The President called out doctors, nurses and public health officials as key drivers in accelerating this understanding and mitigating future impact.
CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING -
As the effects of climate change on our global ecosystems continue to reveal themselves, fears are growing that it could threaten food security, particularly a vital source of protein that has sustained humans for centuries. Luckily, bean breeders at the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a global food research consortium, have announced the discovery of 30 new lines of “heat-beater” beans that could keep production from crashing in large swaths of bean-dependent Latin America and Africa.
NEW METRICS -
Much of the valuable information that companies communicate to their shareholders about their ESG performance and the social and environmental risks facing the business lie not in the tagged financials nor even in the structured tables and graphs embedded in annual reports, but rather in the paragraphs that flow around the numbers and figures.
MARKETING AND COMMS -
More Than Scientists, launched this week, brings together climate scientists, advocacy organizations and the public in a campaign that offers a glimpse into the stories, views and feelings of various experts on climate change. The campaign shares their personal perspectives — not on the science itself, but why it matters for future generations.
The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) has announced its first professional certificate under the CCO Certification program.The Climate Governance Certificate provides a recognized credential to professionals who have developed the competencies and knowledge to integrate an understanding of climate change and related implications into their decision-making.
MARKETING AND COMMS -
As much as climate change is now in regular rotation in the daily news, we’re still a long way from knowing exactly how it will change life as we know it. But as changes become evident, new business opportunities have already presented themselves – take, for example, extinction tourism: The concept surfaced in marketing campaigns in 2008 as companies began offering packages tied to global warming, “using climate change as a marketing pitch, a ‘see it now before it’s gone’ kind of thing,” said Ayako Ezaki, communications director for the International Ecotourism Society at the time.
BEHAVIOR CHANGE -
You may not immediately see the similarities between the recent measles outbreak in the U.S., and the ever-contentious hydra-headed problem of global warming. But on closer scrutiny, both come from what may seem like an insane refusal to accept facts and act in the best interests of everyone concerned. Of course, to those who militate against vaccinating their children and attack the idea of global warming as a human-induced phenomenon, their actions don’t seem insane at all. It should be clear from these two examples that we are controlled by irrational forces that have successfully created the illusion that we are not controlled by irrational forces.
THE NEXT ECONOMY -
From historic climate change marches and bold advocacy by companies on the price of carbon to global economic volatility and heated debates on inequality, 2014 was a year of accelerated awareness and action for sustainable development.Our Ten Trends for 2015 distills SustainAbility’s thinking over the past year and forecasts the issues that will shape the sustainable development agenda in 2015.
World leaders, activists and celebrities have descended on Davos, Switzerland this week to discuss everything from Ebola to climate change and the future shape of the world economy at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2015.
Twenty-two million people were displaced by extreme weather events in 2013, three times more than the number displaced by war, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), as reported by Reuters. To put this in perspective, in the early 1970s the total number of people displaced by extreme weather events was only about 10 million.Rising sea levels, as well as extreme weather and natural disasters such as heatwaves, floods and droughts linked to global warming are likely to force millions of people to move, with many never able to return.
NEW METRICS -
“Given that carbon footprinting is predicated on climate science, why doesn't the Greenhouse Gas Protocol include guidance on setting science-based emissions goals and targets?” That's the question I asked Janet Ranganathan, Vice President for Science and Research at the World Resources Institute (and founding director of the GHG Protocol at its outset), at the 2012 Ceres Conference (she's a Ceres boardmember). Her response has unfolded in words and actions over time, first by introducing me to Pankaj Bhatia, the current director of the GHG Protocol, at lunch in Washington, DC in the fall of 2012, where we discussed this gap and potential ways to fill it.
SUPPLY CHAIN -
CDP, with the help of FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS), a pioneer in environmental and sustainability business solutions, has announced the debut publication of the Supplier Climate Performance Leadership Index (SCPLI), a new evaluation and benchmarking tool for CDP supply chain members and suppliers.