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Behavior Change

The latest developments supporting a shift toward sustainable consumption, as well as specific ways brands are encouraging less wasteful behaviors.

Walmart Announces New Animal Welfare Policy, $4M in Savings After Water Policy Revamp

Today, Walmart announced a commitment to improving farmed animal welfare across its global food supply chain with one of the most comprehensive animal welfare policies of its kind. The change in policy comes after six hidden-camera videos taken by animal welfare group Mercy For Animals (MFA) at Walmart pork suppliers across the country exposed extreme animal abuse.

CVS Health: Financial Incentives Help Smokers Quit

Employer-sponsored smoking cessation programs with financial incentives are associated with higher rates of quitting smoking and sustained abstinence, according to a new study by the CVS Health Research Institute and researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.Published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study helped shape a new smoking cessation program for CVS Health employees that will launch in June 2015.

Consumer Awareness Won't Save The World: We Need Businesses That Can Change People's Habits For Good

These are times of major changes in how people live and consume. Today’s developments demand from us new ways of producing and consuming, given the increasing scarcity of natural resources and the rapid growth of the global consumer class, especially in developing countries.One of the greatest challenges facing governments and companies around the world is how to influence consumers into developing more sustainable buying habits and lifestyles. There is a significant opportunity for businesses to help consumers make major changes in their lifestyles and purchasing habits.

Trending: Fossil Fuel Divestment Enters Primetime

From universities and churches to prominent investment funds, fossil fuel divestment continues to gain traction among diverse groups around the world.80 percent of global fossil fuel reserves need to remain unburned to avoid global warming more than two degrees above pre-industrial levels, the internationally accepted target for climate policy.

World's Largest Rayon Producer Announces Game-Changing Forest Protection Policy

Today, global viscose giant Aditya Birla Group announced an industry-leading commitment to eliminate sourcing from the world’s ancient and endangered forests for all of its Viscose fibers, which are widely used in clothing and textiles.Aditya Birla is India’s largest multinational conglomerate (with US$40B in revenue) and the world’s largest producer of Viscose, manufacturing 20 percent of the world’s supply of the material, which is made from wood pulp. The commitment applies to wood and pulp sourcing for all its mills, including those in Canada, Indonesia and China.

Chipotle Cuts Genetically Altered Food From Menu

Chipotle has become the first major restaurant chain to announce it will begin serving only food that is free of genetically engineered ingredients, The New York Times reports.Steve Ells, founder and co-chief executive of Chipotle, said this is another step toward the company’s vision of changing the way people think about and eat fast food.“Just because food is served fast doesn’t mean it has to be made with cheap raw ingredients, highly processed with preservatives and fillers and stabilizers and artificial colors and flavors,” he said.

Two Years On, How Are Global Fashion Supply Chains Changing in the Wake of Rana Plaza?

Cross-Posted from Supply Chain. Today marks the two-year anniversary of the devastating collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh. It also marks the second Fashion Revolution Day, launched last year to commemorate the Rana Plaza disaster with the aims of encouraging greater collaboration across the fashion sector supply chain.

Fashionistas Around the World to Demand Industry Clean Up Its Act on Fashion Revolution Day 2015

Cross-Posted from Supply Chain. On Friday, the second annual Fashion Revolution Day, people in 66 countries around the world will challenge global fashion brands to demonstrate commitment to transparency across the length of the value chain, from farmers to factory workers, brands to buyers and consumers.One in six people work in the global fashion supply chain. It is the most labor-dependent industry on the planet, yet the people who make our clothes are hidden from us, often at their own expense, a symptom of the broken links across the fashion industry.

European Commission Launches Scientific Debate On How to Feed the Planet

The European Commission has launched an online consultation on how science and innovation can help the EU “ensure safe, nutritious, sufficient and sustainable food globally.”The consultation will underpin the debate on a future research agenda to help tackle global food and nutrition security challenges. It will focus on the areas where the EU's research efforts can have the strongest impact, including how to improve public health through nutrition; increase food safety and quality; reduce food loss and waste; make rural development more sustainable; increase agricultural yields through sustainable intensification; and how to better understand food markets and increase access to food for people around the world.

Paper: Definition, Focus, Accountability Needed to Turn Deforestation Commitments Into Action

In its new position paper published today, Halting Deforestation and Achieving Sustainability, the Rainforest Alliance addresses the recent surge in deforestation-free pledges. Timed to coincide with an Innovation Forum event in Washington, DC on “How Business Can Tackle Deforestation,” the paper argues the deforestation-free trend is an exciting development, but needs definition, focus, and accountability to deliver lasting benefits for forests, people and the planet.

Pulp Nonfiction: 'Out of Fashion' Campaign Targets Apparel Brands Contributing to Deforestation

In recent years it’s become common knowledge that companies using palm oil in their snack foods or publishers sourcing paper fiber from Indonesian pulp mills may be at risk of contributing to deforestation and labor rights abuses.

NGOs Say Yum! Brands' New Palm Oil Commitment Is a Good Start, But It Lacks Meat

Today, Yum! Brands, the second-largest fast-food giant in America thanks to its KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut brands, became the latest food company to commit to sourcing deforestation- and peat-free palm oil. NGOs including the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Greenpeace are applauding Yum! for being the biggest global fast food company to commit to sourcing better palm oil, but note that the commitment falls short of perfect.According to Yum!'s new palm oil policy:

Trending: Activists, Shareholders Continue to Rail Against Companies Lagging on Sustainable Palm Oil

This week, stakeholders continued to take action to pressure companies into turning over a new leaf when it comes to their sourcing practices — around what has become known as Conflict Palm Oil.

REI, National Parks Encouraging People to #FindYourPark and Truly Experience the Great Outdoors

REI has announced its support of the 100-year anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 through a multi-year, multimillion-dollar partnership with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The partnership kicks off this week with the launch of Find Your Park, a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the milestone centennial anniversary of the National Park Service and setting the stage for the next 100 years.

Target Becomes Latest Retailer to Raise Worker Pay

Target plans to increase the pay of all its workers to at least $9 an hour starting next month, following similar moves by rivals Walmart and T.J. Maxx.In February, Walmart announced it would be giving pay raises to around 500,000 full-time and part-time associates at Walmart U.S. stores and Sam's Clubs in the first half of 2015. Starting in April, current and future hourly associates will make $9.00 per hour, or $1.75 above the federal minimum wage. By February 2016, current associates will earn at least $10.00 per hour.

Trending: NGOs Prompt Sweeping Improvements to Animal Welfare in the Dairy Supply Chain

Animal welfare NGOs Mercy for Animals (MFA) and The Humane League declared victories this week, having motivated more large food companies to reform their animal treatment policies, this time after exposing supplier cruelty toward dairy cows and veal calves.

3M and ForestEthics End Multi-Year Conflict Over Paper Sourcing Policy

After an often-heated six years of confrontation between activist group ForestEthics and paper and packaging giant 3M, the conflict finally came to an end yesterday as 3M announced its new paper and wood pulp sourcing policy. ForestEthics, which has been critical of the corporation’s sourcing policy, has applauded its new commitment to tracing its virgin wood fiber and ensuring it comes from renewable sources.

McDonald’s to Cut Human-Related Antibiotics for Chicken Sold in U.S.

McDonald’s announced on Wednesday that it is committing to serving chicken raised without antibiotics used in human medicine in all of its U.S. restaurants within two years.The company isn’t going completely antibiotic-free — but will cut the use of antibiotics that contribute to “superbugs” or drug-resistant bacteria that can also harm humans. Often, these human antibiotics are fed to livestock to maximize growth, rather than to treat illness.

Survey: Millennials and Women Leading the Sustainable Investing Charge

Seventy-one percent of active individual investors describe themselves as interested in sustainable investing, and nearly two in three (65 percent) believe sustainable investing will become more prevalent over the next five years, according to a new survey by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing.The Sustainable Signals report examines the attitudes and perceptions of individual investors towards sustainable investing and considers the broader implications for investors, corporations and governments.

Hershey Promises GMO-Free Kisses by the End of the Year

U.S. chocolate giant Hershey has announced that it “will transition some of its most popular chocolate brands, including Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolates and Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars to simpler ingredients." The shift comes in response to tens of thousands of Facebook posts, emails and telephone calls from consumers who took part in a recent campaign spearheaded by GMO Inside, calling on Hershey's to move to non-GMO ingredients.Hershey's confirmed that as part of its commitment to simpler ingredients, its two iconic products, Hershey's Kisses and Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars, will be non-GMO by the end of the year.In their recent statement, Hershey’s outlines three key principles for moving forward: