Extreme weather events cost the global economy a record $320 billion in 2017. Food systems are experiencing more shocks than ever before, yet they also cause about one quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Recovering gold, copper and other metals from electronic waste – a practice called “urban mining” – is not only more environmentally friendly than extracting virgin materials, but can also be more cost effective. Newly published research shows that the revenue from selling metals recovered through recycling television sets far outweighs the recyclers’ expenses. With these offsets, it costs 13 times more to obtain these metals from ore than from urban mining.
In a first-of-its-kind analysis for the hotel industry, food waste reduction programs were shown to be effective and financially beneficial. The research – which was conducted on behalf of Champions 12.3 – studied the costs and benefits of reducing food waste for 42 hotel sites across 15 countries. Over a three-year period, nearly every site realized a positive return on its investment; on average, hotels saved $7 in operating costs for every $1 they had spent on the programs.
Welcome to the tipping point of capitalism.
At a time defined by political scandals, nuclear threats, and turbulence on Wall Street, business is society’s unlikeliest hero. A series of watershed statements, reports and initiatives from some of the world’s most well-known capitalists is heralding a new zeitgeist, during which businesses are expected to exist to benefit society — not just shareholders.
New research from B Corp, a network of purpose-driven companies using business as a force for good, has revealed that certified B Corps in the UK are growing 28 times faster than the national economic growth of 0.5 percent.
The recent collapse of Carillion plc raises serious questions about the viability of corporate business models. This might not be an isolated event — presenting a major wake-up call for businesses, everywhere. The question is, what should be done: Can we avoid the fall of giants, or are we witnessing an inevitable process of creative destruction?
In the din of companies and brands shouting about the good they’re doing, ‘purposewash’ is overtaking ‘greenwash’ as the default accusation of corporate hypocrisy. Thirty years ago, Chevron was one of the first accused of greenwash after a series of ads purporting to show its environmental stewardship commitment. ‘People Do’ showed employees protecting bears, butterflies, sea turtles and other cuddlies, but the campaign was attacked by environmentalists for glossing over the damage inflicted by Chevron operations on those creatures’ habitats.
A new study on Ontario’s craft beer industry takes a systems-wide approach to dealing with the sustainable growth challenge, and how we can deliver shared prosperity — with important insights for brewers and industry stakeholders everywhere.
We live in an increasingly dynamic and interconnected world. Conflicts in the Middle East are causing demographic shifts in Europe, e-waste from the West is being recycled in Africa and emissions from China are affecting air quality in the US. These are just a few examples of how megatrends are shaping today’s world.
Not so long ago, there was a large disconnect between doing good and good business. While the idea of corporate social responsibility has been around since the 1960s, businesses have historically approached CSR and sustainability as a “feel good” silo or regulatory requirement — a means to improve public image reputation and mitigate risk, but not much else. It wasn't until recent years that companies discovered that social impact programs could benefit a company in more remunerative ways — increasing revenue, creating new markets, driving innovation, retaining talent, and opening the doors to new business opportunities. As such, it was rare for CEOs and CFOs to even nod their heads towards citizenship and sustainability, much less make it a priority.
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.
Consumer demand for more socially and environmentally responsible products continues to rise, a trend that is increasingly putting pressure on companies to embrace materials and processes with less pronounced impacts. The business case is clear — act now or risk falling behind — yet the road to sustainability is not so cut and dry. Adopting innovative methods and exploiting new business opportunities while making them understandable and attractive to customers is a considerable challenge.
Energy efficiency is a simple, quick and cost-effective method to reduce both costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. That’s why companies are scaling up their energy-efficiency projects in an effort to achieve greater results. And it’s important that they do: Buildings play a considerable role in GHG emissions: Commercial buildings, in particular, make up roughly 20 percent of total U.S. energy. So, it’s no surprise that optimizing building systems is on the rise.
For many retailers, circular thinking involves redefining products – and the raw materials contained within them – as assets that need to be kept in circulation for as long as possible. During each use phase, these assets may need to be reintroduced into different markets, requiring new customer relationships to be built.
Four in 10 telecomms and consumer goods companies reporting to CDP fail to capture or report any financial value from strong environmental performance, according to new research released Wednesday by Accenture, CDP Hermes Investment Management.
Bringing the business case for sustainability to the forefront, Fortune has released its third annual Change the World list, which highlights companies who are having a positive social or environmental impact on the world through their core business strategy.
The fifty selected companies, which span a variety of industries, come from all across the globe and have annual revenues of at least $1 billion. In partnership with FSG and Shared Value Initiative, Fortune ranks companies across three main criteria:
Swarmed by a crowd of cross-country ski fans all under the age of 12, I felt like I’d just won my first World Cup. In the beginning, I wanted to be a soccer star. I, along with most of the girls my age, idolized Mia Hamm and tried desperately to snag the #9 jersey on every single one of my teams. By high school, however, I realized that my future on the field looked grim. I made the soccer team as a freshman but not because I could bend it like Beckham – I simply ran more than anyone else on the field. By sophomore year, I turned my full attention to cross-country skiing, a sport that better suited to my somewhat uncoordinated long limbs, my love of the outdoors and my seemingly endless supply of energy.