China and the European Union have jointly expressed their commitment to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Circular Economy at the 20th EU-China Summit taking place today and tomorrow in Beijing. Both governments stand to gain from aligning on policies that support the transition to a circular economy, which can unlock new sources of economic growth and innovation while benefiting people and the environment, for example by reducing pollution and congestion.
The Dow Chemical Company’s newly released 2017 Sustainability Report details its progress against its goals for 2025, including surpassing the year’s target for savings and revenue from projects that are “better for ecosystems.” Such projects generated $120 million in cost savings and new cash flow in 2017 against the goal to reach $1 billion by 2025.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Better Buildings Initiative has grown to include more than 900 organizations, which represent 30 of the country’s Fortune 100 companies, 12 of the top 25 U.S. employers, 12 percent of the U.S. manufacturing footprint and 13 percent of total commercial building space, as well as 28 states and close to 100 cities and counties across the nation. Even more impressive is the progress they have made through the program.
Unilever has today revealed its fourth consecutive year of growth for its ‘sustainable living’ brands, which delivered 70 percent of its turnover growth and grew 46 percent faster (a slightly slower rate than last year, when it was over 50 percent). than the rest of the business. The company says all of its brands are working to reduce their environmental footprint and increase their positive social impact; the ‘sustainable living’ brands are those that are furthest ahead on the journey.
Nine in ten Canadians (92 percent) would switch brands if a different brand of a similar quality had a compelling social purpose, according to new research from Kin&Co. The firm’s new report — which looks exclusively at the Canadian market — outlines an opportunity for Canada to lead the purpose and values revolution that has insofar been primarily led by companies in the US and UK.
In school, we both read Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce, and it profoundly influenced the impact we want to have in life. His book demonstrates how industry and the environment do not have to be at odds, and if we work to find the right solutions, the two can (and must) work together. We’re grateful and lucky to have Paul as Lyft’s environmental advisor.
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.