As a company that relies heavily on water for production, Anheuser-Busch InBev is rightly investing a great deal of time, thought and money into water management. In its 2013 Global Citizenship Report, the world's largest brewer commits to eight new environmental goals and reports on current progress and pilots. The company says it achieved and in some cases exceeded its 2012 goals; the eight new goals are set against a 2012 baseline, to be met by 2017.
A network of more than 120 NGOs from six continents announced a new Global Paper Vision that will bring together organizations currently challenging the paper industry to adopt more sustainable practices. The document addresses priorities for social responsibility and environmental conservation in response to global paper consumption patterns and the industry’s influence on biodiversity, forest health, global warming, air and water quality, and local communities.
In our battle against climate change, deforestation is a big part of the problem. The good news is that reforestation is a big part of the solution.Deforestation is contributing to a dangerous decline in the planet’s biodiversity and is directly responsible for roughly 20 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from the modern age and possibly more; this has created problems around the world, but particularly across Eastern Africa. Urban growth has created a great demand for charcoal resulting in a loss of some 575,000 hectares annually for fuel wood — just in Tanzania; Kenya has already lost the majority of its forests.
Coca-Cola and its Foundations; the US Agency for International Development (USAID); the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced the expansion of “Project Last Mile” to include 10 African countries over the next five years.
Shell has joined the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) “Methane Detectors Challenge,” a collaborative project between EDF and five other oil and natural gas companies aimed at identifying and bringing to market cutting-edge technologies that could ultimately help reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations.Shell joins Apache Corporation, BG Group, Hess Corporation, Noble Energy and Southwestern Energy as an industry partner in this effort to help catalyze new technologies for enhanced detection of oil and gas emissions.
When all the right people work together — from suppliers to brands who use their products to NGOs — and commit to extraordinary goals, transformational change is not only possible, it happens. That’s what participants saw in action at Monday’s afternoon workshop on progress being made and the work ahead to support the emerging "new norm" of zero deforestation in forestry supply chain standards. Major responsible sourcing commitments in forestry in the past few years are helping protect rainforests, promote safe labor practices, and drive down carbon emissions.
Cisco and officials in Kansas City have signed a joint letter of intent (LOI) to engage in a program to create a “living lab” for entrepreneurial development, establish smart street lighting and video surveillance, provide digital interactive kiosks and mobile apps to boost citizens’ engagement.The LOI also enables access for Kansas City to the Cisco Smart+Connected Communities™ (S+CC) reference architectures and provides a framework for defining and evaluating various related initiatives. Cisco also will assist Kansas City in developing a digital agenda. The project will complement a wider effort to build out a two-mile KC Downtown Streetcar path.
With thousands of automotive, electronics and manufacturing companies facing a May 31 deadline to file a Conflict Minerals Report with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) on Friday announced an assessment of industry progress on the issue in the first reporting year, and outlined plans for increased collaboration in the years ahead.
JPMorgan Chase unveiled on Wednesday a $100 million, five-year commitment to support and accelerate Detroit’s economic recovery and strengthen its communities through financial and hands-on support for organizations that are working to address the city’s most urgent challenges.The financial services giant says it spent the past several months working closely with Detroit’s community and government leaders to learn about their priorities and vision for the city.JPMorgan Chase’s commitment includes:
Business, governments and investors must move quickly to achieve a critical mass of companies acting responsibly, UN Global Compact (UNGC) Executive Director Georg Kell said during the “state of the union” between business and society, last week at the Oslo Business for Peace Summit and Award 2014 at Oslo City Hall.
Planet Forward, a sustainability and media production of the Center for Innovative Media at George Washington (GW) University’s School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA), has announced the launch of a new multimedia digital storytelling collaborative that will engage colleges and universities globally to support sustainable programming, student engagement, internships and other projects around the issues of food security, water, energy and climate change.
The newest trend in social responsibility in the apparel sector emerged in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam on Monday as several of the world’s most influential clothing brands gathered to develop a roadmap to creating a more sustainable supply chain and conserve endangered forests.
The Coca-Cola Company and WaterHealth International (WHI) have announced a plan to bring safe drinking water to one million school children in 2,000 schools in developing countries by the end of 2015.The Child With Water (CWW) program aims to deliver 500 million liters of safe drinking water a year to school children through water-purification systems installed, operated and maintained by WHI. Currently operating more than 500 plants in five countries, WHI provides safe drinking water access to about 5 million people.
I recently wrote about how global team engagement has been the key to success for Microsoft’s Carbon Fee Program, a financial model that puts an incremental fee on the carbon emissions associated with the company’s operations. In an organization as large and widespread as Microsoft, internal communications can be the biggest impediment to effectively coordinating top-down corporate policies.
The Acqua for Life campaign — a partnership between Giorgio Armani and Green Cross International (GCI) that has been targeting water-scarce communities in West Africa (Ghana) and Latin America (Bolivia and Mexico) to roll out sustainable drinking water systems since its launch in 2011 — announced this week it will now extend its work to Sri Lanka, Ivory Coast and Senegal for the first time this year.
San Francisco-based Timbuk2, famous for its ubiquitous messenger bags, has launched the Timbuk2 Life Cycle — a robust environmental responsibility program to reduce, reuse, repair, recycle, and reimagine Timbuk2 bags — in partnership with yerdle, iFixit, and Terracycle.The company has also added a full-time tailor to implement the ‘repair’ aspect of the program.
Duracell, Volkswagen, LG, and Hitachi are among the first corporate members of CalCharge, a pioneering initiative designed to accelerate the development of the energy storage sector in California.CalCharge emerged out of a joint effort of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) — a DOE national laboratory — and CalCEF to explore ways to support the growth of the California energy storage cluster. The partnership grew to include SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, San Jose State University, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractor's Association as the other founding Partner Members.Other corporate members include: Eaton, Enovix, EnerVault, Farasis Energy, Halotechnics, Leyden Energy and Primus.
This week, Nestlé, General Mills, M&S and other global brands committed to the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), along with 27 other organizations including FEMSA Foundation, Water Footprint Network, Water Aid, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Nature Conservancy, to promote a global framework for sustainable use of the world's limited freshwater resources.The announcement came with AWS' release of the first International Water Stewardship Standard, which defines criteria for good water stewardship, aligns with other sustainability initiatives and supports independent certification.
A £31 million, pan-European deal has been struck to make hydrogen vehicles a viable and environmentally friendly choice for motorists across Europe. Coordinated by the Mayor of London's Office, the project — the largest of its kind in Europe — features the support of BMW, Daimler, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, along with hydrogen fuel companies Air Products, Copenhagen Hydrogen Network, ITM Power, Linde and OMV.Other partners include Element Energy, PE International, Institute for Innovative Technology and the European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.
Southwest Airlines has announced a multi-year commitment to Placemaking — a movement that reimagines public spaces as the heart of every community.Through the Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community program, the airline says it has partnered with a nonprofit dedicated to Placemaking, Project for Public Spaces (PPS), to collaborate with local community partners in cities across the country to bring new life to their public spaces. Southwest says Heart of the Community is part of a broader efforts to connect people and strengthen local communities through its core business, charitable giving, community outreach and environmental initiatives.