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.
Royal HaskoningDHV has partnered with Dutch water supply company Vitens to help other drinking water companies around the world recover humic acid, an organic fertilizer.Humic acid is often discharged as a waste product during the drinking water blanching process. However, it can now be reclaimed sustainably in its pure form, providing an organic soil improver.
Mars, in partnership with UC Davis, launched the Innovation Institute for Food and Health, part of the university's World Food Center, at a day-long symposium on Wednesday. Laureates and other leading scientists discussed major challenges relating to improving global food security, sustainable agriculture and health for a growing world population.The Innovation Institute is being supported over the next 10 years with a pledge of $40 million from Mars and $20 million from UC Davis and aims to advance new discoveries in sustainable food, agriculture and health.
57 companies, including BASF, Boeing and Ford, have joined the Department of Energy’s new Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Advanced Composites. A consortium of companies, nonprofits and universities led by the University of Tennessee-Knoxville are investing more than $250 million to launch the Institute, focused on cutting-edge research on advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composites, which combine strong fibers with tough plastics that are lighter and stronger than steel.
In 2013, after years of efforts to develop the highest standard for animal welfare in the industry, outdoor goods retailer and manufacturer Patagonia published its 100% Traceable Down Standard to provide a roadmap for other brands to meet the same high bar and prevent needless animal suffering. Patagonia says it is the only company to date to have fully implemented this rigorous standard, which it achieved in 2014.
Timberland has long been one of the more proactive and socially responsible companies within the apparel industry, and this commitment has continued since its acquisition in 2011 by the multinational VF Corporation. The outdoor gear company has launched a bevy of social responsibility programs across the globe and reports on its environmental, social and governance progress quarterly. Now, leading up to the five-year anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake on January 12, the company is promoting the work it has done to help the Caribbean nation rebuild.
Just in time for this season of excess and merrymaking, BeMyDD (Be My Designated Driver), the nation’s largest designated driver service, has launched a joint promotion with Brown-Forman Corporation, one of the U.S.’ largest wine and spirits companies — with brands including Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Finlandia, Korbel and others — that offers first-time users of the BeMyDD transportation service a US$20 discount on their first reservation.
Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture has announced goals to advance the sustainability of U.S. agriculture, committing its membership of 66 grower organizations to driving sustainable outcomes for corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, rice, potatoes and other crops in six key areas:
Marking the end of the comment period on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, 223 companies have announced their support for EPA’s proposed carbon standard for electric power plants, including IKEA, Mars Inc., VF Corporation, Novelis, Levi Strauss, Unilever and Nestlé.
Cargill Cattle Feeders, the cattle supply arm of the company's U.S. beef business, has entered into an agreement with Wichita-based consultancy Kennedy and Coe, in a joint effort to create a verified beef supply chain sustainability assessment program for Cargill feed yards.As part of the collaboration, Kennedy and Coe will leverage its extensive beef-industry and sustainability expertise and ResourceMax™ assessment service developed by its Vela Environmental division.Based on the successful development of benchmarking and measurement criteria, this type of assessment could eventually be expanded to include cattle production in collaboration with stocker operators, ranchers, as well as with Cargill's strategic feed yard partners.
Method Products, PBC, leader in eco-friendly household, fabric and personal care products, has partnered with The Nature Conservancy for a groundwater replenishment project. Method's goal is to protect water in the Great Lakes' watershed and improve water quality throughout the area with this program, which offers incentives to farmers to increase groundwater recharge.Through this water-recharge program, Method's goal is to replenish groundwater in equal amounts to the water used in its factory — which is located in the region — targeting 30 million gallons of groundwater recharge over 5 years.
Philips and the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation have partnered to improve access to clean cooking solutions in Africa by introducing clean and efficient household cook stoves to rural communities across the continent. Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC) announced separate plans to raise $100 million to help provide clean cooking solutions to millions of people worldwide.The Philips-SNV partnership aims to improve the health and wellbeing and income of rural populations while having a direct positive impact on the environment. It will include research, community education and access to financing for adopting clean cooking technologies.
CVS Health has committed to invest more than $1 million in grants to support tobacco-cessation and -prevention programs nationwide. The grants will be distributed to healthcare and community partners working to promote tobacco-free communities, programs that help people kick the habit and help those who don’t smoke to never start.
Saraya Co., Japanese manufacturer of hygiene and sanitation products, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with an initiative to decrease healthcare associated infections in Uganda.Saraya brings alcohol-based hand rub products to East Africa in an effort to reduce the spread of preventable diseases. The company has committed to improving the compliance rate of healthcare workers in Uganda and scale-up its products production and sales by 2016.
Danielle Dahan has been named the Grand Prize winner of this year’s Climate CoLab, a project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that uses online contests to find creative new ways to address global climate change.Dahan took home the $10,000 award for her proposal, "Improve Building Energy Performance: Green Job Skills Training," which addresses the shortage of qualified personnel to maintain the increasingly sophisticated heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems installed in green buildings today.
Cross-Posted from Organizational Change.
Karen Little, Director of Development at Kiva, and Ann Ewasechko, Global Manager of Strategic Partnerships & Innovation in Education at HP, discussed the great success of their joint social campaign “Matter to a Million” during a Wednesday afternoon session. Matter to a Million is a 5-year global partnership between HP and Kiva aiming to support 1 million entrepreneurs around the world through microlending and, as Ewasechko said, to empower employees to make an impact and a difference.
Another Tuesday afternoon panel brought together a diverse team of industry figures who shared insights surrounding problems of deforestation and the measures that have been taken to halt the process in a region of British Columbia.The Great Bear Rainforest is the name coined by environmental groups in the mid-1990s to refer to approximately 12,000 sq miles of temperate rainforest in a remote region of Canada, on the British Columbia Coast. The area is particularly noted for its outstanding native forestry of Red Cedar, and also its diverse wildlife, including bears, wolves and whales.
During the bustling lunch hour on Tuesday in the Activation Hub at SB ’14 London, HP hosted a Living Progress Exchange (LPX) session that was going on concurrently online via a Convetit ThinkThank.HP’s Ann Ewasechko hosted the session, GlobeScan’s Eric Whan moderated on the ground, and Convetit’s Bill Baue moderated the online discussion.The panelists were:
Virginie Helias, Global Sustainability Director at Procter & Gamble, opened this Monday afternoon session talking about how to bridge the existing gap between marketing and sustainability.P&G is a company targeting 5 billion people. Its marketing approach used to be “traditional,” often focused on its products’ performances, but over the years found that some of its ads were not effective anymore. As a consequence, the company decided to move out from its comfort zone and to articulate new messaging that better engaged its customers.
Fashion Loved by Forest, the campaign spearheaded by Canadian forest conservation nonprofit Canopy that is rallying the fashion industry to commit to deforestation-free materials, continues to gain momentum. Just weeks after announcing the addition of EcoPlanet Bamboo — the largest global developer of certified bamboo plantations on degraded lands, Canopy announced today that Levi Strauss & Co., Marks & Spencer, fashion brand Aritzia, online retailer ASOS, and lifestyle brands Under the Canopy and Portico are joining the initiative.