Follow the growing amount of collaborative work — cross-functional, cross-sector, pre-competitive and more — bringing about massive, disruptive, needed shifts to business as usual.

GOL Airlines Makes First Commercial Flight Fueled by Sugarcane-Derived Biofuel

Brazilian airline GOL has become the first in the aviation industry to fly a commercial flight with farnesane, a recently approved aviation biofuel. On July 31, the GOL 7725 flight made the first international connection from Orlando, Florida to Sao Paulo, Brazil.The Brazilian airline partnered with Amyris, a biotechnology company dedicated to producing renewable alternatives to petroleum-based fuels, to take the first step in developing a more sustainable aviation industry. Earlier in the month, GOL committed to flying its Boeing 737 fleet with a 10 percent blend of farnesane, a sugarcane-derived biofuel.

IBM, Dow Partner With NGO to Improve Sanitation in Ethiopia

Dow and IBM have committed to participate in a joint global project with International Medical Corps (IMC) that will promote and support a campaign to improve sanitation and hygiene behavior in the Wolayita community in Ethiopia.Through this effort, Dow’s team will create a social marketing program to drive behavioral changes required to create sustained resilience — the ability of citizens and government to survive, thrive, or even avoid natural or man-made crises, such as illness, fuel and food shortages, storms or drought. IBM will assess, recommend, and design methodologies that can measure how resilient a community is, particularly in the realm of public health.

Patagonia Sharing Proprietary Biorubber to Advance Sustainable Surf Industry

In 2012, Patagonia announced that, after four years of research with partner Yulex Corporation, it had developed a sustainable, plant-based replacement for neoprene — the petroleum-based material used to make wetsuits, which has a highly toxic manufacturing process. Now, not only is Patagonia moving toward making a suit entirely from its proprietary biorubber, it is making the material available to the rest of the surf industry.

PepsiCo and The Nature Conservancy Team Up to Increase Recycling, Protect Drinking Water

PepsiCo and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) today announced a five-year partnership called Recycle for Nature, aimed at inspiring people to protect drinking water sources in the US through recycling. The initiative's goal is to save and restore one billion gallons of water over five years in rivers that supply water to more than 35 million people across nine states - including the Colorado River, Denver's Front Range Forests, Arizona's Verde River, Arkansas' Kings River and North Carolina's Cape Fear River.

Coke, WWF Highlight Progress Toward 2020 Water Goals in 1st Annual Review

The Coca-Cola Company and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on Thursday released an Annual Review on the one-year anniversary of their global partnership to protect our freshwater resources. Reporting on their collaborative efforts throughout 2013, the report highlights progress in the areas of freshwater conservation, environmental performance, valuing nature and the formation of additional partnerships — all supporting the partnership’s renewed focus on addressing the natural resource challenges impacting fresh water.

Greenpeace's 'Awesome' Video Plea to LEGO Blocked by YouTube

Greenpeace’s viral video, “LEGO: Everything Is NOT Awesome,” released earlier this week, has apparently been suspended by YouTube due to a copyright claim from Warner Brothers. The environmental organization quickly transferred the film to Vimeo and strongly defended the work as a piece of satire that highlights a subject of significant public interest.The film, made by BAFTA-winning creative agency Don’t Panic, reached over three million views in less than three days. It depicts the Arctic, made of LEGO, being destroyed by an oil spill caused by partner Shell’s drilling in the region.

AB InBev Working with Growers to Optimize Water Management, Barley Production

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.

International Network of NGOs Unveils Global Paper Vision

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.

Sacred Seedlings Leading Effort to Reforest the World, Help Halt Climate Change

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.

Coke, USAID, Gates Foundation Expand Program to Improve Access to Life-Saving Medicines in Africa

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 joins EDF’s Methane Detectors Challenge

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.

Getting to Zero: Multiple Sectors Convene Around Deforestation at SB '14 San Diego

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, Kansas City Launch Plan to Enhance Connectivity and Innovation

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.

Auto Industry Calls for Increased Collaboration on Eve of SEC's First Conflict Minerals Reporting Deadline

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 Announces $100 Million Commitment to Help Detroit's Economic Recovery

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:

UNGC: Business, Governments and Investors Must Act to Achieve CSR ‘Critical Mass’

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.

GW Launches Storytelling Collaborative to Engage Students on Food Security, Climate Change

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.

Fashion and Textile Leaders for Forest Conservation Begin Shift to Forest-Free Viscose

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.

Coke Invests in Plan to Deliver Safe Drinking Water to 1 Million Children by 2015

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.

What Is Microsoft’s Secret to Employee Engagement? Empowerment!

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.


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