They lack neither influence, nor the ability to use it. But there is one asset that business leaders at the World Economic Forum this week could usefully exploit further: the power to advance the wider interests of people and planet. With UN climate change negotiations under way and as the UN designs its flagship Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, business needs to engage.
I:CO, a leading global, end-to-end solutions provider for the reuse and recycling of clothing, shoes and other textiles, today launches its first-ever I:CO City initiative with the City of San Francisco. The launch creates a public, private and non-profit infrastructure to make it easy, convenient and rewarding for residents and businesses to recycle textile-related items.In alignment with San Francisco’s goal of zero waste by 2020, I:CO will serve as the lead textile collection and processing partner to divert this waste from landfill and give these items new life.
According to a Berkeley study, one properly shared car reduces the need for nine owned cars. Participating in a car co-op may not be up your alley, but there are plenty of Millennials eschewing ownership and Boomers that are downsizing who buy into the notion of the “Collaborative Economy” — making co-owning cars a viable option for some.
When I was seven, I was given an Apple Macintosh in the hope that Mavis Beacon would teach me how to touch type. It was an unreasonable expectation, for I was actually more interested in escaping to the fantasy lands of Dungeons and Dragons and Lode Runner. Yet, these games had a lasting, unexpected impact on my thirst for learning. In playing Dungeons and Dragons, I remember being particularly excited each time my archetypal characters would gain ‘experience points’ that enabled them to upgrade their abilities.
The Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) has signed a long-term research agreement with Wisconsin-based Cellular Dynamics International (CDI), a leading developer of stem cell technologies for in vitro drug development, stem cell banking and in vivo cellular therapeutic research.The agreement gives Nestlé access to certain types of CDI’s cell products to support nutrition-research programs on maintaining health and helping to prevent conditions such as diabetes and obesity.
H&M has announced a partnership with Civil Rights Defenders (CRD), a Swedish non-profit organization that works to support human rights around the world. The fashion retail giant says it will donate 4 million SEK (~US$609k) to support their work for human rights.CRD says the support is a welcome addition that will enhance the organization’s long-term commitment to human rights. “We are delighted that H&M has decided to support us in this way. The donation will allow us to fund our ongoing human rights work and in particular to ensure assistance is available for vulnerable human rights defenders who operate in some of the world’s most repressive states,” says Civil Rights Defenders executive director Robert Hårdh.
The D&AD White Pencil, an award that highlights excellent creative ideas with a social purpose — now in its third year — is the world’s top prize for design, advertising or digital work that addresses key social, political or ethical issues.In order to demonstrate its increasing commitment to supporting positive change through creativity, D&AD is now collaborating with The International Exchange (TIE) — a leadership development programme that combines the expertise within agencies and studios with the needs of NGOs to create positive, sustainable change — to offer two TIE placements to this year’s White Pencil nominees.
Ford Motor Company announced today the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, a first-of-its-kind sun-powered vehicle with the potential to deliver the best features of a plug-in hybrid without relying on the electric grid for fuel. The concept car will be exhibited at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas next week.Instead of powering its battery from an electrical outlet, the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept harnesses the power of the sun by using a special concentrator that acts as a magnifying glass, directing rays to solar panels on the vehicle roof.
In the ongoing drive to create and communicate about sustainability in the emerging economy, it can be useful to conceive of sustainability not as a quantifiable end goal, but as an emergent property. An emergent property arises when individual components or actions, combined together, collectively generate a higher-level aggregate experience. Think democracy. Or plague. Or community. One does not "do" sustainability anymore than one "does" community. One co-creates community through all of the little deeds — hosting the potluck, planning the carpool, sharing the tool shed. Like community, sustainability — or any emergent property — arises out of the contributions made and conditions created in service of a shared reality.
While many Lincoln MKX drivers may be tying trees to the top of their vehicles this time of year, 2014 will see the MKX crossover with tree-based components inside the vehicle.A three-year collaboration between The Lincoln Motor Company, timber giant Weyerhaeuser and auto parts supplier Johnson Controls has birthed a tree-based, renewable alternative to fiberglass for use in auto parts.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today it has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Coca-Cola to support the revival of economic activity and livelihoods in Leyte, the Philippine province most devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in early November.Under these MOUs, USAID, P&G and Coca-Cola will help establish new sari-sari stores (small community stores) and rehabilitate damaged or destroyed sari-sari stores located in public markets. In addition, the organizations will facilitate store owners’ access to microfinancing loans and other interventions to help them get back on their feet.
A diverse group of leading UK companies and multinationals including BT, Kingfisher, Coca-Cola Enterprises, SKF, Capgemini and The Crown Estate have teamed up with NGOs Forum for the Future, The Climate Group and WWF-UK to encourage businesses to commit to becoming net positive, by giving back more than they take from the environment and society.
Today, Climate Counts and the Center for Sustainable Organizations (CSO) released a collaborative report, Assessing Corporate Emissions Performance through the Lens of Climate Science, which revealed that, surprisingly, almost half of the Top 100 companies analyzed rated sustainably in the study, with Autodesk, Unilever and Eli Lilly earning the three top spots in the rating.Of the 49 companies that scored sustainably, 25 of those exhibited revenue growth even as their emissions declined, proving that decoupling of growth and emissions is possible.
A group of the country's leading consumer brands have formed a new coalition to persuade Congress to update the nation's out-of-date and ineffective chemical safety laws. Strong lobbying by other industry groups has given policymakers the impression that business is monolithic in its support for weak legislation. The new coalition, Companies for Safer Chemicals, will make a business argument for strong reforms that support the industry innovating to create safer and cleaner products.
In sustainability, the 'lone wolf' will soon be a thing of the past, as collaboration becomes increasingly necessary to make real changes.In October, Dell outlined its 2020 Legacy of Good plan, but admitted that it wouldn't be able to achieve its ambitious goals alone.Step in #theBIGshift — Forum for the Future's latest (and potentially biggest) initiative aims to transform the key systems that we rely on, and champion the rewards for those businesses and other organizations who are stepping up to the challenge of creating a sustainable future.
Nestlé has announced a commitment to helping reduce waste and boost responsible disposal in Chile by supporting a new recycling network.The company has backed the “Collective Recycling Project,” which aims to recycle about 1,200 tons of waste per year through the installation of five recycling centers in the capital city of Santiago.The project is a joint collaboration with Walmart Chile, Coca-Cola Chile, PepsiCo and Unilever, with the goal of improving waste management in the country.
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Tokyo and the Business Call to Action (BCtA) last week hosted the first BCtA event in Japan to encourage the Japanese private sector to participate in innovative business approaches that create development impact.The BCtA forum in Tokyo featured a number of innovative business practices, showcasing how companies can overcome market challenges that can benefit the poor and create social and economic impact in local communities. The event also highlighted the work that UNDP and the BCtA have initiated to promote public-private partnerships.
LEGO Group recently announced a partnership with WWF centered around improving performance on a range of environmental priorities — including greater focus on collaboration with suppliers to reduce total carbon emissions — and committed to becoming net positive through the use of renewables by 2016.The toy maker joins the likes of Natura, HP, Volvo, Johnson & Johnson and Sprint as the newest member of the WWF’s Climate Savers program.
UN negotiators last week agreed to rules on financing forest projects in developing nations, paving the way for multibillion-dollar investments from governments, funding agencies and private firms in schemes to halt deforestation, according to Reuters.
The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform, a group helping food and drink companies to achieve sustainable production and sourcing of agricultural raw materials whose members include McDonald's Europe and Unilever, has announced the development of its Principles for Sustainable Beef Farming, what it is calling the most complete guidelines developed for beef production to date.