With eyes on New York last week as leaders gathered for the UN Climate Summit, a pivotal REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) program has been launched to protect forests in the Congo Basin and promote the inherent value of natural standing forests around the world.
Today, at the Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park, Unilever is announcing a commitment to help 25 million people gain improved access to toilets by 2020.The commitment is part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, contributing to the company’s goal of helping one billion people improve their health and well-being by 2020, and augmenting existing goals on providing access to safe and affordable drinking water, and education on the importance of hand-washing with soap.
Unilever and the United Kingdom government are launching a joint initiative to use new social business models to improve health, hygiene and livelihoods for 100 million people by 2025. They will also each contribute more than $8 million to a research and innovation program focused on affordable sanitation and safe drinking water.The partnership is the first of its kind between an international business and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
The world’s forests have today been given what we can only hope is a realistic reprieve. The New York Declaration on Forests marks a watershed in the global effort to contain, then halt deforestation around the world.United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon has done the planet and some of its most critical ecosystems a great service in convening this groundbreaking meeting of governments, global businesses and NGOs, all of whom are committing to a range of targets designed to secure the future of the world’s forests. Deforestation is one of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore climate change.
AkzoNobel, The Nature Conservancy, Risk Management Solutions and Veolia have joined the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities initiative (100RC) to provide critical tools to help cities around the world become more resilient to the shocks and stresses that are a growing part of the 21st century. The announcement was made this week at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City.
Almost 400,000 people turned out in NYC yesterday for the US edition of the People's Climate March, the largest protest in the history of the issue, joined by more than 2,000 events in 166 countries worldwide.The streets began to fill up about 10:30am, with the official start scheduled for 11:30am, at 59th Street and Columbus Circle.
H&M announced two new initiatives this week centered on the betterment of its supply chains, one from the social perspective and one from the environmental.First, the apparel company signed a unique agreement with ILO, under which the partners will address industrial relations, wages, capacity-building for social partners and skills development throughout H&M’s supply chain.
H&M has teamed up with Swedfund, a Swedish company that offers expertise and financial support to emerging markets within Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, in a rare collaboration to try to develop a more ethical Ethiopian textile industry. The main goal of the coupled effort, to be launched this fall, is to promote both high social and environmental standards in an industry which is characteristically plagued with a poor ethical standing.The possibility of a collaboration was brought to light following initial talks between the two companies, before culminating in a joint trip to examine factory conditions in Ethiopia in May.
Airbnb has partnered with Nest to provide selected hosts in the US with free Nest Learning Thermostats as part of an effort to help Airbnb's community of hosts and guests to conserve energy.
The Nest Thermostat programs itself, automatically turns down the heat when a host or guest is away, and can be controlled from a mobile device. All hosts who participate in the program will have access to MyEnergy, a service that allows you to track your energy consumption, learn how to save energy, and be more efficient as part of their energy plans.
Unilever and the World Resources Institute (WRI) this week announced a new partnership that will increase transparency in agricultural commodity supply chains with the goal of ending tropical deforestation.
Deforestation can pose significant operational and reputational risks to businesses, and we at EDF are seeing companies start to take action in their supply chains. Deforestation accounts for an estimated 12 percent of overall GHG emissions worldwide — as much global warming pollution to the atmosphere as all of the cars and trucks in the world. In addition, deforestation wipes out biodiversity and ravages the livelihoods of people who live in and depend on the forest for survival.
The travel and tourism industry needs to put sustainability at the forefront of everything it does and businesses need to lead by example — that’s the message from David Scowsill, CEO & president of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Scowsill asked leading sustainable tourism businesses to play their part in ensuring that the industry’s ethics are raised to the highest order.WTTC just launched its 2015 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards program and is calling for applications from companies in the industry who are setting the sustainability benchmark in their field. Scowsill explained that the purpose of the Awards is to be an inspiration to others and to educate governments and travel & tourism businesses about how to improve the sustainability of the Industry.
Novozymes and Monsanto say they have discovered several microbes that are demonstrating increased yield in corn and soybeans, a result of ongoing collaborative research into microbial products farmers can use to help meet rising global demand for food stuffs.This year, the companies’ BioAg Alliance conducted research across 170,000 field trial plots in 70 locations throughout the United States. The companies expect to more than double the number of research field plots next season.
A new global initiative launching Wednesday by DNV GL and Scandinavian innovation think tank Monday Morning Global Institute aims to identify opportunities for sustainable responses to a range of global risks. A series of eight workshops beginning this week around the globe marks the start of the identification process — with the results to be published in the first Global Opportunity Report in January 2015.
The City View level of the Metreon in downtown San Francisco was abuzz on Thursday, as Target celebrated the official launch of Made to Matter, a curated collection of more than 120 new and exclusive products from 16 food and personal care brands already known for their commitment to making products the right way.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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.