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.
Coca-Cola, Danone, Ford, Heinz, Nestlé, Nike, P&G, Unilever and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have formed a new organization to support the responsible development of plastics made from plant material and promote a more sustainable future for the bioplastics industry.The Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA) will focus on guiding the responsible selection and harvesting of feedstocks — such as sugar cane, corn, bulrush and switchgrass — used to make plastics from agricultural materials.
The Coca-Cola Company and Ford Motor Company have teamed up to fuel more sustainable design by collaborating on a first-ever interior fabric made from the same renewable material used to produce Coke’s PlantBottle packaging.
I just read an interesting Deloitte study linking sustainability with innovation inside corporations. According to the study, companies engaged in sustainability innovate more than their competitors. At the risk of sounding cheeky, I don’t find this hard to imagine. Companies that recognize the importance of sustainability tend to be those pushing for new ideas. And applying the sustainability filter to innovation efforts sparks new patterns of thinking — and fresh ideas.
Sasol, a South African chemical and energy company, and General Electric’s GE Power & Water have developed technology that will clean wastewater while also producing biogas as a by-product.The technology, known as Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor Technology (AnMBR), will be further developed at a new demonstration plant at Sasol's R&D Campus at its Sasol One Site in Sasolburg, the companies say.The partnership with GE leverages GE's ecomagination-qualified ZeeWeed 500 membrane and decades of membrane bioreactor experience, and Sasol's expertise in biological treatment of effluents derived from the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process, a key component of gas-to-liquids (GTL) conversion technology.
How can we create a future where 9 billion people live well within the limits of the planet? Can we harness knowledge to encourage a transition to a more sustainable future? What are the best solutions for current social, environmental and economic issues and how will they need to change and adapt over time?
Yesterday, in an attempt to stimulate dialogue and increase awareness around global water risk, CDP held its Global Water Forum 2013, “Investing in Water Security.”The impetus for the conversation, and in general CDP’s water program, is to catalyze sustainable global water stewardship.Water scarcity is a long-term business risk which has not, quite frankly, been gaining the same level of attention as other sustainability issues, such as energy efficiency and carbon reduction.However, unlike carbon, water is not a renewable resource.“I am very passionate that water is not carbon,” said Will Sarni, Director and Practice Leader, Enterprise Water Strategy at Deloitte Consulting LLP. “There is no replacement for water. Carbon is renewable. Water is not.”
Fashion and forests don’t likely go hand-in-hand in most people’s minds, but a new partnership announced today is aimed at increasing the sustainability of both.Socially conscious fashion brand Eileen Fisher and Canadian environmental NGO Canopy — with the help of Quiksilver, prAna, Patagonia and lululemon athletica and 14 progressive designers — have announced a joint campaign designed to bolster protection of ancient forest ecosystems and raise awareness about the fashion industry’s role in endangering them.
Leading organisations and industry bodies within UK food production, retail and horticulture have joined forces to tackle the issue of modern-day slavery, human trafficking, forced labor and other hidden migrant worker exploitation, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) today announced the launch of a new joint initiative with the goal of making vaccines more resistant to heat, thus reducing the need for refrigeration.Most vaccines must be kept cold and transported under constant refrigeration via a so-called "cold chain," which is a significant challenge in hot, remote and resource-limited regions. GSK and BMGF will invest a combined $1.8 million in early-stage research into vaccine thermostability.
The Carbon Trust has been selected to develop an environmental labeling scheme for products and services in Mexico, designed to promote sustainable purchasing and procurement for consumers, companies and the public sector.The objective of the project is to drive the international competitiveness and economic efficiency of Mexican industry through more sustainable production. It will also provide a commonly recognised set of criteria to ensure that environmental claims about products and services are properly substantiated. The project is funded through the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Prosperity Fund, as administered through the British Embassy in Mexico City.Cuauhtémoc Ochoa Fernandez, Mexico’s Undersecretary of Development and Environmental Regulation, said:
DuPont Industrial Biosciences, in collaboration with Huntsman Corporation — a global provider of textile dyes and chemicals — recently announced the results of a case study that demonstrates the benefits of its Gentle Power Bleach™, powered by DuPont’s PrimaGreen® EcoWhite enzymatic bleaching technology. The study, conducted between 2006 and 2012, measured significant reductions in water use, energy consumption and chemical use coupled with notable increases in product quality and yield.
According to Feeding America, one out of six Americans, one out of five children and roughly three million senior citizens lack adequate access to affordable and nutritious food, meaning approximately 47 million people in the U.S. are considered food insecure. The urgency is acute and screams for more innovative approaches to help fill the shelves of food banks. One such idea emerged in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2010, during a meeting of stakeholders representing a variety of points in the food supply chain.
Businesses must work with government and the scientific community to help counter damage to the world’s oceans, according to a panel established by the World Bank to advise the Global Partnership for Oceans (GPO).The Blue Ribbon Panel consists of 21 global experts from 16 countries and includes high-level players ranging from CEOs of some of the largest seafood companies in the world — such as Thai Union Frozen Products, Bumble Bee Foods and High Liner Foods — to government officials and prominent marine conservationists. Without taking action to turn around the declining health of the ocean, the panel warns the consequences for economies, communities and ecosystems will be irreversible.
While obesity is a growing problem in some industrialized countries, a shocking number of people are starving on their feet. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), an estimated 842 million people are chronically hungry — that’s one out of every eight people on the planet — and two billion people lack sufficient nutrition for good health. To call attention to the problem, FAO has organised World Food Day every year since 1981. The theme for this year’s World Food Day, taking place today — October 16 — is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security.”
A factor critical to the development of any mission-driven brand is the nature of the ecosystem to which it belongs. A community that holistically embraces the philosophies of sustainable development offers ideal grounds for development of the business ideologies, spirit and camaraderie vital for propagation of any sustainable brand.The metropolitan Chicago area, also known as Chicagoland, is proving to be one such community in the U.S. Driven towards creating a sustainable economy and region, these considerations are taking center stage in the region’s regulatory, business and community development policies and strategies.
Monsanto on Friday announced that it has joined a multi-stakeholder coalition aimed at improving health in honey bee populations, which includes agriculture commodity groups, industry groups, government agencies, environmental NGOs and agriculture companies.The coalition will have four priority areas of focus: