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.
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:
Choosing the right NGO partner can be a little like speed dating.When it comes to shifting your business to a brighter, better future, placard-waving eco-activists may not be the first to pop to mind as a suitable partner. But many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are well-positioned to help leading brands develop innovative solutions that deliver a competitive edge. Of course, as with any business partnership or personal relationship, take time to assess your options before getting involved with an NGO. As they say, there are plenty of fish in the sea — you just need to catch the right one.
CVS recently announced a partnership with health and well-being company Humana to help customers make sense of their healthcare coverage options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).Starting this month, Humana representatives will be present at CVS’s Project Health events, where individuals can receive free health screenings to check blood pressure, body mass index, glucose, total cholesterol and even receive oral or dental care. During October and November, Humana representatives will be available to answer questions about health coverage under ACA at 80 Project Health weekly events in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan and Texas.
Nearly two-dozen major U.S. companies and nearly 50 investors with more than $900 billion in collective assets announced their support last week for new carbon pollution standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for new power plants. The group, which includes Unilever, Levi Strauss & Co., Symantec, Patagonia, The North Face and the country’s largest public pension fund, CalPERS, urged President Obama to finalize the rule soon and proceed with plans to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants. The standards are open to public comment.
Last Thursday at the Bronx Zoo, the United Nations hosted an event to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program and its offshoot REDD+.
Mondelez International has announced an agreement with the Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute (ICCRI) and suppliers Armajaro and Olam to promote sustainable Indonesian cocoa farming, improve cocoa bean quality and support the development of Indonesian cocoa communities.
Solazyme, maker of algae-based oils and bioproducts, today announced a commercial supply agreement with Unilever for the first partnered Solazyme Tailored™ Algal Oil, a culmination of five years of collaboration between the companies. The agreement covers the first of Solazyme and Unilever's jointly developed tailored oils with an initial supply of at least 10,000 metric tons (MT), which Unilever says it will use in its Dove and Brylcreem brand personal care products, according to the New York Times.