At a bilateral meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff committed Brazil to an agreement for both countries to obtain up to 20 percent of their electricity from renewable power by 2030, The Guardian reports.In an effort to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change, Brazil also committed to restoring close to 30 million acres (12 million hectares) of forest — an area the size of Pennsylvania.
Forest conservation firm Wildlife Works' factory in Kenya has become the first in Africa to be both carbon neutral and certified by Fair Trade USA.On the heels of this announcement, Wildlife Works is launching its first-ever carbon-neutral, Fair Trade-certified t-shirts, designed by fashion brand Threads 4 Thought (T4T). The clothing company will be contributing over $6,000 in Fair Trade premiums directly to Wildlife Works factory workers.
The European Commission on Thursday proposed a revision to its energy efficiency labeling laws to "ensure coherence and continuity and makes sure that customers are able to make better informed choices that will help them save energy and money."To provide consumers with a clearer indication of the energy efficiency of products, which are currently classified in different scales, and to improve compliance for producers and retailers, the Commission is calling for a revised energy labeling system consisting of:A single energy labeling scale from ‘A to G’: the Commission is proposing a return to the well-known and effective 'A to G' label scale for energy-efficient products, including a process for rescaling the existing labels.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday called on the corporate community “to be our partners in supporting and financing this agenda” at a global conference on financing for development.The International Business Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was tasked with finding resources for a 17-point, 15-year UN plan on meeting human needs, protecting the planet and ending poverty. These Sustainable Development Goals will be up for final approval at the UN General Assembly in September.
Novo Nordisk, in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Health and the Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Center, has launched a six-month diabetes awareness campaign in Nairobi to promote early diagnosis through screening, especially among low-income populations.The campaign’s message — ‘It takes only five seconds to get your blood sugar tested’ — is backed up with diabetes screening and education at public health care facilities and faith-based organizations in selected counties including Nairobi.
Leading investors representing $1.5 trillion in assets under management released a statement of support on Thursday for a strong federal standard to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, according to Ceres.
The White House’s proposal, released in January 2015, would cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by 45 percent below 2012 levels by the year 2025. A draft rule is expected this summer.
AT&T, Verizon, and Cisco are among the dozens of internet service providers, equipment suppliers and retail equipment manufacturers to join the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) in announcing a new voluntary agreement to improve the energy efficiency of internet modems, routers and other equipment that deliver broadband to millions of American consumers.Other companies to sign on include Charter Communications, Comcast, DIRECTV, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, CenturyLink, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Actiontec, ARRIS, D-Link, EchoStar Technologies, NETGEAR and Pace and Ubee Interactive.
Last year, Andrew Winston stood on the main stage at SB ’14 San Diego and called for the business world to make a “Big Pivot” — away from ecologically harmful practices and toward a sustainable future.
The UN Global Compact (UNGC) has launched a new official website aimed at spurring corporate sustainability action.Designed to support business at all stages along the corporate sustainability journey — from those companies that are just learning how to integrate sustainability into their business, to the most advanced companies operating on the leading edge — the website helps make the business case for corporate sustainability and shows how companies can engage on specific issues, such as gender equality and climate. It also provides ideas for leadership practices, such as engaging boards of directors and setting long-term sustainability goals.
The mayors of Baltimore, MD, Little Rock, AR and West Sacramento, CA have been recognized with top honors in an awards program administered by The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation.Presented Monday at USCM’s 83rd Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the 2015 CommunityWINS (Working/Investing in Neighborhood Stabilization) Grant Program includes monetary grants to city-based non-profit organizations and recognizes mayors for exemplary leadership in developing local programs that promote long-term economic prosperity and improve the quality of life for residents in three categories: neighborhood stabilization, economic development and job creation.
On Tuesday and Wednesday in Chicago, BASF is hosting a Science Symposium, gathering academics and thought leaders from a variety of disciplines to discuss the challenge of sustaining global food production.The event, “Sustainable Food Chain – From Field to Table,” is part of BASF’s yearlong program to celebrate its 150th anniversary, during which it will collaborate with multiple stakeholders to “co-create” solutions to global issues including smart energy, food and urban living.
My recent meeting with the Boy Scouts of America and their suppliers radically shifted my view of what the Scouts are about. My impression of the Boy Scouts was stuck in my experience as a Scout back in the ‘70s. As a middle schooler, I joined the Scouts to hang out with my friends. I loved the outdoor activities and the pursuit of merit badges.
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) published its tenth annual Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability report this week, in which it set its most ambitious environmental and social targets to date.The new commitments include:
Pharmaceutical companies Biogen, SHIRE and Allergan led the Global 500 in the 2015 Newsweek Green Rankings, a popular assessment of corporate environmental performance.Reckitt Benckiser Group, Adobe Systems, Swisscom, Unilever, Broadcom Corporation, Roche Holding (another pharmaceutical firm) and BT Group rounded out the top 10.The rankings are done in partnership with Corporate Knights Capital, HIP (Human Impact + Profit) Investor, and leading sustainability minds from nongovernmental organizations and the academic and accounting communities.
In an engaging session on Thursday morning, the final day of SB ’15 San Diego, a group of expert panelists discussed the obstacles and opportunities to growing the Certified B corporation movement, and faced some tough questions from the audience on its future.
Tuesday afternoon’s session led by Anne Kelly, Senior Director of Policy at Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), shed light on how corporations influence public policy and government regulation in support of a sustainable economy.
“What happens when you cut a hologram in half?” Maria Moraes Robinson and Simon Robinson asked as a prelude to sharing what holonomic thinking means. When you cut a photograph in half, you get two separate images, but when you cut a hologram in half, the whole image can still be seen in each piece. Holonomic thinking represents a shift in consciousness from understanding an organization as a collection of individual parts, departments or programs, seen separately, to seeing the organization as a whole that expresses itself and comes into presence in the various individual parts. It means “standing in front of a customer or partner and being able to express the organization as a whole, being different and at the same time being the same.”
Globescan and SustainAbility released their 2015 Sustainability Leaders survey today, asking experts to assess the progress that various institutions have made in advancing sustainable development since the historic Earth Summit in 1992.Results drawn from 816 sustainability experts across 82 countries indicate a positive perception of non-state actors and lack of confidence in the leadership of national governments. NGOs’ sustainability contribution is ranked highest among those polled, followed by social entrepreneurs, independent academic organizations, social change movements, and multi-sector collaborations.
San Diego, Calif., Aurora, Colo., Torrance, Calif., Poway Calif. and Hermosa Beach, Calif. are the cities with the highest percentage of residents that made pledges during a monthlong campaign in April to promote water efficiency.The 2015 Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, organized by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota, involved residents from more than 3,900 cities making 391,325 pledges online to reduce their water use at home, around the yard and in their lives. The challenge addressed the growing importance of educating consumers about the many ways they use water, the organizers say.
Fritjof Capra is the author of many best-selling books, including The Tao of Physics, The Turning Point, The Hidden Connections and The Web of Life. His most recent book is The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision, co-written with his friend Pier Luigi Luisi. I recently had the opportunity to meet Capra in São Paulo, where we discussed this new systemic concept of life, and particularly what it means for leadership in organisations.