The business world is waking up to the challenge of climate change.Apple CEO Tim Cook recently lashed out at a shareholder who pressed the company to stop investing in carbon reduction and renewable energy. In the most recent World Economic Forum Global Risk survey of CEOs and world leaders, three of the top six issues of “highest concern” were failure to tackle climate change, extreme weather, and water crises.
At an event this morning in Mountain View, Calif., during a visit from President Barack Obama, Walmart announced that it will double the number of on-site solar energy projects at its US stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers by 2020. The commitment is part of Walmart’s global initiative to drive the production or procurement of 7 billion kWh of renewable energy by the end of 2020.
The Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) has unveiled a set of five essential principles that it asserts defines leadership in sustainable purchasing. By providing a common reference point for sustainability excellence, the Principles enable greater alignment and benchmarking of sustainable purchasing efforts across all types of organizations operating in the multi-trillion-dollar institutional purchasing marketplace. The SPLC says the Principles also serve as a “moral compass” as it also launches the development of a multi-sector program for guiding, benchmarking and recognizing leadership in sustainable purchasing.
Change agency, as it applies to sustainability, is an increasingly popular subject in prestigious academic institutions, government conversations, NGOs and businesses globally. Permeating the communities and conversations of the sustainability fraternity, we ﬁnd inspiring ideas, language, energy, ambition and commitment. But is there also an increasing sense of frustration, helplessness and a dose of ultimately unhelpful cynicism around our own effectiveness?
There are encouraging pockets of sustainability leadership in the US business community, but far too many companies are only taking small, incremental steps to address pressing sustainability issues that could impact their bottom lines and the future of our planet and economy, according to a new report by Ceres and Sustainalytics. Chief among these sustainability issues are climate change and human rights.
It’s said that the likely success of any company initiative can be gauged by the support and involvement of the senior management. If this is true, then the support demonstrated by the presence of so many of Unilever’s top team at the latest ‘Sustainable Living Plan’ update gives a clear demonstration of the organisation’s commitment to achieve and exceed the goals set.
Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, and Gap have topped CR Magazine’s 2014 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, which ranks companies based on disclosure and performance measures covering environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance and philanthropy.Now in its 15th year, the list documents 298 data points of disclosure and performance measures acquired from publicly available information in the aforementioned categories. Microsoft, Mattel, Weyerhaeuser, Ecolab, Intel, Coca-Cola, and Walt Disney Company rounded out the top ten.
Park Howell, president of Phoenix-based brand strategy and marketing firm Park&Co, also heads the Communications thread of the Arizona State University School of Sustainability’s Executive Master’s for Sustainability Leadership (EMSL) program. Under Howell’s direction, the program replaces communications theory with “communications commandos.”
In honor of Arbor Day today, FedEx and the Arbor Day Foundation have launched a new initiative to help connect disaster-stricken communities with the resources needed for sustainable recovery and community healing.The Community Tree Recovery program is designed to be a national resource for communities as they seek to restore their trees in the aftermath of natural disaster, FedEx says. The program provides the structure and capacity to address multiple disasters annually, distributing seedling trees to afflicted communities nationwide.
Patagonia, GoLite, Seventh Generation, New Belgium Brewing Company and 80 other global companies have been named “Best for the Environment” by the nonprofit B Lab.The ‘B Corp Best for the Environment’ list honors businesses that earned an environmental impact score in the top 10 percent of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of a company's impact on its workers, community and the environment. Honorees were recognized among micro, small and mid-sized businesses.
Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability recently launched the Executive Master’s for Sustainability Leadership (EMSL), a 13-month program designed for mid-career professionals currently employed in or near sustainability roles. The program features a hybrid curriculum of virtual learning and immersive, in-person experiences at ASU and abroad.
IKEA US announced last week that it is making its first US wind farm investment with the purchase of Hoopeston Wind in Hoopeston, Illinois. The 98-megawatt wind farm is the largest single IKEA Group renewable energy investment globally to date and will make a significant contribution to the company’s goal to generate as much renewable energy as the total energy it consumes by 2020. The project is currently being constructed by Apex Clean Energy and is expected to be fully operational by the first half of 2015.
Diabetes care supplier Novo Nordisk has opened two new clinics in Ghana as part of its Base of the Pyramid program, which creates partnerships to build sustainable access to diabetes care for people with low incomes.The two diabetes clinics serve very different areas of Accra, Ghana’s capital – one suburban and relatively prosperous, and the other populated by people with lower incomes. The clinics are designed to be one-stop, offering screening, access, and a stable and affordable supply of insulin to an area with more than half a million people.
General Motors, Samsung and Best Buy are among the 127 organizations to receive 2014 Energy Star Partner of the Year Awards, which the Environmental Protection Agency awards to organizations that have demonstrated innovative strategies to help customers, partners and stakeholders to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through energy-efficiency projects.Other recipients include Meritage Homes Corporation, PepsiCo, Sears, 3M and LG Electronics.
Jenn Vervier, Director of Strategy & Sustainability at New Belgium Brewing, knows firsthand the potential craft beer has to create profound and lasting change. Since starting part-time on the bottling line more than twenty years ago as a graduate student, Jenn has gone on to serve as CFO, COO, and the company’s first director of strategy & sustainability. She spearheaded the development of the brewery’s sustainability management system and has pushed for greater advocacy for environmental regulation.
The Obama Administration has released its official strategy for reducing methane emissions as part of the President’s Climate Action Plan, which takes steps to further cut methane emissions from landfills, coal mining, and agriculture, as well as oil and gas systems through cost-effective voluntary actions and practical standards.
Unilever, Philips, 3M and several other members of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) have signed a letter sent to the European Commission calling for a new set of competitiveness objectives to exploit all possible cost-effective energy-efficiency opportunities by 2030.
We know that stakeholder engagement is tough. Whether large or small, here at 2degrees we’ve seen businesses around the world sourcing expert opinion from our pool of sustainability professionals to find out how best to continue their journey.We also know that you guys are doing some tremendous things — initiatives that have been largely tucked away in a cupboard, silently working away without the respect they deserve. And we think they need a little bit of sunshine.Enter the 2degrees Champions Awards, v 2.0.
Strengthening the systems that provide health products and care is the most critical investment in global health, according to international survey results released today by Devex and global health organizations PSI and PATH.Of the 1,500 international health development experts polled in the survey, 63 percent believe that strengthening health systems is a crucial investment over the next five to 10 years. The survey also found that 60 percent of respondents rated improving service delivery systems — or getting health care to people who need them — as a top priority for achieving stronger health systems.
Microsoft, Allstate and Unilever are sponsoring California’s first We Day — an educational initiative aimed at inspiring students to become active local and global citizens — on March 26.Organized by international charity and educational partner Free the Children, the event will feature celebrity speakers and performers including recording artists Macklemore, Selena Gomez and Jennifer Hudson, Kid President, and actors Seth Rogen and Orlando Bloom. It will bring together 16,000 students from over 400 schools across the state.