Despite uncertainty as to whether the U.S. will continue to play a part in global renewable energy adoption and fossil fuel reduction, business and other countries’ governments continue to ride the wave of commitments that have arisen from COP22 last month.
In the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election, the Facebook pages of most people who care about sustainability read like a grief or suicide support group. Amidst the weeping and gnashing of teeth, there is a sense of everyone looking forward to the next election in two or four years.
While I understand the sentiment, it is important to remember that election cycles are always at the whim of a small group of swing voters, whereas every person who cares about sustainability and social justice has a chance to vote many times every single day and that vote might ultimately have as much, or even more impact on the future (and present) as elections do.
Note: In the aftermath of last week’s Presidential election, we at Sustainable Brands were struck by the parallels to a recent, similarly polarizing political situation abroad with an equally shocking result – the UK’s Brexit referendum – and how Andy Last’s astute observations at the time, about the breakdowns in communication that led just over half of Brits to vote to leave the EU, seem applicable to us here in the States now. We share it with you below – enjoy.
Oslo, Norway has a much more ambitious plan than most when it comes to cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The city plans to cut its GHG emissions in half compared to 1990 levels, in only four years – faster than any city or country has made changes in the past, according to Fast CoExist. At the same time, if we want to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, it’s the pace we need.
The host of food and drink company members of the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) Food and Drink Federation (FDF) have developed a series of new sustainability commitments. The newly-released “Ambition 2025” document builds on the group’s previous “Five-Fold Environmental Ambition” and includes goals related to climate change, food waste, packaging, water, transport, supply chains and natural capital, as well as case studies highlighting some of their members’ best practices.
It’s time to look beyond sustainability. As a term, it just isn’t enough anymore. Sustainability orients us to a zero sum equation, trying to maintain the status quo. But what exactly are we trying to sustain? What kind of value does that create – for ourselves, for our clients, or for our communities?
“What keeps you up at night?” Solitaire Townsend, co-founder of Futerra, asked this question to 50 sustainability leaders from around the globe on the third and final day of SB ’16 Copenhagen. The core issues most people responded with were inequality, climate change, recession, refugees, biodiversity loss. “It’s the ‘parade of horribles’ that makes sleep tough at times,” said one survey responder. The theme that came out of the expressed fears was division on multiple fronts: Division of opinions, incomes, outlooks.
In this volatile time of unceasing change, the opening night plenary presentations at SB’16 Copenhagen explored the characteristics an organisation needs to not just be resilient, but be ‘fit’ for the future. They unravelled the challenges and successes of their journeys through activating the purpose that moved them to more sustainable, future-fit organisations.
What is the most effective way to lead change? Some would argue for a top-down approach focused on execution, while others believe in an intrinsic, sense-and-respond style.
For Leith Sharp, director of executive education at Harvard University’s Center for Health, the answer is that organizations need both a command control operating system and adaptive sensing capability to lead transformation in the 21st century.
“The challenge for adaptive organizing champions is to learn both languages,” said Sharp. “A healthy command control is putting purpose first earnestly so the whole system can survive.”
A new forecast by DNV GL concludes that while progress will be made towards many of the United Nations’ (UN’s) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, or Global Goals), there is a very real risk that they will not be met by 2030. The report predicts that action will not be fast nor fair enough, and will come at an unacceptable environmental cost — but reminds us that there is still time to reset the course of our “Spaceship Earth.”
California is about to face its biggest emissions reductions challenges yet, under new legislation signed late last week by Governor Jerry Brown. With a population of 38 million and growing, and a GDP of almost $2.5 trillion, California is the sixth-largest economy in the world – and now has one of the most ambitious mandates against climate change.
It’s that time of year again: S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI) and Sustainability Investing specialist RobecoSAM have announced the results of the annual Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) review.
Today, Sonoma County winemaker Jackson Family Wines (JFW) unveiled its first sustainability report, supported by a list of comprehensive 5-year goals. The family-owned wine company, known for its portfolio of over 30 premium wineries, including household names as Kendall-Jackson, La Crema and Cambria, is a progressive leader in environmentally and socially responsible business practices.
The California State Assembly last week approved sweeping legislation that extends the state’s targets for reducing greenhouse gases from 2020 to 2030. Under SB 32, California would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
The new legislation builds off of the projected success of AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which calls for California to reduce greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020 — a target the state is expected to reach.
We are in the midst of a metamorphic period of change unlike anything the world has seen since the Late Middle Ages. With “meta” (meaning “form”) and “morph” (meaning “change”), the word suggests the transformative change in form of human institutions now emerging as we awaken to the realities of climate change and the destruction of ecosystems we have long relied upon for our survival. As the organization specialist Peter Drucker insightfully said, ‘In times of turmoil, the danger lies not in the turmoil but in facing it with yesterday’s logic.’
Fortune has published the second edition of its “Change the World” list of the top 50 companies that are delivering positive social impact. Once again developed in partnership with Mark Kramer and Michael Porter’s non-profit social impact consulting firm FSG and their Shared Value Initiative, a platform for organizations seeking business solutions to social challenges, this year’s ranking focused on businesses that created shared value through activities that were also part of the companies’ core business strategy.
News Deeply, in partnership with Sustainable Brands, has produced a series of profiles looking at how brands are tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges. The goal is to examine trends and gather insights from a new wave of corporate citizenship – in an era when the private sector is increasingly expected to play a positive role in improving our lives and societies. This is the 6th article in the series.
The latest food trend isn’t a particular cuisine or exotic ingredient; it’s sustainability. Nearly 75 percent of Americans think sustainability is important when deciding what food to buy. The food industry has noticed. In Britain, close to half of those surveyed across the food industry say their customers want more sustainable food options.
Not too long ago, in conversation with a former colleague, I explained SABMiller’s objective to “imbed sustainable development within African Procurement.” Following a slight pause, the response was, “That is quite gutsy! Not many organisations have been able to do that …”