“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 …”
With over 20 years working in various roles at Procter & Gamble, Virginie Helias is a brand and innovation veteran. A member of the Sustainable Brands advisory board, she was recently promoted from P&G's global director of sustainability to replace Len Sauers as VP of global sustainability. We caught up with Helias to learn more about her new role, the most exciting challenges ahead and lessons she’s learned along the way.
16-year-old climate activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is petitioning the 2016 U.S. presidential candidates to take a strong stance on ending climate change. In a Care2 petition and a corresponding video letter, Martinez is urging the candidates to pledge to end fossil fuel use in the U.S. by 2026. The petition attracted over 100,000 signatures in its first week online.
... what would it take to make Sustainability its Brand and the Sufficiency Economy its Value?
While at this moment, every social unit recognises that we all need to take action NOW, the most challenging question is always: HOW? What should be — would be — the best solution to enable us to achieve sustainability? So let’s think big and try a little thought experiment: What if humanity were a corporation — what would it take to make sustainability its brand? How can we create value that will set the framework to build a sustainable brand?
Business and political leaders convened in London on June 28 and 29 for the second annual Business & Climate Summit, where they called for the ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement without further delay, as well as more collaboration between businesses and governments in order to achieve global policy frameworks conducive to long-term, climate-resilient, low carbon investments.
Remember Coles Notes? Those magical little study aids that helped bring focus and clarity to even the most mind-numbing of university courses (Hmmm, come to think of it, I wonder what they were printed on?). As a busy professional, I now rely on exactly that kind of trusted analysis in almost all realms of my life - be it which phone to replace my ailing device with, which restaurants serve the best vegetarian fare, where to stay whilst on the road.
Today at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2016 in New York, Claus Stig Pedersen, Head of Corporate Sustainability at biotech giant Novozymes, was announced as one of ten 2016 Local Pioneers of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).