Companies representing roughly one-eighth of total global market capitalization are now using climate science to define their future direction.
Nearly three years on from the Paris Agreement and with time running out before greenhouse gas emissions must peak, 2018 has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of companies committing to reduce their emissions in line with the levels required to prevent dangerous global warming.
What we at Sustainable Brands call “New Metrics” allow businesses to quantify previously ignored risks, costs and revenue potential associated with sustainability impacts. Smart executives use #NewMetrics to understand the full picture of their companies’ interactions with the rest of the world, improve stakeholder relationships, and steer innovation toward the products and services of the future.
The field has evolved steadily and produced many significant milestones over the past decade. Below are three big trends businesses need to be on top of if they want to gain early-mover advantages and maximize the respective upside that awaits.
From remote sensors to digital field mapping, information technology (IT) is rapidly becoming a part of day-to-day farm management. When a state-of-the-art cotton picker, for example, records crop yield and moisture every few seconds, along with the GPS coordinates of the machine, that data can be analyzed against water and fertilizer applications — or other farm practices — to determine optimal growing conditions. Technology also can enable reporting up and down the agricultural value chain of all farm practices and conservation metrics associated with a particular field.
Scotland remains one of the world’s leading nations on circular economy thinking — this year Glasgow will host the Circular Economy Hotspot, an international event and trade mission that will showcase the country’s progressive approach to materials and resource use.
To keep the global temperature increase to well below 2⁰C and meet the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement, everyone must take bold action to reduce their share of emissions as soon as possible. Companies are responsible for the majority of global emissions and therefore play an integral role in meeting these goals.
With 3.8 billion years of R&D behind Earth’s systems and creatures, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what we can learn and how we can apply those lessons to our companies, products and processes.
More and more clothing brands are taking it upon themselves to dive deeper into the impacts of their garments, increasing transparency around and improving their materials, processes and operations as a whole.
The private sector has been mobilizing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. But corporations are also in constant pursuit of returning shareholder value, and as such, need to look for ways that SDG-aligned strategies can give a true measure of shareholder value.
“Organizations rely on a diverse set of ‘capitals’ to function effectively,” says Emma Ringström, Sustainability Manager, Pulp and Performance Chemicals at AkzoNobel. By measuring these, she says, “We can find ways to make the most impactful improvements and ultimately increase business value.”
This month, Pure Strategies celebrates 20 years of providing sustainability consulting to companies such as Stonyfield Farms, Ben & Jerry’s, Seventh Generation and Walmart. Its team has been helping to build leading strategies, improve products and packaging, and shift supply chains toward better environmental and social performance for well over 100 organizations over their years of work.
A multi-industry initiative has introduced new protocols and tools for the responsible sourcing of tin, tungsten, tantalum, gold, and cobalt, as well as social, environmental and governance impacts of the extraction and processing of raw materials in international supply chains.
While measurement, disclosure and other forms of engagement were the dominant themes yesterday, day two of New Metrics ’17 saw brands, NGOs and solution providers digging deeper to reveal practical applications and concrete findings from where the rubber meets the road in the world of sustainability metrics.
The design and implementation of a Sustainable Product Optimization Tool
By Anna Shugoll
As Sustainable Brands' New Metrics '17 conference kicked off in Philadelphia on Monday, speakers from SASB, CSRLab, WRI, the World Happiness Summit and more presented a range of topics revolving around a few common themes: Correctly measuring what matters, disclosing material data and knowing your audience when you do.
From disclosure to performance: Building a virtuous loop
By Jessica Bast
Corresponding with the kick off of the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference (COP23), CDP has released a new report finding that over 100 of the world’s state and regional governments are taking action to address climate change, particularly in the short-term.