Corporate sustainability goes far beyond carbon emissions and water efficiency. Workplace gender equality is quickly catching up to science-based targets and circular design in terms of the elements crucial for building businesses that can compete in a rapidly evolving economic landscape that values social and environmental responsibility.
The international Fair-Trade Town movement encourages authorities, corporates, retail outlets and community groups to promote fair trade and spread understanding of fair-trade concepts across its sphere of influence. Over 1,800 towns have been recognized worldwide. Japan may well lag other countries in the movement, but it does have three registered fair-trade cities — Kumamoto, Nagoya and Zushi — and has added its own, sixth requirement to the five core standards for fair-trade town status outlined by Fair Trade Towns International.
Stella McCartney has long been an advocate for responsible, sustainable fashion and was one of the first high profile labels to put forth products that struck the perfect balance of aesthetics and ethics. Unfortunately, as a luxury label, the brand is out of reach for a majority of the masses. Affordable alternatives do, however, exist yet the marketing of responsible threads has largely focused on claims — organic, Fair Trade, etc. — rather than the clothing’s sartorial appeal, representing missed opportunities to connect with consumers.
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has released a special edition of its Annual Report, describing two decades of driving change on the water. More than 400 fisheries, landing 14 percent of global marine catch by volume, are now engaged in the MSC program. MSC Chain of Custody certification has been granted to 42,320 sites and in the last financial year, consumers bought 730,860 tons of MSC labeled seafood, in a market worth $5.6 billion.
The Sustainable Development Goals seem to be on everyone’s mind as of late, with new initiatives and reports related to the 2030 Agenda turning up almost daily. Just last week, GRI announced that it was developing a common framework for measuring and reporting business progress and impacts on the SDGs and the University of Cambridge Institute of Sustainable Leadership released a report highlighting the benefits businesses can reap by delivering on the SDG agenda.
“Sell by,” “Use by,” “Display until” and “Best before” food labels intended to inform consumers about food quality and safety frequently come under fire for their lack of clarity and confusing terminology that contributes significantly to the colossal food waste problem — one that costs families up to $29 billion annually in the United States alone. However, little concrete action has been taken to address the problem.
This is an excerpt from Rise Up: How to Build a Socially Conscious Business, released this week from Elevate Publishing.
Purpose-driven companies regard employees as their most critical resource, one to be nurtured and sustained rather than exhausted and played out like a mine with a short-term life expectancy.
A significant source of cutting-edge research, innovation and ideas, universities are uniquely positioned to accelerate progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — a notion that is supported by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC).
SC Johnson, a manufacturer of products such as Windex, Glade, Shout, Raid and Pledge, has signed an agreement to acquire Method and Ecover, two consumer brands from People Against Dirty, a B-Corp and pioneer in ‘planet-friendly’ home, fabric and personal care products. Method and Ecover are well known for their use of naturally derived, biodegradable ingredients and responsible packaging.
Brand purpose consultancy Given London is making it easier than ever for businesses to identify and act upon a purpose beyond profit — and thereby stay competitive in an ever-changing economic landscape — with its new Wayfinder tool.
The food industry is undergoing a major transformation, but while food companies often serve as the face of this so-called ‘food revolution,’ the source of some of the most significant changes isn’t the C-suite, but rather our farms.
As Jack Welch, longtime CEO of General Electric, has said, “no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.” It follows that businesses are actively competing to attract and retain top talent.
While millennials have largely been the focus of city leaders’ efforts to attract new talent and residential growth, a new Brookings study finds that innovation districts — areas which are highly walkable and transit-oriented, rich with amenities and employment opportunities — would also benefit from attracting and serving adults 50 years of age and up, who can fill gaps in the innovation ecosystem, including age diversity, professional expertise and
Pursuing purpose beyond profit is becoming paramount for brands looking to shift towards more sustainable, responsible business practices and maintain a competitive edge, the proof of which is evidenced by the Campbell Soup Company's withdrawal from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) late last week. The company will sever ties with the trade group, which represents the food and beverage industry, at the end of 2017.
Employee engagement has been a growing focus for years, with companies large and small building programs in an effort to inspire employees and drive productivity. In fact, 74 percent of people say their job is more fulfilling when they are given opportunities to make a positive impact at work. More recently, there has been an increased desire from employees for engagement that’s focused on sustainability.
New types of partnerships can enable systemic changes to flourish. That thinking is behind the Origin Green Ambassadors programme, which brings education, leading global brands and entrepreneurial sustainability professionals together to collaborate and learn. Five years on, there’s strong evidence that the approach is driving best practice and industry-wide innovation.
Multinational engineering and infrastructure firm AECOM is set to build the tallest residential development in Western Europe. Reaching 67 stories, the Spire London tower will be built in West India Quay near Canary Wharf. When completed, it will rise to 771 feet and house 861 apartments and penthouses.
AECOM’s work also includes projects in New York City such as the 2.8 million-square-foot 3 World Trade Center and the 1.6 million-square-foot One Vanderbilt, and Citi Field in Flushing, Queens; as well as the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Just weeks after the UN Secretary General released a report detailing sluggish progress on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), efforts are already underway to bolster support for their widespread adoption.
We live in a volatile, uncertain and complex world. With threats of climate change, rising income inequality, social unrest, resource scarcity and ecological degradation predicted to affect society’s progress, leaders and the institutions they run must play new roles to realize a sustainable future.
Breakthrough innovation is essential, requiring paradigm shifts and pivots in how we operate and function as a society.