Stakeholder Trends and Insights

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The Roadmap Series, Phase III: From Personality to Process

Almost every company I have known to start down a formal path of sustainable business strategy has had the benefit of a passionate advocate for change.

Admonishing Deniers, Religious Groups Openly Putting Their Faith in Climate Science

Caring for God’s creation is a key tenet of diverse Christian faiths including Presbyterians, Evangelicals, Lutherans, Methodists, Quakers and Baptists, who have all cited action to address climate change as a moral obligation. And Pope Francis has repeatedly made the religious case for addressing global warming, warning, “if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us.”

The Roadmap Series, Phase II: The First Big Step

It’s been 26 years since the Brundtland Report, 25 years since Karl-Henrik Robèrt launched The Natural Step, and it was 16 years ago that John Elkington coined the term “triple bottom line.” These landmark works and many that followed have helped build a deep body of literature and casework that we can draw from as we try to implement sustainable business strategy today.

Sedex Brings Public and Private Sectors Together to Discuss Paths to Sustainable Supply Chains

On a crisp Wednesday morning last week, the 2015 Sedex Global Responsible Sourcing Conference kicked off in London’s Parliament Square, barely a stone’s throw from the seat of British government. The event saw 500 delegates from brands including Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Bacardi and Sky come together to discuss the future of supply chains through a series of plenary sessions, breakouts and inspirational speakers.In his opening speech, Georg Kell, executive director of the UN Global Compact, laid out the case for global enterprise to take a united stand on sustainable development.

The Roadmap Series: We All Start at Stage I

OK, I hear you. The change chart is pretty busy, but there’s a lot packed into this infographic. In the first post in the series, I highlight the key curves: The blue value & profitability curve shows that companies will be more successful as they adopt sustainable business thinking.

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A Sustainable Business Roadmap: The Hagen-Wilhelm Chart for Change

In his recent book, Making Sustainability Stick, Kevin Wilhelm offers a wealth of insight, experience and tools to help individuals and organizations deliver more business value by adding environmental and social parameters to their business strategy. By taking a look from the inside at the work of pioneering companies such as Starbucks and REI, the book shares some of the key things that have contributed to

Empowering Women, Empowering a Sustainable Society – Working Towards Results-Based Solutions

On Sunday 8th March, the world celebrated the economic, political and social achievements of women - past, present and future. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day - Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity – could not have been more accurate.

Stormy Seas, Rising Risks: How Companies Can Better Consider Climate Change Risks in Business Plans

Ten miles outside New Orleans stands a two-million-barrel per day oil refinery, surrounded by the Meraux, Louisiana community. On low-lying ground along the Gulf coast, an elaborate network of pipes and smoke stacks looms beyond double-wide trailers, rows of single-family homes, and a playground. By 2050, the refinery and surrounding areas could be underwater, given intermediate sea level rise estimates. But this won’t be the first time the refinery has seen high water levels.

Back to the Roots Launches 100% Stoneground Organic Breakfast Cereal

Alternative food start-up Back to the Roots has launched its first U.S.-grown, 100 percent stoneground breakfast cereal, which is made with just 3 ingredients. The cereal product, called Stoneground Flakes, is made from 100 percent stoneground whole wheat (grown and milled in California), a pinch of sea salt from the San Francisco Bay and organic cane sugar grown in Florida. Unlike refined or even whole wheat flour, 100 percent stoneground whole wheat has more nutrients and more taste, the company says.

Newsflash: Some Americans Stumped on Sustainability!

In November, Domtar Corporation — North America’s largest manufacturer of uncoated freesheet paper — conducted a national survey fielded by Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) Global that revealed, perhaps not surprisingly, that while many Americans have good intentions when it comes to sustainability, they’re stumped when it comes to the details.“There is a strong opportunity for businesses to step up to the plate and provide information to help consumers make more informed decisions,” said Paige Goff, Vice President of Sustainability and Business Communication. “Whether you are choosing between two products or deciding how to dispose of an item after use, Domtar wants to be there as a valuable resource.”

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Exit from High Street: Why the Quest for Engagement on Sustainable Fashion Is All About 'Style'

How do we make sustainable fashion … fashionable?That was the question that launched the sustainable fashion consumer research project with Mistra Future Fashion conducted by professors Lucia Reisch, Wencke Gwozdz, and me. While it sounds like a relatively straightforward question, the answer was decidedly less so. When it comes to sustainability, fashion it is out of style.

New Collaborative Futures Platform Helps Decision-Makers Plan for Tomorrow Based on Our Choices Today

UK sustainable development consultancy Forum for the Future has launched The Futures Centre — a platform for decision-makers to track trends, share resources and spot windows of opportunities for sustainable innovation and collaboration.Launched last week at an event in Singapore, the goal of the tool is to provide business leaders access to "a vast online bank of futures knowledge" to help them consider the business impacts of environmental risks such as climate change, ecosystem health and resource scarcity, and opportunities to respond to them.

The Top Ten Top 10s

As the "old year" drew to a close and the new year approached, my inbox was deluged by dozens of sustainability "Top 10" lists. Some were of the year past and some were focused on the year ahead. But they were all “Top 10,” and we probably have David Letterman to thank.Like most everyone, I like a good Top 10 list, so I read through these and selected my favorite 10 — all from sustainability leaders that I greatly respect, especially Joel Makower, with whom I worked at GreenOrder, and Andrew Winston, with whom I now work at Winston Eco-Strategies.

The Snowball Effect: How Creative Engagement Approaches Can Unleash Generosity

For third-sector organisations, the fundraising environment has rarely seemed so tough. One aspect of this is the prevalent belief that digital media and technology is creating a culture of 'slackivism’ — people replacing direct involvement and engagement with causes and campaigns, with clicks and Facebook likes.

Corporate Knights Unveils Its 2015 Picks for the 100 Most Sustainable Corporations

Corporate Knights (CK), the Canadian corporate sustainability reporter, has published its 10th annual Global 100 Index, which attempts to rank the 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World.This year marked the first that the Global 100 Index fell behind its benchmark. From its birth in February 2005, through to December 31, 2014, it delivered a return of 90.76%, lower than its benchmark, the MSCI All Country World Index, which returned 96.98%. CK has attributed this to the rising US dollar, since 81 percent of Global 100 companies traded in non-US denominated currencies, versus only 50 percent in the MSCI Index.

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Report: 5 Most Pressing Global Risks Create 15 Sustainable Growth Opportunities

Business leaders globally have strong confidence in their own ability to turn sustainability challenges such as water scarcity and fossil fuel dependency into new business opportunities, particularly in the manufacturing and finance sectors in emerging economies. This is one of the key findings of the first Global Opportunity Report, released today by the Global Opportunity Network — an initiative launched in August by DNV GL, UN Global Compact and Monday Morning Global Institute.

For 2015, Let's Find Our Honor and Purpose

While Maurice Lévy called 2014 an "annus horribilus" for Publicis Groupe, life for most agency leaders was a bit merrier this holiday season – but not by much. As Steward Elliot wrote in one of his last columns for the New York Times: "’the situation is hopeless but not serious’ seems to sum up what several Madison Avenue thought leaders believe lies in store for the industry next year."There’s not much certainty for us these days. The ad agency business can be described in tectonic terms: Giant forces and trends scrape each other while triggered by small yet reverberating disruptions that place it on the cusp of a cataclysmic release.

New Report Finds Forest Certification Program Misleads Consumers

On Wednesday, forest conservation NGO ForestEthics released Peeling Back the Eco-Labels, a report comparing the rigor of forest audits conducted in Canada by the two leading forest certification systems: the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). The report found that the SFI certification program has serious flaws in comparison to FSC.

Survey: 60% of Americans Resolving More Environmentally Responsible Lifestyles in 2015

Three in five Americans say they will make a New Year's resolution to live a more environmentally responsible lifestyle in 2015, according to a nationwide public opinion poll released this week by advocacy marketing consultancy Tiller, LLC.

Complexity, Simplicity & the Craft of Resilient Brand Story-Making

The story goes that in a recent conversation with a large, multinational client, yet again, at the mention of the ‘S’ word, the brand people did everything from polite wincing to effectively spitting their coffee across the room.Now to be fair, it was mentioned not in splendid isolation, elevated as some false god — the hero of the day — but in context to Shared Value and Social Brand, seen as a set of three pillars on which to build a more resilient, inclusive and adaptive Brand Story.So, no Sustainable evangelism — just an eye to rigour and a wish to build something of substance, built to absorb whatever turbulence and volatility our fluid and accelerating world might throw at it without losing its shape.

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