In 2015, the world got one step closer to a better future when 193 countries committed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a framework for addressing the global community’s most critical economic, social and environmental challenges. These goals aim to eliminate poverty and hunger, promote global access to healthcare and education, protect earth’s natural resources, achieve gender equality, and more.
Nespresso has partnered with Blue Marble Microinsurance — a startup with the mission of providing socially impactful, commercially viable insurance protection to the underserved and incorporated by nine insurance entities — to launch a pilot weather index insurance program for smallholder coffee farmers in Colombia.
This summer, whilst working in Barbados, I got my hands on an old drum set and learnt how to play the classic four-on-the-floor disco beat. It felt great to (just about) crack something so quickly, partly because it makes a nice change from the day job — building ethical brands, which takes a lot longer than a couple of weeks.
The winds are changing. Companies that have operated many steps removed from the farms and people that produce their raw materials are building stronger connections to their agricultural supply chains. This shift stems from interest to replenish soil and water supplies, and boost overall resilience and output through regenerative and thriving agriculture. Pure Strategies’ latest report, Connecting to the Farm, points to the best practices companies are using to get closer to the farm while advancing these critical sustainability aims and gaining valuable business benefits.
The 10th edition of Greenpeace’s Carting Away the Oceans report, released this week, found that while grocery retailers across the US have vastly improved on providing sustainable seafood, many have largely failed to take significant action on other issues pertinent to achieving sustainability in this area.
Cross-Posted from Finance & Investment.
More than 90 institutional investors, representing more than $6.7T in assets, have voiced their concerns over the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s relevance and effectiveness, and the current disconnect between its criteria and corporate policy commitments.
In 1911, the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire trapped over 200 mostly female workers in a New York factory after a scrap bin set the 10-story building ablaze. Many garment workers were unable to escape as the factory owners locked doors to stairwells and exits to limit unauthorized breaks and reduce theft. As a result, 145 workers perished and over 70 more were injured.
Counter Culture Coffee has released its annual Transparency Report, along with a limited-edition blend that highlights the true average price farmers are paid for their coffee; Counter Culture is the only roaster in the industry to provide this level of transparency into its sourcing model.
"Viewing our business through a lens of sustainability has been an important aspect to our success for more than two decades," explained Brett Smith, founder and president of Counter Culture. "By sharing this report, we create accountability for ourselves — leading to a greater level of trust with our partners."
When Otero Menswear first decided to create an innovative, fashion-forward line of menswear, promoting both style and confidence, we were also committed to manufacturing every article of clothing with a high respect for both the environment and the people who are involved in every stage of manufacturing.
As reasonable as these goals may seem, it turns out that the odds were stacked against us … but with a little heart and soul, we found a way. This article is to give you some tips on how you, too, can find a way through an industry that seems dead set on continuing in its harmful ways.
According to a new report, one in every 800 people in the United States is working under forced labor conditions.
The findings are part of the Global Slavery Index 2018, the world’s most comprehensive research on modern slavery, launched Thursday by the Walk Free Foundation. The Index revealed that today, more than 400,000 people are working as modern slaves in the United States.
Cross-Posted from Chemistry, Materials & Packaging.
For the first time, Greenpeace has released a report on the progress of its Detox campaign to eliminate hazardous chemicals from clothing production by 2020. The 80 companies who have signed on over the first seven years of the initiative represent a combined 15 percent of global clothing production — and all of them are “making good progress” to cut 11 priority chemicals and improve transparency.
Led by leading companies Anglo American, ArcelorMittal, Microsoft and Tiffany & Co — and after a full decade of consultation among large numbers of stakeholders from the mining industry, organized labor, nonprofits, impacted communities and businesses — a global Standard for Responsible Mining was released today.
‘I would like to source more sustainable cotton, but I’m not quite sure where to start. There seems to be an awful lot of standards out there, and I’m not quite sure what the differences are between them.’
What if rating brands and retailers, and not just suppliers, is the key to better supply chains? That is the goal behind a new index from Better Buying. The index provides sustainability professionals with previously inaccessible data about supply chains, as it empowers suppliers themselves to assess purchasing practices of 65 brands and retailers in the global apparel, footwear and household textiles industries globally.
The buyer-supplier relationship is changing in more ways than you might imagine. Consumers and retailers are increasingly demanding that suppliers demonstrate their sustainability: How are buyers and suppliers collectively adapting to changes in the market, as well as labor and environmental pressures?
My conversation with Kelley Bell, VP of social and environmental impact at Driscoll’s, provided insight into how large food brands are approaching these challenges and what the conversation is like among leading businesses as they work to create shared value with and for their suppliers.
Cross-Posted from Organizational Change.
Transparency has become a bit of a buzzword in the fashion industry and judging by the number of times it was mentioned at this year’s Copenhagen Fashion Summit, it is a trend that we are not going to shake anytime soon. Quite the contrary, transparency is reshaping how brands and retailers interact with their suppliers and consumers. But can it really transform the entire fashion industry? C&A Foundation’s Leslie Johnston hosted a panel of experts to find out.
WAP Sustainability Consulting works with manufacturers and brands to help them meet customers’ expectations on sustainability – specifically around life cycle assessment (LCA), carbon management and product ingredient transparency, particularly in regards to chemicals management.
We spoke with founder William Paddock to learn more about these current hot spots in the ongoing quest for supply chain transparency.
What are some of the key issues or buzzwords of concern for companies right now?
William Paddock: I tend to see organizations struggling with three things:
Tyson Foods, the largest meat company in the U.S., is starting to step up to the plate on sustainability and respond to pressure from investors and consumers to tackle water risks in its supply chain.
Recently, the company made a commitment to improve the water, soil and fertilizer practices in its far-flung feed grain supply chain — impacting more than two million acres of corn production by 2020, or about half of its corn supply chain. The measures have strong potential to both improve water quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Tyson’s move sends a strong signal to the rest of the meat sector that driving down the massive environmental impacts of growing animal feed is a smart business strategy.