The complexity of global supply chains has made it incredibly difficult for businesses to effectively drive sustainable social and environmental change. However, new funding and accessible online resources are making it easier than ever for businesses to overcome these deeply embedded challenges.
Crop diversity and water conservation are critical aspects of sustainable agriculture, but to truly future-fit our food system, ensuring soil health is imperative. To do this, DanoneWave has launched a new soil health initiative to build best-in-class programs to support sustainable agriculture in its farming communities.
Cape Town, South Africa could run out of water in a few months, literally turning off the spigot for some four million residents. If a solution to the crisis is not found, social unrest is feared. Beyond the human rights concerns, the region’s vegetable, citrus, grape and nut growers may face shortages as 40 percent of Western Cape Town’s water is currently allocated to agriculture.
Cross-Posted from Marketing and Comms.
A first-of-its-kind research project led by Microfinance Opportunities (MFO) in partnership with Fashion Revolution and C&A Foundation gives the most comprehensive picture yet of the living and working conditions faced by female garment workers in Bangladesh, Cambodia and India.
Primark, a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, has developed a new online tool that is helping usher in a new era of transparency for the retailer. The Global Sourcing Map allows consumers to access information about the 1071 factories and suppliers that make up the company’s supply chain.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program, already the global standard for environmentally responsible seafood, has created a new tool that allows businesses to assess the potential risk of forced labor, human trafficking and child labor in fisheries.
On January 30th, Humanity United, a California-based foundation and leader in supply chain advocacy, announced the launch of a $23 million venture fund to invest in ethical supply chain innovations. The Working Capital Fund is unique in that it will not issue grants, but rather make real investments in companies with the goal of accelerating the process of building scalable solutions to improve labor practices in the global supply chain.
A garment’s country of origin isn’t that garment’s full story. Canadian belt manufacturer Unbelts is looking to prove that the fashion industry and consumers have a responsibility and an existing means to provide high-quality clothing-production jobs around the world. Plus, this 2017 Best for the World honoree is out to make women feel awesome in their pants — a goal that is also worthy of global adoption.
2017 was marked by devastating forest fires that ravaged large swaths of North America. Millions of acres were scorched, hundreds of thousands of buildings were destroyed, and tens of thousands of people were displaced.
California’s Thomas Fire recently slowed its pace, but not before claiming its place in history as the largest, most destructive fire in the state’s history. But California was not alone: British Columbia also made history after 3 million acres burned, the largest total area affected in one season with an estimated 65,000 evacuees. Significant fires also consumed areas of Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Montana last year.
Blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, has certainly earned its space as one of the most talked-about topics of 2017.
Regardless of whether one views these new 'currencies' as an investment opportunity or bubble waiting to burst, the underlying technology has already demonstrated the ability to rapidly and dramatically alter markets, and many in the sustainability sector are asking — and experimenting with — what will come next.
Provenance is leading a new collaboration of fintech startups to test whether blockchain technology can help unlock financial incentives that improve transparency and sustainability in agricultural supply chains.
As an issue putting nearly a trillion dollars at risk, deforestation has quickly become a front-of-mind concern for businesses dependent on forest-risk commodities, such as timber, palm oil and cocoa. However, new data released by the Forest 500 shows that the 250 companies with the greatest influence over forests are failing to adequately address deforestation risks, and will not meet 2020 goals to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains.
The cocoa industry is undoubtedly changing for the better, but the road to a sustainable sector is a long one. According to industry experts, long-term, sustainable change can’t be made without paying farmers a premium.
An estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic waste are in the ocean today and every year around eight million metric tons more are being added. Earlier this year, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation warned that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans if a more effective system for global plastics is not put into place.
Approximately 21 million Americans own woodlands in the United States. Collectively, these family-owned forests account for nearly 290 million acres, or more than one-third of U.S. forests — more than the federal government or the forest industry.
What’s more important for supply chain and sustainability managers, is that 50 percent of the wood flowing into your supply chains originates from these family-owned forests.
Technological advancements, circular design principles and innovative raw materials are rapidly transforming the apparel industry, but lack of transparency continues to present a significant obstacle to sustainable sector-wide improvement across environmental, social and governance issues.
Cross-Posted from Finance & Investment.
Wilmar International, the world’s largest producer of palm oil, has announced major steps forward in reducing its environmental and social impacts. The company has worked out an innovative financial deal with ING to link its existing loan to its sustainability performance, and has unveiled a policy aimed at protecting children living on its palm oil plantations. But human rights campaigners say it may be little more than a band-aid.