Walking the Talk

These companies have moved beyond pledges and are making good on their commitments to pursuing a purpose beyond profit.

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Hurricane Michael Highlighted Growing Range of Corporate Responses to Natural Disasters

Arriving on the heels of Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Michael proved again that companies are making significant commitments to relief and recovery efforts in the wake of natural disasters. Our round-up of Hurricane Florence corporate response efforts covered some innovative ways that companies are reacting to disasters. Unfortunately, we’re already revisiting the topic with a snapshot of how companies reacted to Michael, and why it’s increasingly critical for any company to have a disaster response strategy in place.

REI, Microsoft Rallying Companies to Support Washington’s Proposed Carbon Fee

Next month’s election could potentially be historic for Washington State, where voters will have the choice of enacting the first-in-the-nation carbon fee — a concrete measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Measure 1631 has the support of several prominent Washington-based businesses including REI, Expedia, Microsoft and Northwest Energy, and over 100 businesses in total.

New Tool Helps Companies Determine If, How to Engage on Divisive Issues

In the past year, we’ve seen more and more bold and potentially risky moves from brands, taking stands on pertinent societal and environmental issues: Airbnb, Google and other tech giants against the US’ immigration ban; Target supporting individuals’ right to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity; Heineken’s and other brands’ vocal support of

EcoVadis: Global Sustainability Performance, Business Ethics Picking Up

EcoVadis has published the second annual edition of its Global CSR Risk and Performance Index. The report provides an updated look at the corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance of more than 33,000 companies, across the calendar years 2015 through 2017.

Campaign Calls on BlackRock to Put Its Money Where Its Mouth Is on Climate Change

A campaign launched today is holding BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, accountable as the single largest contributor to climate destruction. BlackRock’s Big Problem — supported by over a dozen organizations, including Friends of the Earth US, Amazon Watch and the Sierra Club, with support from The Sunrise Project — asserts that as the world’s biggest owner of fossil fuel companies, BlackRock is putting the planet on a path towards runaway climate change. The campaign launches as world leaders in climate policy, solutions and finance gather in New York for Climate Week.

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Sixty South: How to Turn Sustainability into Business Growth

Today’s consumers are increasingly concerned about the impact their purchasing decisions have on the planet. People want to know how products they buy affect social and environmental ecosystems, and are paying more money for and attention to healthy foods and consumer goods.

Screw Incremental Improvements: Mars Is Changing How It Does Business

One year since the launch of its 'Sustainable in a Generation' Plan, Mars announced this week that it is changing how it does business. Speaking ahead of last year’s UN General Assembly (UNGA) and Climate Week in New York, CEO Grant F. Reid warned that the "global supply chain is broken," and business needed to make a "huge step change" in order to deliver on the climate targets outlined in the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Survey: Americans Doubt Their Ability to Impact Climate Change, Look to Companies to Lead

The majority of US citizens (62 percent) say they believe climate change is a problem but feel unempowered to address it, according to the 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Climate Change Snapshot — instead, they are looking to companies to take the lead. Yet, even as individuals may feel personally powerless — less than four-in-10 (38 percent) feel their actions can make a real difference — they do see companies as critical players in progress against climate change. 58 percent say that in the absence of government progress, companies should take the lead.

Heathrow to Pilot Winning Ideas Around Plastic Roads, Green Space

London’s Heathrow International Airport has chosen the winners of its inaugural Centre of Excellence Sustainable Innovation Prize, which were judged as the best solutions to some of the sustainability challenges facing airports and the aviation industry more widely. Launched in January, the competition challenged entrants to focus on three areas as part of Heathrow’s Centre of Excellence for Sustainability work:

How Ranchers Are Getting by with Less Water Across the West

In the summer, all we talk about is rain. Walk into a diner or a barn, or just run into someone at the store, and the first question anyone asks — even before “How are you?” — is, “Did you get any rain?” It’s the same in New Mexico as in Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and California. Everyone is concerned because, as ranchers, we know the health of our cattle depends on the amount of water that falls out of the sky. And this year, it hasn’t been a lot.

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¿'Pura Vida' Es una Vida Sostenible?

News stories that praise Costa Rica’s use of ‘100 percent renewable energy’ for a growing number of days on end are focusing on the fact that the nation laudably generates a great deal (and sometimes all) of its electricity from wind, solar, hydro and sugarcane. As I discovered during a recent visit, the equivalence of ‘electricity’ with ‘energy’ is often made, but make no mistake — for some uses (i.e. cooking/heating) and transportation, natural gas and/or propane or conventional combustion engines are still the norm. A fair number of the diesel-powered buses and trucks are clearly (or rather not clearly) running on older engines.

Study Reveals How Tax Havens Are Subsidizing Environmental Destruction

The release of classified documents such as the so-called Panama and Paradise papers in recent years has provided a glimpse into the opaque world of tax havens and their role in the global economy.

New Research Calls for Less Talk, More Action to #MoveTheDate

Today, August 1, marks our earliest yet Earth Overshoot Day — the day humanity has used nature’s resource budget for the year — since its establishment in 1987. Despite increasing awareness of our planetary boundaries and social thresholds, we’ve not only not managed to reverse it, we’re making it worse.

Danone, Mars, Nestlé, Unilever Join Forces to Improve U.S. Public Food Policy

Four of the nation’s largest food companies have launched the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, a new organization focused on driving progress in public policies that shape what people eat and how it impacts their health, communities, and the planet. Founding member companies include Danone North America; Mars, Incorporated; Nestlé USA and Unilever United States.

Asda, Unilever, AstraZeneca Among Funders of New University of Cambridge SDG-Focused Fellowships

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has announced a major new partnership with leading companies today with the launch of The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme. Corporate and individual donors are sponsoring up to 15 academic fellows to identify breakthrough solutions to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and mobilize evidence on these challenges as they undertake three-year studies.

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World Cup Sponsors Missing Out on Purpose

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup taking place against the backdrop of a rapidly changing world, a world where people increasingly expect corporations to stand for something more than just profits, it seems like an appropriate time to take a look at which World Cup sponsors are leaning into this cultural tension and activating their sponsorships in a purposeful way.

Target, CVS, Tesco Among Orgs with Over $3.3T Spend Scaling Up Supply Chain Sustainability

115 organizations, representing over US$3.3 trillion of combined annual spend, are working to improve supply chain sustainability by requesting environmental data from more than 11,500 global suppliers.

Keurig Moves Toward a Sustainable Future

In the business world, we frequently hear executives asking what value a program brings to an organization, placing emphasis on immediate profit rather than long-term impact. At Keurig Green Mountain, we have designed our business on a model that creates value for all that are touched by our work, including employees, manufacturers, coffee farmers and our local communities. Our business model reflects our roots as a socially minded coffee roaster, and it’s our belief that we can best grow our business and make progress toward our commitment to Brew A Better World™ by authentically aligning our company goals with our values.

Introducing: The Bright Side of the Brand

The “brand purpose” bandwagon has become awfully crowded. And as more and more brands seek to capitalize on the opportunity to cast themselves in a more authentic, meaningful light, the language of “brand purpose” has become weak, watered down and increasingly meaningless. Marketing purpose is easy; embedding purpose is hard work. And while a number of pioneers and purists remain committed to embedding purpose at the organizational level, the temptation to cut corners and to exploit purpose for marketing “quick wins” — rather than to embed it in more meaningful, transformative ways — has become too great to resist. The phenomenon of “purpose-washing” is real.

Oxfam Calling on Major Supermarkets to Do More to End Human Suffering in Supply Chains

In its new campaign, Behind the Barcodes, Oxfam shines a light on the millions of women and men trapped in poverty and facing brutal working conditions while producing the food on our supermarket shelves

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