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What Can the Ethical Fashion Movement Teach Us About Tackling Sustainability In Challenging Industries?

SUPPLY CHAIN - The sustainability challenges facing the clothing industry today are immense. In 2013 the Danish fashion institute estimated it to be the second-most damaging industry in the world, with 25 percent of the world’s pesticides used to grow cotton alone, and one-fifth of industrial water pollution stemming from the dyeing and treatment of fabric. The U.S.

To Develop Long-Term Sustainability Plans, Look to Oil Companies

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - Sustainability conversations are changing. Just look at the National Association for Environmental Management’s (NAEM’s) thorough “Planning for a Sustainable Future” report released this week: EHS and sustainability leaders are quickly solving operational questions of compliance, measurement & metrics, and target-setting. Now, they’re being called to convene organizational leaders in the face of changing climate, consumers, supply chains, and competitors — three forces that challenge the traditional near-term planning processes endemic to businesses. They’re even grappling with reframing corporate business models for people and environmental stewardship.

Study: Choice Architecture, Not More Info, Key to Healthier Purchasing Habits

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Recent studies suggest consumers are increasingly motivated to buy sustainable products, especially the rising generation of socially motivated millennials — that’s the headline in the sustainable business community. But we also know that it’s difficult to motivate consumers to act upon their best intentions. They may state their preference to buy organic, ethically produced products in the abstract, but their actual choice may be different at the point of purchase.

Trending: Compostable Jeans, Single-Stitch Ts, H&M Recycling Contest the Latest in Sustainable Apparel

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - From startup designers to major retailers, the fashion world continues to battle our culture of fast fashion and wasteful wardrobes with innovative designs and recycling efforts.

MSC Pilots Seafood Traceability Tool, Asks for Industry Feedback

SUPPLY CHAIN - The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is soliciting feedback on a new traceability tool that verifies seafood supply chain transactions on a global scale. A public consultation period is taking place from August 16th to September 18th, during which industry members are encouraged to offer their expertise and comments to shape the tool.

Employee Engagement for Purpose-Driven Business 101 (or 5 Reasons Clif Bar Employees Are So Damn Happy)

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - While more and more companies are becoming focused on a triple bottom line — in which they prioritize the health of people and planet in addition to profit — Clif Bar founder Gary Erickson took the sentiment further back in 2000, when he decided to not take a $120 million payout and instead focus on sustaining the health of five bottom lines: Business, Brand, Community, Planet and People. As CEO Kevin Cleary said during a recent “Feed Your Adventure” tour of Clif’s Emeryville headquarters: “In any given year, we incent ourselves and say we have to deliver on all of them — if you deliver on Business, but you don’t deliver on the rest, that isn’t delivering shareholder value.”

Greenpeace Continues Month of Shell Protests with 'Titanic'-Themed Performance

MARKETING AND COMMS - Greenpeace has begun its latest campaign against Shell, with a month of protests over the oil giant’s plans to drill in the Arctic.

How to Use Internal Competition to Drive Sustainability Engagement, Innovation Across a Company

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - As part of L’Oréal’s global sustainability program called Sharing Beauty With All, the company has pledged that by the year 2020, 100 percent of its products will have an environmental or social benefit. To help make that commitment a reality, L’Oréal is calling on its employees, at every level and across every function, to contribute their own innovative solutions. The L’Oréal Beauty Shaker Awards is the company’s annual internal innovation competition, and in 2014 — the program’s fifth year — sustainability was the name of the game.

The Ocean Cleanup Sets Course for World’s Largest Landfill — On Water

WASTE NOT - The largest landfill in the world can’t be found on land at all — but in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The so-called “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” consists of millions of pounds of trash, mostly plastic, which have created an oceanic desert where only tiny phytoplankton can survive.

Two Years On, How Are Global Fashion Supply Chains Changing in the Wake of Rana Plaza?

SUPPLY CHAIN - Today marks the two-year anniversary of the devastating collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh. It also marks the second Fashion Revolution Day, launched last year to commemorate the Rana Plaza disaster with the aims of encouraging greater collaboration across the fashion sector supply chain.

Fashionistas Around the World to Demand Industry Clean Up Its Act on Fashion Revolution Day 2015

SUPPLY CHAIN - On Friday, the second annual Fashion Revolution Day, people in 66 countries around the world will challenge global fashion brands to demonstrate commitment to transparency across the length of the value chain, from farmers to factory workers, brands to buyers and consumers.One in six people work in the global fashion supply chain. It is the most labor-dependent industry on the planet, yet the people who make our clothes are hidden from us, often at their own expense, a symptom of the broken links across the fashion industry.

Successful Stakeholder Engagement 101 (or How Prince Ea Is Rallying Millions to #StandForTrees)

MARKETING AND COMMS - For those of us in the sustainability field, stakeholder engagement that leads to action is the Holy Grail for creating the change needed for a healthy world and future.

adidas Partners to Help End Ocean Destruction, Releases Sustainability Progress Report

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Today, the adidas Group announced a partnership with Parley for the Oceans, an initiative dedicated to raising awareness about the beauty and fragility of the oceans and to collaborating on projects that can end their destruction. Together, the organizations will implement a long-term program that builds on three pillars: communication and education; research and innovation; and direct actions against ocean plastic pollution.

SAP: Increased Employee Engagement Helping Bottom Line

NEW METRICS - German software company SAP’s operating profit improves EUR35 million ($38 million) to EUR45 million ($49 million) when its employee engagement index rises one percentage point, according to the company’s 2014 integrated report.The financial impact of a higher employee engagement index results, among other things, from the fact that dedicated employees are more innovative and absent from work fewer days. Likewise, because they are more loyal to the company, there is less missed revenue and less recruiting and training costs traditionally associated with higher turnover rates.

What Makes a Board Fit for the Future?

NEW METRICS - Any regular follower of SB knows that most companies must transform their business models if they are to start helping - rather than hindering - society's transition to a sustainable future; and this year will only see expectations grow, with the launch of the SDGs.

tonlé's Creative Approach Showing Fashion Industry How Zero Waste Is Really Done

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Cambodian fashion brand tonlé is revolutionizing the textile industry not only with its ethical business model, but also a creative approach to zero-waste.

Shell Endorses Shareholder Resolution That 'Boldly Questions Its Own Business Model'

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - Last week, Royal Dutch Shell’s board of directors ratified a shareholder resolution that commits the oil giant to investing in a low-carbon future. The resolution called for the company to commit to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, invest in renewable energy, scrap bonus systems that are associated with climate-harming activities, and base its business model risk assessment against the widely considered “safe” warming limit of 2ᵒC (as signed by 141 governments at the UN’s Copenhagen Accord).

A Millennial's Personal Sustainability Survival Guide

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - When I was young, my grandfather placed stickers saying ‘Turn off if unnecessary’ on light switches, ‘Close the tap while brushing your teeth’ on the sink, and ‘Did you unplug all unnecessary electronics?’ next to the front door. Even though I thought it was weird and controlling at the time, they were my first introductions to sustainability. That, and I was the only one in my elementary school with a cotton handkerchief when all my friends blew their noses with fancy Kleenex pack-by-packs. I also grew up listening to my mother’s best friend, who worked with Greenpeace for over two decades, and became inspired by her exotic stories — chaining herself in protest in various places, or going to Southern Ocean to save the whales.

Changing the Way Non-Financial Performance Is Measured, and Thus Managed, in Pursuit of Future-Fit Businesses

NEW METRICS - Think of a company, any company. Got one? OK. Now ask yourself this: Is the company truly sustainable, in everything it does and sells? If not, then how must the company change before it is?

IKEA, Mars, Novelis, Unilever Among 233 Companies Expressing Support for EPA's Clean Power Plan

COLLABORATION - Marking the end of the comment period on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, 223 companies have announced their support for EPA’s proposed carbon standard for electric power plants, including IKEA, Mars Inc., VF Corporation, Novelis, Levi Strauss, Unilever and Nestlé.