Q&A: How Schneider Electric’s NEO Network Is Shaping the Future of Renewables in Europe

Europe’s appetite for renewables is growing rapidly, and countries including Germany, Scotland and Denmark have already established themselves as leaders in renewable energy generation. However, the voluntary market for commercial and industrial participation has, as a whole, been slower to develop compared to the more aggressive US, Indian and Mexican markets. In some countries, ‘green’ tariffs are provided and European Guarantees of Origin (GOs) or Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs) are available for purchase across the region. On the rise are offsite Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), in which commercial entities contract

Trending: Improved Resource Efficiency Signals Major Win for Circularity in Fashion, Carpet, Steel

Circular principles continue to drive a more sustainable future, as the fashion, carpet and steel industries zero in on resource efficiency and innovative raw materials. Over the last decade, Eileen Fisher has established itself as a leader in the sustainable fashion movement, a position that is largely the result of its ability to successfully integrate circularity into its supply chain. In 2009, the

Trending: Algae, Ocean Plastics Pave the Way for More Sustainable Consumer Products

Petroleum-based plastic’s time is running out as new, more sustainable material solutions emerge. Galileo Watermark has released a new cosmetic range that uses recycled ocean plastic packaging, while Dutch designers have developed an algae-based biopolymer that can be used to create a vast range of consumers goods. According to the International Air Transport Association, 5.2 million tons of waste were generated by airline passengers in 2016. With the release of its new OCN cosmetic range, Galileo Watermark, a producer of amenity kits and leader in onboard hospitality design and development for the

Sustainable Surf, MAFIA Bags Launch Sustainable Daypack Made Entirely from Waste

Sustainable Surf, a nonprofit focused on protecting ocean health, has teamed up with Swiss designer Yves Béhar and MAFIA Bags, a Bay Area-based brand making bags and backpacks from upcycled sails, to create an urban adventure bag that supports the local community and diverts valuable resources from landfill. Collaborating with Béhar and MAFIA, Sustainable Surf created the Deep Blue Bag, a superlight technical daypack made from upcycled spinnaker sails, climbing ropes from Yosemite Valley and wetsuit/dry suit material. The bag features a slew of functional features — such as a water-resistant wet pocket, weather-proof zippers and external gear loops — geared at enhancing and enabling people’s connection to the outdoors and

ASICS, Stahl Partner with bluesign® to Strengthen Chemical Management, Sustainability

Chemicals management continues to go mainstream, with sporting goods manufacturer ASICS Corporation and chemical company Stahl joining the growing body of brands, manufacturers and chemical suppliers to achieve bluesign® system partner status. Adopted by more than 500 leading companies worldwide, the bluesign system is based on an applied practice called Input Stream Management. bluesign works with its partners to eliminate harmful substances right from the beginning of the manufacturing process and sets and controls standards for environmentally conscious and safe textile production. The system ensures that the final products meet very stringent consumer safety requirements and also serves as a reliable indicator of sustainability for consumers. The bluesign® system

Practicing Purpose: How to Turn Social Purpose Into Growth

Launched during SB’17 Detroit, the Practice of Purpose Project seeks to drive the widespread adoption of social purpose by identifying the differences between traditional marketing and marketing based on purpose-drive brand strategies. In a partnership between Sustainable Brands and The Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business, Omar Rodriguez-Vila, PHD and Ricardo Caceres have led a study across almost 50 companies to explore the marketing practices necessary for successful social purpose programs. Their study identifies crucial changes that need to occur across all levels of the marketing management processes — from research to planning, execution and measurement. Omar Rodriguez-Vila and Ricardo Cacereswill discussTurning Social PurposeInto Growthat New Metrics ’17.

Trending: Making Sustainable Fashion More Accessible to Consumers

Stella McCartney has long been an advocate for responsible, sustainable fashion and was one of the first high profile labels to put forth products that struck the perfect balance of aesthetics and ethics. Unfortunately, as a luxury label, the brand is out of reach for a majority of the masses. Affordable alternatives do, however, exist yet the marketing of responsible threads has largely focused on claims — organic, Fair Trade, etc. — rather than the

Stella McCartney Commissions First-Ever LCA for Manmade Cellulosic Fibers

Luxury fashion label Stella McCartney has released the results of a new Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) comparing the environmental performance of ten different raw material sources of manmade cellulose fiber (MMCF). Conducted by third-party certifier SCS Global Services (SCS), the study examined a broad range of environmental issues, from the sourcing of raw materials through to the production of viscose and other MMCFs, with the aim of providing key industry stakeholders with resources to make informed fiber sourcing choices. This marks the first time LCA has been used to assess global sourcing scenarios for all ten raw materials, including an evaluation of specific forests of origin and terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. The study included MMCF sourced from different global

KIND Foundation Launches ‘Empatico’ Platform to Connect Students Globally, Foster Empathy

On its quest to create a kinder, healthier world — one snack at a time — the KIND Foundation, a nonprofit established by KIND Snacks, has launched a $20 million, multi-year initiative to inspire meaningful interactions between kids across the world and foster empathy. Empatico is a free online learning tool that enables students to practice communication and leadership skills needed in a divided country and interdependent world.

Caring for the Earth Like Our Health Depends on It: J&J on the Evolution of Earthwards®

Johnson Johnson is on a mission to improve the sustainability of its products by sourcing solutions from within the company through its Earthwards® program. In June, the program became 100 products strong; J&J’s aim is for the Earthwards® portfolio to represent 20 percent of its revenue by 2020. We spoke with Paulette Frank, J&J’s Worldwide VP of Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability, to learn more about the internal and external benefits of designing in sustainability. SB: How did the idea for the Earthwards® program evolve? PF: We’ve had

Eileen Fisher, H&M, Kering Are Latest Brands to Join Cradle to Cradle’s Fashion Positive PLUS

The apparel industry continues to make progress towards shedding its bad rep, with even more brands making moves to rethink traditional supply chains. Five fashion heavy hitters — H&M, Kering, Loomstate, Zero + Maria Cornejo and Eileen Fisher — have joined Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute’s Fashion Positive PLUS initiative in an effort to transform their material inputs through the development of circular solutions that can remain in perpetual cycles of use and reuse. During the 2017 Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the five brands began the process of identifying ‘building block’ materials, such as fibers, yarns, finishings, trims and dyes that the group will collaboratively work to optimize

Q&A: How Quantis Is Driving the Paradigm Shift Towards Science-Based Targets By SB

Following the ratification of the Paris Agreement last fall, companies have become increasingly aware of the need to adopt strong sustainability strategies that have the ability to create real, meaningful change. But to do so requires starting from a solid foundation, one that is informed by a company’s core sustainability challenges and an understanding of planetary boundaries. Science has defined and measured some of the most pressing sustainability issues facing the world today, providing an indispensable tool that can help businesses set targets that both address their most significant impacts and work towards keeping the climate within 2°C. Learn moreaboutScience-Based Targetsthis weekatSB’17 Detroit Science is the backbone of sustainability

Trending: Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Corona Roll Out New Partnerships to Keep Oceans Plastic-Free

The problem of marine plastics continues to be a top priority across the globe, spurring even more businesses and organizations to dig in their heels and find create new solutions to the growing issue. Continuing its efforts to keep plastics out of the ocean, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has teamed up with The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit to launch a $2 million New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize. Demand for plastic products is expected to double in the next 20 years, but only 14 percent of plastic packaging is collected for recycling, with the remainder, worth $80 – 120 billion, lost as waste. If this momentum continues, there could be more plastic

Ellen MacArthur, H&M, Nike Challenge Take-Make-Dispose Model with New Circular Fibres Initiative

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation continues to drive forward the circular economy agenda with the launch of a new initiative that brings together key industry stakeholders, including C&A Foundation, H&M, Nike Inc, Fashion for Good, Danish Fashion Institute, Cradle to Cradle and Mistra Future Fashion, to build a circular economy for textiles, starting with clothing. The Circular Fibres Initiative will see

‘Tomorrow’ Documentary Is Changing the Conversation About Climate Change

Originally released at the opening of COP21 in November 2015, environmental documentary Tomorrow is being released in the US on April 21 in celebration of Earth Day (April 22). The work of French actress and filmmaker Mélanie Laurent and French writer, director and activist Cyril Dion, the film highlights some of the most significant environmental issues facing humanity and the people across the globe who are actively working to find solutions and drive change. The idea for the documentary was born out of a special briefing in the scientific journal Nature,

After HQ Scores LBC Certification, Etsy Shares Software to Monitor Building Waste Streams

When Etsy began the process of creating a new global headquarters in Brooklyn, NY, it saw an opportunity to drive change, to set a new standard for sustainable construction and design and to create a space that reflected its values, especially those related to community, craft, and sustainability. Partnering with the International Living Future institute, Etsy has achieved Living Building Challenge Petal (LBC) certification for

H&M Foundation Reveals Winners of 2016 Global Change Award

Initiated in 2015 as a way to drive the transition towards a circular, waste-free fashion industry, the H&M Foundation’s Global Change Award invites startups and innovators to pitch game-changing ideas that can help reinvent the entire industry. On April 5 at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, the Foundation announced the five winners of its 2016 innovation challenge. A one-million-euro grant was split between them by the global public in an online vote, which was held between March 27 to April. The winners include: Grape Leather: Rosella Longobardo and her team have pioneered a process to use waste from

ARUP, BAM Explore Circular Economy Benefits for Built Environment in New Report

Discussion surrounding circular business models (CBMs) is often focused on manufacturing, packaging and consumer goods where significant change is already underway, yet closed-loop systems have the potential revolutionize the built environment. In an effort to spark conversation about circularity and highlight the benefits the concept can offer to the field, ARUP and Royal BAM Group (BAM) have

Panera Launches Zero-Added Sugar Beverages, Challenges Industry to Be More Transparent

Transparency is increasingly becoming a food industry standard, with more and more brands sharing information regarding supply chain and nutritional content with consumers. This new wave of transparency is also joined by a greater focus on creating products that are made with “clean� ingredients derived from natural sources. Since the launch of its “Food as It Should Be� campaign back in 2014, Panera Bread has been sharing its journey towards serving only “100% clean� food. In January, the restaurant chain announced that it had achieved its goal of eliminating artificial additives from its menu. Building on its success, the company today

Garnier, Target Team Up with Detroit Urban Farm to Build Community Assets

The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI), an all-volunteer organization revitalizing Detroit’s North End neighborhood through agriculture, will debut a new recreational space and water-harvesting cistern this summer, thanks to grants and material donations from Garnier, TerraCycle and Target Corporation. The announcement coincides with the non-profit’s crowdfunding campaign to help convert a vacant three-story apartment complex into a community resource center. The campaign ends April 2.

WWF, AHLA, Rockefeller Foundation Kick Off Pilot to Curb Hotel Food Waste

Food waste is increasingly garnering attention from governments, businesses and private individuals as its impact on both environmental health, food security as well as bottom lines — companies that invest in reducing food waste can expect a 14:1 ROI — are increasingly researched and understood. Now, a new pilot project initiated by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with support from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and The Rockefeller Foundation hopes to make food waste in the hotel industry a thing of the past. Food production has the largest environmental footprint of any human activity, yet one-third

MUFI Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Grow Agrihood in Detroit

Community initiatives constitute a crucial component of the transformation taking place in Detroit, which has seen its fair share of difficulties following deindustrialization. And the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI) is one of them. The all-volunteer non-profit based in Detroit’s North End neighborhood is using agriculture as a platform to promote education, sustainability and community in an effort to empower urban communities, address the social problems facing Detroit and develop a broader model for redevelopment for other urban communities. MUFI’s primary focus has

TD, NCC Assign Economic Value to Ecological Services of Canada’s Forests

Adding to the growing body of research highlighting the value of forests for mitigating climate change, the TD Bank Group (TD) and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) have released a new report that assigns an economic value to the ecological goods and services forests provide to Canadians. The report uses new economic tools to assign an annual dollar value, per hectare, to the natural benefits of forests. On the lands examined in each province, the minimum value of the