UK Unveils National Action Plan to Slash Plastic Waste by 2042

The UK government has unveiled a national action plan to eradicate avoidable plastic waste by 2042. The announcement aims to quell concerns of critics regarding the potential negative impacts Brexit could have on the UK’s sustainability performance. The plan outlines actions the government will take over the next 25 years to address the issue, such as extending a 5p charge for single-use plastic bags to all retailers, encouraging supermarkets to create plastic-free aisles and introducing a tax system for single-use plastic packaging, such as polystyrene

Panasonic to Transform Denver Into Smart, Sustainable City of the Future

Though widely known for its consumer electronics products, Panasonic is using its tech expertise to focus on a new venture: creating smart, sustainable cities of the future. Building on the success of its Sustainable Smart Town in Fujisawa, Japan — a factory turned thriving community complete with EV charging stations, IoT-enabled homes and businesses, and a renewable energy system providing a five-day storage of off-grid power

Trending: Norway Driving Low-Carbon Mobility with Lighting Tech, Enticing Incentives

Norway is paving the way to a more energy efficient, low-carbon future through new intelligent lighting technology and strong financial incentives. The Norwegian government is rolling out a new lighting technology that aims to reduce energy consumption on the country’s less-traveled roads. The system, which is being piloted an hour outside of Oslo in the small town of Hole, relies

The ‘Smartest’ Cities Will Be Future-Proofed

In the wake of natural disasters, it can be easy to feel like there’s nothing we can do to prevent or minimize the damage they cause. However, often this is not the case. Some cities are already making changes to offset future crises, and it’s time we learn from their

EU Reaches Agreement on Circular Economy Package, While Wales Reveals a Plan of Its Own

Two years after adopting the Circular Economy Package, the European Commission, Parliament and Council have reached an agreement on waste processing legislation to pave the way for a circular future for Europe. Agreements were reached on four legislative proposals addressing waste, packaging waste, landfill and electrical and electronic waste. As determined in the

More Gifts That Keep on Giving: Sustainable Brands’ 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Sustainable products geeks rejoice, for ’tis once again the season of giving! And what better way to celebrate and participate than with gifts whose buying and giving creates more cheer, health, beauty and financial stability while eliminating waste, pollution and carbon emissions around the world? Here are just a few of our favorite discoveries this year of products we’d be proud to give. Waste Not Image credit: Bureo You know we’re big fans of upcycling, here at SB! Here are just a few of the waste-turned-products we loved this

The SDGs Should Be Like a Chocolate Advent Calendar

If I was given a dollar for every time I saw the Sustainable Development Goals’ multi-colored icon grid in a sustainability presentation, I would be a rich man. But the SDGs are a great example of how ubiquity doesn’t necessarily equal a successful communications/engagement strategy. Undoubtedly, the SDGs are a groundbreaking framework that has united businesses and world leaders behind a shared vision of what a sustainable world looks like

Third Year of REI’s #OptOutside Movement Gives the Power to the People

With the launch of its #OptOutside campaign in 2015, REI set a new precedent in retail, shuttering its stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, giving its employees a paid day off and – on a day that has come to represent consumerism at its most extreme – encouraging staff and consumers alike to forgo the shopping frenzy in favor of the great outdoors. The move epitomized the company’s ethos and kickstarted a movement to drive positive behavior change and impacts. While most retailers would find forgoing Black Friday risky business, the move has only bolstered REI’s reputation: In a time when consumers are increasingly expecting

SB’17 Copenhagen, Day 2: Circularity, Impact Valuation and Other Ways to Put a ‘Positive’ Spin on Business

How a T-Shirt Is Driving a Circular Economy by Melanie Vella In this main stage session, Forum for the Future CEO Sally Uren returned to interview Jeffrey Hogue, Chief Sustainability Officer at C&A, to delve into the organic fibre that made up Sally’s t-shirt, quite literally. C&A, a family-owned apparel brand established 176 years ago, have launched a line of t-shirts that make sustainability affordable, desirable and mainstream as part of a circular economy. Her stylish, pink t-shirt is the first of two Cradle to Cradle Certified gold t-shirts on the planet, released by C&amp

SB’17 Copenhagen, Day 1: Redefining the Good Life Through Brands, B Corps, Burgers and … Poetry?

As we continue to explore our global theme of “Redefining the Good Life,” we kicked off our second annual Copenhagen conference with fresh perspectives from a host of Scandinavian and European innovators leading the charge — and the change — in this part of the world. Max Burger: Redefining the Cheese Burger Max Burger’s Oumph! BBQ Burger by Melanie Vella After CSO Kaj Torok’s rousing keynote presentation, roughly 50 of us boarded the ‘burger bus’ to the Copenhagen city centre to sink our teeth into Max Burger’s increasingly popular, climate-friendlier, vegetarian menu. The first round of

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.

Sustainability Targets + Science: The Smart Business Equation

A new sense of readiness and willingness from companies is transforming how businesses approach responsible growth. Corporate sustainability is no longer viewed as a trend, but as a necessity. That’s why leading companies across the U.S. and the globe are recognizing that capturing value requires improving energy management, engaging suppliers and driving innovation. One

UK Deposit Return Schemes Could Slash Marine Litter by 60%, But Political Will Is Lacking

Bottle deposit schemes just got a major boost, thanks to a new analysis issued by thinktank Green Alliance. Communicated via an infographic, the analysis suggests that introducing deposit return schemes on plastic bottles would be the single most effective action to accelerate progress. The concept has been a hot topic in the UK over the last year, as the Government searches for ways to curb the country’s considerable plastic waste problem. According to Green Alliance, plastic bottles account for approximately 33 percent of global marine plastic waste and introducing a 5–20p charge on drink containers at the point of sale, which can later be redeemed when to an authorized center or the original seller could virtually eliminate

Canopy Releases Updated Blueline Ranking for Sustainable Printing

Working with sustainable print partners and using environmental papers is becoming an increasingly important for brands working to meet their own sustainability targets. Environmental nonprofit Canopy has released the 2017 update to its Blueline Ranking — a tool profiling the sustainability performance of North America’s largest printers. Printers analyzed in this year’s assessment represent $34 billion in annual sales. Now in its second year, the Ranking rates major printers on a set of 32 key sustainability criteria and highlights sector leaders to consumer

AVs, Shared Mobility, IoT to Shape Future Urban Mobility, Says New McKinsey Report

Urban mobility is undergoing a dramatic transformation with the emergence of new technology and transportation services. The pace and extent of this transformation will vary from city to city and depends largely on factors such as density, household income, the state of existing infrastructure, pollution and congestion levels, as well as local governance capabilities. To help urban planners anticipate the future mobility scenario with the most societal benefits, McKinsey has published a new report, providing a pathway for municipal

MondelÄ“z International Revs Up Forest Protection Efforts in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire

Mondelēz International continues to make moves to clean up its cocoa supply chains by teaming up with governments across West Africa in an effort to tackle the problem of deforestation. Through its Cocoa Life sustainable sourcing program, the snack company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Environment as part of the country’s REDD+ program and a Letter of

Greenpeace Teams Up with 100 Authors to Protect Free Speech, Boreal Forests

Following the filing of two multi-million dollar lawsuits by Canadian pulp and paper manufacturer Resolute Forest Products to silence Greenpeace’s criticism of its controversial logging in the boreal forest, 100 authors and thought leaders, including Margaret Atwood, Michelle Alexander, John Maxwell Coetzee, Stephen Fry, Naomi Klein and Yann Martel — have signed the environmental NGO’s pledge to support free speech and stand up for forests. If the lawsuits succeed in silencing public comment on corporate behavior, they could set a dangerous precedent for free speech. “The endings of The Handmaid’s Tale, 1984 and Brave New World are written. Ours are not,� said Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale. “This is a chance to stand

The Vatican: Where Mission-Driven, For-Profit Startups Come to Grow?

Cutting-edge isn’t exactly the word that comes to mind when it comes to the capital of Catholicism — the Vatican — but Stephen Forte is gearing up to change that. The entrepreneur and Fresco Capital founder is launching a new startup accelerator in Rome this summer that aims to change social impact investors’ perception of mission-driven, for-profit startups — companies that have social missions at their core. The

New Guide Helps Investors ‘Make a Clean Break’ from Fossil Fuels

Green Century Capital Management, in collaboration with Trillium Asset Management and 350.org, has released a new fossil fuel-free investing guide for environmentally and socially conscious investors. Make a Clean Break: Your Guide to Fossil Fuel Free Investing — an update to previous versions released in 2014 and 2013 — provides improved insights and analysis about the potential financial advantages of eliminating fossil fuel corporations from investment portfolios and reinvesting in clean, sustainable and solutions-oriented investments that are advancing the transition

Assuring the Assurers: How the NOCLAR Standard Will Tackle Non-Compliance in Corporate Reporting

When it comes down to assessing corporate sustainability performance and impacts, investors, rating agencies and other stakeholders have developed a growing appetite for accurate, relevant, consistent and comparable data. In a globalized world prone to economic volatility, alternative facts and corporate scandals, solid financial and “non-financial� disclosure is expected to serve them as a beacon of trust in a complex planning environment. The recently published Edelman Trust barometer for 2017 finds that, in a world where average trust levels have dropped below 50 percent, business remains “the one institution that retains some trust with those skeptical about the system, to prove that

While Scotland Flourishes, Red Tape Puts the Brakes on Circular Economy in the UK

With UK Prime Minister Theresa May putting Article 50 into effect, many questions have arisen in regards to the UK’s sustainability agenda. Uncertainty exists about whether the economic powerhouse and EU defector will adhere to the ambitious goals laid out by its counterparts on the continent or if it will take a

Trending: US, UK Unveil New Strategies to Kick Littering to the Curb

Cleaning up supply chains and designing impacts out of products through the application of circular principles are essential components of reducing waste, but a more holistic approach to the problem of waste is needed. Consumers are increasingly educated on matters related to sustainability and recycling is more prevalent now than ever, yet litter continues to be a major issue across the globe. To initiate sustainable behavior change, the nonprofit Keep America Beautiful and the UK Government unveiled new litter strategies. Keep America Beautiful has announced a new partnership with environmental charity Hubbub’s Neat Streets campaign to end cigarette butt litter in a creative and interactive way. Keep America Beautiful’s Cigarette Litter Prevention Program will pilot

26 EU Member States Pledge No New Coal Plants Post-2020

With a 2030 deadline looming, stakeholders across the European Union are ramping up efforts to tackle CO2 emissions. In addition to calling for a clampdown on imports of unsustainable palm oil production for biofuel, the EU is zeroing in on coal production, with national energy companies pledging to put an end to the construction of new coal-fired plants after 2020. The emissions produced from coal-powered electricity generation are a primary cause of climate change. The move, which is supported by Europe’s leading energy companies — including EURELECTRIC which represents 3,500 European utilities — is an important step in helping to keep maximum global average temperature rise as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius. In a statement released last week, EURELECTRIC