AkzoNobel Puts ‘True Price’ on Natural, Social Capital; Increases Business Value

“Organizations rely on a diverse set of ‘capitals’ to function effectively,” says Emma Ringström, Sustainability Manager, Pulp and Performance Chemicals at AkzoNobel. By measuring these, she says, “We can find ways to make the most impactful improvements and ultimately increase business value.” AkzoNobel has proven this through a pilot project at AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals’ bleaching chemicals operations in Brazil. The company began

Working Conditions in Global Supply Chains: What and How to Measure

Despite decades of intense media and business attention, poor working conditions persist in global supply chains. Even Apple, recently announced yet again as the world’s most admired company by Fortune magazine, has struggled to address this issue. Do any companies want to have poor working conditions in their supply chains? Probably not. It is unethical to subject workers to unsafe conditions, inhumane treatment or excessive overtime. Moreover, the business case for improving working conditions is strong: Poor conditions can result in reputational damage; good conditions can help improve quality and productivity. Want to learn moreaboutTacklingForced LaborinSupply Chains?Check out ourSB’18 Vancouver program! The first

Here Come the ‘Do Wellers’

In the din of companies and brands shouting about the good they’re doing, ‘purposewash’ is overtaking ‘greenwash’ as the default accusation of corporate hypocrisy. Thirty years ago, Chevron was one of the first accused of greenwash after a series of ads purporting to show its environmental stewardship commitment. ‘People Do’ showed employees protecting bears, butterflies, sea turtles and other cuddlies, but the campaign was attacked by environmentalists for glossing over the damage inflicted by Chevron operations on those creatures’ habitats. Last March, State Street, an investment firm, unveiled a ‘Fearless Girl’ statue on Wall Street. It did so in part to market its

A Beating Heart for Sustainable Brewing: For the Many, Not the Few

A new study on Ontario’s craft beer industry takes a systems-wide approach to dealing with the sustainable growth challenge, and how we can deliver shared prosperity — with important insights for brewers and industry stakeholders everywhere. The brewing industry appears to be going all out for sustainability. This is good news: Brewing is a global industry generating a huge ecological footprint — ripe for

#BusinessCase: Report Reveals 36:1 Social ROI for Landscape-Scale Restoration

Landscape-scale restoration has the power to create a 36:1 social return on investment, according to two new reports from nonprofit Restore the Earth Foundation and Social Value International (SVI). Based on the results of eco-restoration projects in Louisiana’s Tensas National Wildlife Refuge and the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area, the reports assess, quantify and monetize the environmental, social

Climate Change and the Third Way: Adapt, Mitigate or Transform?

Grim climate change reality: The seas are rising. Terrifying hurricanes regularly raze vast, inhabited areas. And wildfires are flaring up more frequently and causing massive damage: The US government has spent nearly $3 billion on fire-fighting this year (estimated prior to this month’s ongoing Thomas fire in Southern California, now the fourth-largest in the state’s history), while in Canada, the devastating 2016 wildfires in Fort McMurray will cost a projected $10 billion once all the bills are paid. Putting a human face on it, 100 million more people may be in poverty due to the impacts of climate change by 2030. These

Food and Fiber Sectors Cultivate Impact with Applied Sustainable Agriculture

On October 25, panelists representing both global brands and smaller local organizations convened in San Francisco to discuss their successes and potential in incorporating climate-friendly agricultural practices into their supply chains. The panel took place at The Perennial, a Bay Area restaurant committed to sustainable farming with the conviction that “food has the power to reverse climate change.” The panel discussion built on that theme, with further exploration into how the textile industry also has the power to enact positive impact on climate. “North America used to be covered with all kinds of large herbivores who have been involved in carbon sequestration for millennia,” explained Rebecca Burgess, Executive Director of Fibershed,

Large-Scale Rollout of Innovative Business Models Key for Creating Value, Reducing Waste

A new series of case studies highlighting the benefits of adopting innovative business models on a large scale has been published by REBus, an EU LIFE+-funded partnership project. To date, REBus has published 25 case studies from organizations in the UK and Netherlands testing a methodology that enables them to transform their strategies into profitable, resilient and more resource-efficient business models (REBMs). In total, 35 organizations have benefited from the expertise, advice and support of the business pilot project over the last two years, including organic mattress company Naturalmat, ethical shoe brand Po-zu and Samsung UK. For Naturalmat, a manufacturer of organic mattresses, sheets and bedding made with 100 percent biodegradable materials

Making Large-Scale Energy Efficiency Easier (and More Affordable)

Energy efficiency is a simple, quick and cost-effective method to reduce both costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. That’s why companies are scaling up their energy-efficiency projects in an effort to achieve greater results. And it’s important that they do: Buildings play a considerable role in GHG emissions: Commercial buildings, in particular, make up roughly 20 percent of total U.S. energy. So, it’s no surprise that optimizing building systems is on the rise. Between 2006 and 2014, investments in commercial building energy efficiency more than doubled from seven billion to 16 billion, with projects ranging from heating and cooling to refrigeration, energy management and more. But commercial building owners and operators face barriers to implementing large energy-efficiency

Disruptive Suppliers Giving Big Business Boost Towards Achieving Sustainability Goals

Isle of Wight-based ethical apparel startup Rapanui has come a long way since its conception in 2009, when brothers Rob and Mart Drake-Knight launched with a mere £200. Now, with almost a decade of experience under its belt, Rapanui is helping other UK businesses achieve their sustainability goals. Each year, businesses in the UK spend an average of £120 per employee on uniforms and promo wear. While often overlooked, company apparel offers a significant area in which companies can reduce impacts. In addition to using organic

The Athlete’s Secret to Success: How Elite Athletes Win by Playing the Game with Purpose

Swarmed by a crowd of cross-country ski fans all under the age of 12, I felt like I’d just won my first World Cup. In the beginning, I wanted to be a soccer star. I, along with most of the girls my age, idolized Mia Hamm and tried desperately to snag the #9 jersey on every single one of my teams. By high school, however, I realized

Could RFID Eliminate Food Waste – or All Product Waste – from Producer to Consumer?

Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, which dates back to World War II radar systems, is increasingly being used to track goods throughout complex global supply chains. Avery Dennison RBIS, a $1.5 billion division of Avery Dennison, has become a major provider of the technology, particularly for applications within the apparel industry: For more than a decade, Avery Dennison RFID has worked with leading global retailers and brands, including Decathlon, Macy’s and Marks & Spencer, to improve inventory speed

Building a More Sustainable Future for the Cleaning Products Industry

In the weeks since the announcement that the U.S. would be pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, there has been much debate about the impact this may have on the country’s and entire world’s push toward a more sustainable future. One of the biggest takeaways from the conversation has been that cities, states and especially businesses remain committed to moving forward in the fight against climate change. Companies across a range of industries are prioritizing and focusing on policies and initiatives that will help lower greenhouse gas

Consumer Goods Forum Shares Best Practices to Eradicate Forced Labor from Global Supply Chains

In a bid to eradicate forced labor in global supply chains, a problem that affects 21 million people worldwide, The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has released a new report, Business Actions Against Forced Labor, highlighting best practices in tackling the issue. The report shares case studies from members such as Coca-Cola, Mars, Marks & Spencer, Unilever, and Walmart, detailing how they are

Q&A: How Partnerships Are Helping Nestlé Create Shared Value

It’s been a busy year for Nestlé – joining various initiatives and making strategic investments aimed at everything from boosting recycling infrastructure to developing bio-based packaging to improving consumer eating habits. We spoke with Nestlé’s President of Corporate Affairs, Paul Bakus, ahead of his appearance this week at SB’17 Detroit, to learn how the food giant is leveraging partnerships to achieve its many sustainability goals. Nestlé’sPaul Bakus,

Three Ways to Leverage the Many Benefits of Virtual Collaboration

Since the introduction of Cisco Telepresence in October 2006, Cisco has studied how the use of our technology impacts corporate travel. The early days were exciting; Cisco set our first travel reduction goal in 2006! Reducing travel via collaboration technologies had benefits for our business (cost reduction, productivity improvement), employees (work-life balance) and the planet (greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions). Execution, however, invariably focused on travel reduction. The recurring savings from less travel recouped the upfront investment for telepresence systems, so less travel was the metric that mattered. However, harnessing the full benefits of this technology is complicated and

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

21st-Century Corporate Citizenship, Ch. 4: Connecting Corporate Citizenship to Business Strategy

This is an excerpt of a chapter from the newly released book, 21st-Century Corporate Citizenship (Emerald Insight, 2017), by Dave Stangis, Chief Sustainability Officer and VP of Corporate Responsibility at Campbell Soup Company; and Katherine Valvoda Smith, executive director of the Center for Corporate Citizenship Carroll School of Management at Boston College. Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. ~SunTzu in The Art of War In the �rst chapter, you got clear on your business purpose and why it’s important. Then you looked outward to your marketplace so you could see how corporate citizenship can create advantage there. The next step is to

Report Reveals Gap Between Marketers and C-Suite in Driving the Sustainability Agenda

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword these days — it’s insurance against reputational risk, the key to new market opportunities, a safeguard against climate change and a critical element for staying competitive. And companies that are resistant to adopting a defined sustainability standards will feel the effects. Mind the Gap: How Marketers Feel About Sustainability, a new report by marketing website The Drum and marketing agency gyro, finds that while the majority of marketers feel a moral imperative to incorporate sustainability practices into business, only 38 percent of the companies they work for have defined strategies. Over two hundred brands and agencies were surveyed for the report to understand how marketers perceive their

BASF Touts Sustainability, Efficiency Benefits of Construction Solutions in New Campaign

Increasing economic benefits while reducing global-warming potential: How products from BASF’s Master Builders Solutions® range help achieve this is the focus of the new Europe-wide campaign, “Quantified Sustainable Benefits – Reduce your Footprint and Boost Your Bottom Line.� Through a series of ads and a dedicated website, BASF’s Master Builders

Why 98% of Companies Do Not Achieve Their Sustainability Goals

Many CEOs want to make a difference. Convinced that companies should play a positive role in environmental stewardship and social development, they declare sustainability a top priority, launch a transformation program, hire a chief sustainability of�cer, and commit millions of dollars and hundreds of hours of management time to the effort. Then momentum fades. It’s a frustrating setback—and a common one. A new report released Bain & Company, finds that only 2 percent of corporate sustainability programs achieve or exceed their aims, compared to 12 percent

P&G’s New Year’s Resolution: Zero Waste to Landfill From All Production Sites by 2020

Procter & Gamble announced today additional investments in recycling and beneficial reuse that will eliminate all manufacturing waste from its global network of more than 100 production sites by 2020. Since P&G began qualifying sites as zero manufacturing waste to landfill, 56 percent of its global production sites have achieved this milestone. Plans are now in place to

Coke, Avery Dennison Drive Smartwater Towards Circularity with Recycled PET Waste

While plastic packaging has a reputation for being convenient, it presents a serious problem for the planet — and brands’ bottom lines. One-use plastic packaging currently accounts for over $80 billion in losses annually. But more and more companies are beginning to see the value of employing circular practices to develop sustainable packaging options. Most recently, Cocoa-Cola European Partners (CCEP), Avery Dennison, Viridor and PET UK announced that they have teamed up to reduce waste, costs and the carbon footprint