Nat Geo, Wattpad Call for Stories About Global Plastic Crisis

The only positive side of the marine plastic problem is the growing tide of actions from the global business community to try and solve it — in the past year alone, the issue has spawned campaigns, documentaries, cross-industry collaborations, scientific breakthroughs, startup incubators and accelerators, widespread bans on single-use plastics and more. Now, to build on its multiyear

Activating Community: How Box Inspired Real-Time Digital Social Impact

How do you get a community to take immediate social action when you have just a handful of minutes onstage? This question doesn’t get asked often — or sound plausible — because most organizations have created an imaginary line between things that happen in ‘real life’ and things that happen in ‘digital life.’ At

Trending: New Partnerships Grow Reforestation, Research, Offset Programs in South America

How much forest land—and what quality—is needed to ensure forests can continue to provide people, plants and animals worldwide with clean air and water, food and the goods and services they need to thrive? The question will be investigated through new collaboration between the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and International Paper. The research will be used to help create the world’s first regional and global science-based targets for forests, as well as the first comprehensive set of guidance on actions that can be taken to sustain the world’s forests. Such ‘forest positive’ actions include investing in responsible forest management, supporting forest conservation, restoring forestland, and raising awareness

Wales Aims to Become First ‘Refill Nation,’ Teach Residents ‘Value of Tap Water’

The Welsh Government and City to Sea, a group campaigning against single-use plastics, are collaborating on the development of campaigns to encourage refills and change residents’ behavior to make tap water their first choice for hydration. While the campaigns will help people ‘see the value of water,’ the government has also announced an additional £15 million of capital funding to further improve Local Authority recycling collection systems and infrastructure, including for plastics. The Welsh Environment Minister Hannah Blythyn made the announcement, highlighting Wales waste reduction achievements to date, including a recycling rate “well over” 60 percent. By comparison, Scotland and England each

Trending: New Cross-Industry Partnerships Give Circular Design a Major Push

The circular economy continues to gain steam as key players in the sustainability sphere join forces to unlock new opportunities to create positive impacts. First, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII) have partnered to drive momentum towards a circular economy. For the past two years, C2CPII has been an affiliate member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s pre-competitive innovation program —

Global Leaders Convene to Identify Multi-Stakeholder Approach to Address the SDGs

Sustainability is at risk. And whilst the risks that go beyond climate change may be less well-understood, they are just as pressing. That was the message at the first meeting of the European Union’s Multi-Stakeholder Platform on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on 10 January in Brussels. The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) is serving on the Platform alongside major integrated reporting

EMF, WRAP Collab Puts New Plastics Economy Into Motion in UK

Coinciding with the launch of Theresa May’s 25 Year Environment Plan, WRAP has announced a new collaborative initiative with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) that aims to help turn the tide on the UK’s growing plastic waste problem. While still in the development stages, the initiative will build on the principles of The New Plastics Economy. It will see businesses, industry, governments, local authorities, NGOs, media and society as a whole come together to redefine what is possible and create a plastic system that works — a circular economy where plastic is

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Launches $1BN Venture Fund to Accelerate Next-Gen Mobility

The world’s largest auto alliance has launched a new corporate capital fund, Alliance Ventures, that will invest $1 billion to support innovative projects shaping the next generation of mobility over the next five years. In its first year, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi intends to invest up to $200 million into startups and open innovation partnerships with technology entrepreneurs focused on new mobility, including vehicle electrification, autonomous systems, connectivity and artificial intelligence. With further annual investments, Alliance Ventures is set to become the largest corporate venture

Trending: New Cross-Industry Partnerships to Give Circular Design Major Push

The circular economy continues to gain steam as key players in the sustainability sphere join forces to unlock new opportunities to create positive impacts. First, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII) have announced a new partnership designed to drive momentum towards a circular economy. For the past two years, C2CPII has been an affiliate member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s pre-competitive innovation program — the Circular Economy 100 (CE100) — and contributed to

Networking and Collaboration: What We Can Learn from Zimbabwe’s Anti-Poaching Movement

It’s never been more important to bring the poaching and wildlife conservation story to life, while also bringing together local and international stakeholders to build sustainable solutions to what has become a global issue. Recent developments, such as the US lifting bans on certain elephant trophy imports and changes to the Mugabe government in

Vestas 11th Hour Racing: Cross-Sector Partnership a Perfect Storm for Sustainable Sailing

Vestas 11th Hour Racing’s team director Mark Towill and skipper Charlie Enright take on challenges the way most people layer cold cuts; one on top of the other. The duo and their team are one of seven squads trying to win the around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) a nine-month sailing slog, over 45,000 nautical miles, in all sorts of weather; doing so while being the most sustainable team in the race, and working to increase public awareness, concern and action on behalf of ocean health. No problem, right? Perhaps the main reason they have a chance to succeed on all three counts is the unique collaboration between sport (Towill and Enright), business

Closed-Loop Recycling and the Far-Reaching Impact of Local Partnerships

In northwestern Vermont, an innovative closed-loop recycling program is harnessing the synergy of a paper shredder, a paper maker and a paper distributor to provide real-time environmental metrics for Champlain College — a small, but nationally recognized college in Burlington, Vermont. In an effort to keep the loop as local as possible, the college selected the highest-quality local and regional partners available. For many years, Champlain has worked closely with Foley Distributing, out of Rutland, Vermont; SecurShred — a South Burlington-based shredder and e-cycling service provider; and Essity — a global

Collaboration Imperative for Making Sustainability Commitments a Reality

Recent climate change talks in Bonn drew to a close last week without major fanfare. However, despite no landmark announcements — such as that coming out of Paris after COP21 — it was nonetheless a critical meeting, with a key aim of better defining ‘how’ to make the ambitions set out in Paris in 2015 a reality and keep global warming to 1.5 degrees. For those of us leading sustainability efforts for companies, the COP talks are a great opportunity to learn about what’s happening at a global level and reflect on how we, as just one actor

‘We Haven’t Even Scratched the Surface’: Insights from the World Forum on Natural Capital

Factoring the value of nature into governance and corporate decision-making is not an easy task, but governments and businesses are starting to recognize the importance of natural capital accounting. According to the Natural Capital Coalition, 68 countries are looking to produce natural capital accounts, while 10 percent of WBCSD member companies mention the Natural Capital Protocol framework in their sustainability reporting. But there is still a long way to go. Over the past two decades, 109 out of 140 major nations have shown a downward trend in their natural capital, according

Marine Transport Vessel Collects Oceanographic Data from Japanese Coast to Advance Research

Today, we are witnessing unusual weather patterns and natural disasters all over the world. Traditional state and corporate barriers must be transcended if we are to combat the universal issue of climate change. With oceans covering 70 percent of the earth’s surface, marine research is vital to climate research. As the operator of an extensive Japanese transport network, Nippon Express has responded to requests from nonprofit Vos Nippon to equip its domestic cargo marine transport vessels with seawater data collection facilities for oceanographic research. As Japan’s largest general logistics company, Nippon Express transports a

The Nature Conservancy, Techstars Team Up to Launch Sustainability Accelerator

The Nature Conservancy has embarked on a first-of-its-kind partnership with entrepreneurial network Techstars to launch the Techstars Sustainability Accelerator, which aims to identify entrepreneurs with commercially viable technologies to address pressing environmental and social issues. “We’re excited to partner with Techstars to pursue potential technology breakthroughs that will accelerate protection of nature at scale,”

A True Fish Tale: Domtar Makes Paper *and* Raises Fish for Local Rivers

It may seem odd to hear about thousands of brook, brown and rainbow trout living in a paper mill, but it is certainly no fish tale in the traditional sense. Located near Pennsylvania’s Allegheny forest on the headwaters of the scenic Clarion River, Domtar’s Johnsonburg mill boasts a long and rich history of papermaking — and more recently — of raising fish to help support local rivers. Back in 1992, Rick Zelehoski, now a retired maintenance manager, had an idea to turn an old filtration building on the mill grounds into a fish hatchery. To his surprise, his bosses agreed to the idea,

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

Clarins Fragrance Group Embarks on ‘Responsible Alcohol’ Mission

In an unprecedented move, Clarins Fragrance Group is blazing new transparency trails, with brands MUGLER and AZZARO committing to produce perfume alcohol in a way that meets rigorous environmental and social requirements under a groundbreaking “made in France” program. The key aim of the “responsible alcohol” project is to promote biodiversity in agricultural practices. Other benefits of the program include local production, which will create a short circuit between harvest and transformation sites. Located on the Remicourt Farm at Amifontaine near Reims in the Champagne-Ardenne region of Northeast France, the program is based

Public-Private Partnerships Are the Future for Sustainable Infrastructure

Veolia North America and the Wharton School’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) have released a report detailing the demonstrated success and future potential for public-private partnerships (P3s) to provide sustainable solutions for the nation’s infrastructure needs. The report highlights how the P3 framework can be applied to keep up with contemporary fiscal and climate concerns as the US braces for

UN Migration Agency, RBA Team Up to Target Forced Labor, Exploitation

The issue of worker exploitation and forced labor continues to gain global attention, as more and more companies rise to the challenge to align their operations with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The latest sign of progress comes in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) – formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition – to boost cooperation, promote ethical recruitment and protect the rights of migrant workers. According to the latest global estimates on modern slavery, approximately 25 million people worldwide are working in situations of forced

Visa Launches Foundation, Grants $20M to Support Women Entrepreneurs

Building on its larger social impact strategy, which seeks to support the growth of micro and small enterprises around the world, Visa has launched the newly-incorporated Visa Foundation. As its first order of business, the Foundation has made a financial commitment of up to $20 million to Women’s World Banking. Small and medium enterprises account for more than 90 percent of enterprises worldwide and contribute 50 to 60 percent of global employment. However, these organizations often struggle to access the financial tools, capital and training programs required to enable them to fully thrive. The Visa Foundation endeavors to rectify this balance by providing SMEs with the resources

Trending: Cross-Industry Collaborations Helping Drive Closed-Loop Manufacturing

While technology itself is essential for driving forward the circular agenda, cross-industry collaboration has a crucial role to play in scaling sustainable solutions to pressing environmental and social problems. After recently releasing a report summarizing the potential of organic waste as a feedstock for the creation of building materials, ARUP has partnered with Goldfinger Factory, a fabrication atelier and teaching platform, to develop home and office products made from waste, discarded milk