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

How Whirlpool uses local data to spin up global cleanup plans

When it comes to holistic insight, the more perspectives, the better.

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

Why Siemens, GE and Rolls-Royce are turning to 3D printing

Inside the pluses and minuses of additive manufacturing.

Dell, Lonely Whale Launch Collaborative to Eliminate Marine Plastic Pollution

An estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic waste are in the ocean today and every year around eight million metric tons more are being added. Earlier this year, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation warned that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans if a more effective system for global plastics is not put into place. More recently, a study by the State University of New York at Fredonia and the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health revealed

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

Lessons from China’s industrial symbiosis leadership

The eco-industrial park in the coastal city of Rizhao offers lessons for students of circular economy principles.

SAC’s Latest Higg Module Improves Apparel Supply Chain Transparency, Reduces Audit Fatigue

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) has released early registration of the Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM), a self-assessment tool that globally standardizes sustainability measurement for apparel, footwear and textile manufacturing facilities. Optimized for use at an industrial scale, Higg FEM enables factories of any size to assess sustainability performance and easily share results with supply chain partners. “At the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, we value partnership and collaboration, and depend on these values to move the industry forward. The improved Higg

Braskem Strikes Up New Partnerships to Take Sustainable Packaging to the Next Level

Thermoplastics resin producer Braskem has been keeping busy, entering into a series of new partnerships to make bio-based packaging the mainstream choice for the personal care and consumer goods industries. First, Braskem has partnered with RPC M&H Plastics to create “green” polyethylene (PE) packaging for Bulldog Skincare for Men’s line of skincare products. The new tubes are derived from sugarcane that has been grown using sustainable agricultural practices in Brazil. The sugarcane serves as an effective carbon sink, removing 3.09kg of CO2 from the air for every one kilogram of green PE produced. What’s more, sugarcane can

‘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

3 Key Takeaways from Engaging an Industry in Sustainability

The vinyl industry recently marked its first “sustainability community anniversary” — that moment where industry leaders came together to pledge to embark on our sustainability journey. In the year since, we’ve adopted common sustainability positioning focused on doing more with less, agreed on a purpose-driven continuous improvement path forward, formed the Vinyl Business and Sustainability Council (VBSC), and initiated an industry-wide materiality assessment. There’s still much work to do. As we look ahead, we also wanted to look back and reflect on the lessons learned in Year 1 from engaging an industry on sustainability. Because guiding an industry-wide initiative requires an understanding

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

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

UL Revs Up Efforts to Reduce Environmental, Social Impacts Across Global Supply Chain

UL, a US-based safety consulting and certification company, has unveiled two new initiatives aimed at driving environmental and social responsibility throughout the global supply chain. The company’s Environment division has announced it will begin collecting data to identify products made by manufacturers with policies and procedures in place to protect against human rights abuses throughout their supply chain. The information will be displayed as search criteria in the company’s product sustainability database, SPOT. Developed in response to growing demand for supply chain and product transparency, SPOT provides public and private procurement officials, architects, designers and other users an outlet to find credible information on the health and environmental impacts of a

BillerudKorsnäs: Megacity Dwellers See Packaging as Crucial Solution for Sustainable Future

Packaging has widely been recognized as a pathway to a sustainable future, but opinions around the critical actions needed to deliver circular outcomes in urban areas, particularly megacities (a metropolitan area with a total population over 10 million people), such as management of recycling, littering, waste and support for sustainable behavior and education, largely differ. To bring clarity to the issue, Swedish sustainable packaging company BillerudKorsnäs has released the findings of its Consumer Panel 2017, a global study on packaging sustainability. The

Trending: Dow, CLF Uncover New Opportunities in Previously Unrecyclable Plastics

While eliminating impacts at the design stage is a crucial strategy for putting a stop to plastic pollution, it’s just one small piece of the puzzle. According to new initiatives and research from The Dow Chemical Company and the Closed Loop Foundation, investing in intelligent end-of-life solutions for previously non-recyclable packaging is just as important. The Dow Chemical Company is fighting fire with fire (or rather, plastic with plastic), tackling the ocean plastic pollution problem

Trending: 3D Tech Poised to Revolutionize Garment Industry

While alternative materials have largely been dominating the discussion around the future of fashion, startups and industry heavy hitters are like are now looking to 3D technology to revolutionize the apparel market. Earlier this week, HP Inc. introduced the FitStation powered by HP, a new platform that will deliver custom-fitted and individualized footwear through innovative 3D scanning, dynamic gait analysis and manufacturing

Circular Homeware Startup to Disrupt Global Furniture Industry with Landfill-to-Lifestyle Model

A pioneering new sustainable homeware and accessories brand has emerged on the market and is ready to radically transform the way furniture is made forever. Materials sourcing is where digital furniture startup Pentatonic sets itself apart from its industry counterparts, with its line of contemporary designer homeware fabricated entirely from post-consumer waste. The concept — led by Jamie Hall, former Global GM of NikeLab at Nike and head of marketing at Levi’s UK; and Johann Boedecker, former GM of Corporate Business of Miniwiz — has already garnered significant attention and attracted

How Buckhorn’s Reusable Packaging Is Cleaning Up Supply Chains

Ohio-based Buckhorn manufactures different types of heavy-duty, reusable plastic packaging for the food processing, automotive, manufacturing, distribution, bakery and agriculture industries, with a focus on improving companies’ supply chain performance by reducing product waste and material handling costs. The company is also dedicated to keeping its own impacts in check by buying back end-of-life containers for recycling; the company then incorporates ground-up recycled materials, called ‘regrind,’ into the next generation of containers. We spoke with president Ken Kozicki to

Microsoft, Pact Expand Partnership to Eradicate Child Labor in DRC Mining

Microsoft Corp. and international development organization Pact have announced an expanded partnership to address child labor mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Microsoft has made a new three-year financial commitment to support Pact’s work to address child labor in mining and will build on the successful Watoto Inje ya Mungoti (Children Out of Mining) project. The move comes on the heels of a number of recent initiatives to eradicate forced and unethical labor practices from global supply chains. An estimated 10 million people across the DRC rely on income from

Trending: New Tech Helping Everlane, M&S Clean Up the Dirty Business of Denim

Jeans are a sartorial staple for consumers around the world, but denim is a ‘dirty’ business. The production process generates a considerable amount of waste water, which is often released — untreated — back into the environment, contaminating water sources and soil with chemicals and heavy metals. Poor practices and lack of regulation are having a negative impact on

Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Reveals Five Finalists Vying for €500K

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, one of the largest sustainable enterprise competitions in the world, has announced the five startups still in the running for a cash prize of €500,000. Finalists include innovators from France, Rwanda, the Netherlands and Denmark. Launched in 2007 by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, the Green Challenge is an international competition that rewards products, services and technologies that successfully combine sustainability, entrepreneurship and creativity. Startups’s business plans and products are weighed against factors such as their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to contribute to

New Farm-to-Bottle Vodka Fights Hunger in America

A cocktail that gives back — that’s the premise for Danny Lafuente and Dan Maslow’s Simple Vodka, the latest company to enter the social enterprise space. The Idaho-based distillery aims to tackle the issue of food insecurity in the US one bottle at a time, with each sale of its gluten-free potato vodka resulting in the donation of 20 meals through partnerships with