Gold Standard, WWF Publish Best-Practice Guide to Accelerate Corporate Action on SDGs

Climate and development standard and certification body Gold Standard and WWF Switzerland have published a new report that seeks to help the private sector define and deliver ambitious strategies to achieve the goals outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “By following simple standards for best practice target setting and then monitoring and reporting on impact delivered, business can drive the paradigm shift to a sustainable world and reap the rewards

Foreign Trade Association Becomes amfori, Embraces Trade with Purpose

The business world is undergoing rapid transformation, as consumers’ — and employees’ — expectations of companies increase, largely in regards to social purpose and environmental performance. It’s no longer enough to deliver high-quality products at low prices with good availability. They need to be delivered in a way that does no harm — either to people or the environment. It is within this context that The Foreign Trade Association has decided to rebrand itself as amfori, a global business association for open and sustainable trade with purpose. Building on 40 years of experience, and with this understanding of the current

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

Vatican Unveils Climate Change Accelerator Finalists

The Vatican might seem an unlikely backdrop for cutting-edge climate change technology, but Stephen Forte of Fresco Capital Fund and Imagine Ventures’ Eric Harr are helping turn the Holy See into a hub for sustainability through their fledgling Laudato Si startup accelerator. Inspired by Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical on climate change, the program, which launched in May, received around 300 applications for its first run. The accelerator has now announced the names of the nine startups that have made it to the final round of the challenge. Selected startups received $100,000 in equity investments from social impact investors including Ibrahim Alhusseini, Founder of FullCycle Energy Fund, Chade-Meng Tan, an early Google engineer

2 Ways to Tie Your Sustainability Path to a Broader Movement

Sustainability matters, but why does it matter to your business? The vinyl industry began our sustainability journey with the recognition that meeting the needs of a fast-growing population will demand much more of the earth’s natural resources, and we wanted to be prepared to address this challenge. As a result, doing more with less is essential to the way we manufacture and market our products. Of course, there is also an economic imperative. Our planet is

Natural Capital Accounting and the SDGs: Critical Components of Each Other’s Success

A report launched at the World Forum on Natural Capital (WFNC) in Edinburgh, Scotland last week examines the vanishing wealth of the world’s nature, and the growing systemic risk that represents to global economies and societies. The study, published by a team of economists at the University of Oxford, highlights that extreme weather, mass extinctions, falling agricultural yields, and toxic air and water are already damaging the global economy, with pollution alone costing $4.6 trillion every year. It points out that natural capital is not being accurately measured or valued in the context of these ecological tipping points — and that current economic models are

Research Shows Corporate Action on SDGs Already Stalling Out Just Two Years Into 2030 Agenda

Despite mounting evidence for the business case for integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into brand strategy, a new report released by Corporate Citizenship shares some alarming trends in how corporate action on the SDGs is evolving. In the two years since the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals, the number of companies reporting against the SDGs is on the rise, but research indicates that there is a clear gap emerging between thinking and action, with tangible plans and active involvement in collaborations on the SDGs stalling over

Toilet Board Coalition Rallies Global Businesses Around Sanitation Economy

According to the World Health Organization (WTO) 1 in 3 people don’t have access to a clean and safe toilet. The Toilet Board Coalition (TBC), along with LIXIL Group Corporation (LIXIL) – a manufacturer of building materials, Firmenich and Kimberly-Clark are working together to transform sanitation systems into a smart, sustainable and revenue-

4 Steps to Creating Social Impact Programs That Benefit Communities *and* Business

Not so long ago, there was a large disconnect between doing good and good business. While the idea of corporate social responsibility has been around since the 1960s, businesses have historically approached CSR and sustainability as a “feel good” silo or regulatory requirement — a means to improve public image reputation and mitigate risk, but not much else. It wasn’t until recent years that companies discovered that social impact programs could benefit a company in more remunerative ways — increasing revenue, creating new markets, driving innovation

From ESG to SDGs: An Investor’s Perspective on Sustainability Reporting

Investors are stepping up their appeals for robust corporate sustainability reporting, with increased focus on climate impact and long-term performance in a carbon-constrained world. These reports have been standard for some time, though the metrics and definitions for success have transformed within this framework over time. Many stakeholders have pressed companies to go beyond the standard ESG approach — which measures performance by limiting corporate impact — and explore ways actually improve the world around them. To that end, some see the UN Sustainable Development

Evolution of Disclosure, CEO Engagement, Measuring What Matters Take Center Stage at #NewMetrics

From disclosure to performance: building a virtuous loop By Jessica Bast Cynthia Figge, CEO of CSRHub, set the tone for day one of New Metrics ’17 by saying: “From disclosure to performance, aim for the virtuous loop.” While the concept of ESG performance disclosure is still relatively new, Figge highlighted the increasing importance

Let’s Honour the Late King by Committing to the Sufficiency Economy

Thailand has bid the final farewell to its leader of seven decades, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. People throughout the Kingdom, and around the world, have celebrated and commemorated his life in a variety of ways. Ceremonies that have been practiced until perfect are helping convey the gravity of the moment while helping the nation begin to move forward. But when the ceremonies end, people will look for ways to keep the late King’s memory alive, as well as

Sustainable Revenue: 81% of Chr. Hansen’s Products Support SDGs

As allegedly the first company ever, Chr. Hansen — a Danish bioscience giant that produces natural ingredients for the food, beverage, dietary supplements and agricultural industry — has conducted an extensive analysis to map its entire product portfolio of more than 3,000 products against the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The analysis shows that 81 percent of Chr. Hansen’s gross revenue contributes to SDGs 2 (Zero Hunger), 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing) and 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) by promoting sustainable

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

Beyond Disaster Relief: How Companies Can Run to the Rescue in ‘Silent’ Emergencies

This summer came to a calamitous end with the rapid succession of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, Maria and Nate, two earthquakes in Mexico, rampant wildfires currently raging across Northern and Southern California, and countless other natural and man-made disasters across the globe. With entire islands, cities and communities devastated beyond recognition and thousands of people losing everything, it’s a sad and sobering time. It has me

Int’l Tourism Partnership Sets First Industry-Wide Global Commitment to SDGs, Sustainability

The Sustainable Development Goals seem to be on everyone’s mind as of late, with new initiatives and reports related to the 2030 Agenda turning up almost daily. Just last week, GRI announced that it was developing a common framework for measuring and reporting business progress and impacts on the SDGs and the University of Cambridge Institute of Sustainable Leadership released a report highlighting the benefits businesses can reap by delivering on the SDG agenda. Now, the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) has made its first-ever industry-wide global commitment to sustainability. The organization and its members revealed late last week the four SDG-aligned goals as the industry reference point to drive

Consumer Goods Forum Calls for Streamlined Food Labels Worldwide by 2020

“Sell by,” “Use by,” “Display until” and “Best before” food labels intended to inform consumers about food quality and safety frequently come under fire for their lack of clarity and confusing terminology that contributes significantly to the colossal food waste problem — one that costs families up to $29 billion annually in the United States alone. However, little concrete action has been taken to address the problem. Now, the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) — a network of 400 of the biggest consumer

PepsiCo Reports on First Year of Progress Against Its ‘Performance with Purpose’ 2025 Goals

Today, PepsiCo reported progress towards its ambitious Performance with Purpose 2025 Agenda sustainability goals, announced last year. The company improved performance against goals in each of the Agenda’s three focus areas – Products, Planet and People – while returning over $7 billion to shareholders. In its latest Sustainability Report, released today, PepsiCo also reasserted its

Report: North America Lags Behind Europe, Asia in Sustainability Reporting

The Centre for Sustainability Excellence (CSE) has released its second annual Sustainability Reporting Trends in North America report, highlighting trends from 551 companies in Canada and the United States during the 2015-2016 period. The report reviews reporting practices, external assurance practices, the presence of carbon footprint metrics and financial performance. This year’s research also includes a comparative analysis of companies that publish sustainability reports with the highest

The Burden of Clean Water Worldwide Still Borne by Women

Clean, drinkable water is crucial for human existence, but according to the Women Thrive Alliance, roughly 663 million people worldwide still lack easy access to safe water. Globally, women and girls are the primary water collectors for their families: In African countries, women are five times more likely than men to collect drinking water for the household, particularly in rural areas; a 2012 study by UNICEF in 25 sub-Saharan African countries estimates that women there spend 16 million hours collecting water every day. In Ethiopia, girls such as 13-year-old Aysha make eight-hour round trips daily, taking time away from

Neighbourly, M&S Expand Redistribution Scheme Beyond Food Waste

Neighbourly, a social network connecting local projects and community needs with companies ready to help with funds and volunteers, has announced the expansion of its food surplus program to include non-food product donations. UK retail giant Marks & Spencer (M&S) is the first to sign onto the donation scheme. The expansion marks a significant step forward not only for the organization’s charity partners, but also for retailers. Redistributing unwanted but still useful items offers an effective way to reduce raw material consumption, landfill use and CO2 levels. The move follows research conducted by the organization, which found that 92 percent of its food charity partners identified a need for non-food donations, such as

Kavita Shukla: Fighting Food Waste with FreshPaper; Rallying Women Innovators with FreshVoices

What started as a simple home remedy and a middle school science project has exploded into a viable and affordable solution for fighting food waste across the globe. During a trip to India to visit family when she was 12 years old, Kavita Shukla’s grandmother gave her a homemade tea of different spices to ward off illness after having ingested a glass of unfiltered tap water. The spicy concoction prevented Shukla from becoming sick and ultimately became the inspiration behind years of experimentation with rotting fruits and vegetables that would lead to the creation of Shukla’s revolutionary FreshPaper. Infused with

Expedia Combating Poverty, Climate Change with Revenue-Sharing Carbon Offset Program

To help reduce global economic inequality along with greenhouse gas emissions from its corporate travel, travel giant Expedia, Inc. has invested in four community-owned carbon offset projects from the global nonprofit Carbon Offsets to Alleviate Poverty (COTAP). COTAP’s carbon offset projects, which counteract emissions through tree planting, agroforestry and forest protection, are all located in areas where income levels are less than $2 per day, and are certified under Plan Vivo, the world’s longest-standing voluntary standard for forest carbon. Plan Vivo stipulates not only that rural communities own their projects, but that they receive at least 60 percent of