In shocking times, corporate sustainability needs to pivot
Fresh from chairing edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum last week, sustainable business advisor David Bent shares his three key insights from the event, which brought together ambitious professionals to discuss transformational change.
Theresa May urged to commit to $12trn SDG opportunity
More than 80 global firms including Unilever, Coca-Cola and BT have called on Prime Minister Theresa May to demonstrate commitment to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); on the same day that research revealed that the Goals could add $12trn to the global economy.
Carbon Trust joins World Bank project to boost clean innovation in emerging countries
Consultancy firm the Carbon Trust has teamed up with the World Bank in support of its new Climate Business Innovation Network (CBIN) to help commercialise clean technologies across developing countries.
Science-based targets top choice for sustainability leaders, edie survey reveals
The adoption of science-based targets to drive climate action is continuing to move rapidly up the corporate agenda, with more than half of sustainability leaders either beginning to apply or fully embedding the methodology within their organisation.
Disrupt or die: Preparing for the next generation of sustainability
edie's Sustainability Leadership month continues, and today it's Forum for the Future founder-director Jonathon Porritt's turn to pen an exclusive thought leadership opinion piece, offering an eye-opening insight into the future of corporate sustainability.
Lack of collaboration hindering UK uptake of Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are increasing in prominence amongst UK businesses, although siloed working conditions are still impacting the ability for the private sector to deliver social and environmental change.
ISO 37101: New standard published to support sustainable development
The British Standards Institution (BSI) has this week launched a new information standard to help city leaders set their city's sustainable development agenda.
200 companies now committed to science-based targets
An initiative that calls on companies to cut their carbon footprints in line with scientific studies geared towards a two degrees global warming limit is "far exceeding" it's timeline, with 200 companies now signed up to the scheme - just 18 months after its inception.
Liquid assets: Strengthening the business case for water management
With global water supplies running dry at an alarming rate, edie's Matt Mace hears from some of the private sector's leading lights on tackling water scarcity to uncover the business case that lies beneath the surface.
Paul Polman: Every business in the world must make a climate commitment
Unilever chief executive Paul Polman has urged the business community to act on its moral duty and deliver on the sustainability objectives set through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.
Businesses must address 'internal disconnect' to deliver sustainability success
Sustainability and investor agendas are becoming increasingly intertwined, but gaps in knowledge and understanding are preventing companies and investors from sharpening their focus on long-term sustainable value creation, a new report has found.
Food manufacturers unveil 2025 targets to deliver 'sustainable food system of the future'
McCain Foods, Cadbury, Coca-Cola GB and McVitie's are among a host of British food and drink manufacturers that have developed a series of ambitious new sustainability commitments this week.
SDGs underpin 'positive progress' of corporate sustainability reporting
Nearly a third (30%) of world-leading companies are now implementing the framework into their sustainability and integrated reports, as the push to mainstream non-financial reporting continues to gain momentum.
Business-led collaboration key to delivering climate action in cities, says Aecom
The private sector must step up collaboration efforts with city and regional governments to create more robust solutions to combat the economic and environmental impacts of climate change in major cities, the co-author of a new report on the subject has told edie.
Lord Stern: Business must build 'green growth' story to advance industrial strategy
Lord Nicholas Stern has called on businesses to make an effective case for low-carbon investment in the upcoming months to help construct an industrial strategy that is "green, sustainable and provides a leading example" to the world economy.
Business must address 'timid action' to achieve SDGs
One year on from the launch of the United Nation's (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), new research has found that a majority of companies have been too slow to take tangible action.
Could the 'Energy Efficiency Mortgage' solve Europe's green building challenge?
Energy and building sector professionals from across Europe have united to forge a ground-breaking new initiative which offers better borrowing rates on mortgages for homebuyers that commit to purchasing more energy-efficient homes or carrying out energy-saving retrofits within properties.
'Fruits of the fourth revolution' key for business to tackle struggling SDGs
Leveraging the power of connectivity and digitalisation will be key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the "fruits of the fourth industrial revolution" inspiring large-scale action, a new report has found.
New agri-business alliance formed to help deliver SDGs
A coalition of 36 leading agri-businesses have joined forces to launch the Global Agri-business Alliance (GAA), aiming to tackle environmental and social challenges affecting agricultural supply chains and rural communities worldwide.
Sharing sustainability success: From selling to showing
Kimberly-Clark's head of sustainability for EMEA Tom Berry explores how some of the world's most intractable development issues, such as increasing access to education and improving sanitation, require effective behaviour change programmes to create real progress.
Electrolux launches global food action plan in support of SDGs
Swedish multinational home appliance manufacturer Electrolux has today (12 September) launched an ambitious and wide-ranging food sustainability action plan to address major global challenges, in support of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Familiar faces: World's most sustainable companies revealed
Unilever, LG and Sodexo have retained positions as industry leaders of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), while the likes of Nestlé and Philips have climbed to the top of the rankings.
Policies, data and imports: tackling the trilemma of collaboration for Britain's retailers
In the wake of some key waste and resource efficiency issues being brought to light within the UK retail sector, edie's Matt Mace speaks to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) about how to drive collaboration in this highly-competitive market as a means to deliver low-carbon, resource-efficient ways of doing business.
Toyota tops list of greenest companies for clean energy revenue
Automotive giant Toyota has beaten Siemens, Schneider Electrics and Panasonic to the top spot of the first Carbon Clean 200 rankings, which lists the world's largest publicly listed companies by revenue generated from clean energy products.
Brighton sets 'sustainability benchmark' for eco-tourism with i360 opening
The world's first vertical cable car, the British Airways i360, has opened on Brighton's seafront, with the developers "aiming to set a new global benchmark in sustainability".
MPs launch enquiry into Britain's implementation of the SDGs
An inquiry has been launched by the Environmental Audit Committee concerning the speed of implementation of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the UK.
Businesses urged to 'think differently' and adopt Sustainable Development Goals
The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) has called on business, governments and local authorities to adopt new ways of thinking that align the "critical challenges of our time" with operational models and frameworks.
The 'S' word: A guide to communicating sustainability to consumers
In the final part of edie's 'guide-to' series for sustainable professionals, Matt Mace explores how to communicate sustainability to different business departments and consumers, and asks the experts whether it is time to disregard the 'S' word altogether.
How the Sustainable Development Goals are shaping corporate responsibility at SABMiller
International brewing company SABMiller has revealed annual cuts to key environmental footprints, after tweaking its "Prosper" sustainability initiative to align to the global targets established in the United Nation's (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Is biofuel production the long-term answer to enhancing food security?
With the United Nations calling for countries to mobilise efforts to improve food and energy security, new research has suggested that an accelerated push to generate sustainably sourced biofuel could actually eradicate long-term hunger.
Report: Digital technology uptake needed to reach Sustainable Development Goals
A host of technology frontrunners including Microsoft, BT and Verizon have urged countries to accelerate the uptake of digital technology, claiming that smart solutions and the Internet of Things (IoT) would be "indispensable" to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Major businesses join new coalition to go 'net-positive'
Dell, Hewlett Packard (HP) and Kingfisher are among a host of major businesses to form a cross-sector coalition that aims to increase the number of companies that go beyond reducing negative sustainability impacts to provide "net-positive" contributions to society, the environment and the global economy.
Businesses urged to 'make friends with disruption' and embrace the millennial movement
EXCLUSIVE: Businesses should do more to drive the sustainability agenda by embracing the willingness of the first "digital natives and a globally empathetic generation" in order to ignite behaviour change within consumers, the chief executive of collaborative organisation Collectively has said.
Meet the E&E Award-winner: Energy Manager of the Year - Jude Hughes, NIBSC
Over the past seven years in her role as energy manager at NIBSC, Jude Hughes has achieved the following headline figures for this large and energy-intensive government research centre: a 17% reduction in carbon footprint, a 12% reduction in electricity consumption, a 20% reduction in gas consumption, and utilities cost savings amounting to £746,000. Meet the Energy Manager of the Year...
Getting over peak delusion: Four strategies for sustainable prosperity within planetary boundaries
Our aspirations for sustainable growth and prosperity have little chance of being realised, if we don't manage within all our planetary boundaries. Mike Townsend explores how we need to get over our delusions, and find a new course for business success.
Business as usual approach pushing the world past its environmental boundary, says IEMA
Companies operating with a "business as usual" approach are driving the planet past its environmental and social boundaries and will need to adapt to address the combined force of global megatrends, a new IEMA report has revealed.
Companies must look 'beyond the storm' and embrace long-term strategies, says IEMA
Companies failing to account for looming long-term megatrends are at risk of becoming "unviable businesses", unless a transformative switch away from short-term thinking can be introduced, the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment's (IEMA) policy and practice lead has claimed.
Why the new world of sustainability leadership lies in products
EXCLUSIVE: Companies that are tackling key environmental and societal issues through they way they design, make and sell products will become the leaders of the low-carbon economy, as customer-facing begin to diversify their services in favour of sustainable business.
Carillion nets £33m profit from sustainability action
Carillion has added an additional £33.8m to its overall profits thanks to an increased focus on sustainable business practices, the British construction company has announced in its latest CSR report.
Could the circular economy salvage Britain's struggling steel industry?
The ongoing debate over the UK's escalating steel crisis has failed to consider the circular economy as a potential solution, with Tata Steel's Port Talbot production plant well-positioned to become a national remanufacturing hub as a way of securing a more sustainable future.
Queen's Awards recognise sustainable development among British business
Seven companies including Premier Sustain Division, the British Land Company and the Fairtrade Foundation have been awarded Queen's Awards for Sustainable Development in honour of Her Majesty's 90th birthday today (21 April).
L'Oréal chases "carbon-balanced" commitment as footprints shrink
Cosmetics giant L'Oréal has made significant progress in its sustainable development plan, with figures showing the company is on course to reach targets to reduce emissions, water consumption and waste generation by 60% by 2020.
UN and Google forge 'eye-in-the-sky' forest mapping partnership
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has turned to tech giant Google to implement a high-resolution satellite-based data mapping system which could usher in an "unprecedented level of environmental literacy" for the forestry sector.
Renewables revolution in full swing as global investment smashes records
Renewable energy sources added more generation capacity than all other technologies combined in 2015, with a world record total of £286bn invested in renewables across the globe, a major new UN-backed report has found.
UN Global Compact seeks 'change agents' to accelerate action on SDGs
The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) has launched a 'pioneers programme' to accelerate grassroots leadership on the new global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The importance of measuring and evaluating your CSR impact
Taco Terheijden, director of cocoa sustainability at global chocolate supplier Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, explains the new approach the organisation is taking to monitor, measure and evaluation its wide-ranging sustainability strategy.
British retailers on track to meet energy, water and waste reduction pledges
The UK's biggest retailers including ASDA, Sainsbury's and Argos have collectively reduced carbon emissions by 19% over the past decade, with a 6% reduction in 2014 alone, according to new figures.
Supply chain ethics and traceability among biggest business human rights issues, report finds
Increasing supply chain traceability and integrating human rights into the adaptation and mitigation of climate change impacts are among the most significant human rights issues effecting sustainability and CSR professionals.
Businesses are 'the new activists', claims UN research
An increasing number of businesses are looking beyond their own short-term interests and working to create the sustainable society they want to operate in.
Unilever's Paul Polman launches Global Commission to accelerate sustainable business methods
Unilever CEO Paul Polman and former United Nations deputy secretary-general Mark Malloch-Brown are working to articulate and quantify the massive economic rewards that could be available to businesses who become leaders in poverty reduction and sustainable development.
RE100 companies halfway to 100% renewable target
The 53 companies that have signed up to the RE100 pledge to source 100% renewable energy are on average, halfway to their goals, a new report by The Climate Group and CDP shows.
London selected for €25m smart city innovation trial
London is uniting with cities across Europe as part of a €25m project which will explore how innovative technologies including heating homes through the River Thames can improve the standard of living for city residents.
COP21: World leaders agree legally-binding climate deal in Paris
History has been made at the COP21 climate change conference in Paris as world leaders agreed to adopt an "ambitious and balanced" final deal, including a "legally-binding" agreement to keep global warming "well below 2C".
IBM to scale up big data environment programme
Global IT corporation IBM has announced plans to expand its Green Horizons programme which uses big data to help cities and companies make informed environmental decisions.
Greener Kit Kats on the way as Nestlé achieves 100% sustainable cocoa
Nestlé Professional UK & Ireland has become the first major confectionary company in the hospitality and foodservice sector to source 100 certified sustainable cocoa for its chocolate and biscuits.
153 corporations unveil new low-carbon action plans
More than 150 companies have unveiled low-carbon plans which they say can collectively deliver 65% of the emissions reduction needed to limit global warming to two degrees.
Sustainability Reporting: More goals, more targets, more frameworks, more reporting
Ahead of edie's Sustainability Reporting Conference which takes place in February, conference chair Elaine Cohen examines the challenges and opportunities of the current reporting landscape, with an insight into what we can expect in the coming year.
Could cutting meat from our diets bridge a post-Paris 'emissions gap'?
A dietary change that relieves the demand for animal protein could play an instrumental role in plugging the post-Paris emissions gap, according to a new report from independent policy institute Chatham House.
Is the profit-over-planet business model dead?
EXCLUSIVE: The business model of the 20th century that considers the services rendered by nature to be free, available and infinite is dying.
Selling sustainability: Business culture more effective than 'green' products
EXCLUSIVE: Companies should stop 'selling' sustainability and focus on creating products and brands that have green credentials embedded as a core value, industry experts have argued.
Refugee camps' energy bills over $2bn due to neglected energy efficiency
The energy consumption of refugee camps has been neglected by international governments and humanitarian agencies, costing an estimated $2bn annually, according to a consortium of NGOs and think tanks.
Branson's B Team calls for long-term climate goals beyond Paris
An environmental coalition of 22 business leaders including Sir Richard Branson and Unilever's Paul Polman have penned an open letter ahead of the crucial Paris talks calling for an 'actionable' global commitment of 'Net-Zero by 2050'.
New web platform to streamline sustainability reporting
A trio of global sustainability organisations are creating a new reporting platform which aims to help businesses make sense of the reporting requirements that affect them on a regional, national and international level.
Finance ministers urged to deliver strong climate deal in Paris
G20 and EU finance ministers have been urged to 'step-up' their efforts to arrange a strong agreement at the COP21 UN climate conference next month, by a group of leading international business organisations.
UK urged to take global lead on cold economy
Researchers have urged the UK Government to establish a lead department dedicated to developing new clean-cold technology as a new report highlights the rising demand in cooling and refrigeration systems.
Collaboration and innovation vital to solve 'forgotten problems' of water scarcity
Both the public and private sectors need to realise there is no 'silver bullet' to deal with the rising yet largely ignored water scarcity crisis, a panel of industry experts has concluded.
Ford to boost recycling by mimicking gecko 'stickiness'
American car company Ford has announced plans to mimic the sticky toe pads of geckos to help it boost the recyclability of its car parts.
Jaguar takes 'Environmental Innovation' to Kenya
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has embarked upon a new five-year CSR initiative in Africa which will see the carmaker provide 300,000 Kenyan schoolchildren with access to safe water.
Unilever unveils innovation competition winners
The development of modular water sanitation infrastructure; an iron-deficiency educational programme and a water-saving shower have been announced as the three winning ideas from Unilever's global innovation crowdsourcing campaign.
Sustainable Development Goals: Businesses urged to take the lead
Sir Richard Branson, Unilever's Paul Polman and Professor Stephen Hawking are among those that have thrown their support behind the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), set to be authorised today (25 September).
Sustainable Development Goals: The role of business
The excitement around the launch of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has reached stratospheric levels. The Pope and even Beyoncé are on board. The next 15 years will require a massive effort to deliver the goals - not least by companies that are expected to play a central role in delivery.
Sony, Microsoft, Adidas back new UN emission offset initiative
The UN has launched a major new initiative designed to get businesses and consumers to voluntarily become 'climate neutral'.
Unilever's Paul Polman receives UN's highest environmental accolade
Unilever's chief executive has been named as one of the winners of the United Nations' Champion of the Earth Award for his work as a 'tireless advocate' for sustainable business models.
Islamic Reporting Initiative: Aligning local culture with CSR
A 'one-size-fits-all' approach to CSR reporting is becoming irrelevant and impractical, writes Daan Elffers, who has launched a new framework to align sustainable business with local principles and values.
Hotel operator to offset CO2 footprint of all Paris trips for COP21
AccorHotels will offset the carbon footprint of all overnight stays in the Ile-de-France region - including those at rival hotels - for the two-week duration of the Paris climate conference in December.
UNEP: 'Urgent response' needed to avert global waste crisis
The first ever worldwide waste report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says immediate action is required to shift from 'take-make-use-waste' to a circular economy.
What I want from Paris: 21 climate leaders on COP21 - Part two
EXCLUSIVE: In the second of our two-part feature, sustainability leaders from the likes of Mars, Heineken and IKEA tell edie what they want to see from the Paris climate talks.
edie explains: Sustainable Development Goals
Earlier this week, the UN agreed on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will frame its policies and agenda over the next 15 years. What are they? How will they be funded? And how will they impact the UK?
UN agrees 'transformative' sustainable development blueprint
The UN has agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals that aim to tackle climate change and reduce global poverty over the next 15 years.
Improving air conditioner efficiency could reduce global warming, report finds
Improving the energy efficiency of air conditioners could save up to 100 billion tonnes of CO2 by 2050, according to new research from the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD).
Minimising your carbon footprint: Knowledge sharing and inclusion
With Make Holidays Greener month in full swing, Arnaud Herrmann, vice president of sustainable development at AccorHotels, explores the carbon reduction and employee engagement initiatives hospitality businesses should undertake to go green.
Insurance industry 'essential policy instrument' to help those at climate risk
The insurance industry must be utilized to protect citizens at risk from climate change, a new report from the University of Cambridge's Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has claimed.
Report: Kill short-lived pollutants to curb climate change
Global governments must work together to cut short-lived climate pollutants as well as tackling long-lived CO2 emissions, according to a report published in the journal Nature Climate Change published today (13 July).
VIDEO: One Direction call on army of fans to 'change the world'
Boyband One Direction have called on fans around the world to push governments to address climate change and poverty.
Prince Charles: rewire the global economy to stop climate change
Prince Charles has said that "profound changes" to the global economic system are needed in order to avert environmental catastrophe, in an uncompromising speech delivered in front of an audience of senior business leaders and politicians.
VIDEO: New IRENA app puts green data at your fingertips
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has launched a new smartphone app which gives the public direct access to up-to-date information on renewable energy potential worldwide.
Global domination: 164 countries now have renewables pledge
Twenty new countries set renewable energy targets in 2014, meaning that 164 countries around the globe now have some form of commitment or support for clean energy.
Green Building Task Group formed to identify zero-carbon solutions
John Lewis, Whitbread and Saint Gobain are among the big businesses that have formed a new Task Group to help inform the upcoming zero-carbon building standards in the UK.
Why sustainability is more important than ever
Sustainability: a key factor that most organisations in today's society strive to achieve. But why is it so important? Why should you care? And why should you be working with suppliers that are certified to British standards for sustainability? Stone Group's Martin Ruston investigates.
Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan drives business growth
The business case for sustainability couldn't be clearer: Unilever's 'Sustainable Living' brands accounted for half of the company's growth in 2014 and grew at twice the rate of the rest of the business, chief executive Paul Polman has revealed.
Queen Elizabeth awards sustainable business achievement
Automotive giant Jaguar Land Rover and surplus food re-distributor Company Shop have been recognised as sustainability leaders by receiving a Queens Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development today.
Investing in fossil fuels goes against health charities' aims, says Jonathon Porritt
Charities that work on solving problems connected to climate change should not invest in fossil fuel companies that are "out of kilter" with their charitable aims, according to top environmentalist Jonathon Porritt.
Heineken partners with UNIDO to tackle water scarcity in developing markets
International brewer Heineken is teaming up with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to accelerate the deployment of water stewardship initiatives in countries and regions classified as 'water-scarce'.
Less than a third of UN's sustainability targets are well-developed, scientists claim
The UN's sustainability targets are too vague and diffuse to be effective, according to an independent asessment carried out by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC).
Sustainable development goals must not be undermined, say MPs
With UN negotiators eventually reaching a watered-down deal in Peru over the weekend, the UK Parliament's green watchdog is now warning the Government to uphold its Sustainable Development Goals ahead of Paris 2015.
FEAD president urges new Environment Commissioner to back circular economy package
The president of European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services, David Palmer-Jones, has written to the new European Commissioner for the environment Karmenu Vella urging him to back the European Commission's circular economy package.
Value networks hold key to enabling circular economy
The transition to a circular economy can only be achieved if businesses are prepared to engage and collaborate with competitors in the form of 'value networks' which will help scale-up ideas and bring more sustainable products to market.
Cameron's Climate Envoy to head up London Sustainable Development Commission
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has today (13 November) appointed former DECC Minister Greg Barker as the new chairman of the London Sustainable Development Commission.
Edie explains: Materiality assessments
In this week's 'edie explains' we've brought together everything you need to know about materiality assessments and what they might mean for your business.
Biomethane industry must show '60% greenhouse gas savings', says Government
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has published further details on the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), detailing how biomethane plants claiming support under the scheme must demonstrate a minimum 60% saving in greenhouse gas emissions.