The best retailers for the world: Driving responsible retail and one-planet prosperity
Low-carbon, resource-efficient retail is the only way forward, but we might also need to dig deeper if we are to find one-planet prosperity. Ahead of Wednesday's Responsible Retail Conference, Mike Townsend explores the real challenges and opportunities - along with evidence of an innovative shift - taking place in Sweden.
Coming of age: The heroes and villains of the circular economy
The circular economy is growing up; moving beyond simple radical resource efficiency, towards an authentic triple-bottom-line. As with any transition, not everything is great. Business model innovation is the battleground for success - and while there are heroes, there are also villains holding back the real transformation that is needed.
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.
Developing for resilience: Four key practices
What are the practices and processes that allow leaders and organisations to develop businesses, products, services and an economy that will respect the living world and will be resilient into the future?
EU asks for public advice on circular economy
The European Commissions has launched a 12-week public consultation to help inform its upcoming circular economy action plan, to be presented by the end of 2015.
Aldi commits to hazardous chemical detox
Leading discount retailer Aldi has signed up to Greenpeace's Detox campaign, committing to the zero discharge of hazardous chemicals from the lifecycle and production of all its textile and footwear goods by 2020.
Walmart launches virtual sustainability shop
American retailer Walmart has opened up an online tool that allows customers to factor in sustainability credentials when purchasing products from its website.
WEF blueprint defines the corporate sustainability spectrum
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released a White Paper on business sustainability to deepen understanding of its breadth and potential impacts.
VIDEO: BT crowdsources ideas on how to frame big data 'for social good'
BT is actively exploring how digital technology can fast-track efforts to progress sustainable consumption through more effective curation of big data.
Mike Barry: Sustainable product co-creation with consumers may 'drive future'
Marks & Spencer's head of sustainable business Mike Barry has said that consumer involvement in future product development may become necessary in order to bring brand sustainability to life.
Unilever calls for business 'mindfulness' on consumption
Unilever CEO Paul Polman has questioned whether businesses are in denial over the growing trend for mindful consumption, as he called for companies to widen their understanding on the issue.
Consumers seeking 'brand endorsement' of sharing economy
A global shift in consumption patterns is fuelling demand for economic models that focus on community and collaboration rather than accumulation and ownership, new research suggests.
Growth - the real elephant in the room?
EXCLUSIVE Is the pursuit of continuous growth the single biggest issue for our businesses and our economies? Will the circular economy provide the silver bullet, or do we need to go further? Michael Townsend investigates.
Sainsbury's sells UK's first sustainable tuna sandwich
Sainsbury's has become the first UK retailer to launch a certified sustainable tuna sandwich as part of the supermarket giant's on-going efforts to deliver more sustainable seafood.
Global Action Plan founder steps down to embark on fresh challenge
Trewin Restorick is stepping down from his role of running Global Action Plan, the environmental behaviour change charity, to pursue a new venture.
Sustainable consumption 'stumbling in dark' without policy intervention
Efforts to tackle sustainable consumption may be failing due to too much focus on changing individual behaviour, rather than concentrating on the importance of systems change.
Report: Intensive meat production devouring land and raw materials
The current industrialised meat and dairy production system is "untenable" and needs a radical rethink to reduce its impact on the environment, according to a new report.
Patagonia launches 'survival mission' in bid to remodel consumerism
Patagonia is set to explore whether it can survive in a "responsible economy" whereby mass consumption is drastically reduced as society begins to operate within tighter resource limits.
Tesco gets 37,000 customers promising to recycle more
Tesco has hailed its online customer recycling pledge scheme set up in June with Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) as a success, announcing that the initiative has attracted 37,000 pledges so far.
Santa's 'shocking' carbon footprint dampens Christmas spirit
Concerns have been raised by the scientific community over Santa's emissions in the lead up to Christmas.
Plugging the future food gap relies heavily on slashing waste
Tackling food waste successfully will be critical to meet the world's growing food needs as new research proposes that the planet will need 70% more food to feed a global population of 9.6 billion in 2050.
Sainsbury's CSR chief applauds rising culture of 'challenge'
Sainsbury's head of corporate responsibility & society Sarah Ellis has said that taking an open-source approach to sustainability is helping to challenge the company go beyond its 20x20 targets.
Zipcar examines how the sharing economy is stacking up
Brits could pocket £12.4bn in savings by embracing a 'pay-as-you-live' economy and shunning traditional ownership of good and services.
ANALYSIS: Circular and sharing, when two become one?
If there is one thing the sustainability movement appears to want ownership of, it is the word 'economy'. A circular version has been doing the rounds for some time, but it could be under threat from a new kid on the block, equally as caring, but perhaps, well, more sharing.
Unilever targets parents as 'unlockers' of behaviour change
Unilever is following up its Sustainable Living Plan with the launch of Project Sunlight, an initiative to motivate millions of people to adopt more sustainable lifestyles.
'Lease a fleece' business model looks to become latest fashion
A circular economy clothing concept whereby consumers hire items to wear instead of buying them has been launched, and is currently seeking investment.
Cartons rated as 'most sustainable' packaging by consumers
Consumers are demanding more renewable materials and environmental labelling on the products they buy, with many rating cartons as the most eco-friendly packaging type.
AkzoNobel receives top ranking for sustainability in materials sector
AkzoNobel has been ranked the number one position on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) in the newly named Materials industry group, previously the Chemicals sector.
ANALYSIS: How will profit margins fare in a sharing economy?
The rise of the sharing economy presents a double-edged sword to businesses. The very nature of it turns consumers into service providers, creating a disruptive force to traditional markets. But it also works by sweating idle assets, many of which are owned by the companies that are being disrupted.
BT reveals strong desire to be Net Positive frontrunner
BT's head of Net Good Kevin Moss has said his company has received "overwhelming support" for its Net Positive agenda and will now look to take the lead on forging the types of collaboration needed to build on this momentum.
Brands look for greater ownership stake in sharing economy
Brand leaders are increasingly looking to turn the growing trend for collaborative consumption into a business proposition by forming strategic alliances with smaller, start-ups.
Unilever CSO: We want 'active role' in shaping future green policies
Unilever's chief sustainability officer Gail Klintworth has argued that big corporations should play an active role in helping to shape new environmental legislation.
Food retailers must consider sustainable 'brand power' of British
Creating a brand concept around the sustainability of British farming and food could help drive better environmental practice across supply chains for food producers and retailers.
EXCLUSIVE: Mainstream business must 'deepen' sustainability thinking
To protect the planet from environmental devastation it is vital that there is an "embedding and deepening" of sustainability thinking into mainstream businesses, says HW Fisher's Jae Mather.
The future looks bright - as long as it's circular
Changing society from a 'buy and bin' to a 'rent and return' culture may take a generation to achieve, but the pain in getting there will be worth the effort, says Angus Middleton
Philips explores feasibility of 'selling light' as service-based model
Philips is looking to commercialise selling the concept of light as a service rather than a product as a part of a new circular economy business model.
BT looks to 'shift mindsets' to scale up sustainable consumption
Companies not only need to rethink their own business models but redefine consumer models too if they are to meaningfully contribute towards a more sustainable future.
Reuse must overtake ownership for 'true' sustainable consumption
Materials need to be moved up the waste hierarchy to encourage greater reuse and there needs to be a shift towards leasing products to make consumption more sustainable.
Debate rages on as to why waste is such a dirty word
Waste and resource management professionals still have much to do if they are to move waste up the hierarchy and achieve community buy-in, according to industry experts.
Cradle-to-cradle movement gathers pace in UK
A new cradle-to-cradle (C2C) collaboration in the UK could make it easier for companies to derive value from their sustainability strategies.
Levi's shows real bottle in 'waste less' designer denim drive
Levi's has unveiled its latest innovation in sustainable design with the launch of jeans made from recycled plastic bottles and food trays.
Brits show growing appetite for sharing economy
The sharing economy - in which goods and services are based on collaborative consumption - is now valued at £330bn globally and £22.4bn in the UK, according to new research.
Sustainability must go mainstream: Interview with Peter Bakker
Business cannot succeed in a society that fails - that is the personal mantra of Peter Bakker, president of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. He takes time out to tell Zeljka Davis why
Tony Juniper: Sustainability must learn how to tap into humanity
The sustainability debate needs to realign itself with social values if challenges around behaviour change are to be overcome, leading environmentalist Tony Juniper has said.
Europe prepares to test industry standard for product sustainability
Companies wanting to highlight the environmental performance of their products could receive a welcome boost as a European standard for product lifecycle analysis (LCA) moves a step closer.
Sustainability big 'turn on' for employees but corporate desire is lacking
Business has a clear role to play in encouraging staff to adopt more sustainable lifestyles as office-based green actions are shown to be highly influential on a wider level.
Next phase for teabag recovery brewing at Unilever
Unilever is seeking to scale up its local authority food waste pilots in a bid to reduce the post-consumer impacts of its products.
World pays homage to water as experts warn of looming scarcity crisis
As the competitive tension between business and nations grow, and the population continues to rise, the perception of water as an unlimited resource will become out of date, say experts at the University of Leicester.
Strengthened UNEP to meet for landmark conference
Hundreds of environment ministers, decision makers, scientists, civil society representatives and business leaders will gather at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in an attempt to galvanize a new era of stronger action on pressing environmental issues.
Which? maps out sustainable consumption blueprints for 2030
Waterless washing machines, rechargeable kids and handheld molecule scanners might be commonplace in a future world built on resource scarcity, collaborative consumption and immersive technology.
L'Oréal's biggest challenge is making 'sustainability desirable'
L'Oréal's biggest challenge is getting consumers to come on board with sustainability, according to the cosmetics and beauty company's director of corporate social responsibility and sustainability Alexandra Palt.
Unilever challenges consumer behaviour on water use
Unilever is embarking on the next phase of its consumer-facing behavioural change programme to encourage families to lead more sustainable lifestyles.
Food sector hasn't got the stomach yet for true sustainability
There needs to be a step-change in how food companies choice edit their product portfolios if they are to successfully drive sustainable consumption.
Circular economy not 'silver bullet' for resource crunch
Industrial systems based on circular economy models will be constrained by end-of-life material availability, limiting future improvements in process efficiency, scientists claim.
Business trusted more than government on climate change
A growing number of consumers are putting their faith in businesses to tackle climate change, believing them to be better managed and more accountable than government on the issue.
Why isn't sustainable consumption getting more airtime?
There is significant opportunity for TV to help drive forward one vital issue on the sustainability agenda - that of food waste. Dean Pearce explains why
Starbucks rolls out reusable cups in sustainable consumption drive
Starbucks is introducing reusable plastic cups throughout its cafes in the US and Canada in a bid to cut down on post-consumer packaging waste.
Food waste holds key to solving supply chain challenges
A growing body of evidence suggests tackling food waste could help resolve many of the sustainability challenges faced by the food industry.
Consumers shift consumption priorities onto water and waste
Water and waste concerns must sit higher on the corporate agenda as research reveals consumers are starting to attach as much importance to these issues as working conditions and fair wages.