Published every week, this series charts how businesses and sustainability professionals are working to achieve their ‘Mission Possible’ across the campaign’s five key pillars – energy, resources, mobility, built environment and business leadership. 

From a health & wellbeing-related green buildings initaitive in Singapore to a customer reward scheme for recycling in Canary Wharf, each of these projects and initiatives are empowering businesses and governments to achieve a sustainable future, today.

This edition of the ‘Achieving Mission Possible’ round-up highlights some of the tremendous progress we are now seeing right across the globe. From a huge net-zero holiday resort to a fleet of electric street sweepers, each of these projects and initiatives are empowering businesses and governments to achieve a sustainable future, today.

Achieving Mission Possible: The sustainability success stories of the week (24-28 September 2018)

ENERGY: Hilton pledges to ramp up energy productivity 

This week marked the 10th annual Climate Week in New York, which brought together businesses, governments, academic institutions and NGOs together to drive awareness and keep climate action at the top of the global agenda. 

The week saw a range of bold new actions, including from a range of companies committing to source 100% renewable electricity through the RE100 initiative. The scheme now consists of 152 companies, after PVH Corp – which owns brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein – bakery company Grupo Bimbo, sportswear firm Decathlon and Turkish menswear retailer and manufacturer Gürmen Group all pledged to the initiative.

Elsewhere, hospitality firm Hilton joined The Climate Group’s energy efficiency initiative, the EP100. Hilton will target a 40% energy productivity improvement by 2030 against a 2008 baseline. Since the baseline date, Hilton has reduced energy use intensity by 20% and its carbon footprint by 30%, as it pushes towards a science-based emissions reduction target of 61%.

RESOURCES: Canary Wharf Group launches new reward partnership for deposit return scheme 

This week also saw the 15th year of recycle week, created by national waste agency WRAP, which aims to changing recycling behaviours through simple actions and messages. Playing its role in the goings-on, Canary Wharf Group has launched a new reward partnership for its deposit return scheme, incentivising consumers to recycle plastic bottles and cans across the Canary Wharf estate. CPress, an organic juice bar and coffee shop in Canada Place is offering 10p off any purchase in-store when users recycle CPress bottles via the deposit return vending machine.

Plastic bottles collected by the machine will be sent to packaging manufacturer Klöckner Pentaplast, which will use it to make recycled PET (REPT) plastic packaging. This is then sent onto fresh food producer Cranswick – a supplier for several retailers on the estate – meaning that the plastic ends up back at Canary Wharf in a demonstration of the circular economy in action.

MOBILITY: Porsche vows to stop diesel production

The UK Government’s decision to ban the sale of new diesel vehicles by 2040 has forced the hand of some manufacturers to quicken a transition to low-carbon transport. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), for example, looks set to cut vehicle production of certain models, citing uncertainty surrounding Brexit and an increase in diesel taxation as primary reasons for the decision.

This week, Porsche announced that it will cease to offer diesel versions of any of its vehicle models, citing a falling share in diesel sales and increased demand for hybrid and all-electric modes of transport. The car company suspended sales of diesel vehicles in the UK earlier in the year, due to policy changes and the restructuring to emissions testing. This week, the company has revealed it will no longer offer diesel propulsion as part of its future vehicle portfolio.

BUILT ENVIRONMENT: New green buildings mark set to promote office health & wellbeing in Singapore 

In a week jam-packed with seperate dedicated events raising the profile of certain aspects of the sustainability agenda, members of the green built environment community celebrated World Green Building Week. An oft-forgotten element of green buildings is the health & wellbeing benefits, but not in Singapore, where the Green Mark for Healthier Workplaces scheme launched this week. The project seeks to cultivate healthier indoor environments that promote employees’ health and wellbeing in addition to environmental sustainability in the office.

The joint partnership between the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Health Promotion Board (HPB) comes after a recent study by National University of Singapore revealed that occupants in Green Mark buildings were less likely to fall sick due to better indoor environment quality.

Zee Yoong Kang, chief executive officer of HPB, said: “With employees spending about 60 per cent of their day at work, the workplace is a key touchpoint to support and remind employees to stay healthy.”

BUSINESS LEADERSHIP: Thai Union Group shares its sustainability story with global leaders 

World leaders gathered in New York this week to open up the new session of the UN General Assembly, and as part of the event, seafood producer Thai Union Group was invited to present its actions on addressing modern slavery and forced labour in front of high-profile politicians and diplomats. An early adopter of companies to publish a UK Modern Slavery statement, Thai Union has supported efforts to achieve Goal. 8.7 of the SDGs, aiming to eliminate transnational crimes currently afflicting people through the Indo-Pacific region.

Speaking in front of 300 UN member states, as well as representatives from civil society, the private sector, investors and media, Thai Union’s global director of sustainable development, Darian McBain – edie’s Sustainability Leader of Year for 2018 – said: “It is an incredibly prestigious honour to be invited as a global business leader and I feel privileged to have been able to share Thai Union’s sustainability story on the world stage in front of so many key leaders and decision makers.

“Policies and high-level commitments are very good, but it is the many small steps that impact people’s lives that make up change. Governments and businesses must come together to resolve the social challenges plaguing some modern-day supply chains, specifically forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking,” she added. “I genuinely believe success is only fully attainable through authentic political will, multi-party collaboration, and resolute, uncompromising determination.”

George Ogleby

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