Blockchain

DEFINITION: A distributed electronic ledger that uses software algorithms to record and confirm transactions with reliability and anonymity. The record of events is shared between many parties and information once entered cannot be altered, as the downstream chain reinforces upstream transactions. The concept came to prominence in 2008 with the invention of the digital currency Bitcoin.

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Megatrends: Exploring the future of sustainable business

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H&M recently announced that 930,000 garment workers in its supply chain are covered by its 'fair living wage' roadmap

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Wilmar International supplies palm oil to several blue-chip companies, including Unilever, Proctor & Gamble and Mondelez International

World's biggest palm oil firm unveils new measures to end supply chain deforestation

Palm oil sourcing giant Wilmar International has unveiled plans to use satellite tracking and other digital technologies in a bid to eliminate deforestation risks from its supply chains.

Kering owns 14 luxury fashion brands including Gucci, Balenciaga and Saint Laurent

Kering launches first 'regenerative sourcing' standard for fashion suppliers

Luxury fashion company Kering has launched a fashion industry standard capable of verifying raw materials and finished products as 'regenerative', after partnering with environmental charity The Savory Institute to advocate for 'net-positive' sourcing solutions.

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Sky confirmed for edie's single-use plastics business transformation webinar

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Businesses are responding to regulators and investors putting pressure of firms to disclose their sustainability practices, HSBC claims

HSBC: Businesses turning the screw on supply chain sustainability

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The Environmental Audit Committee estimates that UK consumers are now buying an average of 26.7kg of new clothing every year

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The report accuses viscose suppliers supplying to some of the world's biggest fashion retailers of dumping toxic waste in China's Beijiao Port (pictured)

High-street fashion giants urge viscose suppliers to bolster sustainability

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Milikin and Barcenas discuss some of the brewer’s notable achievements to date. Photo credit for Ezgi Barcenas: Bloomberg

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Nespresso will track the aluminum through its supply chains using a a digital traceability mechanism

Nespresso pledges to use 100% sustainably sourced aluminium for coffee capsules

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The UK Government estimates that around 13,000 people in Britain are living in modern slavery today

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Asda joins the likes of Tesco and Lidl in committing to use only sustainable-certified soy in its own-brand products

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edie rounds up the key facts from The Consumer Goods Forum and Futerra's survey

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Apple, Dell and Levi's led the rankings, with C&A climbing 30 places to rank as fourth

Apple and Dell top green supply chain rankings

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Since 2011, the company has reduced overall waste levels by 16%

PZ Cussons outlines plastics and palm oil goals

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HP and Ikea join commitment to create global supply chain for ocean-bound plastics

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The partnerships will be used to spur investment in - and collaboration for - sustainable catchment management across Africa, Bolivia and Latin America

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The Co-op's chief commercial officer Michael Fletcher (first from left) made the comments during a Fairtrade conference in London

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The map covers 71 fisheries and 47 marine species, accounting for M&S' entire seafood product range

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The report once again highlights the urgent need for bold climate actions from business and policymakers

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Mondelez's Cocoa Life programme has helped women in cocoa origin countries gain greater access and control over both household productive resources. Credit: Cocoa Life

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The first programme will be located in Pakistan

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The CCC claims that some workers in H&M's Bulgarian textile factories are paid just 9% of the nation's living wage

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By 2026, it is hoped the 250 largest UK companies across the two sectors will be added to the programme

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H&M’s strategy focuses on the management process of wage standards, rather than imposing specific wage levels for suppliers

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The pyjamas made using the sustainable cotton were one of the first products placed on Primark shelves with a clearly labelled sustainability message attached

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The new target will see Interface developing factories and products that sequester more carbon than they emit

Interface unveils goal of becoming carbon negative by 2040

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Mars has invested almost $1bn in a string of measures aimed at transforming its approach to corporate sustainability

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Ceres estimates that an area of tropical forests the size of Maine is lost to deforestation every year, with 65% of tree loss accounted for by cattle

Big-name investors call on food industry to tackle supply chain deforestation

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edie's weekly round-up explores how businesses across the world are ramping up efforts across all areas of sustainable development

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(L-R): Presenter Richard Gillies; HH Global’s Stuart Poole and
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It is claimed that collaborations to tackle the key drivers of food waste could reduce the amount of annual food loss by $700bn by 2030

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The easy-to-recycle alternative will be rolled out across six of Aldi's produce lines by the end of August

Aldi begins black plastics phase-out as part of packaging overhaul

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Walmart was the first retailer to adopt a science-based-target emissions reduction plan

Walmart reduced supply chain emissions by 20 million tonnes last year

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The urban vegetable garden at Novotel London Waterloo produced enough pesticide-free basil to stock the kitchen all summer

AccorHotels now using 600 onsite urban food gardens

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The free app was launched to mark World Day Against Trafficking after a rise in the number of calls to the Modern Slavery Helpline

BT teams up with Unseen to launch modern slavery reporting app

Communications giant BT has partnered with anti-trafficking charity Unseen to launch an app that lets users report concerns in confidence of potential cases of modern slavery.

Factories in China, India and Indonesia have been linked with environmental destruction and causing illness

Dirty fashion: Companies criticised over 'damaging' viscose use

Luxury fashion brands and high-street retailers have again been linked with the damaging production of viscose textile fibres, despite some of last year's laggards making notable improvements to sourcing practices.

edie Explains: Onsite solar

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Although the sector is set to benefit from low-carbon revenues, the report notes that board-level climate understanding and action remains low

Capital goods sector primed to capitalise on low-carbon transition, says CDP

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EY will introduce more initiatives to cut back on the amount of plastic it consumes in the future

EY to remove 7.7 million single-use plastic items from its UK offices

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Starbucks and McDonald’s are aiming to develop a global solution that stops plastic-lined paper coffee cups being sent to landfill

McDonald's joins Starbucks to fund new coffee cup innovations

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The launch of the fund comes after Apple announced earlier this year that it had started souring 100% renewable energy for all its global facilities

Apple launches $300m fund to build 1GW of supply chain solar capacity

Tech giant Apple has announced that it has partnered with its key suppliers to jointly invest $300m (£228m) in solar power projects, as it strives to drive the uptake of renewable energy across its supply chains.

Tesco will purchase carbon offsets as part of the first phase of its new soy plan

Tesco commits to new zero-deforestation soy policy

Supermarket giant Tesco has made a fresh sustainability pledge to ensure that the soy it sources for its own-brand products and animal feed is verified as "zero deforestation" by 2025.

Energy innovation: Delivering the smart grid of the future, today

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During a workshop at the event, many delegates noted that achieving boardroom buy-in for anti-slavery measures required them to position the issue as a risk to business cost and reputation

UK businesses must make tackling modern slavery business-critical, experts warn

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Several of the named supermarkets told edie they have put additional human rights measures in place

Report: UK supermarkets failing to protect supply chain workers' rights

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The commitment follows on from Tesco's pledge to become carbon-neutral by 2050

Tesco and Target join CDP's supply chain initiative

Tesco and Target have committed to a programme to cut emissions, tackle deforestation and promote water efficiency in their supply chains, through a partnership with CDP.

PepsiCo has announced it will not purchase palm oil from land that has been cleared since the end of 2015

PepsiCo on track for palm oil goals despite NGO concerns

PepsiCo has released an updated sourcing policy in a bid to source 100% certified sustainable palm oil by 2020, a move that the Rainforest Action Network has described as a "dodge and cover" action plan.

Through a partnership with Thread International and the First Mile Coalition, HP purchased 170 tonnes of PCR plastic from Haiti last year

HP used eight million 'ocean-bound' plastic bottles in products last year

HP has revealed that it has diverted 170 tonnes of plastic from the oceans over the past 12 months, after pledging to recycle "ocean-bound" plastic bottles for use in its range of ink cartridges.

Steve Butterworth became aware of Neighbourly while volunteering for a beach clean three years ago. Now, he's been promoted to its chief executive

Business appetite for tackling food waste could lead to international rollout for Neighbourly

EXCLUSIVE: As businesses push to create ever-more holistic approaches to their role in tackling food waste and social issues, social platform Neighbourly is on the brink of an international rollout driven not by the enterprise itself, but by its clients.

From left to right: Waitrose's Tor Harris, Iceland's Ian Schofield, Cranswick's Jim Brisby and CWG's Steve Greig

Breaking the plastics habit: The changing role of business in achieving a circular economy

Between increasing consumer pressures and sluggish policy changes, corporates are being stretched to their limits to tackle the plastics problem - but it is critical that this sudden step-change in awareness of the issue does not lead to unintended consequences, as edie's Matt Mace investigates.

Interface hopes the move to carbon-neutral products will drive other manufacturers to consider the role of embodied carbon in their ranges

Interface goes carbon neutral for entire product range

Flooring giant Interface will only offer carbon-neutral products as standard to buyers, with the firm’s entire product range now listed under a Carbon Neutral Floors programme.

First launched 10 years ago in France, the Harmony scheme provides farmers with a financial incentive to conserve water, protect biodiversity and reduce carbon emissions

Mondelez to use 100% sustainably-sourced wheat in EU

Confectionary giant Mondelēz International has committed to making 100% of the biscuits it manufactures in the European Union with sustainably-sourced wheat, a 40% increase from the company's biscuit production last year.

Firms are encouraged to promote the aims across the supply chain by incentivising energy demand reductions and the uptake of renewable energy solutions

World Green Building Council calls for net-zero building sector by 2030

The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has called on the built environment sector to set ambitious targets that eliminate carbon emissions for building portfolios by 2030, in order to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement.

Black plastics in Quorn’s Deli range, which accounts for 10% of all chilled products, will be phased out by the end of 2018

Quorn moves to eliminate black plastics from packaging supply chain

Vegetarian food brand Quorn Foods is switching almost 300 tonnes of hard-to-recycle black plastic packaging to clear, recyclable alternatives, at a cost to the company, to reduce the amount of plastic waste it produces.

One of the strategy’s flagship goals is seeing the Group’s estate become “the world’s first SDG compliant city”

Making Sustainability Real: Inside Canary Wharf Group's bold net positive strategy

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Helias noted that all business applications will eventually be working on sustainability as an everyday consideration

'Stimulating and inspiring': How P&G made sustainability business critical

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BT maintained its share of electricity generated from renewable sources at 82% last year - contributing a 5.4% year-on-year fall in its overall operational emissions

BT generates £5.3bn in revenue through carbon-combative products, again

BT's range of consumer operations and products which contribute to carbon savings were worth more than £5.3bn last year for the second year running, while the company also increased the amount of carbon it helped customers avoid by 1.3 million tonnes year-on-year.

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Elysis will work to develop the technology further, in line with large-scale commercialisation planned for 2024

Apple partners with mining firms on zero-carbon aluminium smelting

Technology giant Apple has announced a new partnership with industrial firms Alcoa Corporation and Rio Tinto Aluminium to accelerate commercialisation of new technology that eliminates all greenhouse gas emissions from the smelting process of aluminium.

Almost half of edie’s Sector Insight respondents (47%) viewed a ‘lack of supply chain management/transparency’ as a ‘significant’ challenge for the sector

Hospitality & leisure firms struggling to act on modern slavery, edie report finds

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Featuring expert advice and case studies from Ikea, Asia Pulp & Paper, Primark and more, the handbook equips readers with knowledge and examples to embed new supply chain practices

The Essential Eight: edie launches supply chain sustainability handbook

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Tottenham’s 62,000-seater stadium, set to open later this year, will be free from plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery

Premier League partners with Sky to eliminate single-use plastics by 2020

Sky has teamed with the Premier League to eliminate single-use plastics from the organisation by 2020, while encouraging football clubs and fans to stop using certain plastics.

Pieters call for collaboration is built on the efforts that Mondelez has put in place to attempt to boost the prosperity of its suppliers

Mondelez calls for 'brave' collaboration to bring cocoa supply chain out of poverty

EXCLUSIVE: The head of Mondelez's Cocoa Life sourcing programme has called on the cocoa industry to "be brave" when exploring new ways to enhance supply chain practices that ensure cocoa is sourced sustainably while bringing smallholder farmers out of poverty.

Accelerating the shift: 10 industry game-changers for low-carbon vehicles

This insight report, produced in partnership with UK Power Networks Services, investigates some of the game-changing developments which are driving green mobility.

According to the report, greater transparency is required to enable businesses to address sustainability and hygiene concerns as they arise

Consumer demand for transparency to disrupt food sector, report finds

Public trust in the food sector has eroded to an "all-time low", with a new report commissioned by premium food supplier Cranswick warning that heightened consumer demand for increased transparency looks set to disrupt the sector.

Olam's chief executive Sunny Verghese said the aim for a ‘net-positive’ impact towards the creation and restoration of natural and social capital would enable the company to operate a viable business

Olam unveils new 'net-positive' supply chain policy

Multinational agri-business Olam has launched a new sustainability strategy which supports a 'net-positive' approach to supply chain and landscape management.

Hershey will invest in “innovative agroforestry methods” to protect forests and climates. Image Andy Melton/Flickr

Hershey commits £355m to supply chain sustainability

Global confectionery company Hershey has committed $500m (£355m) to tackling child labour and links to deforestation in its supply chains, as part of a comprehensive new sustainability strategy.

Icebreaker is now using a “Baacode” that enables consumers to trace fibres in clothing all the way back to the farm

How Icebreaker's first transparency report aims to disrupt the outdoor apparel industry

A New Zealand-based outdoor apparel company's attempt to disrupt the industry by reducing plastic synthetics has been highlighted through its first Transparency report, which provides complete disclosure into supply chain contracts, living wage commitments and edible packaging innovations.

Sustainability and procurement experts from manufacturing and retail firms came together to discuss the potential solutions to some of the biggest challenges in the supply chain

Supply chain roundtable: Going 'beyond audit' to drive sustainability action

Sustainability and procurement professionals from some of the world's largest businesses recently came together for an exclusive roundtable hosted by edie and DNV GL to discuss the strategic steps required to take supply chain sustainability onto the next level.

The newly published guide shows American company Hershey Foods Corporation – commonly called Hershey’s – is leading the ranking of the more sustainable companies in the chocolate industry

Easter sustainability: Chocolate firms urged to become 'good eggs' for green business

Chocolate companies still have "a huge amount of work to do" in implementing truly sustainable policies, with some doing much better than others, the Washington-based NGO Mighty Earth concluded in a consumer guide ranking chocolate producers on their sustainability leadership.

Scorched earth in Argentina, image Mighty Earth

Meat industry driving 'astounding' levels of deforestation, report finds

Global agribusinesses have been implored to improve the traceability of their soy and soybean supply chains, after a new report linked food products sold in European supermarkets with severe deforestation cases in South America.

The company had already announced that by 2025, 100% of its guest packaging will come from recycled, renewable or certified sources

McDonald's to reduce emissions by a third under approved science-based targets

McDonald's has become the first global restaurant company to have an emissions reduction target approved by the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTI), as the fast food giant outlines plans to reduce carbon emissions by 150 million tonnes.

Ferguson also chairs the Rationalisation of Packaging Working Group, instituted by WRAP, aimed at improving recycling

Financial incentives for recyclability the way forward, says Co-op

A fiscal system that rewards recyclability and labelling, coupled with reducing the range of polymers available for use, would enable retailers and waste management firms to better tackle the rise of plastics pollution, according to the Co-op's environment manager Iain Ferguson.

As well as calling on other hoteliers to join the network, the report recommends that firms be bolder in showcasing commitments to tackling modern slavery

Hotelier coalition calls on industry to make modern slavery top priority

A coalition of hospitality firms with a collective annual turnover of more than £14bn is calling on the industry to drive change in supply chains by treating modern slavery as a critical corporate responsibility.

Energy management experts from manufacturing and retail firms across the country came together to discuss the potential solutions to some of the biggest challenges around energy resilience

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Energy management experts from some of the world's biggest manufacturers and retailers recently came together for an exclusive roundtable hosted by edie and Centrica Business Solutions to explore some of the biggest challenges and opportunities when it comes to building energy resilience.

Apple and its suppliers are almost three-quarters of the way along a path to purchasing more than 4GW clean energy worldwide by 2020

Apple moves towards greener supply chain with zero-waste and clean energy milestones

Apple has made progress in its ongoing effort towards a greener supply chain, with big achievements over the past year in key areas such as waste and low-carbon energy procurement.

Water tests at one of the plants found that carbon disulphide – the toxic chemical used in viscose production – levels were 125 times the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline value

British retailers linked to polluting supplier factories

Marks & Spencer, H&M and ASOS are among the global companies that have agreed to incorporate new measures into sourcing policies for textile fibres, after a new report linked Tesco, Asda and Next to Asian viscose factories that are polluting the environment and contributing to premature deaths.

The latest phase of the partnership aims to improve the lives of vulnerable women and children across 63 tea gardens in Assam, which have a total population of 350,000

How Twinings is championing women's rights in the tea supply chain

EXCLUSIVE: Twinings' decision to increase its funding initiative with UNICEF for vulnerable tea farmers in Assam was built on a belief that improving skills, health and wellbeing is critical to securing the long-term security of the supply chain, the company's head of social impact has revealed.

Unilever first launched its Sustainable Palm Oil Policy in 2013, with the aim of achieving a full traceable supply chain

Unilever implements 'radical step' on palm oil traceability

Unilever has become the first consumer goods firm to publicly disclose palm oil suppliers and mills that it sources from, both directly and indirectly, a move described by the firm as a "major milestone" in driving sustainability through the industry.

Primark’s ethical trade and environmental sustainability team, consisting of more than 100 people across key sourcing countries, will update the sourcing map on a twice-yearly basis

Primark's Global Sourcing Map emphasises the importance of brand transparency

Primark's decision to publish a Global Sourcing Map to its website is part of an ongoing journey of supply chain transparency, and a reflection that there is a greater appetite amongst retailers to collaborate on societal and environmental issues.

The UK has the most green procurement leaders in Europe, including BT, Interserve, PwC and Rolls-Royce

Apple and Sky among swelling list of green procurement leaders

The number of top companies leading the way on tackling emissions on the supplier chain has doubled in the past year, but many corporates are still missing out on the business opportunities of supplier engagement.

PTPN employees more than 121,000 people and generated 63% if its $2.5m global sales from palm oil production

Unilever to increase sustainable palm oil production in Indonesia

Global consumer goods firm Unilever has struck a deal with a government-owned palm oil plantation firm in Indonesia to create a support framework that enables local mills and smallholders to produce palm oil according to standards of no deforestation and no peatland deterioration.

Chris Brown, senior director sustainable business, ASDA (far left), Chris Cook, global sustainability director decorative paints, AkzoNobel, Ian Heasman director of sustainability, Taylor Wimpey, Rachael Everard,  group sustainability manager, Rolls-Royce

What does the future role look like for the sustainability manager?

Sustainability leaders from AkzoNobel, Asda, Rolls Royce and Taylor Wimpey gave their thoughts on the future role of the sustainability manager during an action-packed first morning of the edie Sustainability Leaders Forum.

Dell believes the closed-loop process can support the creation of millions of new motherboards over the next 12 months

Dell targets e-waste with recycled gold initiative

Fresh from incorporating ocean plastics into products, technology firm Dell has announced an industry pilot aimed at using recycled gold from discarded electronics in new computer motherboards.

BCI is the largest farm-level cotton sustainability programme in the world

Sustainable cotton fund reached 600,000 farmers in past year

More than 600,000 farmers have benefited from a Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) fund thanks to an almost doubled membership size in the past year.

Antibiotic use in farming is of high concern, because it can lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to vitally important medicines

Marks & Spencer is first supermarket to publish data on antibiotics in supply chain

Marks & Spencer has become the first supermarket chain in the UK to publish details of the use of antibiotics in its farm supply chain, in a step towards reducing the use of vital human medicines in livestock-rearing.

Commitments covering palm oil and timber were by far the strongest examined by the report, but just 18 companies obtained full scores for policies

Corporates set to miss zero-deforestation targets for 2020

A new report has found that no sector is on track to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain by 2020, with individual companies adopting a "piecemeal approach" by largely ignoring big contribution areas to deforestation, such as cattle production.

The report also goes to lengths to highlight the positive work being done to tackle human rights issues in the supply chains of the brands

Report: UK jewellers 'must do more' to combat potential human rights abuses

The billion-pound jewellery industry is still "tainted" by hidden cases of human rights abuses and modern slavery, with a new report urging large UK brands to increase reporting responsibilities to ensure supply chains are fully-mapped and audited.

As part of the report, Kraft Heinz introduced a new goal to transition to a 100% cage-free egg supply globally by 2025

Transparency focus helps Kraft Heinz accelerate towards supply chain goals

EXCLUSIVE: Food processing company Kraft Heinz has enrolled in a journey of transparency to help deliver its CSR strategy, with the company's first ever sustainability report highlighting achievements with palm oil sourcing and challenges related to water consumption.

The trial could reach more than 10,000 Malawian tea farmers and if successful, could benefit 1.5 billion families that depend on small-scale farming across the globe

Sainsbury's and Unilever sign up to blockchain trials for supply chain practices

Global brands Unilever and Sainsbury's have partnered with leading investors to trial how blockchain technology can financially reward sustainable farming practices for Malawian tea makers.

Companies are invited to sign up to the initiative, and in doing so will commit to reducing plastic use across operations and supply chains. Image: Dell

Dell spearheads global initiative to combat ocean plastics

Technology giant Dell is forming a collaborative initiative alongside General Motors and Interface to create the world's first commercial-scale supply chain for ocean-bound plastics, before they seep into waterways.