Minecraft’s energy module and compostable coffee pods for the NHS: The sustainability success stories of the week

Every week edie rounds up some of the good news sustainability stories 

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

Despite the economic shockwaves being felt globally as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, projects and initiatives which empower businesses to play their part in achieving a sustainable future, today, are continuing to launch and scale-up. 

ENERGY: Minecraft launches game-based learning module on renewable energy

With people now working from home for the foreseeable future, sustainability professionals may be looking for something to keep the kids engaged. Minecraft is one of the best-selling games of all time and has this week launched a new game-based learning module that teaches youth about sustainable energy.

Launched ahead of Earth Day, the Minecraft: Education Edition will attempt to help the 1.5 billion students affected by school closures worldwide due to coronavirus. The module has initially been developed for 9 to 15-year-olds by EIT InnoEnergy in partnership with KU Leuven and Minecraft creator Blockworks and teaches children about how sustainable energy can be used to power cities built in Minecraft.

Minecraft Director of Learning Programs, Adam Tratt said: “The combination of fun in-game energy challenges and relevant learning content makes us especially excited to bring this amazing set of Minecraft worlds to classrooms and homes around the world for Earth Day.”

RESOURCES: Halo Coffee donates 1,000 compostable coffee pods to the NHS

The Royal Free Hospital in North London is one of the emergency services at the heart of the response to the Covid-19 outbreak and as such, has one of the largest strains on its resources and staff. In what is the latest in a long line of businesses donating to the NHS in this period, Halo Coffee has announced that they are donating 1,000 compostable coffee pods to the Royal Free Hospital for frontline NHS staff.

The pods can be disposed of in home composts and therefore won’t end up in landfill, they are also compatible with Nespresso coffee machines and those located at the hospital. The pods form part of a fortnightly donation, and Halo will donate an additional two coffee boxes to the Royal Free for every new customer subscription throughout April to June 2020. They have also launched a 30% online discount on selected coffee pod subscriptions to all NHS staff nationally.

Sarah Lim, Halo’s Business Development Director, said: “Every business in the UK has a duty to do their bit to help get through this global pandemic. We recognised the huge effort everyone involved in the NHS is committed to, how they are putting themselves on the line in the country’s efforts to stem the impact of Covid-19. In our own way, we wanted to help. By providing the teams at the Royal Free Hospital with our coffee, we’re delivering a sustainable way to keep the frontline fuelled without adding to their waste.”

MOBILITY: Thai Union plants 7,000 trees to offset global meeting emissions

Thai Union has this week confirmed that it will plant more than 7,000 trees globally in order to offset the carbon footprint from its annual global leadership meeting that it held last year.

Thai Union has joined with #TeamTrees to have 7,222 trees planted between 2020-2022 as part of the company’s strategy to offset a global meeting and help protect the environment,

“At Thai Union, we understand very clearly the threat to our planet from climate change and have already seen a significant impact on the world’s oceans,” said Darian McBain, Global Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability. “As one of the world’s largest seafood companies, we take very seriously our responsibility to take a leadership position in protecting the environment, and by planting these trees we are taking another step in the right direction.”

THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: AECOM sets science-based targets

Engineering and construction firm AECOM has revealed that targets to reduce operational emissions by 20% and value chain emissions by 10% by 2025 have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)v as aligned to the requirements of the Paris Agreement.

AECOM’s targets include a 20% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025 against a 2018 baseline and a 10% reduction in supply chain emissions in the same timeframe. The SBTi has confirmed that the targets are aligned to the 2C target of the Paris Agreement.

“During these unprecedented times, business resilience and continuity are at the forefront of what we do and how we operate so that we can help deliver a better world,” AECOM’s chairman and chief executive Michael Burke said.

BUSINESS LEADERSHIP: Ethical investors The Craftory achieves B Corp certification

In a previous iteration of this weekly round-up, edie noted that Dropps, a Philadelphia-based firm which produces packaging-free laundry detergents and dishwasher pods had received a $16m (£12.4m) investment from The Craftory, a London-based firm which invests in FMCG brands with environmental or social purpose built-in.

This week, The Craftory became the first UK-based investment company focusing on purpose-led consumer goods to achieve B Corp certification. To certify as a B Corp, The Craftory has demonstrated that it meets rigorous standards of accountability, transparency, and social and environmental performance impact.

The Craftory’s co-founder Elio Leoni Sceti said: “For us, becoming a B Corp was a no brainer. Just as brands that have a reason to exist beyond simply making money have always been our focus, purpose has been in our DNA since day one. The tide of history has turned – for today’s consumers it’s about honesty, provenance, quality and sustainable use of our planet’s resources.”

Matt Mace

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