Urgent greenhouse gas removal plan could see UK hit 'net zero' target - report
Tree-planting, restoring wetlands and using chemicals to take carbon dioxide from the air will all be needed to reduce the UK's greenhouse gases in line with government plans, scientists have said.
Machine makers are leading the way to low-carbon
With regulators and markets increasingly demanding the decarbonisation of high-emitting sectors, we are on the verge of a low-carbon industrial revolution. However, to get over the line the products and services supplied to these sectors need to transform.
UK would run out of food a year from now with no-deal Brexit, NFU warns
Britain would run out of food on this date next year if it cannot continue to easily import from the EU and elsewhere after Brexit, the National Farmers' Union has warned.
Earth Overshoot Day: How businesses can 'move the date' to create a sustainable future
Today (1 August) marks Earth Overshoot Day, the date when humanity consumes more from nature than the planet can renew in a year. The urgent need to "move to the date" back is clear and edie explains how businesses can help by reinvigorating approaches to corporate sustainability.
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.
Meat and dairy firms 'majorly overlooked climate culprits'
The livestock sector could consume up to 80% of the planet's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions budget by 2050 if the growth of the global meat and dairy industry continues.
WWF: Agriculture can deliver 30% of climate solutions by 2030
The agricultural sector can provide up to 30% of the solutions needed by 2030 to tackle the global climate crisis, a new WWF-led initiative has claimed.
The Supply Chain Sustainability Handbook
This handbook outlines eight essential opportunities that businesses can seize upon now to drive supply chain sustainability. Each page of the handbook provides an overview of the opportunity, supplemented by top tips, ‘in action’ case studies and expert comments from businesses that will be represented at edie’s Sustainable Supply Chains 2018 conference in June.
Why you need to know what the animals in your supply chain are being fed
Earlier this month, sitting in a packed room full of food and feed industry executives from around the world, we spoke together with leading retailers on why animal feed is one of the critical sustainability issue of our times.
Green Brexit unlikely despite government claims, report concludes
Government promises of a green Brexit have been cast into doubt by a new study that warns of declining protections for water, birds and habitats once Britain leaves the European Union.
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.
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.
Land degradation threatens human wellbeing, major report warns
Land degradation is undermining the wellbeing of two-fifths of humanity, raising the risks of migration and conflict, according to the most comprehensive global assessment of the problem to date.
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.
Energy resilience roundtable: Paving the path to a clean energy future
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.
German court rules cities can ban diesel cars to tackle pollution
Millions of heavily polluting vehicles could eventually disappear from roads across Germany after its top administrative court ruled that cities have the right to ban diesel motors in an effort to improve deadly air quality levels.
Systemic thinking is vital to tackle today’s non-linear challenges
When we first started analysing developments and signals of change to gather insights for our Future of Sustainability 2018 report, we were struck by the rapidity of recent changes, particularly in the climate system and in the vital ecosystems that support us.
8 global sustainability trends to watch out for in 2018
Over the past 12 months, challenges around addressing sustainability issues have featured consistently in global headlines. Despite mixed political messages about our transition to a low-carbon future, the private sector has continued to drive sustainability up the business agenda; from Science Based Targets (SBTs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to increased investor scrutiny over non-financial reporting.
Michael Gove: UK to reward farmers for environmental practices post-Brexit
Michael Gove will indicate that the UK will replace the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-Brexit with a system that gives subsidies to farmers who try to enhance the natural environment.
edie Explains: Greening your fleet
What are the business benefits of transitioning to low-carbon vehicles? Which fuel types are the most efficient? And what role can technology play in changing driver behaviours? This free edie Explains guide provides everything you need to know when it comes to greening your fleet.
Meat tax 'increasingly probable' to help combat climate change
Investors have claimed that the implementation of the Paris Agreement will lead to some governments introducing a "livestock levy" that cuts meat consumption from diets, in a move than could avoid up to $600bn in climate damages by 2050.
Moving the sustainability agenda forward: 5 key steps for business
In January, I will be sharing the stage with a number of other sustainability professionals at edie's 2018 Sustainability Leaders Forum. The event comes at a pivotal time for our business as, this month, together with The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC), we launched our first ever joint Sustainability Action Plan for Western Europe; This Is Forward.
Public sector bodies: Is now the time to monitor, analyse and manage your energy consumption?
Businesses and Public sector bodies spend the equivalent of £22bn on energy every year. Yet it is often overlooked by these organisations, who lack the knowledge of how much they are consuming or even potentially wasting.
The key business takeaways from COP23
So, COP 23 has come and gone, with little attention in the media. Expectations were for a technically focused meeting, working through some of the detail needed to bring the Paris agreement to life. Does this mean that there was little in it of business interest? Far from it, there were some important outcomes that provide real opportunities for business leadership. Here are my key takeaways.
How the SDGs can create a framework to fix a 'broken' agriculture sector
Businesses must collaborate to create global platforms that can fix a "completely broken" agriculture system in a way that improves land management and farming practices that can drag smallholders out of poverty.
ING’s commitment to 'Let’s Talk Water'
The vibe at Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW) is very unique! You have this larger than life technology exhibition where engineers have "Pipe tapping competitions" (quite thrilling actually!), tons of stands with cool gadgets and solutions to be water-wise, and people of about 160 different nationalities walking around in cool national outfits, murmuring to their translators.
UK Government provides £62m to combat deforestation in Latin America
The UK Government has announced two new projects worth £62m will help tackle deforestation across Latin America by promoting sustainable new business models and sourcing practices.
Renewable energy in the supply chain
This new report focuses on the opportunity for companies to amplify their carbon reduction efforts by driving renewables through their supply chains. Given how easy it is to choose renewable electricity in the UK, businesses could be doing more to engage with their suppliers.
Why Net Positive can help big business achieve long-term success, and more
Businesses are facing unprecedented levels of disruption- and from so many different quarters that the dependable business models of old are being torn to shreds. In many sectors market share is being seized away from the incumbents by savvy - and very often values-driven - start-ups who are rewriting the rules of business, leaving those that fail to innovate and adapt facing a bleak future.
What the world needs now, is sustainable soy
Producing more responsible - and certified - soy will be critical in protecting the Cerrado region of Brazil.
Aldi joins World Banana Forum to strengthen supply chain
Aldi UK and Ireland has backed its commitment to sourcing 100% sustainable bananas by joining a global forum that promotes fair working conditions and environmental standards for banana production.
Stella McCartney backs first Life Cycle Assessment for man-made cellulosic fibers
Luxury fashion brand Stella McCartney will be able to better map the environmental impacts of its raw materials, after commissioning the first ever Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for man-made cellulose fiber (MMCF) used in production.
Rabobank launches $1bn programme for food production practices
Dutch cooperative financial firm Rabobank has partnered with the UN Environment to promote sustainable food supply across the globe, starting with the launch of a $1bn fund to catalyse land restoration and forestry initiatives.
The impact of the Modern Slavery Act, two years on
The Modern Slavery Act shone a spotlight on the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking when it was written into UK law two years ago. But what effect has it had so far?
How to expand your business sustainably: it all starts with your supply chain
The 2016 CEO Study published by Accenture and the United Nations Global Compact boldly claims that a "staggering 97% of CEO's interviewed believe that sustainability is important to the future success of their business". Despite being reminiscent of the 97% of scientists that agree on climate change, clearly, we are at a point in time where the question around business expansion is not can, but rather how, does a business grow sustainably and where should it focus its efforts?
Towards a sustainable economy
CISL and its recently formed Rewiring the Economy Inquiry Group published its latest report ‘Towards a sustainable economy’, to identify new business approaches that can drive progress towards the SDGs.
Windfarm could boost Scottish economy by £827 million
The Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) windfarm off the Fife coast could be worth more than £800 million to the Scottish economy, according to a new report.
Are you veg-curious? The sustainability benefits of plant-based diets at work
Vegetables seem to be having a 'moment' right now. While full vegetarianism or veganism remain off-putting for a lot of people, there is a rise in all kinds of almost vegetarian ideas and mini-movements.
Wise Minds: The energy transition and large utilities
The UK energy system is in flux. It is changing more quickly – and more fundamentally – than at any point since the Industrial Revolution.
WHAT’S IN A NAME? Doing business responsibly and sustainably
EDIE blog readers will be very familiar with the classic definition of sustainable development as formulated by the Brundtland Commission in 1987: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Today, we might more immediately define sustainable development as how 9-10 billion people will live at least reasonably well, within the constraints of One Planet, by mid-century.
Michael Gove vows to implement 'gold standard' policies as part of a green Brexit
Environment Secretary Michael Gove believes that Brexit has given the UK a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to become global leaders on agricultural management, as part of a vow to deliver a "green" Brexit.
Michael Gove heralds Brexit opportunity to reshape environment policy
Environment Secretary Michael Gove has pledged to use Britain's exit from the EU as an opportunity to redevelop the green policies surrounding the nation's farming and fishing industries in a way that "puts the environment first".
Why business should prepare for a chokehold on food security
A report detailing how vulnerable "chokepoints" could threaten global food supply has heightened the need for food retailers to map and promote sustainable food production, with companies like McDonalds applying a "total supply chain approach" to food security.
Eating for 2 degrees: Dietary changes can help UK hit Paris Agreement, says WWF
A new report from WWF has suggested that farmers, retailers and the UK Government should promote the consumption of fruit and vegetables to deliver a 30% emissions reduction and place the UK on the pathway to limit global warming to well below 2°C.
The sustainable business benefits of sourcing and serving local
British food has undergone a revolution in the last 20 years. Once the laughing stock of Europe, we can now boast more varieties of cheese than France, world class, award-winning wines and restaurants the envy of the world.
Rainforest Alliance and UTZ to 'redefine sustainability standards' with merger
EXCLUSIVE: Businesses look set to benefit from a streamlined certification process within agriculture supply chains, after the Rainforest Alliance announced an intention "redefine the certification landscape" by merging with fellow sustainability certifiers UTZ.
Unilever's Sustainable Nutrition Manifesto aims to prove that food shouldn't 'cost the earth'
In a change of pace from the numerous electoral manifestos, Unilever has launched a new agenda that commits to creating "food that tastes good, does good and doesn't cost the earth".
If we’re to protect vital peatlands, we must also protect peatland communities
There is now a global scientific consensus that the world is in a race against time to halt catastrophic and irreversible climate change. The incoming UN secretary general has said it's the biggest crisis facing humanity and the biggest curse we could bequeath our children.
Autonomous systems for environmental monitoring
Autonomous systems are a key priority in governmental agendas. In 2013, David Willetts included them as one of the Eight Great Technologies that will propel the UK to future growth. In 2017, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund was created that prioritised "robotics systems...that can be deployed in extreme environments."
edie Live Exhibitor Spotlight: A-Consult
With only ONE WEEK to go before edie Live at the NEC on 23-24 May we get up close and personal with some of our exhibitors to find out what visitors can expect to see at the show, what's new and how they can help in the drive towards sustainability targets.
Maximising the value of your sustainability report - webinar presentations
View the presentations that were given by a leading cross-sector panel of sustainability experts who discussed their views on how to maximise the value of sustainability reports in a recent edie webinar, sponsored by classification organisanion DNV GL.
The fuzzy front-end of sustainability
I used to work as a sustainability consultant in a large multi-national manufacturing business. One of my final projects was to conduct a sustainability review of the Research & Development (R&D) portfolio - the function developing new technologies to fuel future innovation for business success.
Olam International pairs sustainability and financial reporting for the first time
Agri-business supplier Olam International has announced cuts to carbon intensity and water usage in its own operations in a sustainability report that has been merged with its annual financial report for the first time.
Beware false sustainability solutions
It is inescapable and undeniable that we live in a finite world. It is also becoming widely accepted that we are using resources and polluting air, land and water at unsustainable levels. That's why the term 'sustainability' is pervading many aspects of government policy, locally, nationally and internationally, and prompting business and industry to radically change the ways they operate.
Building the sustainable megacity of the future
As edie's megatrends series turns the spotlight to urbanisation and smart city development, it is important to consider exactly how the world's megacities can make the transition to low-carbon, resource-efficient hubs that can facilitate sustainable business growth.
Leaked paper exposes EU countries' abuse of climate loophole
European Union countries exploited loopholes in United Nations forestry rules to pocket carbon credits worth €600 million and the equivalent of global-warming emissions from 114 million cars.
Show support for forests on the International Day of Forests
My father used to sing "Hutanku Tak Akan Hilang", which means "My Forests Will Stay" in Indonesian, and I inherited my passion for forests from him. Today (21 March) marks International Day of Forests, but it is unacceptable that even with an annual day to reflect on these environments - and the species within them - that they continue to be lost at unprecedented rates.
Putting the O in H2O: Where is the Opportunity in water?
I've been working on Environmental Management Systems (EMS) with businesses for over 20 years. Their drivers for EMS (often legal compliance and cost savings) have led some to focus on quick-wins, typically in waste and energy.
Carbon Trust forms partnership to reduce climate impact of livestock
The Carbon Trust has struck a deal with World Bank Group member International Finance Corporation (IFC) to enhance productivity and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the livestock supply chain.
Post-Brexit environmental legislation could boost natural capital into the mainstream
The 25-year environmental plan can act as a catapult to launch the concept of natural capital into the mainstream, the Chair of the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) has claimed.
Food production 'in jeopardy' unless new agri-practices are introduced, says FAO
The global population's ability to feed itself could be "in jeopardy" unless new technologies and sustainable agriculture policies and practices are introduced, a new report from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned.
Brexit White Paper: Government underlines vision for 'cleaner, healthier environment'
The UK Government has today (2 February) released its much-anticipated Brexit White Paper document, providing assurances that the nation will remain a "leading actor" on climate change and environmental policy following its imminent departure from the European Union (EU).
Sustainability Leaders Awards 2017: meet the winners!
Welcome to the winners report for the 2017 Sustainability Leaders Awards. Organised by edie, these awards recognise excellence across the spectrum of sustainable business; from the best efficiency programmes through to product innovation, from stakeholder engagement and CSR initiatives to the people making it happen.
Every breath you take: Population growth v CO2
The link between climate change and CO2 might not be as simple as people think. Has anyone taken into account human population, respiration and CO2 concentrations?
Soy and deforestation: the easiest step to take is also the most impactful
If we reflect on the prominent environmental issues of 2016, those that received widespread media coverage: the Paris Agreement, renewable energy, palm oil, fracking and air pollution, amongst others, would undoubtedly spring to mind. Few headlines seemed to touch on the deforestation sweeping across South America to give way to an expanding soy industry and its relationship to meat and dairy.
EU decides against tinkering with flagship nature directives
After undergoing a much-criticised European Commission-helmed 'fitness check', the EU's main nature directives have been ruled fit for purpose and will not be rewritten or weakened, in a huge win for environmentalists.
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.
The Magnificent Seven: Food and beverage giants commit to water stewardship challenge
Sustainability advocacy group Ceres has tasked seven global food and beverage companies, including Diageo, General Mills, Kellogg and PepsiCo, to participate in a collaborative challenge aimed at strengthening sourcing and water stewardship action plans.
Tomato growers reap benefits of horticultural LEDs
Two of Britain's biggest tomato growers are now benefiting from a transition to horticultural LED lighting, which is increasing yields and significantly reducing energy usage for both businesses.
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.
Why Scotland's leading emissions drive needs renovating
A new report from the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has revealed that Scotland is the exemplar Home Nation in regards to emission reductions, but with a major shift to the energy mix now integrated, the country may need to turn to other areas to keep pace with reduction targets.
UK businesses face increasing risk of drought, warns water sector
Companies are being called upon to ramp up water efficiency measures, share best practices and water consumption and open up new communication streams surrounding water conservation after a new report commissioned by water companies revealed the growing risk of drought facing the UK.
Treasury to underwrite Horizon 2020 projects beyond EU membership
The UK's innovation agency has vowed to ensure that science and research plays a "central role in a progressive industrial strategy", after Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed that the Treasury will underwrite business and academic funding for approved Horizon 2020 projects.
edie Responsible Retail Conference programme
Can sustainability and profitability go hand-in-hand? Are current retail business models fit for purpose if we are to deliver the transformational change needed to create a low-carbon, zero-waste economy? Download now.
National Trust calls for complete reform of British farm subsidies
The National Trust has called for complete reform of the British farm subsidy system after Brexit, by ending payments for owning land and only rewarding farmers who improve the environment and help wildlife.
Global water shortages to deliver 'severe hit' to economies, World Bank warns
Water shortages will deliver a "severe hit" to the economies of the Middle East, central Asia, and Africa by the middle of the century, taking double digits off their GDP, the World Bank warned on Tuesday.
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.
Scotland ploughs £50m into food security and climate research
The Scottish Government has announced it will be investing £48m for innovative scientific research in the agriculture and environmental sectors in an effort to strengthen global challenges such as food security and climate change.
Cargill partners with WRI to tackle supply chain deforestation and water risk
International agri-foods business Cargill has forged a new partnership with global research organisation World Resources Institute (WRI) to improve the sustainability of its supply chain, with a particular focus on deforestation and water risk.
From pledges to purposeful action and long-term change: reflections on International Women’s Day
This year, the UN chose #pledgeforparity as its theme for International Women's Day, encouraging individuals to take tangible steps to help tackle gender inequality worldwide.
Data collection for agricultural supply chains set for streamlined upgrade
A host of big brand food producers including Mondelez, PepsiCo and Marks & Spencer will have their agricultural supply chain data collection and management streamlined through a new platform partnership between Sedex and the Sustainable Agricultural Initiative (SAI).
No breaks for Nestlé in its relentless pursuit of global supply chain sustainability
If you're one of the thousands of people across the globe heeding Nestlé's advice to 'have a break, have a KitKat' this lunchtime, it might be worth taking an additional moment to consider exactly how the world's largest food company is working to ensure its snacks are sustainably and ethically produced.
Study: Reducing meat and dairy consumption required to meet climate goals
Europeans need to eat less beef and consume less dairy products in order to reach the EU's climate goals, according to a new study by Swedish researchers.
US Navy launches first biofuel-powered ship
The first ever US Navy ship to run on an alternative fuel blend as part of its regular operations, has been deployed from California.
Can underground herb gardens boost Britain's food security?
A hydroponic herb garden beneath the streets of Clapham could provide an agricultural model for Britain to save valuable resources and boost food security, London catering firm Vacherin has claimed.
Re-shaped Defra vows to make Britain a global leader in farming
Environment Secretary Liz Truss has today (6 January) vowed to make Britain a global leader in sustainable farming by announcing improved flood defences, increased agricultural investment and greater risk-response capabilities as part of a shake-up for the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
A rising tide on the corporate agenda - Overcoming the world's water challenges together
Seen from space, it looks like there's water everywhere on earth - roughly 70% of our planet's surface is covered by it.
Coca-Cola and Pepsi unite on the road to Paris
With less than a week to go until COP21, global beverage giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have thrown their weight behind a business-led push for global leaders to secure a robust international climate agreement in Paris.
DuPont to invest $10bn in sustainable food R&D
American chemical giant DuPont has unveiled a new set of sustainability targets for 2020 including a $10bn investment in international food security, commitments to sustainable innovation and a reduction of its own environmental footprint.
Data-powered farming needed to feed booming population, says WRAP
Data-enabled technology, new consumer eating habits and reducing waste will all prove vital in ensuring the UK has a sustainable supply of protein over the next 10 years, according to new research from WRAP.
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.