Inside Unilever's plastics packaging strategy
EXCLUSIVE: Unilever's chief R&D officer David Blanchard has outlined the company's three-pillar approach to improving the recyclability of its product packaging, focusing on "less", "better" and "no plastics" solutions.
30-minute masterclass: Seven ways to adopt the circular economy across your business
During a 30-minute masterclass webinar hosted by edie last week, Cranfield University's senior lecturer in circular innovation Fiona Charnley outlined the essential skills needed to implement circular economy principles. Here, edie rounds up her key takeaways.
LAST CHANCE to enter the Sustainability Leaders Awards 2019
Its Deadline day for the revamped Sustainability Leaders Awards, meaning that if you want your green business project, strategy or team to get the recognition it deserves, entries must be submitted by 5pm TODAY.
Available on demand: edie's 30-minute masterclass on implementing the circular economy
Sustainability professionals seeking to drive value from the transition to a circular economy can now watch the free 30-minute masterclass, which is available on demand.
Meet the Sustainability Leader: TerraCycle, P&G and SUEZ - Sustainable Supply Chains
With entries closing this week for edie's revamped 2019 Sustainability Leaders Awards, this new feature series will showcase the achievements of the 2018 winners, revealing their secrets to success. Up next: our 2018 Sustainable Supply Chains winners, TerraCycle, P&G and SUEZ.
SUEZ calls for extended producer responsibility system to spark 'waste revolution'
Waste and resource management firm SUEZ has called on the UK Government to extend its existing Producer Responsibility Obligation (PRO) framework and raise the cost of Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) to accelerate the shift to a circular economy.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: In the Green Room with Ball's Ramon Arratia
Welcome back to the green room - edie's exclusive interview hub for sustainability leaders, brought to you as part of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast. Up next to provide the insights of a leading sustainable business: Ball Corporation's sustainability director Ramon Arratia.
Henkel bolsters its sustainable packaging strategy
German chemical and consumer goods firm Henkel has joined the corporate war on waste with a pledge to ensure consumers can recycle, reuse or compost its packaging by 2025.
Burberry to stop burning unsold products as part of resource efficiency drive
Luxury fashion brand Burberry has announced it will stop destroying products deemed unsaleable with immediate effect, just months after it was revealed that the brand had burned more than £28m worth of stock over the past 12 months.
Dyson's EV hub and Unilever's solar partnership: The sustainability success stories of the week
As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.
UK's largest recycling centre opens in Scotland
The UK's largest recycling centre has officially opened in Livingston, Scotland, on the same day that waste experts called on the UK Government to scrap weight-based recycling targets post-Brexit.
Cradle to Cradle: C&A launches 'world's most circular' jeans
Fashion retailer C&A has this week launched the world's first Gold level Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Certified jeans, and is now providing other clothing brands with the tools they need to produce equally sustainable denim garments.
edie's next 30-minute masterclass: How to implement the circular economy
Sustainability professionals seeking to drive value from the transition to a circular economy are invited to take part in a free, online masterclass taking place on Wednesday 12 September.
The burning question: Can Burberry spark a resource revolution in the fashion industry?
EXCLUSIVE: In contrast to the public uproar over the burning of almost £30m worth of stock, luxury fashion brand Burberry is on a journey to "foster business models" that redefine waste and embed the circular economy into an industry riddled with "fast fashion" discrepancies.
Delta Air Lines to recycle 158 tonnes of old uniforms in textile diversion scheme
Delta Air Lines has announced that it will send more than 158 tonnes of its old uniforms to be upcycled or recycled in what it claims will be one of the largest textile diversion schemes by a single US-based corporation.
Starbucks' nationwide 5p cup charge to fund Hubbub's waste-cleaning boat
Starbucks has this week introduced its 5p paper cup charge to all 950 UK stores, with the proceeds of the charge to be used by environmental charity Hubbub to fund a plastic boat set to clean up waste in the Thames.
Canary Wharf Group commits to becoming world's first plastic-free commercial centre
Canary Wharf Group (CWG) has pledged to become a plastic-free community across its 16.5 million sq. ft London real estate, in a bid to help businesses and the wider community reduce the amount of single-use plastics in circulation.
On the Mission Possible sofa with Interface's Jon Khoo and Kingfisher's Caroline Laurie
The eighth and final episode of our new sustainable business chat show sees Interface's innovation partner Jon Khoo joined by Kingfisher's head of sustainability Caroline Laurie to discuss how sustainability can be embedded across the business, including at boardroom level.
Luxury sector unites to create roadmap for sustainability
Major luxury firms such as Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton and Chanel have developed a sustainable roadmap to help the sector address the challenges posed by climate change, biodiversity loss and rising economic inequality.
Operationalising sustainability as an opportunity
I could have started my talk by acknowledging how sustainability managers find themselves in a cross-fire between contributing to the delivery of competitive goods and services on the one hand and responding to increasing consumer awareness and international and national policy goals on environmental matters on the other hand.
ASOS launches circular fashion training programme
Online fashion retailer ASOS has this week launched a new sustainable fashion training programme for designers, in a bid to minimise the environmental impact of its operations and stock more closed-loop clothing and accessories.
Scientists create 'promiscuous' enzyme that turns plant waste into sustainable products
Scientists have created a new family of enzymes which break down plant waste into high-grade, high-value materials that can be converted into nylon, plastics and biofuels.
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.
How close is London to achieving a circular economy?
EXCLUSIVE: A year after the launch of a route map outlining how the collective actions of the private sector could catalyse a transition to the circular economy in London, edie investigates how much progress has been made to close the loop.
The North Face Renewed: VF Corporation takes next step into 'new world' of servitisation
EXCLUSIVE: The North Face's recent launch of a refurbished garments service is acknowledgement of a "new world" of corporate business models that will see the brand's owner, VF Corporation, trial a number of closed-loop, service-based models.
C&A Foundation commits more than £1m to circular fashion innovations
C&A Foundation, the corporate foundation affiliated with global fashion retailer C&A, will invest more than £1m (€1.29m) in a string of initiatives aimed at accelerating the industry's transition to a circular economy.
Recycled plastic could supply three-quarters of UK demand, report finds
Plastic recycled in the UK could supply nearly three-quarters of domestic demand for products and packaging if the government took action to build the industry, a new report said on Thursday.
It's time we embrace the fierce urgency of now
Jonathon Porritt recently provided the foreword to edie's flagship 2018 report for the Mission Possible campaign, which explores how businesses are scaling up effort and innovation across all areas of development to achieve a sustainable future.
Landsec achieves zero-waste-to-landfill goal
Property developer Landsec has achieved its zero-waste-to-landfill ambition and is within touching distance of its 2020 target of recycling three-quarters of its waste, having sent 74.9% to be recycled in 2017.
Dow generates £90m from natural capital projects
The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) has continued to prove the business case for measuring impacts on nature, generating almost £90m ($120m) from putting an economic value on natural resources in 2017.
Ikea to ban single-use plastics, targets 'climate-positive' status under new strategy
Removing all single-use plastics products from its range globally, eliminating more greenhouse gas emissions than its value chain emits, and generating more renewables than it consumes are all headline goals of Ikea's updated People and Planet Positive strategy.
Report: Circular economy a 'powerful force' to meeting Paris Agreement goals
Circular business models and greater material efficiency of products in the transport and built environment sectors could reduce emissions by 3.6 billion tonnes annually - putting the globe on course to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement.
Making Sustainability Real: Inside Canary Wharf Group's bold net positive strategy
EXCLUSIVE: British property giant Canary Wharf Group (CWG) has this week unveiled a sweeping new 2030 sustainability strategy, including goals of becoming a circular economy leader, transforming its estate into the world's first 'SDG-compliant micro-city' and becoming net positive.
How the circular economy is fuelling sustainable growth at Ikea
EXCLUSIVE: Ikea's aim of doubling sales by 2020 are not at odds with an embedded ambition to become more circular, according to the company's UK sustainability manager Hege Sæbjørnsen, who believes closed-loop solutions will be fundamental to future growth.
Final places remaining for free Mission Possible Workshops at edie Live
Sustainability and energy professionals have just a few days left to pre-book their place for a series of free 'co-creation' workshops taking place at edie Live on 22-23 May.
Big-name clothing brands team up to 'Make Fashion Circular'
Gap, H&M, Nike and Burberry are among the major brands which will lead a new Ellen MacArthur Foundation initiative that aims to help drive a circular fashion industry.
Taking action for a sustainable future
Ensuring packaging is as sustainable as possible is a priority for businesses across the globe. The Governments' newly announced £60m initiative backing the cause demonstrates the scale of this ambition. It's time to bring this conversation to the forefront and tackle the issue together.
Sustainability leadership: It's all about the journey
There's nothing new in businesses taking a leading role in social change, but there's growing evidence that it is beginning to happen on a scale we haven't seen before.
AB Sugar targets water, carbon and plastics under new sustainability commitment
Global sugar company AB Sugar has launched its first ever group-wide sustainability report, outlining bold new commitments to cut carbon emissions and water use by 30% and ensure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or bio-degradable by 2030.
How to innovate for sustainability like a Googler
One important event in the corporate innovation calendar is Boston Consulting Group's annual 'Most Innovative Companies' benchmark. This year Google was again acknowledged for its innovation leadership (holding the number two spot for the fourth year, again behind Apple) and the digital technology giant is also responsible for one of my favourite innovation projects. This blog unpacks the ways that Google, and other leading innovators, can teach us much about how we can and should be innovating for sustainability.
How technology can power our connection to the natural world
Humanity continues to find new ways of pushing the limits of technology, to discover the edges of innovation. Whether it's sending a car into space, exploring the potential for nanotechnology to support hyper-targeted drug therapies, creating virtual worlds or an artificial intelligence that responds to our spoken commands; most of these ideas were solely in the domain of science fiction 30 years ago.
edie Live 2018: Show programme complete as plastics and SDGs take centre stage
The show content for edie's annual exhibition has been confirmed, with plastics waste, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), energy storage and employee engagement among the hot topics that will be debated across four theatres at the two-day show in May.
Top 10 sustainability stories of March 2018
It was a month of plastic take back schemes, big Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commitments and high-profile business innovations. Take a look back at March's biggest sustainability stories in this round-up.
In Practice: The 'world-first' closed-loop glass recycling facility
Knauf Insulation's aim to ensure that recycled contents are embedded into the products it manufactures has seen the company strike a long-term partnership with waste specialists Veolia to create a closed-loop system for glass waste.
Starbucks pledges £7m to develop coffee cup solutions
Starbucks has declared a "moon shot for sustainability" by unveiling a £7m funding challenge to develop recyclable and compostable coffee cups, as well as agreeing to new "bean to cup" traceability technology to improve sourcing practices.
World Water Day - How we can ensure resilience of our water supplies
Peter Simpson, CEO, Anglian Water, discusses the action we can take together on World Water Day to ensure the resilience of our water supplies
Are businesses thinking about the SDGs when targeting plastics?
The recent wave of pledges against single-use plastic could lead to unintended consequences due to a lack of cross-sector alignment that is failing to examine the role of packaging in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 'resource currency': Pushing sustainability higher up the corporate agenda
Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at the edie Sustainability Leaders Forum. Everyone I spoke to was passionate about pushing sustainability up the agenda in their respective boardrooms so for me, this was an ideal opportunity to engage with businesses which have already bought into the sustainability concept, but who feel they can make an even greater difference in the way their businesses think and operate.
Veolia opens 'world-first' closed-loop glass recycling facility
A new £10m high-tech recycling facility which turns glass into insulation has been hailed as a "real boost" for the UK's circular economy.
Lidl UK exploring deposit return scheme as part of plastic waste commitment
Lidl UK has today (9 March) unveiled a package of new commitments to reduce plastic waste, including plans to remove all single-use plastic bags, reduce the quantity of plastic packaging by one-fifth and consider a deposit return scheme for plastic containers.
Plastic pledges provide gateway to circular economy, says John Lewis
The recent focus on plastic pollution has given sustainability professionals an opportunity to "reframe the narrative" on resource efficiency to move business models towards the circular economy, John Lewis's sustainability manager Ben Thomas has claimed.
edie Explains: The circular economy
This brand new edie Explains guide breaks down everything there is to know about achieving a circular economy for your business.
Achieving a circular economy: New business guide launched by edie
Organisations looking to accelerate the transition to a circular economy now have access to a comprehensive 'edie explains' guide which breaks down everything there is to know about achieving a zero-waste world.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Sustainable packaging and the plastics problem
edie travels to the Museum of Brands to discuss solutions to plastic waste and wider resource efficiency issues with business representatives from Iceland, Tetra Pak and James Cropper.
The public mood is changing – how can business talk to customers about sustainability?
The public mood appears to be changing. David Attenborough's emotive Blue Planet backed by on-going campaigns in the Daily Mail and on Sky has focussed attention on single use plastics. Michael Gove, eager for a positive post-Brexit platform, has sensed an opportunity and started talking about new legislation. Sustainability is creeping up the agenda, customers are getting inquisitive about company behaviour. How should business respond?
Virgin Trains hands over old uniforms to prison in recycling scheme
Prisoners at HMP Northumberland will take part in a recycling initiative which will see old Virgin Trains uniforms transformed into new textiles in a bid to reduce reoffending rates.
Mothercare and Hubbub expand baby clothing redistribution scheme nationwide
A pilot between environmental charity Hubbub and Mothercare to redistribute baby clothing is being expanded nationwide, after more than 20,000 items of clothing were allocated to around 2,000 families last year.
Achieving a sustainable future is Mission Possible
What does the sustainable business of 2030 look like? This is the question asked to 18 sustainability business leaders in a two-day workshop as part of the edie Sustainability Leaders Forum, sponsored by Cranfield University and facilitated by Organisations that Flow; where it is a Mission Possible to achieve a sustainable future.
Plastics now a 'competitive issue' for business, CIWM chief warns
EXCLUSIVE: Eliminating unnecessary uses of plastic from production and supply chains is quickly becoming a "competitive issue" for businesses, with the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management's (CIWM) chief executive Dr Colin Church urging companies not to wait for legislation.
Ex-BT chief Niall Dunne on a mission to create the 'Tesla of plastics'
BT's former chief sustainability officer Niall Dunne is determined to use his role as the new chief executive of plastic producers Polymateria to "redesign the rules of an entire industry" and create practical solutions that can eliminate plastic pollution.
We have a problem and a lot of plastics
Plastic is everywhere: it is in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, it is the food we eat and in the clothes we wear. We have a plastics pollution problem, leaching into our environment and finding its way into our marine environment, being swept up to the Arctic, ingested by marine life causing harm, polluting our waterways and reducing the aesthetic value of the places we love the most. How we manage plastics is a serious issue, but things just got a bit more complicated.
Mission Possible: 8 charts that show how business leaders are building a sustainable future
Hundreds of sustainability professionals gathered in London for edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum this week. Throughout the two-day event, delegates were asked to reflect on their thoughts on key drivers, and the results show that a sustainable future is possible.
Circular economy takes centre stage at Davos
Plastic waste is high on the agenda in Davos this week, with a host of corporate giants including L'Oréal, Mars and Unilever making commitments on their approach to packaging.
Sustainability leaders: hurry up!
Still time to book for the Sustainability Leaders Forum.
EU maps out plastics vision in new strategy
The European Commission presented on Tuesday (16 January) its eagerly anticipated strategy on how the EU intends to approach plastic production and pollution over the next decade and beyond.
VF Corporation exploring servitisation to champion circular economy
EXCLUSIVE: Global clothing giant VF Corporation is exploring rental and service-based business models to promote the circular economy to its consumers, as the company pushes ahead with a new corporate strategy that commits to science-based targets and 100% renewable electricity.
25-year Environment Plan: UK unveils long-term strategy for 'greener future'
Theresa May has today outlined a vision for a "cleaner, greener Britain", unveiling the long-awaited 25-year Environment Plan which pledges to eliminate all "avoidable" plastic waste by the end of 2042.
H&M launches sportswear range made from recycled polyester
Clothing giant H&M has unveiled a new sportswear collection for women that is predominately made from recycled polyester, bringing the company closer to its goal of becoming truly circular by 2030.
Circular and digital transformations 'key' to enabling business growth
A growth in circular innovation and digital transformation are the "keys to a more sustainable future" that is currently being hindered by businesses that still view sustainability as an "add on" that requires additional resources and finances.
London urged to address 'laughable' recycling rates
The London Assembly has called on Sadiq Khan to take a lead in increasing the capital's recycling rates, as damning figures highlight the sheer scale of the problem.
2017 green policy review: A year of progress and pleasant surprises
What a difference a year makes. Let us briefly cast our minds back to the halcyon days of January 2017 - who would have thought that a widely-ridiculed Jeremy Corbyn would soon become favourite to be the next PM; that a divorced mixed-raced American actress would be about to enter the Royal Family, or that a vastly experienced England cricket team would succumb to a humiliating Ashes defeat Down Under before the Boxing Day test?
The role of manufacturers and retailers in creating a truly circular economy for the UK
Consumers have long been targeted for their sustainability efforts, from recycling to upcycling and beyond. However, while individuals can make a difference to sustainability targets, businesses, and in particular, manufacturers and retailers are now being called upon to do much more to help create Britain's much needed circular economy.
Long-term policies can help business capture €324bn circular economy opportunity
A new report has called on European Union (EU) institutions to promote resource efficiency beyond the completion of the Circular Economy Package, by learning from best practice scenarios that could add €324bn to the EU's economy by 2030.
Starbucks targets a plastics circular economy to drive waste management
EXCLUSIVE: There is no "competitive leverage" to be gained by failing to work with rival brands to tackle ongoing waste issues regarding paper coffee cups and the wider use of plastics, Starbuck's vice president of corporate affairs Simon Redfern has claimed.
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.
Chinese ban on plastic waste imports could see UK pollution rise
A ban on imports of millions of tonnes of plastic waste by the Chinese government from January could see an end to collection of some plastic in the UK and increase the risk of environmental pollution, according to key figures in the industry.
How to solve the plastics problem: Live edie webinar takes place AT 2PM TODAY
Interface, P&G, Surfdome and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation complete an all-star line-up of circular economy experts for edie's live, interactive webinar focused on plastic packaging sustainability - taking place today (Thursday 7 December) at 2pm.
Are developing nations the ideal testing ground for circular economy practices?
As UN ministers look set to create a taskforce to eradicate the 'ocean Armageddon' of plastic waste and foster growth of closed-loop systems, a new Chatham House briefing paper suggests that the circular economy would enable developing nations to "leapfrog" to more sustainable frameworks.
Plastic pollution: Circular economy experts to discuss packaging solutions in live webinar TOMORROW
Representatives from Interface, P&G, Surfdome and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation complete an all-star line-up for edie's live, interactive webinar focused on plastic packaging sustainability - taking place this Thursday (7 December) at 2pm.
Ikea begins work on 'most sustainable' UK store
Global furniture retailer Ikea has started construction on a £100m new store in London which will be designed with an array of sustainable features.
Stella McCartney and Ellen MacArthur present roadmap for circular fashion industry
The sheer scale of textile waste caused by the clothing industry has been laid bare in a damning new report co-launched by Dame Ellen MacArthur and fashion designer Stella McCartney.
Become a green game changer by integrating sustainability into design
If you want to change-the-game on sustainability get started by considering environmental and social issues during early-stage design.
Responsible packaging – don’t ignore the bigger picture
Plastic products and packaging are increasingly generating debate and discussion. And rightly so, as the extent of plastic pollution in the world's oceans is becoming clearer. Although there's strong commitment among retailers to tackling the problem, the industry's role is coming under some scrutiny.
Blockchain start-up unveils plastic offset scheme
A technology start-up has launched a new initiative for companies and families to calculate and offset annual "plastic footprints" by purchasing credits that support global projects that tackle plastic pollution.
Test-bed: Driving economic growth through a remanufacturing business model
Norwegian firm Norsk Ombruk has developed an innovative business model that remanufactures kitchen and bathroom equipment to offer high-performing electronic equipment at half the cost, all while driving the economy for resource-efficient practices.
Study identifies sheer scale of opportunity for Scottish bioeconomy
A new report has highlighted the "huge opportunities" for 27 million tonnes of biomaterial such as food waste, by-products and agricultural residues to add value to Scotland's economy.
Students need the 'sustain' ability
Iain Patton, CEO at the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), talks to representatives from the education, business and sustainability sectors about megatrends in education.
No need for plastic to be on the menu
"There is no need for plastic to be on the menu" Prince Charles said recently referring to the plastics in the ocean that are ingested by fish caught for our dinner tables. The need to find a solution to recycle more plastic continues to attract considerable public debate and scrutiny.
EU packaging single market erosion risks opening 'Pandora's Box' of national regulations
Ahead of negotiations to finalise the revision of EU packaging waste legislation, the European packaging industry is calling for the free movement of packaged goods to be safeguarded.
Beyond the carrier bags
The success of the 5p carrier bag charge shows just how influential supermarkets can be in encouraging shoppers to adopt sustainable practices. How can they innovate to keep up the momentum asks Shilen Patel, CEO of Independents United.
EU rules out tax on plastic products to reduce waste
The EU has ruled out penalties on single-use plastic products, in favour of raising public awareness of the damage consumer plastics are doing to the world's oceans.
Raising the bar on sustainability: Not just “the what” you do, but “how” you do it
Sustainable business is on the rise. More and more organisations are realising that they can do well by being good to people and planet. The most recent report on sustainability performance of listed companies, from Carbon Clear, states that the transition towards more sustainable business is happening more because of carrots (demand) rather than sticks (regulation).
Cradle to Cradle: How C&A is leading the fashion industry's circular transition
EXCLUSIVE: Fashion retailer C&A is driving circularity by selling apparel products made from sustainable cotton, and the Dutch-based firm is eager to bring the rest of the industry on its journey.
What does the future hold for sustainable manufacturing
We are witnessing an era of unprecedented technological change, with the fourth Industrial Revolution now well underway.
In practice: Network Rail's closed-loop partnership to recycle waste coffee grounds
Striking a partnership with coffee waste collectors Bio-Bean enabled Network Rail to make steps in reducing waste at its station, and also got retailers and staff to boost coffee collection to be used for renewable power.
Report: London could reduce waste by 60% through circular model
A new report has claimed that London could reduce its waste by 60% by 2041 through a circular economy approach, in the same week that Google teamed up with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to highlight the business value of circular cities.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Meeting the drivers of the circular economy
Waste specialists Veolia discuss how investing in people can help drive emerging new business models, while UK start up Rype Office explains how 007 and the NHS are linked together through remanufacturing.
A circular economy does not mean a flat global economy
Achieving a truly circular economy is an ambitious yet realistic concept, and something that will require input from governments, businesses and people across the world to bring to fruition, as well as a broad change in thinking.
MPs to relaunch inquiry on plastic bottles and coffee cups
MPs are reopening an inquiry into the environmental impact of waste from disposable coffee cups and plastic bottles as pressure builds on the UK Government to introduce new legislation.
Policy must catch up with business 'ingenuity' on resource efficiency, says Corporate Leaders Group
Business "ingenuity" on resource productivity has "moved ahead of the policy agenda" and politicians need to introduce new legislation that fosters the circular economy and service-based business models, according to the director of The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group (CLG).