Chief executives need to embrace employee activists
Anyone attending the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos this week will be left in no doubt, that the success of their business, depends on thinking different. But as they seek to turn ambition into reality, do they have the support of the stakeholders that really matter?
Nestlé commits £1.6bn to food-grade recycled plastics, pledges to cut virgin plastics use by a third
Food and beverage giant Nestlé has committed £1.59bn to source food-grade recycled plastics to be used in its packaging, alongside a pledge to cut the amount of virgin plastics it sources by a third.
Forster Communications targets 'climate-positivity' by 2023
Social change PR agency Forster Communications has pledged to become 'climate-positive' by 2023, reversing and mitigating more negative environmental impacts than it generates through its direct and indirect actions.
Quorn rolls out carbon footprint labelling
Quorn Foods is introducing labels detailing the carbon footprint of its products to some of its most popular lines, as consumer interest in the climate impact of groceries rises.
Servitisation and social media storytelling: How retailers are approaching sustainability in 2020
January is now probably just as synonymous with retail discounts as it is with New Year's resolutions. But following a year of unprecedented climate activism, how are retailers planning to increase sustainability action and embed a 'purpose-beyond-profits' approach in 2020?
New report reveals surge in employee engagement on energy issues
EXCLUSIVE: The UK's declaration of a climate emergency combined with the recent climate strikes and protests has fuelled a surge in awareness of energy issues among employees across the country, according to the latest Business Energy Barometer conducted by edie.
Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2019: Phoebe Whittome, Virgin Media
This series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Next up: Phoebe Whittome, sustainability manager at Virgin Media.
Sky debuts plastic-free café as part of Ocean Rescue campaign
Media giant Sky has today (4 November) opened a plastic-free café at its headquarters in Brentford, as it strives to remove all single-use plastics from its products and operations by 2020.
Hold the front page: The Guardian targets net-zero by 2030
Guardian Media Group - the publishing house behind titles including The Guardian and The Observer - has pledged to become a net-zero business by 2030.
Pret-A-Manger: We can't greenwash our way out of the war on plastics
EXCLUSIVE: As consumers continue to push hard for food-to-go brands like Pret-A-Manger to ditch plastic packaging altogether, the firm's global director of strategy & sustainability has urged the sector to avoid "over-simplified" announcements or token phase-outs.
Meet edie's 30 Under 30 class of 2019: Katie Leggett, innocent Drinks
This new series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Next up: Katie Leggett, innocent Drinks' sustainability manager.
Action Works: Patagonia opens pop-up activist café in London
Outdoor clothing company Patagonia has opened a pop-up café in central London, which will play host to climate activist training courses.
McDonald's, Burger King, begin phasing out plastic toys from kids' meals
Burger King has confirmed that it will no longer offer plastic toys with its King Junior Meals, in the same week that McDonald's has begun offering children the chance to swap their Happy Meal toys for a bag of fruit.
Nature Needs Heroes: How Timberland is developing 'net-positive' fashion supply chains
EXCLUSIVE: Against a backdrop of fires in the Amazon, Timberland's sustainability director Colleen Vien has told edie that fashion brands are not only beginning to face up to their historic role in environmental degradation - but to begin working towards a "net-positive" vision.
How can businesses have nuanced discussions on climate change?
It's a well-worn idiom that the biggest issues facing society today are complex. That's why they're still issues. Almost every problem that you'll see with this label cannot be solved with one measure or policy. Or even two or three.
Microsoft launches climate-focused communications campaign
Microsoft, through its MSN arm, has launched a new campaign aimed at uniting members of the public in tackling climate change through behaviour change and activism.
Hoarding old gadgets 'preventing circular economy shift' and 'spurring rare mineral shortages'
The fact that most UK households are hoarding old digital gadgets with no plans to recycle them is a key barrier to implementing circular economy principles for e-waste, the Royal Society of Chemistry has claimed.
'Planet-saving' beer: Inside Toast Ale's climate-focused rebrand
EXCLUSIVE: Yorkshire-based brewer Toast Ale's decision to rebrand was the "natural choice" amid rapidly growing public awareness around climate change, the firm's sustainability director has revealed.
Seven steps to solution-focused sustainability
Sustainability has rarely offered such a dynamic and inspiring opportunity for organisations to build competitive advantage, differentiate their brand and engage their people.
OVO Energy moves to lower climate impact of its marketing
Independent energy provider OVO Energy has unveiled a string of new measures to reduce the resource and carbon impact of its marketing, including an offsetting scheme and a "no-flights" policy.
Samsung Global Goals: Tech giant unveils SDG app
Samsung is launching a new new mobile app and a range of special-edition accessories to help educate its consumers on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Meet the Sustainability Leader: Consultancy - Forster Communications
With entries now open for edie's Sustainability Leaders Awards 2020, this new feature series showcases the achievements of the 2019 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: The winner of our Consultancy of the Year Award, Forster Communications.
Energy management design sprint (Part Two): Using green ju-jitsu for behaviour change
How can you increase your sphere of influence and drive engagement on energy management and reduction; from the boardroom to the 'shop floor' and outwards to consumers? The question has been asked for decades, but in the second of our two-part special feature, we reveal some new answers...
Ocado: Consumer appetite for plastic-free shopping 'bordering on militant'
While the so-called 'war on plastics' movement has encouraged retailers to take ambitious action to make their packaging more sustainable, it has also served to distract the public from other green issues, Ocado's head of CR Suzanne Westlake has claimed.
Survey: Business failing to keep pace with public pressure for climate action
The UK public does not believe that big businesses are acting rapidly enough to mitigate or help society adapt to the 'Climate Emergency', a new survey has concluded.
Energy management design sprint (Part One): How to unlock innovation in your business
In the first of a special two-part feature, edie reveals the results of two full-day workshops which applied principles of 'design thinking' to the role of the energy manager. Here, we summarise our first workshop, which explored how this group can harness energy innovations.
'Thanks XR': PR agencies agree to disclose 'climate conflicts'
More than 80 individual 'creatives' and 40 PR agencies have responded to a call from Extinction Rebellion by promising to disclose "climate conflicts" and income generated from working with high-carbon organisations, with some outright refusing to work with the fossil fuel industry.
Report: 69% find it challenging to speak to landlords about renewable energy
A survey by edie, in association with Big Clean Switch and The Climate Group's RE100 initiative, has found that four out of five businesses in rented properties are struggling to switch to clean energy.
Sustainable Living Brands delivered record 75% of Unilever's 2018 turnover growth
Unilever has posted another strong set of annual results for its 'Sustainable Living' brands portfolio, which accounted for a record three-quarters of the company's turnover growth last year.
Scrolling towards a better future or coding for chaos? What the ‘Onlife’ means for sustainability
Half the world's population does something unimaginable every day. We each connect into a species-wide hive mind that reaches into our pockets, our screens and controls what we see, think and believe.
13 top tips for strengthening sustainability leadership in the face of 'Climate Emergency'
EXCLUSIVE: During Day One of edie Live 2019, a panel of expert speakers gave their top tips for businesses looking to "ride this green wave" and become more resilient climate leaders during an era of unprecedented public awareness.
New Wall's tool lets consumers track positive vanilla supply chain impacts
Unilever-owned ice cream brand Wall's will launch a new digital tool enabling consumers to track how their purchases are empowering people in the communities which form its vanilla supply chains in Africa.
Can TCFD recommendations communicate a business response to the 'climate emergency'?
Against a backdrop of Extinction Rebellion protests and declarations of a "climate emergency", businesses will need to articulate their role in combatting climate change. Could the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures' (TCFD) recommendations create the ideal framework to do so?
Etihad's plastic-free flight and Uber's public transport push: 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.
Seven top tips for making your organisation a purpose-led business
As businesses start to redefine their role in society, purpose has become an essential part of any company's social licence to operate. Here, edie rounds up seven top tips from green economy leaders on finding and communicating your organisation's reason for being.
French football league partners with WWF to drive sustainable behaviour change among fans
France's governing body for professional football, the Lique de Football Professionnel (LFP), has partnered with WWF in a bid to make its operations more environmentally friendly and engage its audiences with sustainability issues.
SDG Spotlight: How businesses can achieve Goal 13 - Climate Action
This brand-new edie report maps out exactly how the business community can collectively achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 - Climate Action - within the next decade.
Tesco: Behaviour change will 'always have a place' in energy efficiency
As the fruits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution continue to re-shape how business operates, many companies are now turning to digital technologies for all of their energy reduction schemes. But for Tesco, behaviour change will always be a "key" piece of the energy management puzzle.
Three-course meal: How addressing food waste can deliver a triple win for sustainable business
Following the revelation that food banks around the world helped mitigate more than 10.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions while reducing food costs, edie explores whether the conversation on food waste needs to change to capture heightened calls for action on climate change.
How gamification is helping Bournemouth University engage staff with the SDGs
EXCLUSIVE: With 169 targets and 232 indicators across 17 large-scale sustainability challenges, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are often seen as a communications challenge due to their scope and scale. But by using gamification, Bournemouth University has managed to engage the majority of staff with the vast SDG agenda.
Inspirational collaborators: The new priorities for sustainability professionals
edie's 2019 Sustainable Business Leadership Survey provided much for sustainability teams to celebrate. More than 75% of chief executives and corporate boards were found to be somewhat or very engaged with sustainability, and more than 70% of respondents said their organisation would be more committed to sustainability in 2019 than it was in 2017/18.
The sustainability communications handbook: Engaging with different audiences
Communication is a vital component of any organisation's strategy - and an aspect which businesses of all sizes and sectors will have to continually fine-tune as digitisation progresses. Similarly, sustainability is now widely considered to be a business-critical consideration and a must-have for staff, consumers and investors alike.
How employee engagement has pushed Henkel's sustainability ambitions to new heights
EXCLUSIVE: Henkel's decision to bolster its sustainable packaging strategy last year was largely driven by the ambitions of a workforce of 'sustainability ambassadors', the company's director of sustainability management has revealed.
Circular roundtable: How can businesses accelerate the resource revolution?
Sustainability and corporate responsibility managers from a range of businesses recently gathered in London for an exclusive roundtable hosted by edie and EDF Energy, to discuss how organisations are stepping up efforts to accelerate a circular economy.
Business transformation: It's time to get radical on disability inclusion
This blog will use our focus on disability inclusion to highlight how business can embed systemic, transformative and cultural change.
Why Unilever's employees are key for a new era of sustainability leadership
EXCLUSIVE: With environmental goals approaching a 2020 deadline and chief executive and the embodiment of sustainability leadership Paul Polman announcing his departure, Unilever’s decision to ask its 172,000 staff what sustainable business meant to them may well keep the firm in the vanguard of corporate responsibility.
Meat and dairy, plastics and fashion: edie readers outline key sustainability trends of 2019
With widespread and ferocious opposition to plastics dominating the headlines in 2018, edie asked readers for their views on which sustainability issue would be the next to pique public, policy and corporate attention. Here, we round up your thoughts.
VOTE: Which sustainability issue will have its 'plastics moment' in 2019?
New years are always a time of reflection, introspection and planning - for sustainability professionals and the general public alike. With this in mind, edie has explored the environmental and social issues which could have their own "plastics moment" in 2019.
Webinar: The sustainable business power hour: Preparing to lead in 2019
This live, interactive webinar will see a range of sustainability leadership experts offer advice, share real-experience cases studies and reveal the key trends to watch out for that will help sustainability professionals hit the ground running in 2019.
Stakeholder engagement: 7 steps to success for sustainability professionals
During a 30-minute online masterclass hosted by edie earlier this week, Cranfield University's professor of environmental assessment Paul Leinster outlined some of the key ways in which sustainability and CSR professionals can drive engagement with stakeholders. Here, edie rounds up Leinster's key takeaways.
Webinar: 30-minute masterclass: How to engage with stakeholders on sustainability
This 30-minute masterclass, hosted in partnership with Cranfield University, will explore some of the skills needed to understand and engage with a range of stakeholders to optimise approaches to sustainability and unlock new business opportunities.
More than 800,000 people sign petition to release Iceland's banned Christmas advert
More than 800,000 people have signed a petition calling for an overturn on the decision to ban Iceland's palm oil-focused Christmas advert from being aired on television during the festive period.
Why Iceland's deforestation-focused Christmas advert won't be on TV this year
Iceland's decision to use part of its Christmas communications campaign on an advert that highlighted the destructive nature of palm oil has been blocked from airing on UK television channels, but why?
In numbers: The growing consumer demand for corporate transparency
The Consumer Goods Forum and social change agency Futerra surveyed more than 3,600 consumers on the importance of purpose-led brands and transparency surrounding environmental, social and ethical issues. Here, edie rounds up the key facts and figures.
What we can learn from the BBC’s Drowning in Plastic documentary
This isn't a piece about plastics, or how businesses can and should be reducing their plastics footprint. But, the BBC's jaw-dropping and necessarily bleak investigation into the havoc that plastics are causing the environment does offer some potential learnings for a sustainability professional.
Is CSR dead? How millennials are driving demand for authentic brand purpose
EXCLUSIVE: By 2025, three-quarters of the UK's working population will be millennials that want to buy from companies that have a purpose beyond their products and operations. With that in mind, edie explores what comes next for the traditional CSR strategy.
edie Explains: Science-based targets
This brand new edie Explains guide breaks down everything you need to know about adopting and implementing science-based targets for your organisation.
The SDG roundtable: Getting engaged with the Global Goals - Part Two
edie brings you the second part of an exclusive roundtable discussion hosted in association with DNV GL which explored how businesses can drive engagement with the Government, consumers and suppliers to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Should businesses communicate negative contributions to the Global Goals?
EXCLUSIVE: As more companies pledge to support and report on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), should businesses also examine and communicate negative contributions to the Global Goals?
SDG immersion: Breaking down barriers for business
Four days at the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is undoubtedly an immersion process. It's also a good way to gain perspective - I learnt as much by the things that weren't said as those that were.
Bees, Leas and SDGs
Prompted by a leaflet at a garden centre and the general plight of pollinators, I have made a modest donation to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. The decline of honeybees attracts quite a bit of attention, but the poor old bumblebee is often left out of the conversation.
'Stimulating and inspiring': How P&G made sustainability business critical
EXCLUSIVE: Procter & Gamble's (P&G) vice president of global sustainability Virginie Helias believes that internal behaviour change helped the company transform a sustainability strategy into an "unstoppable" and holistic ethos.
Top 10 tips for telling your sustainability story
From growing "tentacles" to using staff as front-line communicators, the modern day sustainability professional can utilise a huge array of techniques to communicate their sustainability strategy in a way that engages stakeholders, employees and consumers alike.
'Label shopping': Is the certification scheme model broken?
Voluntary certification schemes have fiercely denied claims from a new report that that are providing cover for companies that are "destroying the planet", raising questions of whether the abundance of certification offers is watering-down sustainability efforts.
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.
Unilever joins On-Pack Recycling Label scheme to boost plastics recycling
Unilever has joined the On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) scheme to promote the recyclability of its products to consumers, while a six-month trial of clean-cold technology in the company's ice cream transportation trucks has delivered cost-effective environmental benefits.
How Integrated Reporting can help to transform the global economy
Although many people can tune out when they hear the words 'corporate reporting', the reality is that meaningful reporting can transform the global economy, and business has a real opportunity to lead the way.
ESOS Phase 2: beyond compliance and added value
Many businesses were caught out by Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) in 2015 - either because the qualification criteria were obscure, or the communication from the Environment Agency (EA) didn't get through, or just because other priorities pushed ESOS to the bottom of the pile. Either way, ESOS Phase 1 was a bit of a scramble, and may not have been entirely valuable to your business (other than avoiding a fine!).
Sustainability a competitive advantage for business, says Nespresso boss
EXCLUSIVE: Businesses aiming to become sustainability leaders cannot ignore approaches to communication in an age where consumers and stakeholders are actively engaged on corporate approaches to societal and environmental needs, the chief executive of Nespresso has claimed.
The sustainability communications handbook
This handbook equips you with the knowledge and insight required to help your audience understand the true value of sustainability, from the boardroom, to your staff, consumers and investors.
Telling your sustainability story: edie launches communications handbook
Sustainability and CSR professionals looking to boost stakeholder engagement through effective communications now have access to a new 'handbook', which provides expert advice and insight into how to tell your sustainability story.
Is it time to kill off the standalone sustainability report?
This week's Smarter Sustainability Reporting conference saw a number of industry experts discuss the evolution of the sustainability report, with some going so far as to argue that an individual annual report no longer carries the necessary impetus to drive change. So, is the age of the standalone sustainability report finally over?
Northern smart grid project could deliver £500m energy savings
Northern Powergrid has launched an £83 million smart grid programme to future-proof its network in preparation for the rapid growth of low-carbon technologies.
Budweiser launches renewables label to celebrate 100% clean energy commitment
Global brewers Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) is placing a renewable electricity label on any Budweiser beer that has been brewed using 100% renewable electricity, as part of a communications push to educate consumers on the firm's sustainability strategy.
Sustainability leaders: hurry up!
Still time to book for the Sustainability Leaders Forum.
Central Heating - is the future smart?
Is it time to smarten up the humble central heating in our homes and use the technology available to reduce the energy we need to stay warm?
Now for clean growth – let’s hope it’s real this time
If, like me, you're downloading a burgeoning number of Government reports committing us to clean growth, low carbon infrastructures and greater disclosure on climate risk, you'll either be feeling 'at last, the tide has turned'; or suspending your lingering cynicism about commitments to the green economy. Is it all real this time?
How to embed the SDGs in your sustainability strategy
Apart from the slightly strange feeling of talking into complete silence, and not seeing any response from your audience, I thoroughly enjoyed talking at the edie Masterclass on How to embed the SDGs in your sustainability strategy, sharing my knowledge and expertise on the topic. Here I offer you a short reflection on the webinar and respond to the questions that I didn't have time to answer during the event.
Water risks still 'invisible' to finance sector, says ING
Commercial banks are struggling to overcome a communications barrier with businesses to gain insight into portfolio risks specifically associated with water, according to Dutch bank ING's vice president for sustainable finance Ambika Jindal.
TCFD's scenario analysis a 'storytelling' opportunity for sustainability professionals, says WRI
EXCLUSIVE: The recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) provide sustainability professionals with a chance to strengthen relationships with board members and the finance department, by utilising the "storytelling" aspects of scenario analysis.
Imbuing your brand with purpose – two practical principles
Creating a brand purpose vision or narrative is a challenge. Usually there are a number of different audiences to engage, both internally and externally, the purpose must 'fit' the material issues facing the brand and it must have an impact which lasts.
How to communicate effectively for sustainable behaviour change
Debbie Griffiths is a business writer who specialises in CSR and sustainability communications. In this 5-minute blog she shares some hints and tips on communication for behaviour change.
How to avoid becoming an example of purpose-wash
Purpose, by its nature, is ambitious - when done effectively, it represents a shift in emphasis for the business. A new 'business as usual'. When done ineffectively, it's nothing more than a snappy strapline.
Sustainability Leaders Awards 2018 shortlist revealed!
After a record-breaking number of entries, the judging panel has met, the decisions have been made and edie is proud to reveal the finalists for the 2018 Sustainability Leaders Awards.
edie Explains: Building energy management systems (BEMS)
In the latest in the edie Explains series, we look at building energy management systems (BEMS), exploring what they are, what they do and what the business benefit is.
edie Explains: Energy resilience
Energy resilience is about ensuring a business has a reliable, regular supply of energy and contingency measures in place in the event of a power failure.
Deep breath: change the conversation
Air quality in our towns and cities is a critical issue but action and progress will be sorely limited unless we grasp the challenge of awareness, behaviour and pro-active communications.
Information overload: Why retailers must finetune sustainability communication
Retailers must be careful not to "bombard" consumers with information, despite heightened external pressures to champion Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, according to delegates from Kingfisher, H&M and Debenhams.
How employee engagement drives energy efficiency for leading corporates
Embedding new smart technologies and systems is a viable way for companies to improve energy efficiency measures, but improvements to technology must be matched by employee development that engages staff to champion energy management.
In practice: Edinburgh Zoo's behaviour change drive to increase recycling
Attracting more than half a million visitors each year, Edinburgh Zoo has a significant opportunity to engage consumers on sustainability at a large scale. Here, edie charts an award-winning behaviour change drive which has helped the attraction divert 98% of its waste away from landfill.
Coca-Cola's new communications ad uses 1,500 pieces of recycled plastic
Coca-Cola has turned to stop-motion animation to launch a multi-million pound consumer awareness campaign to highlight the recyclability of its products, marking the first time the global drinks giant has issued a sustainability campaign in the UK.
What sustainability teams can learn from brand and marketing teams to crack the brand purpose code
As brand purpose becomes a mainstream business idea, brand and sustainability teams are beginning to work together more closely. Traditionally, these teams have very different ways of working - different governance structures, different measures of success and even a completely different language.
Survey: Corporate responsibility improves staff recruitment and customer relations
Corporate responsibility, with an emphasis on environmental action, is resonating amongst staff and consumers, offering better recruitment options for firms that embrace sustainability agendas, a new survey has found.
Good values and better practice
At edie's recent Sustainability Communications Conference, the Creative Concern team and Common Cause Foundation ran a (semi-experimental) workshop that aimed to navigate through the world of brands, values and causes with the help of sixty seasoned communicators and sustainability professionals.
TODAY AT 11AM (BST): 30-minute masterclass on achieving business buy-in for sustainability
A free online masterclass will be held today, Thursday 22 June, to help sustainability and CSR professionals effectively engage internal stakeholders in projects and initiatives and ensure the message is not getting lost between departments.
How can we forge a deeper connection with consumers on sustainability?
EXCLUSIVE: Sustainability practitioners need to personalise their communications strategies to drive engagement with an increasingly ethically-conscious consumer base, a cross-sector panel of experts has concluded.
Meet the experts for free one-to-one advice
Let our experts steer you along the route to achieving best practice in sustainability, help you grasp complex issues, absorb new trends, deep dive into strategy and tackle challenges with confidence. And all in a one-to-one tailored consultation.
IPCC must address ‘language barrier’ between climate science and sustainability
EXCLUSIVE: The fight against climate change is being hindered by a gap in culture and language between the science and sustainability communities, which is leading to a disengagement over climate action, a leading academic on the subject has told edie.
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.