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.
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.
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.
Making the connection: What does a winning sustainability communications strategy look like?
From breaking down interdepartmental language barriers to aligning specific CSR targets with broader corporate goals, effective communication techniques have become something of an art form among sustainability professionals in recent times. So, what does a successful, all-encompassing communications strategy look like?
A guide to effective sustainability communications
Whether it's driving engaging with employees to maximise results, with stakeholders to translate progress, or with consumers to drive awareness and brand value, getting sustainability communications right is crucial, and getting it wrong can be disastrous.
Building trust through community and client engagement
With edie's engagement month coming to a close, and ahead of my appearance at the Sustainability Communications Conference, now is as good a time as any to reflect upon how Capgemini UK's Community Programme is helping to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders and build trust in our brand.
The Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Episode 21 - Getting engaged with sustainability
It's all about engagement this month on edie and for this special episode of the podcast we sit down with the experts to discuss the most effective ways of ensuring your key stakeholders are on-board and engaged with your sustainability strategy.
Captivating CSR: How to produce an engaging sustainability report
Ahead of edie's Smarter Sustainability Reporting conference, Matt Mace investigates how companies are going beyond compliance with their reports to drive engagement on a range of CSR issues among key stakeholders.
Engagement evolution: 6 exciting trends directing the future of sustainability communications
As edie's engagement month of editorial content rolls on, we round-up some of the latest techniques and platforms businesses are using to drive sustainability engagement among internal and external stakeholders.
Achieving behaviour change through smart technology
We are calling on employers across the country to support the national smart meter upgrade.
Clearer marketing can open £800bn windfall for 'sustainable' brands, says Unilever
Brands that move to promote the sustainability credentials of their products more clearly can tap into a £817bn market opportunity catalysed by a growth in awareness amongst consumers, new research from Unilever has suggested.
60-second sustainability skill - The Influencer (Part 2)
The next in our mini-series of short videos produced as part of edie's 'sustainability skills' month sees The Body's Shop's Kate Levine give her take on the importance of influencing skills for sustainability professionals to drive positive change within their organisation and beyond.
Choice editing: a crucial next step for the circular economy?
Manufacturers and retailers should go beyond using persuasion techniques to encourage resource-efficient behaviours towards the process of 'choice editing', where hard-to-recycle products are removed from shelves or certain materials are eliminated from packaging in order to limit consumer choices around the circular economy.
Crowdsourcing sustainability: why we need everyone involved
BT's chief sustainability officer Niall Dunne argues that scaling sustainability is only possible with collaboration.
Businesses must address 'internal disconnect' to deliver sustainability success
Sustainability and investor agendas are becoming increasingly intertwined, but gaps in knowledge and understanding are preventing companies and investors from sharpening their focus on long-term sustainable value creation, a new report has found.
Waste management industry unites to develop 'first ever' National Recycling Guidelines
Britain's rising recycling contamination levels could be pulled back on track thanks to a new set of guidelines developed by the waste management industry which detail exactly what can and cannot be accepted for recycling at the kerbside.
Energy storage in the UK: An overview
The aim of this report is to increase knowledge of the industry among various stakeholders.
A Resourceful Future – Expanding the UK Economy
This report by SUEZ reveals that more than £9bn could be added to the UK economy by integrating circular economy principles into the country’s emerging industrial strategy.
Virgin Media and Heineken USA revolutionise CSR reporting with gamification and 360-degree video
EXCLUSIVE: As investors, campaign groups and consumers continue to pile pressure on companies to accelerate progress towards ambitious climate goals, some of the stalwarts of sustainability reporting are beginning to look beyond traditional methods of disclosure to drive stakeholder engagement with their CSR reports.
The 'S' word: A guide to communicating sustainability to consumers
In the final part of edie's 'guide-to' series for sustainable professionals, Matt Mace explores how to communicate sustainability to different business departments and consumers, and asks the experts whether it is time to disregard the 'S' word altogether.
Could rewards schemes reinvigorate Britain's static recycling rates?
Long-term investment in rewards-based behaviour change schemes is the only way to reinvigorate plateauing recycling rates in a post-Brexit Britain, with 'quick-win' solutions failing to deliver for local authorities across the country.
Sustainable city transport: revving up for innovation?
Globally, urbanisation is continuing at a significant pace, with 66% of the population expected to live in urban areas by 2050, with an estimated 41 mega-cities - those with more than 10 million in habitants - by 2030.
The Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Episode 04 - Plan A progress and carbon-neutral beer
Listen to exclusive interviews with M&S's director of sustainable business Mike Barry, the new director of the Corporate Leaders Group Jill Duggan, and Heineken's director of global sustainable development Michael Dickstein in this fourth episode of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast.
Sustainability professionals must adopt 'courageous leadership' skills, says P&G
EXCLUSIVE: Integrating sustainability as a business strategy requires "courageous leadership" in a world with limited resources and environmental challenges, according to Procter & Gamble's (P&G) global sustainability director.
The Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Episode 02 - Monkey dating and the 'S' word
The edie editorial team brings you the latest news, insight and inspiration from the world of sustainable business with this latest podcast episode, featuring an exclusive interview with The Body Shop and a behind-the-scenes look at the Sustainability Communications Conference.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Episode 02 - Monkey dating and the 'S' word
Listen to an exclusive interview with The Body Shop's director of corporate responsibility and go behind the scenes at edie's Sustainability Communications Conference in this second episode of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast.
Why Sadiq Khan must focus on food waste to ignite London’s circular economy
This month represented the beginning of a new era as we waved goodbye to Boris Johnson and welcomed Sadiq Khan, who has given London its second Labour mayor since the post was created in 2000.
World green building trends 2016
For green building to accelerate globally, building industry professionals require the latest data and trends to inform their decisions. The World Green Building Trends 2016 Study.