Corporate Social Responsibility
The Body Shop takeover could mark 'major turning point' in corporate sustainability movement
The recent takeover of The Body Shop by an ethically-minded global cosmetics firm could represent a "major turning point" in the transition towards the private sector operating as a "force for good".
How the English Tea Shop's shared value approach has coupled ethics with profits
EXCLUSIVE: A UK-based independent speciality tea company is calling on the rest of the industry to mirror its focus on ethical sourcing after achieving a 60% annual growth rate in the last seven years.
PepsiCo makes slow progress as it embeds new sustainability strategy
Food and beverage company PepsiCo has made inroads into its new set of sustainability targets, although a year of calibrating on new baselines means that progress will have to accelerate to reach key goals.
Top retailers demanded to stop selling 'unsustainable tuna'
Major retailers Tesco, Asda and Morrisons have been accused of "misleading consumers" by selling "unsustainable tuna" sourced from two Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries.
Investing in business means investing in people, says Veolia
Businesses must diversify their workforce to nurture the next generation of CSR leaders, according to waste management firm Veolia's senior executive vice-president UK & Ireland.
UK higher education facilities move to champion Sustainable Development Goals
UK and Irish higher education facilities have issued a collective response to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with select colleges and universities vowing to embed a new accord to champion the aims of the goals.
The Body Shop rolls out first Bio-Bridge project in India
From September to the end of October, every product purchase and transaction from customers visiting The Body Shop stores will help protect threatened elephants and gibbons in India, as part of the company's latest Bio-Bridges programme.
British American Tobacco added to Dow Jones Sustainability Index as familiar brands lead the way
Companies including Coca-Cola, Peugeot, Unilever and Royal Mail have been named as industry group leaders in the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which has added British American Tobacco and removed a company linked to the North Dakota access pipeline from its sustainability indices.
Tesco criticised for deducting £3.4m from plastic bag tax charity donations
Millions of pounds in administration costs were deducted from the charitable donations made by Tesco using funds generated from the plastic bag tax, government data has revealed. No other major supermarket made any such deductions, leading senior MPs to urge Tesco to follow their lead.
Building the story: How Mars got boardroom buy-in for its $1bn sustainability strategy
As Mars unveils a new corporate strategy to reduce emissions by 67% by 2050, edie's senior reporter Matt Mace speaks to the company's global director of sustainability Kevin Rabinovitch, to discuss how his team secured a $1bn backing from the company's chief executive.
M&S first major retailer to source RSPCA Assured fresh milk
Marks & Spencer has today (6 September) pledged to become the first major retailer to source all of its fresh milk from RSPCA Assured dairy farms.
First ISO 20400 sustainable procurement assessment issued in the UK public sector
A purchasing consortium for higher education facilities in London has become the first in the global education sector to be assessed to the ISO 20400 standard for sustainable procurement, in what's believed to be the first such assessment in the UK public sector.
Starbucks launches leftover food discount scheme
Starbucks has launched a new food waste scheme which will see products near expiry sold at half price during the last hour of trading, with all profits going to help prevent child hunger.
Consumers 'betrayed' over sustainability of world's biggest tuna fishery
Consumers of tuna from the world's biggest fishery are are being "betrayed" over its sustainability, according to a coalition of scientists, retailers, politicians and campaigners, including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: In the green room with IHG's Kate Gibson
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 her pearls of wisdom: InterContinental Hotels (IHGs) vice president for global corporate responsibility Kate Gibson.
Heineken UK reports CSR progress in sustainability storybook
Sustainable sourcing and mental health awareness are some of the key areas touched upon in Heineken UK's new 'sustainability storybook', which outlines the brewer's progress on tackling major social and environmental issues.
Sustainability sewn in: M&S launches low-impact jeans
Marks & Spencer (M&S) is introducing new men's jeans that have been produced using five time less water than conventional methods, as well as having a reduced energy and chemical footprints.
Brands driving economic boon for sustainable cotton in Africa
A growing focus on sustainable procurement from textile companies such as ASOS, Aldi and Jack & Jones has helped the largest label for sustainable cotton from Africa increase licensing revenues by 47% over the last 12 months.
World's largest cruise operator closes in on 2020 emissions target
The world's largest leisure travel company, the Carnival Corporation, looks set to achieve a 25% reduction in carbon emissions before a 2020 deadline, after championing liquefied natural gas (LNG) on cruise ships.
Molson Coors aims to halve carbon intensity by 2025
US-based brewer Molson Coors is targeting a zero-waste-to-landfill status across all of its major manufacturing facilities and a 50% reduction in carbon emissions as part of an ambitious new sustainability strategy that seeks to offset recent business growth.
Pyjamas become first products made using Primark's Sustainable Cotton Programme
Cotton sourced from Primark's Sustainable Cotton Programme, which has helped rural female farmers increase average profits, is being used in production for the first time.
Flexibility essential for post-Brexit sustainability, says JLL UK
Sustainability professionals must be flexible in their pursuit of long-term CSR goals during the current period of political and business uncertainty created by Brexit, the head of sustainability at property and investment management firm JLL UK has said.
Green & Black's removes Fairtrade from new UK chocolate range
Mondelez International is expanding the new branding initiative of its sustainable sourcing commitment, after it was revealed that a new edition of a Green & Black's bar would go on sale without any Fairtrade branding.
Chemical footprinting 'moves to the mainstream' for big businesses
Companies with more than $670bn in revenue, including Adidas, HP and Walmart, have collectively reduced the use of hazardous chemicals in products by around 416m pounds in the last two years, according to a new report.
Shareholder demands driving commitments on deforestation, report finds
Shareholder resolutions are an increasingly viable way to drive company action on deforestation, with more than half of proposals to address risks leading to business commitments from the likes of Kraft, DuPont and Mondelez, according to new analysis.
Interserve updates sustainability targets to account for business growth
Construction firm Interserve has set new sustainability goals for 2020 and 2025 to better reflect the "sheer scale and change" of the business, which has reduced construction waste by a quarter and carbon emissions by almost 20% since 2013.
Survey: Nearly half of UK workers feel sustainability and profits can grow hand-in-hand
A quarter of UK workers would by "unwilling" to sacrifice profitability for the sake of higher environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, although almost half feel that standards can be improved alongside benefits to a company's bottom line.
Capgemini closes in on science-based emissions reduction target
Global IT consultancy Capgemini is three-quarters of the way towards its verified science-based target for 2020, and has also launched a supplier assessment tool and case studies to push towards a Net Positive goal.
JLL UK targets 100% renewables and zero waste to landfill in new 2020 targets
Real estate specialists and investment management firm JLL is chasing 100% renewable electricity and zero waste to landfill offices as part of a new corporate sustainability agenda for 2020.
Put purpose ahead of profit, say more than a third of British public
New research released today (12 July) reveals that 37% of UK consumers believe that businesses should put social purpose ahead of making profits.
New standard launched to certify business commitments to SDGs
A new standard was launched on Monday (10 July) to quantify, certify and maximise the business contributions to the development of climate change mitigation and other key targets listed by the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Waitrose commits to 100% Fairtrade tea amid Sainsbury's alternative scheme controversy
British supermarket chain Waitrose has strengthened its commitment to source Fairtrade tea, as fellow retailer Sainsbury's continues to face criticism for launching its own 'Fairly Traded' sustainability standard.
Mars launches Farmer Income Lab to help eradicate smallholder poverty
Nutritional giant Mars has today (10 July) launched a programme which aims to foster cross-sector collaboration to improve smallholder farmer incomes across agricultural supply chains.
Mastercard and HP pledge support to SDG principles
Financial services provider Mastercard and global tech firm HP have this week shown their commitment to the doctrines of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with respective pledges around food poverty and education.
Gift of the GIFs: Virgin Media unveils 'highly shareable' sustainability report
Telecoms giant Virgin Media released its latest sustainability report update on Wednesday (5 July), utilising social media and GIFs to engage people about the latest sustainability efforts, which included a 7.5% annual reduction in carbon emissions.
Sustainability will distinguish leading businesses in next decade, survey finds
The world's leading organisations in the next decade will be defined by their ability to integrate sustainability into their core business model, according to a new survey conducted by strategy consultancies Globescan and SustainAbility.
The Body Shop allocates £2m for 'World Bio-Bridges Mission'
As part of its latest efforts to "re-wild the world", The Body Shop has today (4 July) launched a new funding platform aiming to raise more than £2m to add ten more regenerative Bio-Bridges around the globe by 2020.
Unilever suspends sourcing from Indonesian palm oil supplier amid deforestation allegations
Global consumer goods firm Unilever has suspended sourcing from an Indonesian-based palm oil supplier which was found to be in breach of policy on deforestation and peatland clearance.
GSK partners with Schneider Electric to manage online supplier forum
Global chemicals giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has confirmed that energy management specialist Schnieder Electric will lead its online community that enables suppliers to share best practice on energy efficiency and environmental performance.
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.
Royal Mail delivers carbon reduction goal four years early
The UK's largest delivery company Royal Mail, has surpassed a 20% carbon reduction target four years early, and will strive to maintain carbon intensity levels over the next few years as business demands evolve.
Virgin Atlantic cuts aircraft emissions by 22% in 10 years
A multi-billion-dollar Boeing fleet investment, engine taxiing and weight management have together contributed to Virgin Atlantic reducing total aircraft carbon emissions by 22% since 2007, with similar footprint reductions generated for other carbon-efficiency measurements.
EY: Corporate purpose crucial in uncertain global economy
The majority of businesses believe that having a well-integrated corporate purpose, rather than maximising shareholder value, holds the key to succeeding in the uncertain global climate, according to new research from EY.
IKEA commits to halve food waste by 2020
The world's biggest furniture retailer has today (19 June) launched a new smart device-based initiative which aims to cut in half the amount of food waste in its operations by 2020.
How positive psychology can bring consumers along on the sustainability journey
EXCLUSIVE: Businesses that force their sustainability agenda upon consumers through prescriptive orders and instructions are in a "dangerous place", the founder of social enterprise Hubbub has warned.
HP launches new supplier emissions target and cartridges made from plastic bottles
Hewlett-Packard (HP) has unveiled new ink cartridge prototypes made from recycled plastic bottles from Haiti, while the company's newly-released sustainability report has outlined goals to target emissions in supply chains.
Bridging the gap: How Capgemini's new CSR head has gained valuable insight into boardroom buy-in
EXCLUSIVE: Global IT consultancy Capgemini has appointed its former chief financial officer, Christine Hodgson, as its head of group corporate social responsibility. edie took the opportunity to sit down with the new promotee to discuss the key challenge of securing funding for sustainability projects.
Carlsberg targets zero-emission breweries under industry-leading sustainability strategy
EXCLUSIVE: Carlsberg has launched a new "industry-leading" sustainability strategy that aims to push beyond the company's own group strategy and exceed science-based recommendations by eliminating carbon emissions and halving water usage at breweries by 2030.
Major seafood firms unite to pledge ocean stewardship
Nine major seafood companies, with a combined annual revenue of around £23bn, have committed to establish sustainable supply chains through the prevention of prohibited activities such as overfishing and slave labour.
Compete and collaborate: The balancing act that will accelerate corporate sustainability
EXCLUSIVE: Businesses that thrive in the low-carbon economy will be those that can balance the necessity of collaboration to tackle global megatrends with an inherent competitive nature that drives efficiency improvements.
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".
Plan A 2025: M&S updates flagship initiative to 'embrace a sustainable future'
Marks & Spencer (M&S) has today (1 June) launched a new roadmap for its Plan A sustainability programme, which includes targets to reduce emissions by 80% and turn the company into a zero-waste business.
H&M Foundation donates £5m in second stage of WaterAid partnership
The H&M Foundation is launching the second stage of its partnership with WaterAid to deliver safe water and sanitation to four of the world's poorest communities.
The Body Shop unveils London bus stop air quality technology
The Body Shop has partnered with a scientific research organisation to launch a new technology which aims to deliver up to 95% cleaner air at bus stops across London.
Resource efficiency: Should we be socially engineering consumer behaviours?
Businesses must focus on the granularity of consumer needs to drive behaviour change over resource efficiency matters, according to sustainability experts speaking at edie Live this month.
Middle-management 'disconnected' from Sustainable Development Goals, report finds
A "strong appetite" to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is being hindered by a lack of engagement and understanding in mid-management and employees, a new report described as the "wake-up call to the importance of working together" found.
Tesco to trial a phase-out of single-use 5p plastic bags
Shoppers at a handful of Tesco stores in the UK will no longer be able to buy 5p "single-use" plastic carrier bags, in the first such trial by a supermarket.
Tony Juniper: Sustainability will determine business survival by 2050
Businesses that fail to integrate sustainability as a core business principle will struggle to survive by 2050, leading environmentalist Tony Juniper said on the opening day of edie Live this week.
Co-op votes to make 100% of own-brand packaging recyclable
Co-op has pledged to make all of its own-brand packaging recyclable, in the same week as the head of food policy told edie the retailer is exploring the option to publicly release all of its food waste data.
British public urges retailers to remove bee-harming pesticides from plants
Garden retailers are facing increased pressure to stop the sale of plants using pesticides linked to bee decline, as a new survey shows that more than three quarters of UK citizens oppose the practice.
Shopping centre owners launch innovation lab after closing in on CSR targets
Shopping centre owner intu has launched a new Green Lab to identify new solutions to reduce environmental impacts, as outlined in a sustainability report that announced the firm had reached a zero-waste-to-landfill milestone.
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.
Unilever's Sustainable Living brands outstrip rest of business
Unilever has continued to present the business case for sustainability, with the consumer goods firm's 'Sustainable Living' brands delivering more than 60% of its growth last year, and growing at twice the rate of the rest of the company.
Hubbub and Lucozade launch 'vandetta' against countryside waste
Drinks firm Luzocade Ribena Suntory has teamed up with social charity Hubbub in a behaviour change campaign aimed at encouraging road users to dispose their litter responsibly.
Cotton 2040: Brands unite to develop the business case for sustainable cotton
Brands and retailers including Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Target have teamed with Forum for the Future to convene a new cross-industry initiative aimed at turning sustainable cotton into a mainstream commodity.
Balfour Beatty 'leading the way' on ISO 20400 sustainable procurement standard
UK construction contractor Balfour Beatty has become the first company globally to be assessed to the ISO 20400 standard for sustainable procurement, which was formally published last month.
Britons waste 1.4 million edible bananas a day, research shows
The UK general public throws away 1.4 million edible bananas every day, according to research from Sainsbury's, which values the waste stream to cost around £80m a year.
easyJet sets new carbon goal after emissions tumble by 31%
Airline company easyJet has set a new emissions reduction goal for 2020, after a range of fuel-saving techniques helped record a 31% reduction since 2000.
Responsible forestry sourcing demonstrates multiple business values for retailers, says WWF
Retailers that place a strong emphasis on sourcing polices that promote sustainable forestry are building better relationships with both consumers and employees, a new WWF report has revealed.
Most supermarket seafood products now sustainably sourced
The overwhelming majority of seafood products in UK supermarkets are now responsibly sourced and labelled consistently in line with industry guidelines, new research from environmental law firm ClientEarth has found.
ISO 14080: New standard set to play 'essential role' in climate agenda
A new international standard for climate action is set to play an "essential role" in helping businesses achieve emissions reductions in line with the Paris Agreement goals, according to industry experts.
World's largest brewer saves £50m through sustainability strategy
The world's largest brewer has saved $60m (£46.5m) in the past four years through energy-efficiency improvements, while also passing key water stewardship and carbon reduction targets.
Food waste: Ambitious national reduction target needed, MPs say
A national food waste reduction target and greater transparency from retailers are among the steps required to reduce UK food waste levels, according to a group of MPs who claim the issue is costing the average British citizen £200 per year.
London's Square Mile Challenge on course to recycle 500,000 coffee cups
A joint campaign coordinated by major coffee retailers and business in the London Square Mile is on course to reach its target to recycle half a million coffee cups in the capital in one month.
Triodos launches UK's 'most sustainable' personal current account
Sustainable banking group Triodos has today (26 April) ramped up efforts to disrupt the "dysfunctional" banking sector through the launch of a new personal current account that embraces responsible finance.
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.
Fashion Revolution Week: Spotlight turns to supplier transparency as reports reveal slow progress
At the start of a week dedicated to generating awareness over sustainability issues in the fashion sector, a flurry of new reports have demanded greater transparency to help improve working conditions and wages in the clothing supply chain.
Walmart to cut one billion tonnes of supply chain emissions by 2030
The world's largest retailer has launched a sustainability platform which aims to slash one billion tonnes of emissions from its supply chain by 2030, as the company's latest CSR report reveals that 40 million tonnes of CO2 emissions have been avoided in the past decade.
AkzoNobel launches sustainable cities coalition to manage rapid urbanisation
Dutch paints manufacturer AkzoNobel has brought together an alliance of major businesses, NGOs and government representatives to focus on building sustainable cities and communities across the world.
Apple vows to 'pioneer' closed-loop mining supply chain
Tech giant Apple has pledged to "go deeper" in developing new products that promote the circular economy by using only renewable resources or recycled materials that negate the need to mine materials.
Premier Inn pledges to deliver three million sustainable fish and chip meals
Premier Inn has become the world's largest Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified national hotel chain, meaning an extra three million sustainable portions of fish and chips will be served across the UK each year.
O2 becomes first company to receive highest Carbon Trust Standard for supply chains
As the United Nations launches a framework to help businesses assess sustainability impacts, digital communications provider O2 has been named as the first organisation in the world to receive the highest Carbon Trust Standard for supply chains.
Philippe Joubert: Boards must realise business purpose in Trump era
EXCLUSIVE: Boardroom bosses need to consider the fundamental "purpose of the business" to ensure long-term sustainability, especially in an uncertain international political climate, according to sustainable business expert Philippe Joubert.
H&M eyes 'climate positive' status by 2040
International fashion brand H&M has unveiled a new sustainability strategy to become climate positive by 2040 through ambitious closed-loop and renewable targets.
Report: Private sector entering new era of collaboration on sustainability
Businesses are embarking on a "new era" of collaborative ventures to solve the world's greatest social and environmental challenges, a new study has found.
BMW and Volkswagen lead 'next level' automotive supply chain partnership
Ten global automotive giants including BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Volkswagen (VW) have launched a new partnership to integrate a common approach to sustainability throughout the automotive supply chain.
Apple triples supplier sites enrolled in energy efficiency programme
Apple has tripled the number of supplier sites listed in its energy efficiency programme aimed at reducing onsite emissions, and has also introduced a "first-of-its-kind" risk assessment tool covering supply chain risks related to material sourcing, environmental impact and health and safety.
Hammerson launches all-encompassing Net Positive strategy
Retail property specialist Hammerson has become the first firm in its sector to launch a pan-European Net Positive strategy covering carbon, resource use and water consumption across internal and tenant operations.
BlackRock headlines green bonds push, but is investor action ambitious enough?
As a new briefing paper highlights that up to $6.9trn in controlled assets are covered by investors with little to no environmental, social and governance (ESG) responsibility, the world's largest investor has headlined a stream of new green bond announcements.
Major firms commit to ending deforestation in cocoa supply chains
Senior executives from 12 leading coca and chocolate companies, including Mars, Mondelēz International and Nestlé, have heeded the advice of the Prince of Wales and agreed to end deforestation in the global cocoa supply chain.
World's largest investor to vote out directors failing to act on climate risks and mitigation
The world's largest investor has warned that high-level directors could be voted out of companies that are failing to mitigate climate-related risks posed to individual firms.
Asia Pulp & Paper advances forest conservation initiatives
One of the biggest pulp, paper and packaging firms has taken strides to cease all natural forest clearances within its suppliers and operations and promote best practice working standards for peatland management in Indonesia.
World Bank unveils first green bonds linking business actions to SDGs
The World Bank has issued its first ever set of green bonds that directly link financial returns to companies performing to the standards and aims on the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Burger King linked to alleged South American deforestation practices
The world's second largest burger chain, Burger King, has been accused of fuelling deforestation in Brazil and Bolivia through its "seeming unwillingness" to address practices linked to key soybean suppliers in South America.
Sustainability reporting frameworks lack comparability to attract investment, say experts
EXCLUSIVE: Sustainability reporting frameworks should be developed to encourage businesses to compete on performance and attract investors rather than simply being used as compliance mechanisms, a panel of experts have agreed.
Co-op becomes first UK retailer to source 100% Fairtrade cocoa
Co-op has become the first UK retailer to only sell and use 100% Fairtrade cocoa in its products, and has called on other retailers to increase their commitments to the Fairtrade initiative.
Heineken couples sustainability and financial reporting as emissions tumble
A "firm belief" that business growth and sustainability go hand-in-hand has seen Heineken publish its latest sustainability report alongside a financial report for the first time, with the report highlighting rapid business expansion alongside a decrease in emissions.
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.
Corporate Governance Reform must account for long-term sustainability, says IEMA
Attempts to enhance the competitiveness of UK businesses through the Corporate Governance Reform should account for long-term financial performances covering environmental and social factors, the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) has claimed.