Corporate Social Responsibility
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.
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.
Sustainably attired: H&M and Mango launch ethical fashion collections
Multinational clothing brands H&M and Mango have unveiled new sustainable fashion collections made from organic and recycled materials.
Smurfit Kappa hits certification goal for sustainably-sourced packaging
Global paper-based packaging firm Smurfit Kappa has completed its goal of ensuring that 90% of all packaging sold to consumers is Chain of Custody certified, demonstrating full-transparency and a willingness to source from verified certification systems.
BBC launches mandatory carbon tracking scheme
From April this year, all BBC televisions programmes will be required to track their carbon footprint using a "hotspot" identifying calculator.
Third year's a charm for Primark's sustainable cotton initiative
High street retailer Primark has helped rural female farmers in India increase average profits by 247% through the third year of its Sustainable Cotton Programme.
Vattenfall launches Scottish offshore wind education project
Swedish energy firm Vattenfall has joined forces with a Scottish science centre to launch a programme aimed at educating the population about offshore wind energy.
Tetra Pak commits to science-based emissions target
Swedish food processing and packaging company Tetra Pak has today (2 February) pledged to reduce emissions by 58% through a partnership with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBT).
The Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Episode 19 - Inside The Body Shop's innovation lab
Rounding off a packed month of innovation-themed content, edie takes the Sustainable Business Covered podcast to Croydon to bring you an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of The Body Shop's new innovation laboratory.
Contract caterer Compass plans 10% food waste cut by 2020
British contract foodservice firm Compass Group has pledged to reduce food waste by 10% by 2020 as part of the company's commitment to become a "truly sustainable business".
Kering shifts focus to supply chain with 2025 strategy
Global luxury fashion group Kering has today (25 January) revealed new targets which place a focus on emissions reductions and supply chain sustainability, as part of the next phase of its CSR strategy.
Sainsbury's sees surge in demand for regional food waste campaign
As the spotlight on reducing consumer food waste intensified this week, Sainsbury’s director of corporate affairs Louise Evans has revealed that the supermarket has seen a surge in applications from town and cities to take part in its campaign to tackle household food waste.
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.
Trust and collaboration should be at the heart of brand sustainability, says Collectively
Companies seeking to engage with increasingly aware consumers on matters regarding sustainability should do so through trust building "exercises" of transparency and humility, while also reaching out to grasp the "huge benefits" of collaboration.
The Body Shop accelerates CSR commitments through East Croydon innovation hub
EXCLUSIVE: The Body Shop has officially unveiled a £1m innovation hub in East Croydon that it claims will enhance the company's ability to reduce the environmental impact of its product category footprints and develop an innovation pipeline to deliver pioneering cosmetics produced from biodiversity hotspots.
Employee engagement helps P&G hit energy reduction goal four years early
Consumer goods firm Procter & Gamble (P&G) has revealed that a new energy engagement initiative at manufacturing sites has improved energy efficiency by 5% in the last 12 months, which has seen the company hit a 2020 goal for energy reduction four years early.
The 2C catwalk: Kering commits to approved science-based emissions goal
Global luxury fashion group Kering, which includes Gucci, Saint Lauren and Stella McCartney amongst its brands, has seen its target to halve scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2025 officially verified by the Science-Based Targets initiative.
Disrupt or die: Preparing for the next generation of sustainability
edie's Sustainability Leadership month continues, and today it's Forum for the Future founder-director Jonathon Porritt's turn to pen an exclusive thought leadership opinion piece, offering an eye-opening insight into the future of corporate sustainability.
Lack of collaboration hindering UK uptake of Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are increasing in prominence amongst UK businesses, although siloed working conditions are still impacting the ability for the private sector to deliver social and environmental change.
Ikea nears three-fold increase in sustainable product sales
The world's biggest furniture retailer Ikea has almost trebled the sales from its 'sustainable life at home' products, while also announcing a new €1bn financial framework to promote projects that fall within its People & Planet sustainability strategy.
Supermarkets urged to prevent high-risk salmon sourcing
Supermarket giants Sainsbury's and the Co-op have been called upon by a conservationist group to stop putting Scottish farmed fish on their shelves to maintain sustainable sourcing credentials.
Cadbury alters Fairtrade partnership in an effort to boost sustainable cocoa sourcing
British confectionary giant Cadbury is extending its Cocoa Life sustainability initiative across all of its chocolate products in UK and Ireland by 2019, and will utilise the expertise of Fairtrade as a key partner in the programme.
Patagonia donates $10m Black Friday sales to environmental grassroots
American clothing firm Patagonia has raised $10m for environmental grassroots nonprofits, after donating 100% of the global sales that it generated from Black Friday.
Tesco and Sainsbury's ban plastic cotton buds to cut waste
The UK's two largest supermarket chains have committed to end the sale of cotton buds with plastic stems, which are the most common litter from toilets flushed on to the country's beaches.
John Elkington: Business case for sustainability must strengthen amidst Brexit and Trump uncertainty
EXCLUSIVE: Major political upheavals caused by Brexit and president-elect Donald Trump have created a "sense of uncertainty" in the climate change battle, which has heightened the need for the private sector to develop a more strengthened business case for sustainability.
Black Friday: Five ways businesses are promoting sustainable shopping during the frenzy
Black Friday and its tech-savvy sibling Cyber Monday look set to send the retail sphere into a frenzy. But with consumers beginning to align to companies with sustainability credentials, will this year's shopping spree spare a thought for the environment?
Labour rights the 'next big challenge' for corporates, says M&S
Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) has moved beyond dealing with ethical trade as a singularity to encompass human rights movements and modern slavery issues, and it should now be a core strategy for businesses.
200 companies now committed to science-based targets
An initiative that calls on companies to cut their carbon footprints in line with scientific studies geared towards a two degrees global warming limit is "far exceeding" it's timeline, with 200 companies now signed up to the scheme - just 18 months after its inception.
VF corporation exceeds carbon reduction goals by 'large margin'
International apparel and footwear company VF corporation has reduced its global carbon emissions by 12% from 2011 to 2015 - exceeding its original 5% goal for the five-year period.
Are UK furniture retailers unwittingly destroying forest resources?
The majority of British furniture retailers are failing to treat responsible timber sourcing as a key issue despite having long-term business interests in such actions, a new report commissioned by the WWF suggests.
Investors want more transparent sustainable funding opportunities
New research from ethical investment specialists Triodos Bank has revealed that investors want to increase ethical investment prospects and enhance socially responsible investment (SRI) opportunities, despite many feeling that they don't have the opportunity to do so.
The Body Shop extends Southeast Asian biodiversity programme
The Body Shop has today (1 November) extended its Bio-Bridges programme which aims to regenerate 75 million square metres of forest by 2020.
Kering and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation launch separate sustainability curriculum modules
French apparel company Kering has launched a new curriculum to gain understanding of the environmental impacts of student fashion designs, just days after the Ellen MacArthur Foundation moved to place circular economy into International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum.
Supply chain barriers stall business 'journey' to end modern slavery, report finds
Almost exactly a year to the day since the Modern Slavery Act came into force in Britain, a new report has found that business efforts to address modern slavery face several risks and barriers such as supply chain complexity, commercial priorities and transparency dilemmas.
Business sustainability integration hampered by short-termism, survey finds
The progress of integrating sustainability within business operations is still being hindered by a focus on short-term results and a lack of management awareness, according to a new survey conducted by a global consultant in risk management.
Timberland continues collaborative circular economy drive
Outdoor clothing company Timberland is ramping up its circular economy efforts as a number of innovative closed-loop models for footwear now approach the next stages of development.
CDP's Climate A List: Highlighting the business case for low-carbon commitments
Companies that feature in global disclosure organisation CDP's annual Climate A List - such as Sky, Apple, Tesco and Unilever - are producing 6% higher returns on average compared to other brands.
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.
How Britain's retailers can solve the Syrian refugee supply chain quandary
The shock revelation that Syrian refugee children have been found making clothes for a number of British fashion brands serves to highlight the desperate need for more robust procedures and increased collaboration among businesses to drive truly sustainable and ethical supply chains.
Tea value network delivering supply chain sustainability in Malawi
A multi-stakeholder coalition including Tesco, Marks & Spencer (M&S), and Unilever has made significant progress towards achieving a competitive Malawian tea sector where workers earn a living wage and smallholders earn a living income by 2020.
Industry leaders unite to develop deforestation guidance
Mars, L'Oreal and Tetra Pak are among a host of international businesses that have come together to form a new cross-sector initiative to help tackle deforestation and develop better climate change accounting methods.
Construction industry unaware of modern slavery risks, survey finds
In the same week the UK marked Anti-Slavery Day (18 October), a survey has found that more than half of construction businesses would not know what action to take if modern slavery was encountered in their supply chain.
SDGs underpin 'positive progress' of corporate sustainability reporting
Nearly a third (30%) of world-leading companies are now implementing the framework into their sustainability and integrated reports, as the push to mainstream non-financial reporting continues to gain momentum.
The Body Shop creates 'powerful global change' through partnership with renowned street artist
Beauty products retailer The Body Shop has raised more than £325,000 to fund innovative social and environmental projects through a collaboration with one of the world's most renowned street artists.
Tetra Pak cuts emissions during period of growth
Despite the number of packages sold rising by 16% over the last 12 months, Swedish food processing and packaging company Tetra Pak has revealed that emissions have tumbled as it closes in on its 2020 climate goals.
Lidl pledges to remove single-use plastic carrier bags
German discount supermarket chain Lidl UK has today (28 September) pledged to remove single-use plastic carrier bags from sale across all stores in England, Scotland and Wales.
Business must address 'timid action' to achieve SDGs
One year on from the launch of the United Nation's (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), new research has found that a majority of companies have been too slow to take tangible action.
Unilever retains top spot in Fit for Purpose Index
Consumer goods company Unilever tops the list of the world's most purposeful companies in Radley Yeldar's (RY) 2016 Fit for Purpose 2016 Index for the second consecutive year, with the likes of Philips and Nestle making up the top 10.
Tarmac lays the foundation for concrete energy reduction
Construction firm Tarmac has ramped up its energy efficiency efforts through the roll out of on-site technologies, the uptake of demand-response, and the development of an energy management system to help measure, monitor and improve efficiencies across the business.
Sky fall: Telecoms giant sees carbon intensity plummet following energy efficiency drive
Global media company Sky Group has made strong progress with its carbon intensity reduction target after ramping up investment in energy-efficient buildings, according to its latest sustainability report.
Sharing sustainability success: From selling to showing
Kimberly-Clark's head of sustainability for EMEA Tom Berry explores how some of the world's most intractable development issues, such as increasing access to education and improving sanitation, require effective behaviour change programmes to create real progress.
Electrolux launches global food action plan in support of SDGs
Swedish multinational home appliance manufacturer Electrolux has today (12 September) launched an ambitious and wide-ranging food sustainability action plan to address major global challenges, in support of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Can sustainability professionals lead a 'social movement' to drive the green economy?
Environment and sustainability professionals can become the leaders of a new social movement that paves the way for a low-carbon, resource efficient future where fossil fuel consumption and air pollution are eradicated from human activities.
Jonathon Porritt: Business leaders are better placed than MPs to drive the green economy
EXCLUSIVE: Business leaders are "more predisposed" than politicians to drive sustainable development for the foreseeable future, according to leading British environmentalist Jonathon Porritt.
The Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Episode 08 - Sustainability without the fluff
It's time to discuss the elephant in the room: companies will only become truly 'sustainable' if they can embed sustainability into their products. But what are the skills required to deliver a comprehensive low-carbon, resource efficient business action plan?
KFC urged to phase out harmful antiobiotics in meat supply
Consumer groups and shareholder investors are calling upon fast-food chain KFC to phase out harmful antibiotic use in its meat supply in order to combat the "catastrophic" global health threat of antibiotic-resistant "superbug" bacteria.
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.
Millennials will drive future value for energy providers, survey shows
A new survey has found that a strong consumer demand in new products and services from millennials will create a significant amount of value for energy providers who embrace the younger generations.
How The North Face is reshaping its supply chain through chemical responsibility
For the best part of a decade, outdoor wear giant North Face has been committed to a responsible chemistry programme which aims to create significant environmental savings that go beyond compliance, to identify environmentally preferable chemicals and to reduce overall chemical use in its supply chain.
Carbon Trust: The business case for proactive action in supply chain resource efficiency
Businesses can make huge investment returns through a transition from a business-as-usual approach to delivering proactive action when addressing resource efficiency within the supply chain.
Mars and Ford hit big zero-waste-to-landfill milestones
Multinational corporations Mars and Ford have announced zero-waste-to-landfill achievements across their respective factories in their latest sustainability reports.
Food giants show increased appetite for sustainable supply chains
Global food and beverage firms Nestlé and Mondelez International have both ramped up sustainable business efforts over the past year, with an increased commitment to supply chain transparency, according to their respective CSR reports.
Bacardi mixes perfect cocktail of water, energy and waste reductions
Global spirits giant Bacardi has surpassed annual targets in improving water use, energy efficiency and recycling rates and is on course to obtain 100% of sugarcane-derived products from sustainably certified sources by 2022.
BT's bold customer emissions target passes halfway mark
Telecoms giant BT is on course to help its customers reduce carbon emissions by three times the end-to-end carbon impact of its own operations by 2020, with the group's latest sustainability report revealing that it achieved a customer-to-business carbon reduction ration of 1.6 to one last year.
Retailers make landmark sustainable seafood pledge
Leading British supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer (M&S) are among a cross-sector cluster of organisations that have voluntarily signed an agreement to protect a key Arctic region from industrial fishing, by preventing suppliers from expanding cod fisheries into pristine marine waters.
Nike says 'just do it' to the circular economy
Sportswear giant Nike aims to build on progress made in its latest sustainability report by integrating the circular economy into its business strategy, after becoming the latest major brand to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as a global partner.
Mars shifts to 100% renewable electricity for UK operations
Mars Incorporated has committed to purchasing 100% renewable electricity to power all 12 of its UK factories as part of the company's vision to become carbon-neutral across its global operations by 2040.
Carillion nets £33m profit from sustainability action
Carillion has added an additional £33.8m to its overall profits thanks to an increased focus on sustainable business practices, the British construction company has announced in its latest CSR report.
Aldi jumps on sustainable bananas bandwagon
Supermarket Aldi UK has become the latest retailer to pledge to source its entire UK range of bananas from either Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance-certified farms before the end of 2016.
Timberland pledges to 'preserve the outdoors' with fresh sustainability targets
Outdoor clothing company Timberland has set itself a new list of ambitious sustainability targets for 2020, including goals to plant 10 million trees and ensure that 50% of energy comes from renewable sources.
Palm oil giant sets 'fully traceable' supply chain goal for 2020
The world's second largest palm oil plantation company has told edie it wants to achieve "greater awareness of the production practices in the supply chain" as it sets itself an ambitious goal of 100% traceability to plantation by 2020.
HP joins RE100, aims for 40% renewables by 2020
Technology giant Hewlett Packard (HP) has reaffirmed its commitment to sustainable business by becoming the 55th company to join the Climate Group's RE100 initiative, pledging to source 100% renewable electricity for its global operations.
FedEx plans to deliver 'future of aviation' with biofuels drive
The world's largest express transportation company is pioneering the use of sustainable aviation fuels through a new partnership which will see millions of gallons of biofuel produced from waste wood biomass.
Asda uses carrier bag charge to fund social enterprise scheme
Asda has used money it has generated from the carrier bag charge to fund a ground-breaking new scheme in Scotland which aims to increase the availability of supermarket products that have a positive social or environmental impact.
Intel achieves conflict-free supply chain
Products and packages shipped by American technology giant Intel will be 'conflict free' in 2016, the company's chief executive announced at this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
Marriott helps 'Clean the World' with groundbreaking soap recycling scheme
London Heathrow Marriott Hotel has become the first hotel to partner with social enterprise Clean The World to recycle discarded soap.
Environmental pollution - is your business watertight?
Business owners and site managers need to ensure that their facilities are protected from water pollution and flooding. How will spill containment systems work in a real-life emergency? Would regulatory authorities be satisfied that containment systems are effective? David Cole from Hydro Consultancy finds out.
Manchester Airports Group reports rapid descent of carbon emissions
Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has seen the total carbon emissions from all of its airports fall by 16% over the past year, according to its latest CSR report.