Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporates set to miss zero-deforestation targets for 2020
A new report has found that no sector is on track to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain by 2020, with individual companies adopting a "piecemeal approach" by largely ignoring big contribution areas to deforestation, such as cattle production.
Transparency focus helps Kraft Heinz accelerate towards supply chain goals
EXCLUSIVE: Food processing company Kraft Heinz has enrolled in a journey of transparency to help deliver its CSR strategy, with the company's first ever sustainability report highlighting achievements with palm oil sourcing and challenges related to water consumption.
Redrow targets biodiversity 'net gain' at new developments
UK housebuilder Redrow has announced that a "net gain" approach to biodiversity will be adopted across all new developments, following a trial period that successfully enhanced the ecological land value of certain projects.
EXCLUSIVE: Lidl challenges 'misconceptions' of discount retail in sustainability report debut
Lidl has strived to "challenge any misconceptions" about the relationship between sustainability and discount business models in the retailer's first ever CSR report, which outlines ambitious targets in areas such as food waste and responsible sourcing.
Employee engagement programme records one million positive actions
More than one million positive actions have been recorded by an employee engagement project which encourages workforces to carry out behaviours that boost sustainability and wellbeing.
Report: Corporate action on SDGs stalling two years on
The global business community has slowed momentum on adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the past 12 months, according to alarming new research.
Top car manufacturers launch sustainable raw materials partnership
Some of the world's biggest global carmakers, including BMW, Ford and Toyota, have teamed up to launch a project to address the sustainability issues in the sourcing of raw materials.
Fairtrade: Competition law hinders food supply chain sustainability
New research from the Fairtrade Foundation reveals that businesses are wary of working with rivals to strengthen supply chains as they fear falling foul of competition law.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: In the green room with Unilever's Tony Dunnage
Welcome back to the green room - edie's exclusive interview hub for sustainability leaders, brought to you as part of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast. Up next to provide the insights of leading sustainable business: Unilever's group director of manufacturing sustainability Tony Dunnage.
Black Friday: An ideal selling point for sustainability-conscious retailers?
Black Friday, which has since birthed its tech-savvy offspring Cyber Monday, is upon us again, but while retailers attend to whip up a frenzy to boost sales some companies are using the commercial event to highlight their commitments to sustainability.
Global firms accused of importing timber linked to Amazon massacre
More than a dozen US and European companies have been importing timber from a Brazilian logging firm whose owner is implicated in one of the most brutal Amazonian massacres in recent memory, according to a Greenpeace investigation.
Corporates risk $941bn due to deforestation failure, CDP warns
The business community is risking up to $941bn on commodities linked to deforestation, according to research, but the vast majority of corporates are reportedly failing to take action.
Homebase pledges ban on bee-harming chemicals amid green group pressure
Retail giant Homebase has committed to phase out toxic pesticides from its garden plant range after months of heavy pressure from green campaigners.
2 Sisters chicken scandal a 'wake-up call' for food watchdog, MPs warn
MPs have issued a "wake-up call" to monitoring bodies in the food supply chain after an investigation revealed breaches of health and safety procedures at 2 Sisters Food Group.
The needs of the many: Why Fibria's corporate plan has transformed to a 'shared value' approach
With the UK announcing a new £62 investment to combat deforestation across key areas of Brazil, one of the largest pulp companies from the country, Fibria, outlines its new corporate strategy that seeks to give back to society.
Ikea UK's resource-efficiency drive blossoms as revenues surge
Ikea UK has made strides to become a "truly circular retailer", with the company's annual report highlighting resource-efficiency progress and a second consecutive year of zero waste sent to landfill during a period of economic growth.
The North Face design wool beanie with carbon 'net-negative' production
The North Face has addressed climate change with the launch of its new wool beanie, with the production said to be carbon "net-negative".
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Ikea house parties and SDG gamification
Gaming for good company Playmob discuss how it is raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while Ikea throws a house party celebrating 30 years of operating in the UK.
Furniture retailer becomes first UK company to be fined under illegal logging laws
Designer furniture retailer Lombok has become the first UK business to be fined for breaching restrictions on the importing and sale of illegally harvested timber.
Will the role of a sustainability professional ever become obsolete?
As sustainability becomes more embedded in core business operations, will the role of a sustainability professional ever become obsolete? Not in the eyes of Asda's sustainable business director Chris Brown, who believes an ever-changing CSR agenda makes the role more important than ever.
Top firms act on deforestation as UK urged not to 'turn a blind eye'
A pioneering study has illustrated the overseas impact of UK imports on forests, wildfire and nature, as a host of global firms make pledges to help prevent deforestation in Brazil's tropical savanna.
Aldi joins World Banana Forum to strengthen supply chain
Aldi UK and Ireland has backed its commitment to sourcing 100% sustainable bananas by joining a global forum that promotes fair working conditions and environmental standards for banana production.
Peas Please: PwC commits to boost employee fruit and veg intake
PwC has become the first professional services firm to make a pledge to increase the amount of fruit and veg eaten by employees, a move which it hopes will create a healthier and more sustainable workplace.
Evolving global supply chain risks must raise 'red flag' for EV manufacturers
As the demand for raw materials grows over the next 15 years, EV manufacturers must prepare for greater supply chain risks or face brand damage and regulatory penalties from emerging legislation.
Investors urged to engage with Sustainable Development Goals
Investors have been urged to support the "world's most pressing environmental, social and economic issues" by using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a capital allocation guide.
New M&S menswear suit crafted with recycled wool
Marks & Spencer (M&S) has launched a new menswear wool blend suit made with 55% recycled wool, which includes materials donated in-store by its customers.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: What makes a responsible retailer?
The world of retail is competitive, but sustainability has emerged as a viable way for companies to differentiate themselves. At edie's recent London-based event, the question on everybody's lips was...what makes a responsible retailer?
Target shoots for 100% sustainable cotton by 2022
Clothing giant Target has set a new goal to source 100% sustainable cotton by 2022 for its owned and exclusive national brands across apparel, home and essential products.
Food and beverage giants agree to strengthen supply chain management
Companies such as Unilever, Mars and PepsiCo are part of a new collaborative partnership aiming to develop free science-based decision tools that improve farm-level sustainability reporting metrics and data collection.
From climate science to global goals: How Tetra Pak is realigning its sustainability strategy
As Tetra Pak's latest sustainability report reveals that the company looks set to outperform its original goals, the firm's vice president of environment Mario Abreu explains how the food packaging company is preparing to shoot for approved science-based targets.
Top brands doing 'little or nothing' about sustainable cotton
Major brands such as Next and Ralph Lauren are failing to make sufficient progress on sourcing sustainable cotton, according to the findings of a new report.
Asda and Co-op team up to share supply chain data
Competing retailers Asda and the Co-op have taken collaborative action to drive supply chain efficiencies by aligning the environmental data they request from mutual suppliers.
Walmart strengthens commitment to slash chemical footprint
Walmart has pledged to reduce its chemical footprint by 10% over the next five years, in the same week that research found that nearly two-third of British citizens want to keep EU chemical safety standards post-Brexit.
Velvet owner accused of sourcing pulp from protected forest region
The owner of well-known UK-based toilet paper brands Velvet and Cushelle is facing accusations of sourcing pulp from protected areas of the Great Northern Forest in Sweden.
The Reporting Exchange: Global platform launched to streamline sustainability reporting
As more companies switch to integrated reporting linking sustainability actions with financial filings, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has launched a free, online platform to help businesses navigate the increase in reporting requirements.
Report: Policy action on overfishing could boost EU economies by €5bn a year
Recovering EU fish stocks to sustainable levels in the next decade could boost EU economies by almost €5bn a year and generate 92,000 new jobs, an international conservation group has claimed.
Could an 'SDG100' raise the bar for business action on global goals?
The formation of a movement that champions the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a similar fashion to how the RE100 drives commitment to renewable energy is just one of the potential solutions being explored by business leaders to move away from a "business as usual" approach to sustainability.
SDGs: 'Glaring gap' between business intentions and actions
As research suggests that many businesses are failing to follow through on commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new report has provided a blueprint for global firms to navigate the risks and opportunities reflected in the SDG agenda.
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.