Corporate Social Responsibility
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.
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.