UK's low-carbon economy surpasses £44bn
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown that the UK's low-carbon economy has reached record heights, with the sector growing by almost 7% in 2017 to £44.5bn.
How GDPR is curbing carbon emissions
Despite being the bane to many business professionals, new research suggests that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) framework is assisting in the global fight to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
How Microsoft is 'going beyond its four walls' to solve global sustainability challenges
EXCLUSIVE: Microsoft is "obsessed" with using its responsibility as a global technology firm to empower others to address climate change and deliver a resilient future, its chief environment officer has said.
Firmenich's rise and the UK's fall: 5 key trends in CDP's 2019 A-list
CDP has named 140 corporates as leaders in the fight against climate change, water scarcity and deforestation in its new A List rankings for 2019. Here, edie rounds up the key sustainability trends which have shaken up the scores this year.
Uber set to launch 15p eco-charge for London journeys
Ride-hailing firm Uber is launching its 15p per-mile "eco-charge" for all journeys taken within London, in the same week that Sadiq Khan has unveiled the world's largest air quality network in the capital.
Why brands should take a new digital approach to responsible growth
This blog, from DNV GL, outlines how businesses can engage their consumers in powerful authentic brand stories that promote trust and highlight sustainability.
Will 2019 be the year of climate-risk reporting?
The next 12 months will see a steep rise in the number of companies embedding climate-related data and disclosure into core business models, according to ING's global head of sustainability.
Regulation 'not fit' for emerging decentralised energy model
The current system of energy regulation is not fit for the more decentralised and digitalised energy that is emerging, Alan Whitehead has said.
10 lessons from 10 years of sustainability
After a decade of leading the sustainability agenda at Capgemini, Dr James Robey shares his top 10 lessons learnt.
In action: EDF Energy's smart data focus to drive energy efficiency
In September 2017, EDF Energy installed its PowerNow live energy monitoring system at one of its own offices as a way of trialling its own solutions whilst improving the energy efficiency of the building. As revealed in this case study, the project has achieved excellent results all round.
Microsoft VP: IoT can prepare cities for natural disasters
In a month when raging fires have caused unprecedented destruction across California, Microsoft's corporate VP has stressed the importance of using data across Internet of Things (IoT) platforms as a way of making cities better equipped to face natural disasters.
In numbers: The state of corporate sustainability reporting
Over the past 12 months, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has worked with consultancy Radley Yeldar to survey 158 corporates on their approach to sustainability reporting. Here, edie rounds-up the key findings.
EDF announces low-carbon vehicle partnership with Nissan
Big six company EDF Energy has announced a partnership with Nissan to support the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and energy generation and storage solutions.
Plastic recycling industry's problems costing councils up to £500,000 a year
Major problems in the plastic recycling industry are costing local councils in England up to £500,000 extra a year, as they struggle to deal with the continuing fallout from import bans imposed by countries who are no longer able to take the UK's waste.
UK plastics recycling industry under investigation for fraud and corruption
The plastics recycling industry is facing an investigation into suspected widespread abuse and fraud within the export system amid warnings the world is about to close the door on UK packaging waste, the Guardian has learned.
Science-based targets: BT and Capgemini to discuss adoption strategies in edie's next webinar
Individuals looking to adopt and implement science-based targets for their business are encouraged to tune into a free webinar this month, featuring expert insight from the likes of BT, Capgemini and The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group.
TCFD, SDGs and pop-up squads: What the future holds for sustainability reporting
Sustainability and corporate responsibility managers from a range of businesses recently gathered in London for an exclusive roundtable hosted by edie and reporting and assurance firm DNV GL to discuss how new standards, systems and stakeholder demands are together revolutionising sustainability reporting.
Data-driven 'Plastics Cloud' launched to combat plastics waste
Software firm SAP UKI has unveiled plans to collect live data from supply chains as part of a "Plastics Cloud" pilot aimed at improving plastics purchasing and recycling.
Google launches new online data tool to help cities lower emissions
Google has launched a new online tool to help city planners build policies to lower emissions by targeting projects in the built environment, transport and clean energy sectors.
Future gazing the role of the sustainability profession
It's a tricky thing, predicting the future. So, before looking forward let us reflect upon on what changes we've seen in the CRS profession over the last 20 years. There's no doubt we are a profession that is growing in maturity, and yet still evolving.
Machine makers are leading the way to low-carbon
With regulators and markets increasingly demanding the decarbonisation of high-emitting sectors, we are on the verge of a low-carbon industrial revolution. However, to get over the line the products and services supplied to these sectors need to transform.
Innovation required to spur cargo shipping sector towards 2050 emission reduction targets
Despite recent progress towards decarbonisation by the world's leading maritime shipping companies, the sector is in need of innovation to spur it towards the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) 2050 target of halving CO2 emissions from 2008 levels.
Ending deforestation: A collective effort
As of March 2017, 447 companies had made 760 commitments to curb forest destruction in supply chains ranging from palm oil, soy, timber, pulp and cattle. At the same time, the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement saw 80% of the 196 signatories committed to halting deforestation and better managing forest and agricultural landscapes.
Heatwave made more than twice as likely by climate change, scientists find
The heatwave searing northern Europe was made more than twice as likely by climate change, according to a rapid assessment by scientists.
Smart meter rollout costs £1bn higher than expected in 2016
The costs of the smart meter rollout programme will rise "even further", a parliamentary report has recommended.
Stepping up the global energy transformation: Why Mars Australia commits to 100% renewable electricity
Major brands like ours have an opportunity to lead in accelerating the transition to a low-carbon future. A new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows that businesses are stepping up their use, procurement and investment in renewable electricity. While this is good news, only 17% of us have a specific target for renewable electricity and a mere 134 have committed to 100% renewable electricity use.
Operationalising sustainability as an opportunity
I could have started my talk by acknowledging how sustainability managers find themselves in a cross-fire between contributing to the delivery of competitive goods and services on the one hand and responding to increasing consumer awareness and international and national policy goals on environmental matters on the other hand.
Unlocking the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the planet
Back in 1970, at the dawn of the modern environmental movement, American Futurist Alvin Toffler coined the term 'Future Shock'. Toffler highlighted that the late-20th Century was experiencing a phenomenon unique in human history in which technology was changing faster than people. This in turn led to widespread discomfort and confusion as well as frequent social and economic upheaval.
'Impossible-to-cheat' emissions tests show almost all new diesels still dirty
Emissions tests that are impossible for carmakers to cheat show that almost all diesel car models launched in Europe since the "dieselgate" scandal remain highly polluting.
Google's Project Sunroof arrives in UK
Google has launched an online tool in the UK that informs households how well a rooftop solar array would perform and how much money could be saved on electricity bills as a result.
BT generates £5.3bn in revenue through carbon-combative products, again
BT's range of consumer operations and products which contribute to carbon savings were worth more than £5.3bn last year for the second year running, while the company also increased the amount of carbon it helped customers avoid by 1.3 million tonnes year-on-year.
The danger of being positive
Positive things are being reported in the world of sustainability but is this a "false dawn" and we may prematurely assume success is inevitable and thereby prevent it.
Hitting toughest climate target will save world $30tn in damages, analysis shows
Achieving the toughest climate change target set in the global Paris agreement will save the world about $30tn in damages, far more than the costs of cutting carbon emissions, according to a new economic analysis.
Show me the money… from sustainability
At my keynote at edie Live, I spoke about a vision of a sustainable built environment, how far away from it we currently are and what the industry is doing to move towards it. It's evident that, despite some positive progress, we need to fast-track the level of change and one way of achieving that is by making the business case for sustainability abundantly clear.
What does ‘New Power’ mean for business?
I've attended a couple of events recently where some particularly strong themes were evident. Everything came back to fundamental shifts in power and the trend towards participation and collaboration - all intrinsically linked and it's since led me to reflect on what this all means for business.
Final places remaining for free Mission Possible Workshops at edie Live
Sustainability and energy professionals have just a few days left to pre-book their place for a series of free 'co-creation' workshops taking place at edie Live on 22-23 May.
Powering ahead: Carlsberg and National Trust to discuss onsite renewables in edie's next webinar
Individuals and organisations looking to explore the options on onsite technology to drive renewables use and lower energy consumption are encouraged to tune into a free webinar later this month, featuring expert insight from Carlsberg, the National Trust and Centrica Business Solutions.
How Integrated Reporting can help to transform the global economy
Although many people can tune out when they hear the words 'corporate reporting', the reality is that meaningful reporting can transform the global economy, and business has a real opportunity to lead the way.
How technology can power our connection to the natural world
Humanity continues to find new ways of pushing the limits of technology, to discover the edges of innovation. Whether it's sending a car into space, exploring the potential for nanotechnology to support hyper-targeted drug therapies, creating virtual worlds or an artificial intelligence that responds to our spoken commands; most of these ideas were solely in the domain of science fiction 30 years ago.
How effective data management can drive a successful energy strategy
EXCLUSIVE: Data monitoring technologies are an "invaluable" tool for firms seeking to drive energy efficiency, cut costs and enhance sustainability strategies, an expert panel recently concluded.
ESOS Phase 2: beyond compliance and added value
Many businesses were caught out by Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) in 2015 - either because the qualification criteria were obscure, or the communication from the Environment Agency (EA) didn't get through, or just because other priorities pushed ESOS to the bottom of the pile. Either way, ESOS Phase 1 was a bit of a scramble, and may not have been entirely valuable to your business (other than avoiding a fine!).
B Corps are on the move – why it’s time to join in
Ella's Kitchen certified as a B Corporation two years ago this February, only the second company ever to certify whilst being part of a PLC, after Ben & Jerry's with Unilever. However becoming a B Corp was always about something bigger than its impact on Ella's Kitchen.
World Water Day - How we can ensure resilience of our water supplies
Peter Simpson, CEO, Anglian Water, discusses the action we can take together on World Water Day to ensure the resilience of our water supplies
ESOS – The Challenges Last Time
We are now in Phase 2 of ESOS and, although the deadline of 5th December 2019 may seem a long way off, you should now be thinking about the compliance process. But how can you learn from the challenges last time?
5G to deliver £6bn opportunity for smart, resource-efficient UK cities, says O2
The next generation of mobile connectivity, or 5G, will enable councils to generate £2.8bn annually through smart lighting and refuse collection, according to a new report from O2 outlining a £6bn opportunity of the UK economy.
Why cities are switching to renewables
Over two years after national leaders committed in Paris to keep a global temperature rise to below 2C, municipal leaders at some of the world's largest cities are stepping up to the challenge and harnessing the power of renewable energy.
Environmental verification: less mechanical, more collaborative
With the simultaneous advent of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive (EU NFR) over the course of the last 18 months, environmental reporting is being driven into the limelight in boardrooms in a manner it has seldom seen before.
'Much work needed' to make digital economy environmentally sustainable
A cross-party group of MPs has raised doubts over whether the growing energy demand from digital technology and the proliferation of internet-connected gadgets can continue to be offset by energy efficiency improvements.
Taking the measure of sustainability
Managing what you measure remains as true a maxim as ever in the world of sustainability, especially given the additional impetus provided to governments, businesses and civil society by the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, measuring progress on sustainability - whether for businesses or cities - is a complex task.
Why measuring the true ROI of sustainability is essential to companies achieving meaningful change
As a Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CRS) professional, it’s a nagging concern of mine that companies continue to struggle to effectively measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of their CRS programmes. It’s a challenge we hear frequently from our clients and was confirmed in a 2017 trends survey and report carried out by Ethical Corporation. One of the most significant findings was that 55% of companies are not measuring the ROI of sustainability initiatives, despite 74% of 2,500 respondents stating that their CEOs do appreciate the value of sustainability. Does this suggest that many companies still view CRS as a ‘nice to have’ but not – as we know it – a critical component for future success?
Primark's Global Sourcing Map emphasises the importance of brand transparency
Primark's decision to publish a Global Sourcing Map to its website is part of an ongoing journey of supply chain transparency, and a reflection that there is a greater appetite amongst retailers to collaborate on societal and environmental issues.
London, Barcelona or Singapore: Which will be the best smart city in the world?
A new report from Philips Lighting and SmartCitiesWorld polled 150 city planning experts to find out which city will lead the global smart city transition. edie outlines the top three cities, and why they are primed to act as global smart city leaders.
Achieving a sustainable future is Mission Possible
What does the sustainable business of 2030 look like? This is the question asked to 18 sustainability business leaders in a two-day workshop as part of the edie Sustainability Leaders Forum, sponsored by Cranfield University and facilitated by Organisations that Flow; where it is a Mission Possible to achieve a sustainable future.
8 global sustainability trends to watch out for in 2018
Over the past 12 months, challenges around addressing sustainability issues have featured consistently in global headlines. Despite mixed political messages about our transition to a low-carbon future, the private sector has continued to drive sustainability up the business agenda; from Science Based Targets (SBTs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to increased investor scrutiny over non-financial reporting.
Winds of change: Seven key statistics of Europe's booming offshore wind industry
A new report released today (6 February) from WindEurope highlights a record year for Europe and UK offshore wind projects. Diving into the data, edie brings you seven surprising statistics, from the continent's booming offshore industry.
Flybe claims top spot for noise and emissions performance at Heathrow Airport
Europe's largest regional airline Flybe has achieved top ranking in Heathrow Airport's league table on aircraft operating performance for noise and emissions, after debuting in 29th place in summer 2017.
Northern smart grid project could deliver £500m energy savings
Northern Powergrid has launched an £83 million smart grid programme to future-proof its network in preparation for the rapid growth of low-carbon technologies.
Introducing the Climate Coaching Blog Series
Climate change is the most pressing and critical challenge humanity has faced in its history. We don't have the time to rely on regulators to pass appropriate climate mitigation and adaption legislation. Climate action from across all industry sectors, whatever the size of organisation is essential, required and indeed increasingly demanded by customers and consumers. To address this, I am writing a sequence of blogs called the Climate Coaching Series, here on edie.net, where I will be exploring climate action and answering the questions of what organisations can do to benefit people, profit and planet.
Solving the ocean plastics blight - a systems approach
A storm of heightened awareness and indignation around pervasive plastic pollution has swelled over the past month. With recent mass coverage, namely Blue Planet II and Sky's A Plastic Ocean, the drive to save our oceans from a toxic, chemical-infused future has never been more potent.
SDGs and materiality: Let’s step it up in 2018
Why Simply Sustainable recommends to its clients that they include SDG mapping in their materiality assessments.
Global e-waste climbs 8% in two years, but disposal discrepancies remain
More than 44 million metric tonnes of electronic waste were generated in 2016, but only 20% has been documented as being collected and recycled, a new report launched today (13 December) has found.
Sainsbury's and Unilever sign up to blockchain trials for supply chain practices
Global brands Unilever and Sainsbury's have partnered with leading investors to trial how blockchain technology can financially reward sustainable farming practices for Malawian tea makers.
In practice: AccorHotels' new project targeting BREEAM excellent certification
Ahead of edie's flagship Sustainability Leaders Awards in January, edie is taking a closer look at some of the projects initiatives that have been deemed worthy of a finalist position by our expert judges. Up next: AccorHotels' new London hotel.
Everyone is talking about blockchain, so why all the hype?
When 10,000 government delegates met at COP23 to tackle climate change, the UNFCC and other sponsors brought 100 blockchain developers to Bonn with one purpose - to code for climate.
As Black Friday approaches, let’s remember the need to eliminate forced labour
November sees some of the busiest days in the shopping calendar, Singles' Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Businesses will be focusing on meeting the extraordinary levels of consumer demand by studying their supply chains and eliminating any inefficiencies, making the most of technological tools like data analytics.
BEIS framework consultation: Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting
Last month, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) opened a consultation on their new proposed framework for energy and carbon reporting. This process has the potential to bring environmental data smoothly into the mainstream, but could also just create further tangles in the knot that is the current energy reporting landscape.
New investor partnership scores corporates on physical climate risk exposure
Deutsche Asset Management (DAM) has formed a new partnership with a US-based advisory to develop a first-of-its-kind climate risk service that calculates the physical climate risks of investor portfolios.
Time to climb the food waste mountain
Just a stone's throw from that foodie magnet, Borough Market, stands Britain's tallest building. The tragic irony of its proximity to the gleaming Shard is revealed in one horrific statistic. The UK's foodservice sector produces enough food waste to fill almost 11 Shards.
Business focus on water management reaching 'record levels', says CDP
The number of big businesses investing in water security has reached "record levels", with new analysis from CDP finding that more than $23bn has been invested in 2017 as some companies place an "internal price on water" to justify funding decisions.
Domino effect: Businesses urged to promote renewables into supply chains
Corporates that leverage their purchasing power for renewable energy could create a "domino effect" that improves the energy efficiency of supply chains to create more clean generation capacity, a new report from SmartestEnergy has found.
How to communicate effectively for sustainable behaviour change
Debbie Griffiths is a business writer who specialises in CSR and sustainability communications. In this 5-minute blog she shares some hints and tips on communication for behaviour change.
Five-year triumph: Ultra-low emission vehicle sales in UK surge by 1,800%
Propped up by new government policies and a wider range of models, the sales and registrations of Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) in the UK have grown by more than 1,800% since 2011.
In practice: Landsec's BREEAM Outstanding headquarters designed to WELL standards
As more companies look to create the right work environments for staff wellbeing, Landsec created the UK's largest fully WELL Certified space for staff health, which also achieved a BREEAM Outstanding rating.
Pan-industry alliance set to champion smart energy era
As a new report names Bristol and London the leaders of the smart city transition, leading UK energy organisations such as the National Grid and the Renewable Energy Association (REA) have launched a pan-industry campaign to create a smart energy pathway for technology and services.
Cross-sector collaboration crucial to embed technological innovations, says Vodafone
The fourth industrial revolution looks set to introduce an era of technological disruption that will heighten the need for a "strong political hand" and enhanced cross-sector collaboration to drive efficiencies, according to Vodafone's senior environment manager Nicki Woodhead.
Three ways to tackle climate change in FMCG supply chains
A year ago, political leaders, diplomats and scientists sealed the Paris Climate Agreement, a landmark in environmental history. While few would argue that the agreement is perfect, it did seem that we were finally driving international action on cutting carbon emissions, securing the involvement of the most important developing economies. However, there are now concerns that the US might pull out of the settlement.
Greenpeace: Tech giants neglecting environmental responsibility
Some of the world's biggest tech firms are failing to show ambition in their efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of their supply chains, according to Greenpeace, which claims the current model cannot be maintained.
What can blockchain do for corporate sustainability?
The fruits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution continue to accelerate how businesses act within society; but nestled in alongside automation and the Internet of Things, can little-known blockchain truly revolutionise sustainability?
National Grid measures real-time system inertia for the first time
For the first time ever, the National Grid has successfully measured and monitored continuous grid stability across an entire network, in a move that could reduce end-customer costs and carbon emissions in the UK.
Does the traditional retail model still work?
The retail landscape is being transformed. Online retail in the UK now makes up around 15 percent of overall retail sales. But what does this mean for the future of responsible retailing and customer engagement?
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.
Does the UK’s net zero future need the EU ETS?
The 2008 Climate Change Act already commits the UK to an 80% reduction in emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2050. However, the unwritten long-term target hopefully is, or at least should be, to achieve complete carbon neutrality.
What does the future hold for sustainable manufacturing
We are witnessing an era of unprecedented technological change, with the fourth Industrial Revolution now well underway.
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.
National Grid hails 'greenest ever' summer
New figures released today by the National Grid show almost 52% of electricity generation over the summer came from low carbon and renewable sources.
The Secret Sauce to Innovate for Sustainability
Conjuring up images of lone inventors tinkering with new kit in their sheds, or creatives doing a 'late-one' after a day stretched out on the bean-bag, innovation is one of those zeitgeist words that excites and irritates in equal measure. Many of these metaphors make innovation sound like some sort of secret recipe, a black-box only accessible by a few half-crazed or eccentric individuals.
Why Reporting 3.0 could mend the “broken” economic model highlighted by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Why sustainability specialist Nicola Stopps thinks a new economic model could provide what human beings need from a financial system.
edie Explains: Energy data optimisation
The latest in our ‘edie Explains’ series is dedicated to understanding energy data optimisation. This can be a complex issue, but our step-by-step guide takes you through the process and provides top tips for success.
edie publishes new guide to energy data optimisation
The latest in our 'edie Explains' series is dedicated to understanding energy data optimisation. This can be a complex issue, but our step-by-step guide takes you through the process and provides top tips for success.
New forecast system to boost efficiency and reduce costs of solar energy
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have developed a forecasting system designed to boost energy generation from solar systems, which could boost the efficiency of the electricity system and help companies and households reduce costs.
Policymakers must embrace technology to deliver sustainable transport systems, says PwC
New planning models which adopt collaborative and tech-savvy approaches are required to create future sustainable and connected transport systems, according to a new report from PwC.
Reaping the benefits of the open water market
The business water market has been open for more than three months, and businesses are already beginning to see the water-saving benefits.
It’s getting hot in here: how to create warmth without burning fossil fuels
As the UK continues to battle its way to an 80% reduction of its carbon emissions by 2050, a sinking feeling has begun to set in for those who are aware of and involved with decarbonising the UK. Our current infrastructure and policies do not provide the right basis required to transition to a low-carbon economy at speed.
Why the SDGs are a big thing for SMEs
Did you know that the UK has adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? If you do, you are one of few - just one in 10 UK citizens know about the SDGs. Why do so few people know what they are?