edie explains: Onsite generation
This edie explains business guide, produced in association with E.ON, provides an in- depth summary of onsite generation, which allows businesses to make and use their own energy at a particular location, rather than buying that energy through the grid.
What we can learn from the BBC’s Drowning in Plastic documentary
This isn't a piece about plastics, or how businesses can and should be reducing their plastics footprint. But, the BBC's jaw-dropping and necessarily bleak investigation into the havoc that plastics are causing the environment does offer some potential learnings for a sustainability professional.
UK Government to invest £26m in tackling modern slavery in Asia
The Government has announced that it will invest £26m into a string of initiatives aimed at combatting modern slavery and child labour across six Asian countries.
Interface unveils goal of becoming carbon negative by 2040
Modular flooring firm Interface has set a new target of becoming carbon negative by 2040, building on a 2020 ambition of having “no negative environmental impact”.
Dude, where’s my EV?
Coinciding with government's Zero Emission Vehicles Summit, the Aldersgate Group published a briefing which sets out the major barriers to decarbonising UK road transport. Will Tricker, Policy Officer at the Group, considers what further support is needed from government to ensure UK businesses are best placed to accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles (ZEVs).
World Water Week: Valuing our natural environment
We all 'appreciate' a babbling brook and beautiful rivers and oceans, but what is the value of our natural environment? World Water Week provides us all with the perfect opportunity to reflect on the importance of water stewardship, which is not only about doing the right thing, it's also about generating real business benefits as a result.
In numbers: the UK public's attitudes towards climate change
In late July, environmental law firm ClientEarth and YouGov surveyed more than 2,000 UK adults on attitudes across a spectrum of climate-related questions. With the survey released on Monday (20 August), edie rounds-up the relevant facts and figures.
edie at 20: Despite the idiocy that is Brexit, we can do it
For edie's 20th anniversary, prominent environmental peer Lord Deben reflects on green policy, Brexit, carbon budgets and flat-earthers.
What's the business case for climate science?
Let's be honest, the transition to a low carbon economy is going to require some difficult and far-reaching change from most companies and sectors. But emerging leadership from the corporate world is showing that remodelling business strategies around climate science is already driving innovation, growth and other business benefits.
EY to remove 7.7 million single-use plastic items from its UK offices
Financial services provider EY has outlined plans to reduce its consumption of single-use plastic items by more than 7.7 million pieces, by offering all staff reusable cups and bottles for personal 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.
edie at 20: Is sustainability finally coming home?
It's official - edie is now 20 years old. Our 20th anniversary as a sustainable business media brand offers a chance to celebrate and reflect upon the tremendous achievements of the green economy - but it is also a time for us to realise the immense opportunity that now lies ahead.
Solving the plastics problem: 10 industry gamechangers for the planet
This insight report, produced in partnership with waste management specialist Helistrat, outlines the game-changing developments that are empowering businesses to eliminate all avoidable plastics waste.
CityTrees and electric bin lorries: the best green innovations for Clean Air Day
To mark Clean Air Day (21 June), edie has rounded up some of the ground-breaking innovations being explored by companies across the globe as we look to tackle the dangers of air pollution.
It's time we embrace the fierce urgency of now
Jonathon Porritt recently provided the foreword to edie's flagship 2018 report for the Mission Possible campaign, which explores how businesses are scaling up effort and innovation across all areas of development to achieve a sustainable future.
edie Explains: Electric vehicles
This brand new edie Explains guide breaks down everything there is to know about deploying electric vehicles (EVs) across your business fleet.
EU tables ground-breaking 'low-carbon benchmark' for green finance
The European Commission presented on Thursday (24 May) a set of proposals aimed at boosting private investment in low-carbon technologies like renewable energies while increasing transparency in sustainable finance to avoid green-washing.
Sustainability 'imagineered': The Disney-led resort powered by geothermal energy
edie's senior reporter Matt Mace travels to the outskirts of Paris to uncover how Villages Nature Paris tapped into geothermal energy to deliver on a holistic 10-step sustainability framework.
Lloyds launches £2bn Clean Growth Finance scheme
Lloyds Banking Group has announced it will be providing a further £2bn of funding for sustainable investments, increasing its total UK green finance commitments to £3bn.
Sector insight: The state of sustainability 2018
This exclusive insight report explores the key drivers, challenges and opportunities facing sustainable business in the UK.
Mission Possible: Taking bold action to achieve a sustainable future
The mission, should we choose to accept it: achieving a low- carbon, resource-efficient industrial revolution. As we gear up for edie Live 2018 this webinar will hear from the leading businesses and experts that are scaling-up effort and innovation across all areas of sustainable development to make this Mission Possible.
Sector insight: The state of sustainability in hospitality & leisure
This exclusive insight report explores the key drivers, challenges and opportunities facing sustainability in the UK's hospitality & leisure industry.
Taking action for a sustainable future
Ensuring packaging is as sustainable as possible is a priority for businesses across the globe. The Governments' newly announced £60m initiative backing the cause demonstrates the scale of this ambition. It's time to bring this conversation to the forefront and tackle the issue together.
Sustainability leadership: It's all about the journey
There's nothing new in businesses taking a leading role in social change, but there's growing evidence that it is beginning to happen on a scale we haven't seen before.
WEBINAR: How to uncover savings and improve your operational performance through energy insight
Our expert panel will discuss how to use advanced energy insights to help you to uncover savings and improve your operational performance.
How to innovate for sustainability like a Googler
One important event in the corporate innovation calendar is Boston Consulting Group's annual 'Most Innovative Companies' benchmark. This year Google was again acknowledged for its innovation leadership (holding the number two spot for the fourth year, again behind Apple) and the digital technology giant is also responsible for one of my favourite innovation projects. This blog unpacks the ways that Google, and other leading innovators, can teach us much about how we can and should be innovating for sustainability.
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.
Employee engagement: What does it take to change behaviours?
Aligning corporate sustainability targets with individuals' motivations and behaviours can drive significant savings, but it is incredibly difficult to achieve. In this webinar, we explore how energy and sustainability managers can effectively engage with employees to bring about positive change.
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.
Climate change mitigation should be viewed as business opportunity, says London Stock Exchange
Businesses and investors should focus more on measuring and reporting the positive impacts of sustainability efforts rather than purely analysing the risks posed by climate change, according to the sustainability manager of the London Stock Exchange Group.
Paving the way to a better built environment
Construction businesses lie at the juncture of some of the world's most pressing environmental and societal challenges. Here, the UK Green Building Council's chief executive Julie Hirigoyen charts the progress being made across the industry in the key areas of climate change, resource use, nature and biodiversity, health & wellbeing and socio-economic impact.
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.
NatWest delivers £3.5bn low-carbon lending in three years
Banking giant NatWest has pledged to deliver of £10bn lending to UK renewable energy and energy efficiency projects by 2020, having provided £3.5bn over the past three years.
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
London ranked as global leader in green finance movement
London has been ranked as the best financial hub in the world for green financing offerings, with a new report predicting that the market for green offers will grow "substantially in size and quality".
The sustainability communications handbook
This handbook equips you with the knowledge and insight required to help your audience understand the true value of sustainability, from the boardroom, to your staff, consumers and investors.
The 'resource currency': Pushing sustainability higher up the corporate agenda
Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at the edie Sustainability Leaders Forum. Everyone I spoke to was passionate about pushing sustainability up the agenda in their respective boardrooms so for me, this was an ideal opportunity to engage with businesses which have already bought into the sustainability concept, but who feel they can make an even greater difference in the way their businesses think and operate.
Veolia opens 'world-first' closed-loop glass recycling facility
A new £10m high-tech recycling facility which turns glass into insulation has been hailed as a "real boost" for the UK's circular 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.
The public mood is changing – how can business talk to customers about sustainability?
The public mood appears to be changing. David Attenborough's emotive Blue Planet backed by on-going campaigns in the Daily Mail and on Sky has focussed attention on single use plastics. Michael Gove, eager for a positive post-Brexit platform, has sensed an opportunity and started talking about new legislation. Sustainability is creeping up the agenda, customers are getting inquisitive about company behaviour. How should business respond?
Are reuse and refill missing pieces of our sustainable packaging jigsaw?
Last week the Church of England and Members of Parliament pledged to go single-use plastic-free for the 40 days of Lent, while the BBC plans to be similarly plastic-free in its operations by 2020. These are the latest (at time of writing at least) in an ever-growing list of sustainable packaging commitments being made at an almost breakneck pace.
EU can double renewables and boost economy, report finds
A cost-effective approach to integration with the European Union (EU) could help the bloc double the percentage of renewable energy that it uses, while bringing Member States in line with a collective goal to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030.
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.
Virgin Trains hands over old uniforms to prison in recycling scheme
Prisoners at HMP Northumberland will take part in a recycling initiative which will see old Virgin Trains uniforms transformed into new textiles in a bid to reduce reoffending rates.
UK is plugged in, as global car industry speeds away from fossil fuels
The car industry remains a vital part of the global economy. Both on its own terms - global revenues from vehicle sales reached over US$2 trillion last year - and as a sector that influences the wider global economy.
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.
How business can play a part in the new Northern Forest
The Government has announced £5.7 million to kick start the planting of 50 million trees across the North of England through an ambitious new plan by the Woodland Trust and Community Forests. The project is set to deliver huge benefits, and businesses and large organisations will have a vital role to play.
We have a problem and a lot of plastics
Plastic is everywhere: it is in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, it is the food we eat and in the clothes we wear. We have a plastics pollution problem, leaching into our environment and finding its way into our marine environment, being swept up to the Arctic, ingested by marine life causing harm, polluting our waterways and reducing the aesthetic value of the places we love the most. How we manage plastics is a serious issue, but things just got a bit more complicated.
Plastics: We're at war with the symptoms, not the cause
Theresa May's call to eliminate all "avoidable" plastic waste within the next 25 years is a step in the right direction, but also follows a growing trend that ignores the remedies needed in the value chain of the UK's resource efficiency ambitions.
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.
Sustainability leaders: hurry up!
Still time to book for the Sustainability Leaders Forum.
Two serious throwaway culture issues for Theresa May beyond plastic bags
The UK government's new 25 year plan for the environment (25 YEP) leads with the planned extension of the plastic bag tax and the need to tackle plastic waste in what Theresa May calls our "Throwaway Culture".
Safeguarding the environment to future-proof our economy
As a Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability professional I couldn't not respond to the UK's shiny new 25 year Environment Plan this month, which sets out how the UK will tackle the crisis facing our natural world.
2017 green policy review: A year of progress and pleasant surprises
What a difference a year makes. Let us briefly cast our minds back to the halcyon days of January 2017 - who would have thought that a widely-ridiculed Jeremy Corbyn would soon become favourite to be the next PM; that a divorced mixed-raced American actress would be about to enter the Royal Family, or that a vastly experienced England cricket team would succumb to a humiliating Ashes defeat Down Under before the Boxing Day test?
The role of manufacturers and retailers in creating a truly circular economy for the UK
Consumers have long been targeted for their sustainability efforts, from recycling to upcycling and beyond. However, while individuals can make a difference to sustainability targets, businesses, and in particular, manufacturers and retailers are now being called upon to do much more to help create Britain's much needed circular economy.
EU announces €9bn in funding for climate action
The European commission has announced funding of €9bn (£8bn) for action on climate change, one of a flurry of measures from governments, businesses and investors aimed at achieving the goals of the 2015 Paris agreement.
Global companies call on nations to push for 'well-below' 2C Paris target
More than 50 global companies including Unilever, M&S and Adidas have called on nations meeting in Paris to discuss climate progress, to phase-out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 and create the framework to limit global warming increases to well below 2C.
UK banking performance at odds with Government's green finance leadership ambitions
The UK Government's ambition to promote the UK as a global leader of green finance post-Brexit is already at risk, with a new report finding that French banks have shown "marked leadership in green banking" because of innovative new legislation.
Now for clean growth – let’s hope it’s real this time
If, like me, you're downloading a burgeoning number of Government reports committing us to clean growth, low carbon infrastructures and greater disclosure on climate risk, you'll either be feeling 'at last, the tide has turned'; or suspending your lingering cynicism about commitments to the green economy. Is it all real this time?
Become a green game changer by integrating sustainability into design
If you want to change-the-game on sustainability get started by considering environmental and social issues during early-stage design.
The key business takeaways from COP23
So, COP 23 has come and gone, with little attention in the media. Expectations were for a technically focused meeting, working through some of the detail needed to bring the Paris agreement to life. Does this mean that there was little in it of business interest? Far from it, there were some important outcomes that provide real opportunities for business leadership. Here are my key takeaways.
Responsible packaging – don’t ignore the bigger picture
Plastic products and packaging are increasingly generating debate and discussion. And rightly so, as the extent of plastic pollution in the world's oceans is becoming clearer. Although there's strong commitment among retailers to tackling the problem, the industry's role is coming under some scrutiny.
So, what now for sustainability reporting?
As a CSR and Sustainability professional, reporting is one of the most significant issues to be addressed in this field.
How business can help halt the rise in global emissions
There's been a lot of media coverage over the past week about rising levels of CO2 and the likely impacts, despite international efforts to cut greenhouse gases.
Why Net Positive can help big business achieve long-term success, and more
Businesses are facing unprecedented levels of disruption- and from so many different quarters that the dependable business models of old are being torn to shreds. In many sectors market share is being seized away from the incumbents by savvy - and very often values-driven - start-ups who are rewriting the rules of business, leaving those that fail to innovate and adapt facing a bleak future.
Lord Stern: Flexible policy approach will catalyse low-carbon transition
Lord Nicholas Stern has called on governments across the world to implement "predictably flexible" policy frameworks that enable businesses to map investment opportunities during the transition to a low-carbon economy.
G20 falls behind on national decarbonisation pledges
The UK is "strongly outperforming" the rest of G20 in decoupling emissions from economic growth, but businesses and governments have been warned that the goals of the Paris Agreement won't be achieved with current decarbonisation ambitions.
Students need the 'sustain' ability
Iain Patton, CEO at the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), talks to representatives from the education, business and sustainability sectors about megatrends in education.
No need for plastic to be on the menu
"There is no need for plastic to be on the menu" Prince Charles said recently referring to the plastics in the ocean that are ingested by fish caught for our dinner tables. The need to find a solution to recycle more plastic continues to attract considerable public debate and scrutiny.
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.
Beyond the carrier bags
The success of the 5p carrier bag charge shows just how influential supermarkets can be in encouraging shoppers to adopt sustainable practices. How can they innovate to keep up the momentum asks Shilen Patel, CEO of Independents United.
Raising the bar on sustainability: Not just “the what” you do, but “how” you do it
Sustainable business is on the rise. More and more organisations are realising that they can do well by being good to people and planet. The most recent report on sustainability performance of listed companies, from Carbon Clear, states that the transition towards more sustainable business is happening more because of carrots (demand) rather than sticks (regulation).
Finding sustainable purpose: How we found new life after public funding through profit for purpose
Britain's Energy Coast's chief executive Michael Pemberton discusses the company's transformation from a publicly-funded entity to a firm with a profit for purpose property business model that champions sustainability in the built environment.
How to expand your business sustainably: it all starts with your supply chain
The 2016 CEO Study published by Accenture and the United Nations Global Compact boldly claims that a "staggering 97% of CEO's interviewed believe that sustainability is important to the future success of their business". Despite being reminiscent of the 97% of scientists that agree on climate change, clearly, we are at a point in time where the question around business expansion is not can, but rather how, does a business grow sustainably and where should it focus its efforts?
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.
Global deposit return schemes
Deposit return schemes add a small deposit on to the cost of drinks which is refunded to the consumer when the container is returned. Hence, the incentive for consumers to recycle their drinks containers is much greater. Containers, such as glass, can be refilled and other such as cans can be recycled, eliminating wastage of the containers.
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.
edie Explains: The green office
The purpose of a green office programme is to enable a business to improve the efficiency of its everyday operations by taking practical steps to reduce office resource consumption and implement more sustainable practices that benefit both the organisation and its employees.
A circular economy does not mean a flat global economy
Achieving a truly circular economy is an ambitious yet realistic concept, and something that will require input from governments, businesses and people across the world to bring to fruition, as well as a broad change in thinking.
Four ways to create real business value by addressing climate change
BITC member Carbon Clear's chief executive Mark Chadwick outlines why acknowledging and acting on climate change has evolved from mitigation practices to capturing holistic business opportunities.
Your top sustainable innovation questions answered
In August I delivered the Sustainable Innovation Masterclass as part of Edie's webinar series. This generated a great debate and a lot of questions from attendees, that we simply didn't have time to answer in the allotted time. This blog revisits and answer these questions as a way to keep the debate going. Do chip in and let us know what you think.
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.
Evian unveils carbon-neutral bottling site
Danone-owned bottled water brand Evian has unveiled its new production facility in France that will modernise how the company produces and transports its products, as part of a wider goal to become the first carbon-neutral Danone brand by 2020.
Brand purpose: Do it right to unleash its potential
Brand purpose is a relatively nascent business concept. There is still much confusion about its core definition and what it actually means in terms of delivery. Perhaps the most important thing to understand about brand purpose is its strategic weight and its potential to plant the work of sustainability teams firmly into the heart of a business.
Thinking outside the box: going circular
Many businesses now recognise the importance of moving towards a circular economy; the environmental imperatives stare us straight in the face. We cannot continue along a linear path of take, make, dispose forever, or indeed for much longer. It is simply not sustainable for the planet nor for long term value creation within business. The potential size of the prize of a more circular approach for the economy and society is also large.
Why a responsible business is a sustainable business
As a sustainability consultant, I have been following the meteoric rise of the 'gig economy', and the news around some of the best-known companies in the space.
Millennials twice as likely to invest in green business, survey reveals
Millennials are driving global growth in sustainable investing, according to financial services firm Morgan Stanley, which has discovered that the younger generation are twice as likely to invest in companies targeting social or environmental goals.
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?
edie explains: Combined heat & power (CHP)
Is combined heat & power (CHP) right for your business? What are the different CHP technology options, and how do you choose the right one? This updated edie explains business guide has the answers.
CSR has a PR problem, and it’s not going away
It took only three days for the first corporates to step up to fill the vacuum left by Donald Trump's exit from the Paris accord. Silicon Valley spoke first, followed by a chorus of CEOs, from Elon Musk to Jeff Immelt, promising to work with cities and citizens to meet their targets. Few would argue they were wrong.
Why the Great Repeal Bill could change how we view the UK’s waste sector for generations to come
With the Repeal Bill set to go through Parliament when MPs return from recess, we now have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to create a waste sector that works for the UK.
What a competition tells us about the circular economy
In July, I was privileged to be asked to join a brainstorming session with the Amsterdam Economic Board. This regional advisory body works with businesses, government agencies and knowledge institutes to sustainably enhance the prosperity and wellbeing of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, which has a population of more than 2.3 million people.
JP Morgan commits to 100% renewables as it makes $200bn clean finance vow
One of the world's biggest banking institutions JP Morgan Chase, has pledged to facilitate the "largest commitment" by a financial institution in the form of a $200bn clean financing fund, alongside a transition to 100% renewable energy.
WHAT’S IN A NAME? Doing business responsibly and sustainably
EDIE blog readers will be very familiar with the classic definition of sustainable development as formulated by the Brundtland Commission in 1987: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Today, we might more immediately define sustainable development as how 9-10 billion people will live at least reasonably well, within the constraints of One Planet, by mid-century.