Plastic-free flights and blockchain offsets: The sustainability success stories of the week
As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.
Hubbub to launch third waste-cleaning boat as part of UK 'plastic fishing' tour
Environmental charity Hubbub has unveiled plans to launch its third waste-cleaning boat made from recycled plastic, after partnering with media giant Mirror Group to launch a nationwide "plastic fishing" tour.
Universities pledge to slash emissions in bid to lead UK's low-carbon transition
The Vice Chancellors of five UK universities have signed the Government's Emissions Reduction Pledge in a bid to help accelerate the nation's transition towards a net-zero carbon economy.
Manufacturing the future: We must chase the positive and reverse climate change
Interface's vice-president and chief sustainability officer Erin Meezan recently provided the foreword to edie's brand-new sector insight report, which provides an end-to-end overview of the steps that organisations within Britain's manufacturing industry can take to achieve a sustainable future, today.
University of Strathclyde widens sustainability behaviour change programme
The University of Strathclyde is rolling out an organisation-wide behaviour change project to boost sustainable habits among staff, after a five-month pilot saw the institution reduce its carbon emissions by 15,000kg.
Bournemouth University turns to gamification to cut emissions and plastics use
Bournemouth University has revealed an employee engagement scheme has enabled it to avoid more than 500kg of disposable coffee cup waste and reduce its carbon emissions by more than 400 tonnes over an eight-month period.
The SDG roundtable: Getting engaged with the Global Goals - Part One
Sustainability and corporate responsibility managers from a range of businesses recently gathered in London for an exclusive roundtable hosted by edie and DNV GL to discuss how the private sector is stepping up efforts to drive engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
edie and Cranfield University launch new Sustainability Leadership Programme
edie has renewed its partnership with Cranfield University to develop a world-class education programme which will equip sustainability professionals with concrete ideas and new abilities to effectively embed sustainability into core business strategy.
Breaking the plastics habit: The changing role of business in achieving a circular economy
Between increasing consumer pressures and sluggish policy changes, corporates are being stretched to their limits to tackle the plastics problem - but it is critical that this sudden step-change in awareness of the issue does not lead to unintended consequences, as edie's Matt Mace investigates.
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.
The path to public-sector sustainability is paved with good intentions
As part of edie's latest sector insight report, the Carbon Trust's managing director for programmes and cities Richard Rugg charts the progress being made across the sector towards a sustainable future.
Waitrose's ethical supplier scheme expands out of Africa for first time
Waitrose is expanding its ethical trading initiative beyond Africa for the first time, with pineapple growers in Costa Rica set to be backed by extra investment from the British retailer.
Edinburgh and SOAS fulfil university divestment pledges
SOAS University of London has fulfilled a pledge to divest from fossil fuels within three years, in the same week that the University of Edinburgh became the largest university endowment fund to completely to divest away from coal, oil and gas.
University of Winchester targets carbon reductions through behaviour change programme
Following a successful four-month trial, the University of Winchester has rolled out a behaviour change programme to all staff members in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and boost wellbeing.
Bournemouth University widens staff engagement programme after fall in energy and carbon levels
Bournemouth University is rolling out an organisation-wide project to boost sustainable behaviour among employees after a successful pilot saw the institution slash energy consumption by 14.6% across active departments.
A powerful man wants purpose. What next?
Larry Fink's celebrated purpose letter has left many CEOs asking how much social benefit they should deliver.
2017: A turning point for energy efficiency in the UK?
2017 started badly for the energy efficiency sector: no policy news and yet another shuffle in the Ministerial team. The Government's plan to deliver the 5th Carbon budget was long overdue, the energy efficiency policy landscape was full of holes, and the market was flat.
How gaming can not only teach but inspire to action in sustainability
Imagine someone stuck with her head in her mobile phone, playing a game. Totally absorbed, the world around her barely exists. Not very hard, is it? We see these people all the time; on the bus, the train and even walking on the street.
How to embed the SDGs in your sustainability strategy
Apart from the slightly strange feeling of talking into complete silence, and not seeing any response from your audience, I thoroughly enjoyed talking at the edie Masterclass on How to embed the SDGs in your sustainability strategy, sharing my knowledge and expertise on the topic. Here I offer you a short reflection on the webinar and respond to the questions that I didn't have time to answer during the event.
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.
The Sustainable Development Goals – a call to action for all
The many goals and even more targets (17 goals and 169 targets, to be precise) making up the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are so wide and so far reaching, that engagement from governments alone is not enough to achieve them. Thankfully, there is a general acknowledgement "out there" that participation is also required from private businesses, local authorities and civil society to build a strong sense of ownership by all. This is our world, our home and such a good planet is hard to come by, so let's do this!
Best performance to date unlikely to help English universities hit carbon goals
English universities have achieved their best year-on-year reduction in carbon emissions to date, although an annual 7% reduction is unlikely to put the sector on track to meet a 2020 carbon reduction target.
The seven buzzwords in responsible retail
Debbie Griffiths offers a round-up of some of the most frequently uttered words from edie's Responsible Retailer conference.
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.
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.
Illegal wildlife trade: if we don’t act today, endangered animals won’t be here tomorrow
Poaching and the illegal trade of animals are devastating some of the most iconic species in the world. With 30,000 elephants disappearing around the globe every single year, this isn't an issue we can wait to act on. If things don't change, some populations of elephants could be extinct from the wild by 2025.
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.
Living Labs to the rescue
Sustainability in all sectors can sometimes end up sitting in a silo. The language used to communicate what is actually a very simple and sensible premise is typically the biggest barrier. People hear the words 'environment', 'green' and 'sustainability' and turn off. It is dismissed as a nice idea but not something they have the time or resources to commit to addressing.
Celebrating success for business and the environment
This week I attended our 2017 Awards Gala Dinner. Always an inspiring event where the very best of responsible business is celebrated, what I found most encouraging last night was the focus on the environment across all areas.
Skills gap concerns cloud UK's position in the 'global technology race'
Business leaders across the automotive, utilities, construction, aerospace, and services sectors have warned that a skills gap is holding the UK back in a "global technology race", which separate analysis suggests could generate £34.8bn for London's economy by 2030.
Aligning with the SDGs can bring power to the people
In formulating its approach to being a responsible business, a company should look first to its strengths and attributes rather than adopting a "nice to do" philosophy. For example, it makes sense for a technology and innovation-led business such as ours to use appropriate and smart technology to change people's lives.
It's time to rip up the rule book when it comes to organisational change
Pretty much every organisation in the world is, right now, feeling the sharp wind of change. That change may be political, economic, technological, generational or structural - indeed many organisations I talk to are experiencing an intermingled brew of all of these at once.
Show support for forests on the International Day of Forests
My father used to sing "Hutanku Tak Akan Hilang", which means "My Forests Will Stay" in Indonesian, and I inherited my passion for forests from him. Today (21 March) marks International Day of Forests, but it is unacceptable that even with an annual day to reflect on these environments - and the species within them - that they continue to be lost at unprecedented rates.
Challenging business as usual: making sustainability the new norm
2016 was a strange, and in some ways, dispiriting year to live through, particularly for those working in sustainability. 2017 appears to be continuing in much the same vein. In the past 12 months alone, we've seen Trump inaugurated, Brexit stumble onward and Hinckley get the go ahead despite common sense suggesting renewables were the better option.
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.
Energy efficiency: What does it take to change behaviours?
Aligning corporate energy reduction targets with individuals' motivations and behaviours can drive significant savings, but is incredibly difficult. Kicking off edie's engagement month of editorial content, we investigate how energy managers can get the rest of their organisation on board with his or her efficiency strategy and effect real change.
Ford champions student ingenuity to develop sustainable communities
Motor giant Ford has offered students across the UK a £15,000 grant to develop sustainable community projects as part of its education program in partnership with charity Enactus UK.
Lack of funding blamed for poor university sustainability results
A lack of Government funding to support sustainability in Britain's higher education establishments has led to a year-on-year fall in carbon emission reductions across the sector since 2013, according to new research from a student campaign network.
Human capital: Why low-carbon innovations must grow hand-in-hand with new sustainability skills
Companies that are driving the global low-carbon transition do so through the effective use of clean technology and a willingness to embrace new businesses models, but are the next generation of green businesses leaders primed with the right skills to push the sustainability agenda even further?
Imperial College Business School unveils climate finance research centre
Imperial College Business School has today (14 November) launched a new academic research centre to help businesses manage the risks and financial opportunities posed by climate change.
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.
University of Northampton goes green with new Waterside campus
Students at the University of Northampton will soon have their heating and hot water generated by a CO2-saving on-site energy centre, incorporating woodchip biomass boilers and a combined heat and power (CHP) system.
UK universities struggling to reach 2020 emissions target
Despite progress being made to tackle carbon emissions in the higher education sector, universities are still struggling to achieve collective 2020 reduction pledges, according to the latest Brite Green Higher Education Sector Carbon Progress Report.
Why businesses should look beyond graduates to develop the next generation of CSR leaders
Organisations from across the public and private sectors should do more to expand the capacity of corporate responsibility and sustainability job markets, by looking beyond graduates and in-house employees to broaden engagement and leadership skills.
How to succeed as a sustainability leader
With so much talk about leadership at the moment in Britain, and worries about what Brexit means for the environment and sustainability community, I thought it might be worthwhile exploring leadership in this context.
UK's first True Zero Carbon student campus given green light
The UK's first True Zero Carbon accredited student accommodation sites looks set to open later this year, after the University of Hertfordshire secured a BREEAM Outstanding rating for a new £120m campus building.
Could the circular economy salvage Britain's struggling steel industry?
The ongoing debate over the UK's escalating steel crisis has failed to consider the circular economy as a potential solution, with Tata Steel's Port Talbot production plant well-positioned to become a national remanufacturing hub as a way of securing a more sustainable future.
Water: preparing for deregulation
This time next year, water deregulation will be a reality for English and Welsh non-domestic customers. If you manage a high water usage site, or multiple high water usage sites, water deregulation is an opportunity to consolidate invoicing and seek out cost savings.
From pledges to purposeful action and long-term change: reflections on International Women’s Day
This year, the UN chose #pledgeforparity as its theme for International Women's Day, encouraging individuals to take tangible steps to help tackle gender inequality worldwide.
Businesses warned over supply chains as Edinburgh University goes conflict mineral free
The University of Edinburgh has put pressure on its electronic suppliers, after it became the first higher education institution in the UK to ban the purchasing of supplies that contain controversial 'conflict minerals'.
Go Green Week: Universities champion sustainable behaviour change
Universities across the country are switching off appliances, sending excess clothing to charity shops and cycling to seminars as part of national 'Go Green Week' - a week dedicated to raising awareness on tackling climate issues.
University staff and students make £100m fossil fuel divestment call
The National Union of Students (NUS) has called on all UK higher education facilities to play their part in removing a £100m 'tip of the iceberg' fossil fuel fund and divest assets into renewable technology.