M&S, Tesco, rank among top UK businesses for modern slavery compliance
Supermarket giants Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Tesco have been named among the corporates leading the FTSE 100's drive for better compliance with the Modern Slavery Act (MSA), in a new ranking of the nation's largest publicly listed organisations.
Cambridge University agrees to explore fossil fuel divestment plan
The former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has welcomed an "urgent change" by Cambridge University, after it agreed to provide fully costed plans setting out how it could divest multibillion-pound endowments from fossil fuel corporations.
Selfridges completes palm oil phase-out nine months ahead of schedule
Department store Selfridges has announced that it has achieved a goal of removing palm oil from 100% of its own-brand grocery products nine months ahead of schedule.
UK urged to take lead on biodiversity as UN issues urgent warning
The British government has commissioned Sir Partha Dasgupta, a professor at Cambridge University, to write a report on the economic case for biodiversity as policymakers across the planet are urged to step up efforts to reverse the alarming decline of the natural world.
Seven top tips for making your organisation a purpose-led business
As businesses start to redefine their role in society, purpose has become an essential part of any company's social licence to operate. Here, edie rounds up seven top tips from green economy leaders on finding and communicating your organisation's reason for being.
Mondelez adds new products to sustainable coca sourcing initiative
Mondelez International has re-affirmed its commitment to source 100% of its cocoa by 2025 from its Coca Life sustainability programme following early promising results.
ASOS urges fashion sector to take tougher action on modern slavery
Online fashion retailer ASOS is calling on other firms in the sector to take stronger action to eliminate modern slavery from their supply chains, after teaming up with several of its third-party brands to develop a five-point "roadmap".
Women in sustainability: The agents of change are ready, its time businesses were too
Sustainability is changing how businesses view waste, staff, profits and communities, but its time for businesses that want to prosper to realise the opportunities that a new wave of women leaders can bring.
BlackRock steps up ESG drive with six new low-carbon funds
The world's largest asset manager BlackRock has launched new exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that screen out exposure to "controversial" sectors, improve environmental social and governance (ESG) scores and offer a reduced carbon emissions intensity of 30%.
Tesco switches to sustainable cocoa for own-brand products in time for Easter
UK supermarket Tesco has announced that all cocoa for its own-brand chocolate is now sourced from farms that are Rainforest Alliance Certified.
How AB Sugar made sustainability its competitive edge
Faced with extreme climate-related challenges and increased calls for healthier diets, one of the world's leading sugar businesses has raised its sustainability ambitions to keep its competitive edge in a challenging economic environment.
Report: British firms leading animal welfare practices, but laggards remain
Some of the UK's largest food firms, including Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Cranswick, have been named as the corporate leaders on animal welfare issues in a new report which names the likes of Mars, Subway and Starbucks as laggards in this space.
Tate & Lyle to assess sustainability of stevia supply chain
Global food and beverage provider Tate & Lyle has announced a new partnership aiming to assess the stevia sweetener supply chain for any improvements that can be made to environmental, energy and social stewardship.
Supermarkets warned over ethical and environmental impacts of hand car washes
The Environment Agency will write to major UK supermarkets to call on them to ensure that hand car washes operating in their car parks take appropriate efforts to tackle pollution and human rights concerns, after the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) warned of the "spectrum of exploitation" taking place in the practice.
Business models for UK fashion industry unsustainable, MPs warn
The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has today (31 January) criticised major fashion retailers, including Sports Direct, Amazon and Missguided, for "failing to take action" to protect workers and promote environmental sustainability.
Kingfisher to phase-out 'harmful' chemicals across supply chain
Home improvement retailer Kingfisher will phase-out three potentially harmful chemical groups from its own branded products by 2025, with plans in place to extend the ban across its supply chain as part of the firm's Chemicals Roadmap.
Kahlua pledges to source 100% of its coffee from sustainable communities
Liqueur brand Kahlua has committed to source all of its coffee from communities it certifies as sustainable by 2022, in a bid to have a net-positive environmental and social impact across its supply chains.
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.
H&M holds fair wage summit after criticism of supply chain pay policies
Fashion giant H&M has today (11 December) held a summit to determine how best to ensure all supply chain workers receive a "fair" living wage, following campaigner accusations that it had failed to pay some garment workers enough to keep them above the poverty line.
Just Eat's e-scooters and solar-powered smart homes: 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.
High-street fashion giants urge viscose suppliers to bolster sustainability
A group of big-name fashion retailers including H&M, ASOS and Inditex are urging their suppliers to take ambitious action to make their viscose processing methods more sustainable, after an investigation found that many were dumping toxic wastewater in waterways and fisheries.
More than 800,000 people sign petition to release Iceland's banned Christmas advert
More than 800,000 people have signed a petition calling for an overturn on the decision to ban Iceland's palm oil-focused Christmas advert from being aired on television during the festive period.
Former Ikea boss Steve Howard: Big businesses must go all-in on sustainability
Ikea's former chief sustainability officer Steve Howard has urged today's business leaders to be bold and set 100% targets to achieve a sustainable future in the face of rising global megatrends.
UK fashion retailers and law enforcement agencies to partner on tackling modern slavery
Some of the UK's largest fashion retailers, including John Lewis and Marks & Spencer (M&S), have committed to work with law enforcement bodies to help identify and act on cases of modern slavery in the textiles industry.
Why Iceland's deforestation-focused Christmas advert won't be on TV this year
Iceland's decision to use part of its Christmas communications campaign on an advert that highlighted the destructive nature of palm oil has been blocked from airing on UK television channels, but why?
Food security: The power of data insights, knowledge sharing and collaboration
Increasing agricultural productivity is a global imperative. To feed a rising global population it has been estimated that we need to grow more food in the next 40 years than we did in the previous 10,000. If that wasn't stark enough, the challenge is being compounded by climate volatility.
Three years on: How the Modern Slavery Act has reshaped best practice for sustainable business
The Modern Slavery Act (MSA) served to highlight issues of human rights abuses and human trafficking when it was written into UK law three years ago. But with half of UK businesses still pre-compliance with the Act, edie explores the impact it has had on sustainable business practices to date.
World's pension funds vulnerable to climate risks, study reveals
87% of assets managed by the world's 100 largest public pension funds are yet to undergo a formal climate risk assessment, according to research published on Tuesday (23 October), with only 15% of them adopting a coal exclusion policy.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: The Great Green GB Week relay
It's episode 50 of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast, and the edie team undergo a week-long podcasting relay, interviewing an array of sustainability experts from the likes of Adnams, BT, Good Energy, PwC and WWF as part of the UK Government's Green GB Week.
Co-op: Fair pay for supply chain workers 'could be the next plastics'
As more companies begin to emphasise the importance of human rights across global supply chains, the Co-op's chief commercial officer Michael Fletcher has noted that supply chain worker treatment could have a “David Attenborough moment” and become the next big sustainability issue for consumers.
No more 'Greenhush': Sir Ian Cheshire urges business to get vocal on sustainability
The chairman of Barclays UK and Debenhams had suggested that the business community has a "moral imperative" to deliver and communicate real change that brings in new business models to alleviate key climate concerns.
H&M accused of failing to ensure living wage for supply chain workers
Fashion giant H&M has been accused of failing to fulfil a commitment to pay all garment workers enough to keep them above the poverty line, a week after claiming that almost one-million employees are covered by its "fair living wage" approach.
London slides down rankings for global green finance leaders
London has dropped from first to third place in a global ranking of the world's "greenest" financial centres, with ties to “legacy assets” focusing on “non-green” financial offerings impacting its score.
UK agrees new principles to combat supply chain modern slavery
The UK Government has spearheaded a collaborative new set of principles aimed at helping nations tackle modern slavery in global supply chains, which is believed to impact more than 45 million people.
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.
Almost one million garment workers covered by H&M's 'fair living wage' strategy
H&M has revealed that more than 930,000 garment workers located in its supply chain are now covered by a "fair living wage" approach, with 84% of the company's product volume now produced in factories that are improving wage standards and human rights approaches.
Primark expands Sustainable Cotton programme to Pakistan
EXCLUSIVE: Primark has announced it is expanding a sustainable cotton sourcing programme to key suppliers in Pakistan, after more than 4.4 million pairs of pyjamas made with the cotton were sold by the retailer in the UK over the last 12 months.
UBS: UK investors 'more cautious' on sustainable finance than global peers
A new report from UBS has found that UK investors have been more cautious to integrate sustainable financial products into their portfolios, largely due to the uncertainties of Brexit.
How London Fashion Week can set the stage for a sector-wide sustainability revolution
The catwalk shows for London Fashion Week may be over, but with the event's annual festival set to begin on Thursday (20 September), critical eyes will focus on the environmental and ethical impacts of fast fashion. Here, edie explores four ways that the show can champion sustainable alternatives.
Is CSR dead? How millennials are driving demand for authentic brand purpose
EXCLUSIVE: By 2025, three-quarters of the UK's working population will be millennials that want to buy from companies that have a purpose beyond their products and operations. With that in mind, edie explores what comes next for the traditional CSR strategy.
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.
Tax havens shielding companies responsible for deforestation and overfishing
Money channelled through secretive tax havens has been used to fuel deforestation in the Amazon and illegal fishing around the world, racking up a heavy environmental toll but leaving few ways for businesses to be held to account.
Academics call on businesses to drop standalone sustainability reports
A new report has urged corporates to drop standalone sustainability reports in favour of integrated reporting methods, to better showcase how sustainability can act as a holistic driver for growth and value across a business.
The burning question: Can Burberry spark a resource revolution in the fashion industry?
EXCLUSIVE: In contrast to the public uproar over the burning of almost £30m worth of stock, luxury fashion brand Burberry is on a journey to "foster business models" that redefine waste and embed the circular economy into an industry riddled with "fast fashion" discrepancies.
BT teams up with Unseen to launch modern slavery reporting app
Communications giant BT has partnered with anti-trafficking charity Unseen to launch an app that lets users report concerns in confidence of potential cases of modern slavery.
edie at 20: How did sustainability become so business-critical?
edie's 20th anniversary as a sustainable business media brand is an ideal opportunity to remind ourselves of the past two decades of corporate sustainability, which have seen it evolve from an environmental add-on to a fundamental aspect of growth.
Dirty fashion: Companies criticised over 'damaging' viscose use
Luxury fashion brands and high-street retailers have again been linked with the damaging production of viscose textile fibres, despite some of last year's laggards making notable improvements to sourcing practices.
Report: UK product imports fuelling modern slavery at home and abroad
The UK purchased almost £14bn worth of products that were produced through forced labour last year, while 136,000 people living in modern slavery are now located in the UK, according to a new report.
British retailers call for progress on ‘weak’ corporate anti-slavery commitments
Several big-name British retailers, including Marks and Spencer (M&S), Tesco and the Co-op, are among the 35 organisations to have signed a joint statement calling on the UK Government to set up a central registry for companies' modern slavery statements.
BT, Microsoft and Nokia team up to combat human trafficking in supply chains
Communication and technology giants BT, Microsoft and Nokia are part of a group of organisations that have partnered with the United Nations (UN) to develop technologies that help tackle modern slavery and human trafficking in supply chains.
UK businesses must make tackling modern slavery business-critical, experts warn
EXCLUSIVE: UK businesses must move beyond viewing modern slavery as a “tick box” exercise and do more to combat cases at every level of their supply chains, according to representatives from the likes of Marks and Spencer (M&S), Innocent Drinks and PwC.
PepsiCo on track for palm oil goals despite NGO concerns
PepsiCo has released an updated sourcing policy in a bid to source 100% certified sustainable palm oil by 2020, a move that the Rainforest Action Network has described as a "dodge and cover" action plan.
How sustainable is the FIFA 2018 World Cup?
With the first match of the FIFA 2018 World Cup set to kick-off today (14 June), edie takes a look at whether the event lines up with the global low-carbon transition.
'Label shopping': Is the certification scheme model broken?
Voluntary certification schemes have fiercely denied claims from a new report that that are providing cover for companies that are "destroying the planet", raising questions of whether the abundance of certification offers is watering-down sustainability efforts.
Hospitality & leisure firms struggling to act on modern slavery, edie report finds
EXCLUSIVE: Modern slavery is seen as a 'business-critical' sustainability challenge by just one-fifth of firms operating in the UK's hospitality and leisure sector, with businesses struggling to achieve fully-transparent supply chains, edie's latest sector insight report has found.
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.
The Essential Eight: edie launches supply chain sustainability handbook
Sustainability and CSR professionals looking to implement best practice to drive sustainability into the supply chain now have access to a new 'handbook' which provides expert advice and insight to tackle eight essential areas of supply chain management.
SC Johnson tweaks brand purpose as emissions tumble
SC Johnson, ubiquitously known as "a family company", has updated its identity to place sustainability at the heart of business strategy, as outlined in the company’s latest sustainability report which revealed that emissions have been halved over an 18-year period.
Consumer demand for transparency to disrupt food sector, report finds
Public trust in the food sector has eroded to an "all-time low", with a new report commissioned by premium food supplier Cranswick warning that heightened consumer demand for increased transparency looks set to disrupt the sector.
How Icebreaker's first transparency report aims to disrupt the outdoor apparel industry
A New Zealand-based outdoor apparel company's attempt to disrupt the industry by reducing plastic synthetics has been highlighted through its first Transparency report, which provides complete disclosure into supply chain contracts, living wage commitments and edible packaging innovations.
Hershey commits £355m to supply chain sustainability
Global confectionery company Hershey has committed $500m (£355m) to tackling child labour and links to deforestation in its supply chains, as part of a comprehensive new sustainability strategy.
Easter sustainability: Chocolate firms urged to become 'good eggs' for green business
Chocolate companies still have "a huge amount of work to do" in implementing truly sustainable policies, with some doing much better than others, the Washington-based NGO Mighty Earth concluded in a consumer guide ranking chocolate producers on their sustainability leadership.
Meat industry driving 'astounding' levels of deforestation, report finds
Global agribusinesses have been implored to improve the traceability of their soy and soybean supply chains, after a new report linked food products sold in European supermarkets with severe deforestation cases in South America.
Hotelier coalition calls on industry to make modern slavery top priority
A coalition of hospitality firms with a collective annual turnover of more than £14bn is calling on the industry to drive change in supply chains by treating modern slavery as a critical corporate responsibility.
International Women's Day: How gender equality can transform the energy sector
EXCLUSIVE: A failure to integrate gender equality at board level could be holding the UK's energy industry back from embracing the transformational benefits of renewables and smart-data technologies.
British retailers linked to polluting supplier factories
Marks & Spencer, H&M and ASOS are among the global companies that have agreed to incorporate new measures into sourcing policies for textile fibres, after a new report linked Tesco, Asda and Next to Asian viscose factories that are polluting the environment and contributing to premature deaths.
How Twinings is championing women's rights in the tea supply chain
EXCLUSIVE: Twinings' decision to increase its funding initiative with UNICEF for vulnerable tea farmers in Assam was built on a belief that improving skills, health and wellbeing is critical to securing the long-term security of the supply chain, the company's head of social impact has revealed.
Unilever implements 'radical step' on palm oil traceability
Unilever has become the first consumer goods firm to publicly disclose palm oil suppliers and mills that it sources from, both directly and indirectly, a move described by the firm as a "major milestone" in driving sustainability through the industry.
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.
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.
Valentines Day: Chocolates driving deforestation across the globe, report claims
A box of chocolates may not be the most environmentally friendly way to show your love this Valentine's Day, a report published today claims.
Report: Majority of UK SMEs struggling to embed sustainability
Almost three-quarters of UK SMEs are struggling to embed sustainability practices, citing costs issues and unfavourable government policies as major stumbling blocks, according to a new report.
Unilever to increase sustainable palm oil production in Indonesia
Global consumer goods firm Unilever has struck a deal with a government-owned palm oil plantation firm in Indonesia to create a support framework that enables local mills and smallholders to produce palm oil according to standards of no deforestation and no peatland deterioration.
Report: UK jewellers 'must do more' to combat potential human rights abuses
The billion-pound jewellery industry is still "tainted" by hidden cases of human rights abuses and modern slavery, with a new report urging large UK brands to increase reporting responsibilities to ensure supply chains are fully-mapped and audited.
Brands back MEP calls for global ban on animal testing in cosmetics
The announcement that European Parliament will discuss the options for a global ban on animal testing in cosmetics has been welcomed by a host brands, including The Body Shop, which want an international convention on the global ban to be created.
Black Friday: An ideal selling point for sustainability-conscious retailers?
Black Friday, which has since birthed its tech-savvy offspring Cyber Monday, is upon us again, but while retailers attend to whip up a frenzy to boost sales some companies are using the commercial event to highlight their commitments to sustainability.
How the SDGs can create a framework to fix a 'broken' agriculture sector
Businesses must collaborate to create global platforms that can fix a "completely broken" agriculture system in a way that improves land management and farming practices that can drag smallholders out of poverty.
Tune into edie's free 30-minute masterclass on embedding the Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainability professionals are invited to tune into a free online masterclass taking place on Tuesday 14 November which will explore how organisations can effectively align their corporate strategies with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
US withdraws from anti-corruption fossil fuel transparency initiative
The US has taken further steps to strengthen fossil fuel businesses, by withdrawing from an international initiative that monitors transparency and corruption in the revenues from mineral extraction and the oil and gas sector.
Nestlé, Hershey and Mars 'breaking promises over palm oil use'
Nestlé, Mars and Hershey have been accused of breaking pledges to stop using "conflict palm oil" from deforested Indonesian jungles, just days before the annual Halloween confectionery frenzy.
Stella McCartney backs first Life Cycle Assessment for man-made cellulosic fibers
Luxury fashion brand Stella McCartney will be able to better map the environmental impacts of its raw materials, after commissioning the first ever Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for man-made cellulose fiber (MMCF) used in production.
Rabobank launches $1bn programme for food production practices
Dutch cooperative financial firm Rabobank has partnered with the UN Environment to promote sustainable food supply across the globe, starting with the launch of a $1bn fund to catalyse land restoration and forestry initiatives.
The Salvation Army: Labour exploitation in England and Wales on the rise
More than 600 people required support from The Salvation Army for labour exploitation in 2016, as a new report from the organisation reveals that there has been a more than 300% increase in modern slavery victim referrals over the last six years.
Cargill targets zero deforestation as part of SDG alignment for cocoa sourcing
Food and agricultural company Cargill has updated its sustainable cocoa sourcing strategy to align with the aims of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to boost farmer prosperity, reduce environmental impacts and enhance the traceability of its supply chain.
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.
Uncle Ben's to source all basmati rice through certified sustainability standard
All basmati rice sold under the world's largest rice brand will be sourced under a sustainability platform to address human rights issues in supply chains and improve the environmental impact of farming practices.
First batch of African Fairtrade gold arrives in the UK
Fairtrade has announced the first ever shipment of certified African Fairtrade gold into the UK, in a move backed by Philips that could unlock new ethical sourcing opportunities for businesses ranging from jewellers to tech specialists.
Chocolate industry drives rainforest disaster in Ivory Coast
The world's chocolate industry is driving deforestation on a devastating scale in West Africa, the Guardian can reveal.
BRE launches guidelines to combat modern slavery in the construction sector
A new eight-step guidance plan has been launched to help companies in the property and construction sectors become "best in class" in combatting global human rights abuses across value chains.
Responsible Retailer: How House of Fraser is reinvigorating its sustainability approach
From being ahead of the curve on supply chain ethics to exploring the adoption of science-based targets, House of Fraser is rapidly making waves in the industry through its "fast moving" Responsible Retailer strategy.
Brands driving economic boon for sustainable cotton in Africa
A growing focus on sustainable procurement from textile companies such as ASOS, Aldi and Jack & Jones has helped the largest label for sustainable cotton from Africa increase licensing revenues by 47% over the last 12 months.
Pyjamas become first products made using Primark's Sustainable Cotton Programme
Cotton sourced from Primark's Sustainable Cotton Programme, which has helped rural female farmers increase average profits, is being used in production for the first time.
Chemical footprinting 'moves to the mainstream' for big businesses
Companies with more than $670bn in revenue, including Adidas, HP and Walmart, have collectively reduced the use of hazardous chemicals in products by around 416m pounds in the last two years, according to a new report.
UK's largest foodservice firm commits to sustainable seafood pledge
Compass UK & Ireland is the first major food foodservice company to join the Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC), committing to voluntary codes of conduct regarding the sourcing and labelling of all seafood products.
Survey: Nearly half of UK workers feel sustainability and profits can grow hand-in-hand
A quarter of UK workers would by "unwilling" to sacrifice profitability for the sake of higher environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, although almost half feel that standards can be improved alongside benefits to a company's bottom line.
UK hotel group launches comprehensive anti-slavery programme
A privately-owned UK hotel group has launched what it claims is the first "industry-leading" anti-slavery programme in the sector, including plans to educate more than 400 staff members on identifying cases of modern slavery and human trafficking.
Pepsico, Unilever and Nestlé accused of complicity in illegal rainforest destruction
Pepsico, Unilever and Nestlé have been accused of complicity in the destruction of Sumatra's last tract of rainforest shared by elephants, orangutans, rhinos, and tigers together in one ecosystem.
TODAY AT 11AM: Tune into edie's free webinar on supply chain ethics
Sustainability and CSR professionals can tune into a live, interactive webinar on Tuesday 25 July, which will discuss how businesses can enhance social sustainability through ethical supply chain management.
Tesco commits to detox chemicals in clothing supply chain
Supermarket heavyweight Tesco has vowed to phase-out toxic chemicals in the supply chain of its F&F clothing line, by signing up to Greenpeace's DETOX campaign.
Human rights due diligence: what should businesses do next?
I was invited to attend the International Bar Association (IBA) and OECD meeting at the OECD Global Form on Responsible Business Conduct in Paris this month. A group of lawyers, barristers, business leaders and academics met to discuss what is meant by 'human rights due diligence' and explore some case studies on how lawyers and advisors should tackle instances where human rights impacts can give rise to financial and legal risk.