Report: Half of UK fashion giants failing to support supply chain workers' rights
A ranking of 18 of the UK's most influential high street and online fashion retailers has revealed weak progress across the board on labour practices and supply chain worker conditions, with half of the brands generating a negative impact.
Ferrero targets nature net-gain and 'fully transparent' supply chain under new palm oil strategy
Ferrero Group, the confectionery giant which owns Nutella, has launched a new Palm Oil Charter featuring commitments to regenerate biodiversity and water systems.
Six proposals for tomorrow's world
Covid-19 has highlighted many of the changes we need to make for tomorrow's world. Prof Delphine Gibassier of Audencia explains what steps companies can take to be better prepared for current and future changes.
'Be clear and upfront': CMA urges UK businesses to avoid greenwashing
After finding that 40% of sustainability-related claims by businesses online could be misleading, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has set out recommendations on avoiding greenwashing.
Boohoo links executive pay to ESG targets after supply chain scandal
Online fast-fashion giant Boohoo Group has pledged to link executive bonuses to progress against new ESG targets, after allegations of worker exploitation at supplier factories last year were found to be "substantially true".
'Care for creation': Fossil fuel divestment promised by dozens of major faith institutions
The Church in Wales, Diocese of Bristol and Diocese of Oxford are among a group of 36 faith institutions to have jointly committed to divesting from fossil fuels, stating that they have a moral imperative to help combat the climate crisis.
Mandatory Human Rights due diligence: Is your business prepared?
Colleen Theron, chief executive of Ardea International discusses the evolving legislation surrounding corporate approaches to human rights, and why it pays to be proactive.
The devil is in the ESG detail: How confidence in ESG reporting is rooted in transparency and authentic detail
As we go on our transformation journey, we have a clear purpose: to build A Better Tomorrow by reducing the health impact of our business. If a company is committed to transformation, as we are, we need more than heart-warming stories to evidence this commitment and change.
Engagement Week: Businesses need a renewed focus on social value with localisation at its core
Businesses are more focused than ever on becoming a vested citizen of the communities they operate in. And there is widespread agreement that companies need to help fix pressing problems, from social inequality to the climate crisis.
Football's Super League proves shareholder primacy is unacceptable and dying
Philippe Joubert, Founder and chief executive of Earth on Board, discusses how the backlash against the proposed European Super League in football can serve as a teachable moment for corporate boards to learn from when approaching the climate crisis.
Climate risk and security risk: UK-backed natural gas project on hold after Islamic State attacks
Developer Total has withdrawn all staff from a gas project in Mozambique, backed by £1bn of UK Government funding, following violence from militant attackers.
BEIS mulling fashion adjudicator to tackle human rights abuses
MPs have proposed the creation of a clothing sector adjudicator, in a bid to hold fashion firms accountable for labour abuses and environmental issues in their supply chains.
Toyota to review industry associations as part of carbon-neutral target for 2050
Japanese car manufacturer Toyota will review the industry associations it is part of to ensure they are compliant with the aims of the Paris Agreement, as part of a commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
Two-thirds of Brits sceptical of sustainability-related business communications
Two-thirds of adults in the UK say they are wary of business communications relating to environmental and social purpose because they feel most brands are not yet 'walking the talk'.
Three ESG lessons from Covid-19 for the climate crisis
None of us coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic unchanged. The crisis has forced everybody to respond to new challenges and, largely, we have adapted well - parish council and cat filtered lawyer zoom calls notwithstanding.
#SustyTalk: Talking purpose-led business for B-Corps Month
edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with an exclusive panel discussion, held in celebration of B-Corps Month.
Bombay Sapphire set to meet sustainably sourced ingredients target four years early
Gin brand Bombay Sapphire has announced that it is on track to certify all of its key ingredients as sustainable by the end of 2021. It had originally been striving to achieve this milestone in 2025.
Report: 45% of UK businesses linking executive pay to ESG targets
Almost half of FTSE100 firms are now linking executive pay packages to at least one of their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets, new analysis from PwC has found.
What does the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) mean for corporates?
2021 is set to be a momentous year in terms of funds regulation as Sustainable Finance Disclosures Regulation (SFDR) comes into place. The SFDR forms part of the EU's Action Plan on Sustainable Finance, with the goal of eliminating greenwash and emphasizing the impact that asset managers' investments have, particularly in relation to climate change.
How can businesses help women reach their full potential?
International Women's Day is themed Choose to Challenge, because with challenge comes change. If we don't challenge our systems, biases, and barriers, we won't make progress on gender equality.
Unilever Beauty & Personal Care targets 1.5 million hectares of nature conservation by 2030
Unilever's Beauty & Personal Care arm, which owns brands like Dove and Vaseline, has committed to conserving and restoring 1.5 million hectares of habitat by 2030 as part of a new sustainability strategy.
Why true sustainability must include diversity
International Women's Day (IWD) is an important moment to celebrate women's achievements and call for greater equality, but for McDonald's vice president for supply chain and brand trust Beth Hart, these issues are on the agenda all year round.
When an eco-champion heckled me during my work presentation, everything changed, for the better
In times of change we often take a moment to reflect upon pivotal moments that steered our course. As Chris Large leaves his post as co-chief executive at Global Action Plan, he looks back at 15 and a half years of projects, partnerships and conversations, with one particular memory standing out.
Three themes shaping the ESG landscape in 2021
It's been more than a year since Covid-19 first broke out. Understandably, the pandemic has forced many businesses to focus on survival, while others have had limited capacity to pursue their ESG agendas.
#SustyTalk: Virgin Media's Katie Buchanan on net-zero targets and social sustainability
edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with an exclusive discussion with Virgin Media's head of sustainability Katie Buchanan, following the launch of a new Meaningful Connections sustainability strategy.
Big businesses failing to protect human rights amid Covid-19, study reveals
A study of the measures taken by more than 200 large businesses to safeguard human rights during the Covid-19 pandemic has found that most are taking little to no action.
Purpose-led products: Ocado launches a dedicated aisle for B-Corp brands
Online supermarket Ocado has launched a dedicated virtual 'aisle' showcasing products from B-Corp certified brands, as customers increasingly look for more sustainable groceries.
Now's the time for businesses to double down on shared challenges and values
To seize opportunities for progress and achieve the pace and scale of positive change required, the world needs business at its best. That's why there has never been a more critical time to put B Corp values front and centre of every responsible business.
How can businesses deliver a more inclusive economy on the road to net-zero?
In 2020, many businesses vowed to 'build back better' from Covid-19, coupling financial recovery planning with new commitments around climate change and social justice. But how can they ensure that these focuses remain - and move from ambition to action?
How can sustainability professionals champion intersectionality in 2021?
The events of 2020 both highlighted and widened existing social inequalities. While the appetite for climate action in the process of 'building back better' is palpable, many sustainability professionals want to see the same level of commitment to social justice.
Social justice doesn't distract from the net-zero goal, it makes it human
The pandemic is the latest demonstration that those from less affluent communities are the hardest hit by a crisis but not central to the story. Not only do low-income groups suffer disproportionately more deaths, but they are also the first to bear the financial burden of a crumbling economy.
#SustyTalk: The WBA's Dan Neale on delivering social transformation
edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with an exclusive talk with the World Benchmarking Alliance's (WBA) social transformation lead Dan Neale.
Greenwash: 40% of websites 'misleading' consumers on environmental credentials
An annual sweep of corporate websites has found that four in ten are providing information on environmental criteria that could be considered misleading and potentially breaking consumer laws.
What makes a sustainability leader? Meet social sustainability champions Honeywell Hometown Solutions
With less than a week until the 2021 Sustainability Leaders Awards, this feature series showcases the achievements of the 2020 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: the winners of the Social Sustainability & Community Development Award, Honeywell Hometown Solutions.
Unilever sets supply chain living wage aim and €2bn diversity commitment
Unilever has today (21 January) unveiled a raft of new commitments aimed at building a more equitable and inclusive society by vowing to ensure the people across its value chain earn at least a living wage by 2030 and spending €2bn annually with suppliers consisting of under-represented groups by 2025.
Less meat is the only pathway to tackling deforestation scarring soy supply chains
Voluntary commitments to sustainable soy supply chains won't stick in the face of ongoing deforestation scandals. Retailers and investors urgently need a Plan B, argues Feedback Global's Daniel Jones.
Trade Bill: UK Government votes to allow food imports with lower environmental standards
The UK Government is being accused of backtracking on non-regression pledges around post-Brexit food standards, after MPs voted against amendments to the trade bill this week.
Government to limit UK business exposure to Xinjiang human rights issues
The UK Government has unveiled a new package of measures aimed at ensuring that British organisations aren't benefitting from human rights violations linked to the abuse of the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.
Hard coding sustainability action into governance structures
We are surrounded by enormous challenges but the mood has changed and 2021 comes with an expectation of progress. Amanda Powell-Smith of Forster Communications and Klara Kozlov of CAF discuss why sustainability leaders need to look at whether their organisation has the right governance structures in place to enable brave intentions to become reality.
How businesses can deliver meaningful action on social sustainability in 2021
It is impossible to deny that 2020 will, of course, be remembered for the devastating Covid-19 crisis which has changed people's lives around the world.
New Years Honours 2021: The sustainability champions on the Queen's list
The outstanding achievements of dozens of people working across the UK's environmental sphere have been recognised by the Queen in this year's New Year's Honours list. Read on to find out more about the newly-awarded scientists, policy experts, green finance champions and conservationists.
#SustyTalk: BELU Water's Natalie Campbell on purpose-led business
edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with an exclusive interview with Natalie Campbell, who became co-CEO of BELU Water earlier this year.
Zalando completes brand assessments as part of environmental disclosure drive
Online fashion retailer Zalando has disclosed its Tier 1 private fashion label suppliers in an efforts to drive transparency across the value chain, and is expecting brand partners to gain a full understanding of their key suppliers also.
Kingfisher partners with Rainforest Alliance on 'forest positive' commitment
B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher has announced a new partnership with the Rainforest Alliance that will help the corporate become "forest negative" by 2025.
Transparency is the first step as we forge a more sustainable future for metals
Metals form the backbone of today's industrialised world - from the steel in our buildings and aluminium in our cars, to the copper in our mobile phones.
What does the green recovery mean for Black Friday?
After a month of lockdown restrictions, many UK retailers are looking forward to Black Friday to boost profits. But with consumers increasingly prioritising purpose and sustainability, and with the green recovery movement gaining traction, what will the sales event look like in 2020 and beyond?
SSE unveils 'just transition' strategy to benefit communities during net-zero transition
Energy giant SSE has issued a public "Just Transition" plan, which lays out steps to protect workers and communities as the business and the UK moves towards net-zero emissions.
Half of corporates unable to prove they are protecting human rights, report reveals
A new analysis of 229 of the world's largest companies has found that almost half are unable to prove they are protecting human rights in line with the UN's requirements - with more than one-third scoring zero on due diligence.
What makes a sustainability leader? Meet supply chain champions Ella's Kitchen
With the 2021 Sustainability Leaders Awards entry deadline approaching, this new feature series showcases the achievements of the 2020 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: The winner of our Supply Chain Excellence award: Ella's Kitchen.
Survey: Greenwashing 'is the biggest challenge to sustainable investment'
A survey of 650 institutional investors with more than $25.9trn in assets under management globally has found that investor-corporate engagement on environmental issues is growing - but so is frustration over greenwash.
What makes a sustainability leader? Meet the Co-op's Cathryn Higgs
With the 2021 Sustainability Leaders Awards entry deadline approaching, this new feature series showcases the achievements of the 2020 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: Our Sustainability Leader of the Year 2020, the Co-op's head of food policy Cathryn Higgs.
Priceless Planet: Banks and airlines join coalition planting 100 million trees
Businesses including Barclays Bank US, HSBC and Frontier Airlines have joined the Priceless Planet Coalition - an initiative set up by MasterCard to reforest more than 100 million trees.
Survey: One in five British investors turning to impact investment amid Covid-19
More than one-fifth (22%) of UK-based investors are planning to invest in dedicated ethical funds in the near future, with the proportion rising to more than one-third (35%) among those aged 35 and under.
From laggard to leader? Why Kraft Heinz is betting on ESG to turn its sustainability story around
EXCLUSIVE: Kraft Heinz's decision to shift its sustainability approach away from CSR and towards ESG is designed to help it avoid repeating "past mistakes" and transform the way it is perceived in the environmental sphere, the company's global ESG lead has revealed.
UK Government reps 'discussing potential COP26 sponsorship deals with oil majors'
Despite a promise to ensure that COP26's corporate sponsors are "making real contributions" to climate action, government representatives have reportedly been in discussions with some of the world's highest emitting firms, including Equinor, BP and Shell.
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: A Blueprint for Business Leadership
With less than 10 years to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), action is still not happening at the speed or scale required - despite a groundswell of ambition and action from organisations of all sectors and sizes. This report offers an end-to-end overview of exactly how businesses can advance global progress towards achieving all 17 of the Global Goals.
Consumer goods giants worth $1.8trn team up to tackle deforestation
Nestle, Mars and Unilever are among the 17 multinational consumer goods firms leading a new corporate coalition dedicated to tackling deforestation, forest degradation and land conversion in supply chains.
Big businesses face mandatory digital modern slavery reporting
The UK Government has made the first major changes to the Modern Slavery Act since its introduction in 2015, extending requirements to public bodies including local authorities and tightening rules for big businesses.
Moving beyond ESG to real world impact in a new era of scrutiny for investors
For anyone who thinks sustainable investing is just about climate, the Covid-19 crisis has proven that businesses becoming resilient to climate change, have also proven best-prepared to ride the shock of the current pandemic.
Advertising sector launches new initiative to eliminate negative environmental impacts
A new initiative launched to eliminate the advertising industry's negative impact on the environment, which has been backed by the likes of Sky and Unilever.
Oxford unveils plans for UK's first local air pollution targets
Oxford City Council has set out plans to introduce more ambitious air quality targets than the UK's current, legally binding goals, in what it claims is a national first.
Businesses including Glencore launch joint bid to improve conditions in cobalt supply chains
A coalition of businesses including Signify, Glencore and Fairphone have launched a joint initiative to improve the economic, working and social conditions of those working in the cobalt supply chain.
Consumer goods giants accused of sourcing palm oil from 'top deforester'
Consumer goods giants including PepsiCo, Unilever and Nestle have been accused of indirectly sourcing palm oil from a mill supplied by a producer which destroyed almost 3,000 hectares of forest in Indonesia in the first half of 2020.
BHP to exit thermal coal mining within two years
The world's largest mining company BHP has unveiled plans to sell off its thermal coal mines by the end of 2022, after developing new climate targets last year.
SSE vows to produce 'Just Transition' plans to bolster science-based climate targets
SSE has become the first UK energy firm to commit to developing 'Just Transition' plans, which will protect affected workers and communities as it aligns with the UK's net-zero target.
After ditching Boohoo, ASOS sets new sustainability and ethics requirements for brands
ASOS will require third-party fashion brands to comply with new ethical manufacturing and supply chain sustainability standards if they wish to be listed on its website, after it dropped Boohoo over allegations of human rights abuses at a supplier factory.
KLM's biofuel advertisements were greenwashing, regulator rules
Dutch airline KLM has been ordered to change one of its advertising campaigns after it was found to have over-emphasised the firm's use of biofuel.
Report: Governments are bowing to fossil fuel lobbying in Covid-19 recovery planning
Almost two-thirds of the interventions which fossil fuel lobbyists made in policymaking between March and June were successful, new analysis has revealed.
Putting the circular economy at the heart of a strategy
Jennie Galbraith, Head of Environment, Social and Governance, BAT and Vice Chair of ICRS discusses overcoming cynicism and placing the circular economy at the heart of BAT's new business strategy.
Fast fashion giants face mounting pressure to protect supply chain workers through Covid-19
Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists are gathering on London's Oxford Street this week to urge fast fashion brands to financially support suppliers overseas throughout the pandemic, as media exposés drawing links between Leicester's Covid-19 spike and its garment manufacturing industry emerge.
One Young World: Business giants invest £500k in SDG-aligned innovations
AstraZeneca, Deloitte and BP are among a cohort big-name businesses to have jointly unveiled £500,000 of grant funding for young innovators working on projects driving progress towards the aims of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Business for Clean Air: New initiative to help corporates tackle air pollution as lockdown lifts
Large UK businesses are now able to access a new array of tools aimed at helping them to tackle air pollution, after numerous surveys revealed that the British public are keen to see improvements in air quality maintained after lockdown.
UK Government mulling ban on overseas fossil fuel financing, reports
Ministers are reportedly considering moves to ban the UK Government's direct lending facility from financing any new or existing fossil fuel projects overseas, following a series of high-profile exposés.
World's largest ICT companies failing to tackle human rights abuses in supply chains
In a new analysis of how the world's 49 largest ICT businesses are protecting against human rights abuses in their supply chains, the average score is just 30%.
How will the CSR community respond to the Black Lives Matter movement?
The Black Lives Matter protests arrived in the UK this weekend, raising uncomfortable and sobering considerations for all communities and races. As the CSR profession continues to drive the world towards a green and just transition, how individuals and businesses respond to racism is critical.
Investors target Facebook, Nintendo and other business giants over climate disclosure
More than 1,000 multinational companies have been contacted by a group of more than 100 investors, calling for relevant data on environmental performance and stewardship to be disclosed to CDP.
Net-zero must be at the heart of the business response to restoring the health of nature
World Environment Day 2020 aims to trigger action to protect and restore the health of nature around the world. This couldn't be more timely. Whilst evidence abounds showing that nature is bouncing back due to less human activity resulting from Covid 19, the statistics are still alarming.
Pandora to reduce emissions by sourcing only recycled gold and silver
The world's largest jewellery brand, Pandora, has announced plans to stop sourcing mined silver and gold in its products by 2025, a move that is expected to cut its emissions from the use of the materials by more than two-thirds.
Zalando and Sustainable Apparel Coalition issue sustainable metrics for brands and retailers
German online fashion retailer Zalando has confirmed it will be the first retailer signed up to the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) to use a new module that will make sustainability assessments mandatory for its private labels and partner brands sold on its platform.
Available to watch on-demand:All three online events from the CSR reporting and communications sessions
edie ran a series of back-to-back online events on sustainability reporting and communications during the coronavirus pandemic, featuring speakers from Innocent Drinks, British American Tobacco, Toast Ale, Capgemini and more. All three sessions are now available to watch on-demand.
Why science, society and sustainability will matter more for business post-pandemic
Ball Corporation's President for Beverage Packaging Europe, Middle East & Africa, Ron Lewis outlines his thoughts on why sustainability will continue to be an important boardroom topic post-pandemic, and why a focus on society and the environment will be a focus moving forward.
Barclays and HSBC blasted over £158bn fossil fuel financing
Banking giants Barclays and HSBC have been accused of financing a combined £158bn into the fossil fuel sector since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015, despite both organisations pledging to ramp up sustainable investment portfolios.
SodaStream's 67 billion plastics pledge and Timberland's letter to nature: The Earth Day success stories
To mark Earth Day 2020 edie has rounded up some of the shining examples of business commitments to delivering sustainable products, services and campaigns.
Coronavirus: Fairtrade calls on G20 to provide 'urgent' support for low-income suppliers
Fairtrade International has called on G20 nations to implement a coronavirus response plan to protect low-income farmers and producers through economic support and investments that push commodity supply chains towards more sustainable practices.
Available to watch on-demand: Climate-resilient supply chains webinar featuring BT and HPE
edie's latest webinar, focused on how businesses can build sustainable, climate-resilient supply chains featuring expert insight from sustainability professionals from BT, HPE, Project X Global and UL. It is now available to watch on-demand.
Child labour on the rise in cocoa supply chains
Cases of child labour occurring in the cocoa supply chain are rumoured to have increased by 2% to more than two million children, according to a draft US Government report, while big businesses in the sector have been ranked on approaches to supply chain engagement.
The net-zero bulldozer: Have the SDGs been forgotten in an era of climate activism?
2019 will be remembered as a year of unprecedented climate action, with improved science and mass citizen engagement spurring nations and businesses to set net-zero targets. But amid this rush of climate action, have the other social and environmental issues set out by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) been deprioritised?
WBA: Companies with embedded sustainability best-placed to weather coronavirus storm
EXCLUSIVE: Reports of business failures to safeguard employee livelihoods or the environment amid the coronavirus pandemic are emerging at a near-hourly basis - and those best-placed to avoid the impending storm from consumers and investors are those that have already taken ambitious action.
Mondelēz increases transparency drive to combat supply chain deforestation
Mondelēz International, which owns brands including Cadbury and Dairy Milk, has increased a transparency drive on farms in the world's largest two cocoa-producing countries that are registered under the firm's ethical and sustainable sourcing programme.
UK Government publishes statement to tackle modern slavery across its supply chain
The UK has become the first country to publish a statement outlining how the Government will tackle modern slavery across its supply chain and spending measures.
Investors write to businesses calling for action on human rights
Hundreds of investors have written to global companies deemed to be performing poorly on human rights indicators, calling for immediate action to improve standards across operations and value chains.
Modern Slavery Act: An assessment of the first five years
The UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA) received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015. The Act sets out a legal obligation for organisations with a turnover of £36m or above to publish a modern slavery statement on their websites.
Half of corporates unable to prove they are protecting human rights , report finds
An analysis of 200 of the world's biggest corporation has found that 95 are unable to prove they are taking action to protect and improve human rights for their direct employees, supply chains and the communities they serve.
'Investing for net-zero must go mainstream': COP26 finance strategy unveiled
The UK has published its COP26 strategy to help private finance support a global economic transition to net-zero emissions, with a heavy focus on exploring mandatory reporting requirements for climate-related data.
Bank of England under pressure over board member's oil links
Environmental groups have called into question the Bank of England's commitment to tackling the climate emergency while it retains one of Britain's most senior oil company executives on its governing board.
Hubbub targets stag and hen dos to lower UK flying climate impacts
Environmental charity Hubbub has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the impacts of flying, after research commissioned by the group found that almost half of all flights taken by men aged 20-45 and a third of flights from women in the same age group were for stag and hen dos.
Mary Robinson: Business and governments must avoid net-zero 'hypocrisy'
EXCLUSIVE: The former president of Ireland Mary Robinson has claimed that net-zero commitments made by governments and corporates must lead to a "just transition" that also combats the "hypocrisy" of ignoring fossil fuel developments further afield.
Boris Johnson urged to improve UK's SDG performance
A business coalition spearheaded by the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) has today (29 January) delivered a brief to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for the Government to improve progress towards the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Carmakers make joint pledge to make battery supply chains sustainable
Volvo, Audi and BMW are among the cohort of carmakers to have joined a joint initiative aimed at creating battery value chains that are environmentally and socially sustainable.
Comic Relief among charities pledging to end fossil fuel investments
Comic Relief, Power to Change, and Guy's and St Thomas' Charity are the latest organisations that have committed to end all fossil fuel investment and adopt a new ethical approach to investing, after joining the Funder Commitment on Climate Change.