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.
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.
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.
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.
Brunel Pension Partnership launches new finance strategy to align with net-zero future
The group overseeing £30bn worth of investments for 10 local government pension scheme funds has pledged to align its management practices with the Paris Agreement.
Climate activist turns down Siemens board role over Australian mine deal
German climate activist Luisa Neubauer has declined an offer from Siemens' chief executive Joe Kaeser to sit on a supervisory board off the firm's new energy business, following controversy over an Australian mining project.
Patagonia's Black Friday campaign raises $20m for environmental causes
Outdoor clothing company Patagonia's Black Friday fundraiser for environmental organisations has hit its $10m (£7.6m) target in just 17 days - meaning the firm will now donate $10m of its own to these causes.
A decade in review: Vote for the defining sustainability moment of the 2010s
As the 2010s draw to a close, edie has analysed the key moments and announcements that push sustainability and climate action from a niche activity to a global necessity. Cast your vote to decide which of the seven moments was most profound.
Will 2020 be the year of mandatory climate disclosure?
Leading experts believe that it is "highly likely" that disclosing climate-related data to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD's) will become mandatory and have called on business professionals to start collecting and mapping data now.
Investors and businesses call for action to support deforestation-free soy in Brazil
A group of global investors and businesses, including Tesco, Mars and Sainsbury's, have signed a letter calling for the Brazilian Government and president Jair Bolsonaro to support a voluntary agreement that has limited deforestation from soy production in the country.
In numbers: What do consumers want from sustainable businesses in 2020?
While many businesses are taking action to reduce emissions and waste, consumers now want them to go further and prioritise people and planet over growth, a new international survey has revealed.
Businesses 'struggling to turn sustainability ambitions into action', surveys reveal
A survey of more than 9,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors has found that 96% want to improve their environmental and social practices - but that most are struggling to deliver this change due to a lack of funding or resources.
Report: More than half of corporates not meeting 'basic requirements' on human rights
A study of 200 of the world's biggest apparel, food & drink, tech manufacture and material extraction firms have found that less than half are able to show they are meeting the UN's Guiding Principles on Human Rights.
Apple almost doubles green bond offers after £1.7bn fund launch
Apple has issued a new £1.7bn ($2.2bn) green bond offering, nearly doubling its total green bond issuance to almost £3.9bn ($5bn).
Climate crisis: 11,000 scientists warn of 'untold suffering'
Humanity faces "untold suffering due to the climate crisis" unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists.
CDP: 80% of companies set to miss 2020 palm oil deforestation goals
Of the 96 corporates currently reporting that they produce, source or use products that contain palm oil from Indonesia to CDP, just one-fifth are set to meet their 2020 deforestation targets surrounding the commodity.
DuPont commits to carbon-neutral operations by 2050
Chemicals giant DuPont has unveiled a sweeping array of new sustainability targets, including a commitment to deliver carbon-neutral operations by mid-century.
Drax launches sustainable biomass strategy
Drax has outlined how it will use the latest science and best practice to ensure that biomass use is sustainably sourced and not linked to deforestation, with the UK Governments former chief scientific adviser Sir John Beddington confirmed as chair of a new Independent Advisory Board (IAB).
Responsible Jewellery Council joins UN Global Compact to act on SDGs
The Responsible Jewellery Council has forged a new partnership with the UN Global Compact which will see members such as Swarovski, Tiffany & Co and the De Beers Group, develop actions that align and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Social media advertising fuelling teenagers' unused 'trainer mountain'
Charity Global Action Plan (GAP) has found that UK teenagers own 58 million trainers, almost 30% of which remain unused, with a new study claiming that purchasing habits are a symptom of targeted digital and social media advertising.
Mary Robinson: Businesses must make 'deep commitments' to climate justice
Former Irish President Mary Robinson has argued that the development of net-zero strategies centred around social justice and human rights will become the new marker of sustainable business leadership.
Royal Shakespeare Company to end BP sponsorship deal
The Royal Shakespeare Company is to end its sponsorship deal with BP amid growing opposition to fossil fuel companies' sponsorship of many of the UK's leading cultural institutions.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: LIVE from the Global Climate Strike
Episode 71 of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast is packed with exclusive interviews from students, chief executives and sustainability representatives that attended the Global Day of Climate Strikes on Friday (20 September), outlining the role that business has to play in mitigating climate impacts.
Businesses gear up for day of global climate strikes
Shoe brand Allbirds, tea firm Pukka Herbs and PepsiCo subsidiary SodaStream have joined the coalition of businesses throwing their weight behind the worldwide day of climate strikes on Friday (20 September).
UK suppliers among recipients of 'world's worst' fashion purchasing practices
UK suppliers experience some of the "worse" purchasing practices of brands and retailers sourcing apparel, footwear and household textiles compared to suppliers from other nations in the world.
Unilever criticised over food nutrition claims
Unilever has been accused of offering food products that haven't been fortified to add necessary nutrients that mitigate health concerns, with a new report claiming that the companies Maizena and cornflour produce in Mexico fail to deliver on brand commitments.
Report: Deforestation booming due to weak policy and corporate inaction
A lack of policy support or ambitious action from corporates involved in agriculture has led to an area of tree cover the size of the UK being lost globally each year between 2014 and 2018, a new report has concluded.
VF Corp suspends sourcing of Brazilian leather due to Amazon fires concerns
VF Corporation, the owner of brands such as The North Face, Timberland and Vans, has announced that it will stop sourcing leather from Brazil, highlighting concerns over the environmental impact of cattle ranchers that have caused the vast majority of fires plaguing the Amazon rainforest.
City-based Clean Air Zones 'would boost UK economy by £6.5bn'
By implementing designated Clean Air Zones in which polluting vehicles are fined to travel, UK cities could collectively reap economic benefits of £6.5bn.
Equator Principles: Global banks failing to uphold environmental and social risk agreements
An investor coalition representing more than $2.9trn has urged global banks to strengthen efforts that protect the rights of indigenous people and the environment that they rely on.
Good business means helping communities combat climate change
A number of core principles are considered received wisdom in encouraging pro-environmental behaviour change. Another core pillar of behaviour change theory is that the messenger matters as much as the message. People trust people like them.
Levi Strauss takes fresh steps to eliminate gender-based violence, water misuse, in supply chains
Fashion giant Levi Strauss Co. has launched two new supply chain initiatives - one focused on protecting female supply chain workers, and the other centred around water stewardship - after an investigation uncovered systemic gender-based harassment at supplier facilities.
The Barker Plan: How a former UK Energy Minister used sustainability to transform a sanctioned Russian aluminium firm
EXCLUSIVE: Over the course of a year, Russian aluminium and hydropower firm EN+ Group has gone from being banned on the US market to launching a new sweeping sustainability strategy and having those sanctions lifted. Here, edie speaks to former UK Energy Minister Greg Barker, who has been the surprise driving force behind this transformation.
'Improving Lives': How a 'people-centric' approach is transforming tea supply chains
The tea sector is the largest in India, employing three million workers - but for all the industry's economic benefits, environmental and social issues are rife on tea estates. Here, edie explores how big-name tea brands are adapting their supply chain approaches to change that.
Business must place purpose before profits, top CEOs urge
The chief executives of more than 180 corporates have begun to lobby for other big businesses to stop maximising profits for shareholders at the expense of the environment or society.
PepsiCo leaves plastics lobby group after green campaign pressure
PepsiCo has announced its exit from the PLASTICS Industry Association - a trade lobby group with pro-plastics sentiments.
Meet edie's 2019 Sustainable Supply Chain champions: Thai Union and WWF
With entries now open for edie's Sustainability Leaders Awards 2020, this new feature series showcases the achievements of the 2019 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: The winners of our 2019 Sustainable Supply Chains Award, Thai Union and WWF.
How ethical and sustainable are UK universities?
Gloucestershire, Manchester Metropolitan and Nottingham Trent are among the highest-scoring universities in a new league table which ranks higher education establishments on their ethical and environmental ambitions and actions.
Swarovski turns to natural capital accounting to measure environmental impact
Jewellery giant Swarovski has calculated the monetary value of the natural resources used to produce its namesake crystals, in a move towards its overarching aim to supply "the world's most transparent crystal".
Royal institutions divest from fossil fuels, encourage others to follow suit
To mark London Climate Action Week, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) and the Royal Society of Arts have sold all remaining shares in fossil fuel companies.
The National Trust to divest entirely from fossil fuels
Europe's largest conservation charity has announced that it will divest from all fossil fuel companies within the next three years.
Sustainable Living Brands delivered record 75% of Unilever's 2018 turnover growth
Unilever has posted another strong set of annual results for its 'Sustainable Living' brands portfolio, which accounted for a record three-quarters of the company's turnover growth last year.
How employee engagement is helping PayPal make environmental sustainability 'business-as-usual'
EXCLUSIVE: By gamifying actions such as saving energy and using low-carbon modes of transport, PayPal has been able to "leverage" staff creativity and team spirit to reduce its environmental impact, the firm's global lead for environmental sustainability has claimed.
Scrolling towards a better future or coding for chaos? What the ‘Onlife’ means for sustainability
Half the world's population does something unimaginable every day. We each connect into a species-wide hive mind that reaches into our pockets, our screens and controls what we see, think and believe.
Talking ethical and sustainable fashion with Sarah Ditty and Neliana Fuenmayor
edie's Mission Possible sofa chat show returns for 2019. In this episode, edie discusses how transparency can help create a more ethical and sustainable fashion industry with Fashion Revolution's policy director Sarah Ditty and A Transparent Company's founder Neliana Fuenmayor.
Estée Lauder targets sustainable palm oil supply chain through farmer empowerment
US-based cosmetics giant Estée Lauder has launched its first sustainability programme for palm oil supply chains, which will see the company work with Indonesian farmers to champion better social conditions and environmental conservation.
Report: World falling short on SDGs' clean energy agenda
Despite "notable" global progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7, Clean Energy for All, in recent years, policies, investment and physical infrastructure are still not sufficient to deliver on its 2030 targets.
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.