new business models
Oxford's zero-carbon homes and L'Oreal's eco-fund: 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.
L'Oréal launches €150m social and environmental fund to support coronavirus response
Global cosmetic firm L'Oréal has noted the need to focus on regenerating the environment while also supporting those impacted by the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus, and has responded by launching a €50m social fund to support vulnerable women and a €100m environment fund.
Green stimulus can repair global economy and climate, study says
Green economy recovery packages for the coronavirus crisis will repair the global economy and put the world on track to tackle climate breakdown, but time is running out to implement the changes needed, new analysis has shown.
Climate change optimism in a post-pandemic world
Nestlé UK and Ireland's head of sustainability, Anna Turrell, writes on the impact of the pandemic on a sustainable future.
Innovation and collaboration are vital for the success of plastics in the circular economy
As reported by edie, the European Commission unveiled its new Circular Economy Action Plan in March this year. The new plan outlined a sweeping set of commitments aimed at ensuring that circularity and resource efficiency act as a "prerequisite for climate neutrality" in line with the European Green Deal and Industrial Strategy.
Coronavirus: London pauses ULEZ as Birmingham asks to postpone Clean Air Zone launch
In the same week that Transport for London (TfL) suspended charges for the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), Birmingham City Council has asked the UK Government for permission to postpone the launch of its Clean Air Zone.
Developers 'must go beyond biodiversity net-gain requirements': Report
Ecology consultancy EPR has unveiled a new support package for developers striving to meet the UK Government's housing targets while going beyond compliance with the new Environment Bill's biodiversity net-gain requirements.
Fashion industry must cut resource use by 75%, experts warn
A group of academics, businesses and thought leaders have penned a plan to help fashion firms align with planetary boundaries and address the climate and nature emergencies, headlined by a call to dramatically cut virgin resource use.
Positive Luxury: In the 'year of nature', greenwashing and incremental improvements won't cut it
EXCLUSIVE: As businesses strive to tackle the intertwined climate and resource crises, they must place nature and biodiversity at the centre of all financial considerations in 2020, a new forecast featuring input from Paul Polman, WWF and Paul Hawken warns.
Zero-waste is the new black: How SMEs are disrupting fashion's waste crisis
In the second of a two-part feature, edie's senior reporter Sarah George spotlights the businesses working to combat fashion's growing waste problem by pioneering truly circular systems in what is widely regarded as one of the world's most linear sectors.
General Motors unveils $20bn electric vehicle transition plan
General Motors (GM) will spend $20bn (£15.25bn) on electrifying its vehicle portfolio by 2025, as part of a new electric vehicle (EV) strategy.
M&S expands refill scheme amid growing customer appetite for plastic-free groceries
Marks & Spencer (M&S) is set to extend its packaging-free refill offering for dried and ambient products such as coffee and pulses this month, following a successful trial.
How online retailing is allowing fast fashion to thrive
In the first of a two-part feature, edie's senior reporter Sarah George explores how booming profits for online retailers are driving a fast fashion mindset in the UK that could undermine efforts to champion sustainability in the fashion sector, unless business and consumers find their voice.
'Encourage and enable': How Unilever is walking the talk on plant-based diets
EXCLUSIVE: After its report detailing 50 foods which consumers should eat more frequently to help tackle environmental issues went viral last year, Unilever's largest food brand Knorr has detailed its work to embed the campaign's aims across its own supply chain.
Glencore slams BP's net-zero target as it outlines measures to cap coal use
The chief executive of coal giant Glencore dubbed BP's 2050 net-zero target "wishy-washy" as he outlined how his firm will tackle scope 3 emissions through to 2035.
Can flexible workspaces help businesses reduce their carbon footprint?
As more companies move their corporate real estate portfolios to account for a growing flexible workspace market, a new report suggests that this could help improve staff health and wellbeing while cutting carbon emissions.
Purpose and profit: Unilever on how to drive benefits across the triple bottom line
Last summer, the chief executives of more than 180 corporates signed a declaration stating that the purpose of big businesses is no longer to simply generate profit for shareholders - that action must also taken to address social and environmental issues. But how can businesses without purpose "built-in" begin this transformation?
10 ways business leadership will evolve during a crucial decade for sustainability
Sustainability experts and thought leaders were in attendance at edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum to outline how the role of business in a society battling social and environmental crises like never before will change.
In numbers: Are businesses and consumers ready for the circular economy shift?
A shift away from linear 'take, make and dispose' models is widely touted as a key requirement in the transition to a net-zero, more resource-efficient world. But how prepared are businesses and individuals to make that shift, and what barriers are stopping circularity?
WATCH: Jonathon Porritt's inspiring Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech
edie's Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Jonathon Porritt, founder-director of Forum for the Future, delivered a rousing call to action to the private sector to "recarbonise" the planet by forging partnerships that pull carbon out of the atmosphere and assist with the ongoing net-zero transition.
Seven top tips for kick-starting your organisation's net-zero transition
Last year, dozens of 'climate emergency' declarations were made by governments, local authorities, political parties and businesses. But how can sustainability, CSR and energy professionals help their organisations respond to these declarations with ambitious, impactful and long-lasting actions?
Green bond issuance soared to $185bn in 2019, report reveals
Global green bond issuance last year reached an all-time high in terms of both individual bonds issued and collective value issued, global law firm Linklaters has concluded.
Carmakers renew calls for low-carbon revolution as grim sales figures loom
Some of the EU's largest auto players have called once for a mass rollout of electric vehicle (EV) recharging points and refuelling stations for fuels like hydrogen, as the industry offered up more clues as to how it intends to lessen its climate impact.
Reshape economy to fight climate crisis, says Prince Charles
The Prince of Wales has urged business and political leaders at Davos to embrace a radical reshaping of economies and markets in order to tackle the climate crisis.
'Transformation through transparency': How Microsoft will collaborate to meet its carbon-negative goals
EXCLUSIVE: As it strives to meet its boldest sustainability target to date - becoming "carbon-negative" by 2030 - Microsoft will need to forge innovative collaborations with businesses across and beyond its supply chain.
Bold targets and lifecycle assessments: Experts outline key drivers to combat single-use plastics
Sustainability experts from Sky, Surfdome and Nestlé have outlined how bold aspirations that target problematic plastics through the broader view of climate change can help spur the private sector towards a circular economy.
Corporates failing to make circular economy transition, damning report finds
More than 100 billion tonnes of virgin materials are being consumed annually by business, with progress to boost reuse and recycling rates stagnating, a damning new report has concluded.
Asda to pilot packaging-free, refillable versions of popular groceries
Asda will begin trialling packaging-free, refillable versions of some of its most popular products in May, the supermarket has confirmed today (16 January).
Ellen MacArthur Foundation boss: Natural Restoration 'hardest' part of circular economy shift
EXCLUSIVE: Against a backdrop of wildfires and growing climate activism, the chief executive of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has called on businesses to develop holistic action plans to combat the complex challenge of restoring natural systems.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation unveils 'landmark' digital tool to help businesses track circular economy progress
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has today (14 January) launched a new digital tool which enables businesses of all sizes and sectors to measure their contribution to the circular economy and identify ways in which to close the loop further.
Servitisation and social media storytelling: How retailers are approaching sustainability in 2020
January is now probably just as synonymous with retail discounts as it is with New Year's resolutions. But following a year of unprecedented climate activism, how are retailers planning to increase sustainability action and embed a 'purpose-beyond-profits' approach in 2020?
Electric car registrations surged to record levels in 2019
More electric cars were registered in the UK during 2019 than any other year to date, as diesel car registrations fell by more than one-fifth on a year-on-year basis.
Veganuary: Fast food giants launch plant-based meals as red meat sales plummet
Food-to-go giants including Greggs, KFC and McDonald's have all launched new plant-based options to mark Veganuary, after supermarkets recorded a plunge in meat sales which looks set to continue into 2020.
How has pop culture responded to the climate emergency in 2019?
From Coldplay cancelling their tour until they can find a carbon-neutral option, to James Bond producers debuting the spy's first fully electric car, all the signs point to sustainability shaping pop culture. But how deep does this impact run, and what's in store for 2020?
Reach 'peak meat' by 2030 to tackle climate crisis, say scientists
Livestock production needs to reach its peak within the next decade in order to tackle the climate emergency, scientists have warned.
Car giants 'driving with the brakes on' towards climate goals, report warns
The world's 25 largest car manufacturers are collectively failing to act in line with the Paris Agreement in terms of both electrifying their portfolios and strengthening climate governance, new analysis from CDO and the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) has warned.
UN appoints Mark Carney to help finance climate action goals
Mark Carney has been appointed as UN special envoy for climate action and finance as he prepares to step down as governor of the Bank of England in January.
Black Friday isn’t dead (yet) – but it is evolving rapidly
As climate change and resource efficiency climb the public agenda, declarations that Black Friday is "dead" are abound. But with shoppers saying they want to spend more than last year and circular business models emerging at a pace, it's probably time for a rebrand rather than a post-mortem, edie's senior reporter Sarah George argues.
Green Friday: The retailers championing sustainability over spending for Black Friday 2019
Today (29 November) is Black Friday, the biggest sales event of the year. But with consumers increasingly prioritising purpose over profit and climate change climbing the ranking of public priorities, some retailers are taking note and using the occasion to champion resource efficiency, social sustainability and environmental conservation.
Morrisons launches discounted boxes of food past 'best before' date
Morrisons has partnered with food redistribution app Too Good to Go to offer discounted boxes of products that are past their 'best before' dates to customers.
Northern Powergrid urges businesses to sell flexibility services
District Network Operator (DNO) Northern Powergrid has opened an online auction aimed at procuring 100MW of flexible energy capacity across, largely from businesses.
Report: Food giants must go beyond plant-based products to climate-proof global systems
While one-half of the world's largest food companies are now working to increase investment in plant-based proteins, meat sales are still increasing and action on climate change remains "fragmented and isolated", Forum for the Future has warned.
John Lewis & Partners: Net-zero a commercial opportunity for business
EXCLUSIVE: John Lewis & Partners' decision to set a net-zero target before the UK Government enshrined its 2050 target into law evidences the fact that sustainability and profitability now go hand-in-hand, the retailer's director of corporate responsibility has claimed.
Credit Suisse unveils SDG-aligned consumer fund to accelerate circular economy shift
Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse has launched a consumer fund aimed at spurring progress towards the targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12: Responsible Production and Consumption, as consumer demands for green finance grow.
'Pre-cycling': Closed-loop scheme for surplus fashion stock grows
The number of high-street fashion giants to have entered an agreement to sell their end-of-line surplus stock through a third party at a discount, in order to benefit charity, has reportedly grown this year.
'To truly embed sustainability, businesses must redefine value itself'
EXCLUSIVE: As ever more companies strive for sustainability which stretches beyond the confines of a separate CSR department, they will need to explore ways to define success beyond monetary value.
John Lewis trials swathe of new recycling and reuse offerings
John Lewis & Partners has launched a string of seven new initiatives aimed at helping customers to reuse packaging and recycle items which are not currently collected by most domestic kerbside services.
Redesign, collaborate and collect: Inside Coca-Cola European Partner's plastics strategy
EXCLUSIVE: Coca-Cola European Partners' (CCEP) vice president of sustainability, Joe Franses, looks across the company's four-pillar sustainable packaging roadmap to outline how collection, redesign and removal can ensure that all its packaging is collected and reused.
Sky backs TerraCycle's 'zero-waste' refill platform with £1.5m investment
Media giant Sky's Ocean Ventures investment arm has committed $2m (£1.56m) to TerraCycle's Loop platform - an offering whereby businesses provide product refills to consumers while retaining ownership of their reusable packaging.
Honda pledges to electrify European portfolio by 2022
Carmaker Honda has committed to removing vehicles which rely solely on internal combustion engines from its European portfolio by 2022, three years ahead of the target's initial deadline.
TerraCycle: The global refill revolution is here to stay
EXCLUSIVE: With consumer concerns around plastics and climate change skyrocketing, brands are increasingly betting on reuse and refill models to minimise both carbon and waste, TerraCycle's chief executive officer Tom Szaky has revealed.
Dove unveils plastic-free beauty bar packaging and 100% recycled plastic bottles
Dove has committed to removing all non-recycled plastic from certain bottle lines by the end of the year and debuted a new, plastic-free packaging format for its beauty bar soap.
FCA launches new measures to tackle 'greenwash' as green finance booms
The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has unveiled a string of new measures designed to prevent issuers from 'greenwashing', covering challenges such as climate risk reporting and the accessibility of 'green' products such as mortgages.
Infinite Play: Adidas launches buy-back platform to combat fashion waste
Sportswear giant Adidas has launched a new circular economy service, whereby consumers can trade-in used or unwanted sportswear for rewards.
Waitrose ditches plastic shrinkwrap for can multipacks
Waitrose & Partners has removed the plastic wrap from several of its best-selling multipacks of canned products, after consumers branded it "unnecessary".
PZ Cussons launches hand wash refills to slash plastics packaging
Healthcare and consumer goods giant PZ Cussons has launched its first hand wash refill offering, as it strives to reduce the amount of plastics used in its packaging by 25% by 2025.
Environment Agency targets net-zero by 2030
England's Environment Agency (EA) has committed to reaching net-zero carbon in its operations and supply chain by 2030 - two decades ahead of the UK Government's national target.
European CEOs: Changing consumer behaviours is the next sustainability frontier
The chief executive officers of some of Europe's largest corporates have concurred that although consumer awareness of sustainability issues is rising rapidly, the responsibility for changing behaviours ultimately lies with big businesses.
Farfetch launches 'on-demand' donation service in circular fashion drive
Digital fashion platform Farfetch has unveiled a new service whereby customers can donate clothes and accessories they no longer use for free.
BlackRock launches its first dedicated circular economy investment fund
The world's largest asset management firm, BlackRock, has launched its first investment fund dedicated to accelerating the global development of a circular economy.
Burberry forges resale partnership in bid to 'make fashion circular'
Luxury brand Burberry has signed a partnership to sell its second-hand products through consignment marketplace The RealReal in the US.
Half of UK businesses 'targeting carbon neutrality by 2030'
A survey of 502 UK businesses has found that almost half are aiming to be carbon-neutral by 2030, with 8% claiming they had already reached this milestone.
Survey: Two-thirds of UK public want their investments aligned with the SDGs
A new Government-led study on financing the progress towards the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has found that more than two-thirds of UK investors want their portfolios to solely support projects driving progress against the 17-Goal agenda.
Survey: Half of passengers use Uber over environmental concerns
Around half (47%) of UK adults who regularly use Uber have claimed they do so due to their concerns around environmental issues, it has been revealed, in the same week that the ride-hailing giant's London licence was extended.
Three learnings on circular innovation
Moving to a circular economy requires new thinking, unprecedented creativity and invention, but how do you practically harness this in innovation projects? Chris Sherwin introduces three recent learnings in this hands-on innovation blog.
The Body Shop: Demands for plastic-free shopping have 'come full circle since the 1990s'
EXCLUSIVE: The Body Shop's decision to begin offering plastic-free refills at its refurbished Bond Street store was largely driven by changing demands from its shoppers and staff, the brand's managing director has told edie.
Nissan and EDF partner to launch V2G EV charging offer for businesses
Nissan and EDF have signed an agreement to collaboratively develop and launch a "smart" electric vehicle (EV) charging package for businesses, including vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capacity.
Second-hand September: Selfridges hosts clothing resale pop-up
Luxury department store Selfridges is showcasing second-hand clothing at its flagship store as part of a collaboration with resale platform Depop.
Why we need a human-centred approach for a successful energy transition
A transition often implies a need for various technological, regulatory and business developments - new business models, engineering advances and cheaper, greener solutions. However, it is often forgotten that it is people who are the real drivers behind any change.
M&S showcases vertical farming at London store
Marks & Spencer (M&S) has installed vertical farming technology at one of its busiest London stores, in a bid to engage shoppers with the ways in which farmers are innovating in light of climate challenges.
Sainsbury's to launch refillable lines in bid to halve plastics packaging
Sainsbury's has confirmed that it will launch refillable versions of products such as milk and fizzy drinks in the coming years, as it strives to halve the amount of plastics it uses for packaging by 2025.
UK bus industry targets petrol and diesel phase-out
Organisations representing more than 95% of the UK's bus industry have pledged to only invest in low-emission vehicles from 2025, over concerns surrounding climate change and air pollution.
UK public unlikely to change habits despite concerns about environment
People are reportedly reluctant to adopt environmentally friendly lifestyle changes despite claiming to care more about damage to the natural environment than ever before.
Google unveils 'green' Maps feature to encourage low-carbon travel
Tech Google has added a new feature to its Maps service, enabling users to add last-mile ridesharing and biking options to journey plans.
Asda forays into second-hand clothing market
Asda is trialling its first second-hand clothing offering in the hopes of gauging consumer attitudes to a more circular fashion economy.
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.
OVO Energy moves to lower climate impact of its marketing
Independent energy provider OVO Energy has unveiled a string of new measures to reduce the resource and carbon impact of its marketing, including an offsetting scheme and a "no-flights" policy.
Reports: Sustainable finance 'growing rapidly' in Europe
Europe's sustainable finance market experienced "rapid" growth during the first half of 2019, despite a challenging end to 2018, new analyses have concluded this week.
Coca-Cola unveils 'largest sustainability initiative' to date for water packaging
The Coca-Cola Company has unveiled a string of updates to the packaging used across its Dasani water brand, in a bid to minimise its plastic footprint.
Google targets carbon-neutral hardware deliveries
Tech giant Google has unveiled a new string of sustainability pledges for its hardware, including a commitment to make all customer shipments carbon-neutral by 2020.
Survey: Retailers believe transformational sustainability will take years to achieve
Two-thirds of UK retailers believe it will take three years or more to transform their business models, processes, operations and products for holistic sustainability, a new survey has found.
Waitrose to extend plastic-busting refill scheme
Waitrose & Partners is set to extend its 'Unpacked' offering of packaging-free, refillable products, following a successful trial of the concept at its Botley Road store in Oxford.
M&S launches reusable container discounts to cut plastics waste
Marks & Spencer (M&S) has this week launched a discount scheme to incentivise the use of reusable containers at its in-store Market Place counters.
Unilever warns it will sell off brands that hurt the planet or society
Unilever has warned it will sell off brands that do not contribute positively to society, with British favourite Marmite and Magnum ice-cream among the big names thought to be vulnerable to a cull linked to the company's sustainable business agenda.
Earth Overshoot: Seven top tips for making your business 'one-planet compatible'
Held to mark Earth Overshoot Day 2019 (29 July), edie's most recent webinar saw experts from Tesco, AB Sugar, Global Footprint Network and Centrica Business Solutions discuss how businesses can operate within planetary boundaries. Here, edie rounds up the key takeaways.
Bloomberg: Petrol and diesel bans reaching critical mass in European cities
Businesses with fleets across mainland Europe will have to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles within a decade or risk losing business in key cities, new research from Bloomberg has suggested.
Earth Overshoot Day: What is the business case for one-planet compatibility?
Monday 29 July will mark Earth Overshoot Day - the day that humanity uses up all of the planet's natural resources for the year and the earliest it has ever occurred. In response, a new whitepaper explores how business can champion energy efficiency and the circular economy to become one-planet compatible.
Mitchells & Butlers to host rapid EV charging network
Pub and restaurant chain Mitchells & Butlers is set to install up to 200 rapid electric vehicle (EV) chargers across its UK estate, as part of a partnership with BP's Chargemaster arm.
Fashion giants 'must 'urgently accelerate circular economy action'
Of the 213 circular economy targets for 2020 set by 90 big-name fashion companies taking part in a collaborative circular economy campaign, just one-fifth (21%) have been met.
'World's first' climate-based government bond index launched in London
Global index and analytics giant FTSE Russell has launched a new bond index which weights products on how prepared their respective governments are to mitigate and adapt to climate impacts.
What does the Green Finance Strategy mean for business?
Following the launch of the UK Government's Green Finance Strategy, the chief executive of the Green Finance Institute has outlined how climate disclosure, policy signals and a robust business case for sustainability will transform how corporates engage with the finance community.
Eight reasons why green finance is becoming mainstream
Halfway through London Climate Action Week and it seems that sustainable finance is the hot topic. Here, edie explores the key drivers behind why green finance is growing from a niche interest to a business-critical concern.
IPCC chair: Global transition to net-zero 'not a burden' to the economy
The chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr Hoesung Lee, has dismissed fears from investors and nations that reaching net-zero emissions will place too much strain on the global economy.
How 'inclusive capitalism' can create prosperity for people, planet and profits for Firmenich
EXCLUSIVE: Fragrance & flavour company Firmenich is using an "inclusive capitalism" business model to deliver benefits for profits, the planet and people in a way that is causing others to "rally" behind the concept of sustainability.
Gatwick hosts UK's first airport-based reusable coffee cup trial
The UK's first airport reusable coffee cup trial gets under way this week at Gatwick, offering passengers the opportunity to borrow and return refillable cups in a bid to help cut waste and tackle "throwaway" culture.
Groceries 'Unpacked': Waitrose pilots packaging-free refill offering
Waitrose & Partners has started offering packaging-free refill options for hundreds of its own-brand lines, as part of a trial to gauge consumer appetite for container reuse and plastic-free sundries.
Fashion retailers team up to trial new closed-loop business models
A coalition of fashion retailers including Ted Baker are set to pilot more resource-efficient business models, such garment repair, resale and rental, to determine whether they are economically viable solutions to the sector's waste challenges.
Toyota to pilot blockchain-powered peer-to-peer energy trading
Carmaker Toyota is set to trial a blockchain-enabled peer-to-peer energy trading system which enables businesses, homeowners and electric vehicle (EV) drivers to exchange surplus power.
Mission Possible: The 2019 report
This exclusive edie report showcases world-leading and potentially game-changing examples of sustainability in action across the Mission Possible campaign's five pillars: Energy, Resources, Mobility, The Built Environment and Business Leadership.
How Farfetch is uniting designers, retailers and shoppers to create a circular fashion economy
EXCLUSIVE: Digital fashion platform Farfetch has been serious about the circular economy since its foundation. But amid growing demands for more ambitious action on waste, its chief sustainability officer has told edie that the firm now views resale and repair as an "amazing commercial opportunity".