new business models
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".
Lucy Siegle confirmed for Sustainability Keynote at edie Live 2019
Renowned ethical living and environmental journalist Lucy Siegle completes a star-studded line-up of expert speakers appearing at the UK's largest sustainability and energy exhibition, edie Live, as it returns to the NEC Birmingham on 21-22 May.
The climate turning point: 8 sustainable business gamechangers for 2020
With the UK having just declared a climate emergency and Government advisers calling on policymakers to set a net- zero carbon target by 2050, edie's latest report explores eight potentially game-changing innovations that will help businesses lead the charge towards the so-called 'climate turning point'.
Three-quarters of UK FTSE All-Share firms 'highly dependent' on natural capital
Almost three-quarters (74%) of UK businesses listed on the FTSE All-Share Index have been dubbed "potentially highly dependent" on natural resources such as clean air, water and soil in a new study on nature-related business risks.
Coalition of central banks urge finance sector to 'raise the bar' on climate action
A coalition of 36 central banks and regulators, including the Bank of England and the World Bank, have issued a rallying cry urging all stakeholders across the global sector to address climate challenges by "greening" the financial system.
Bank of America commits $300bn to sustainable finance
Bank of America has issued its third commitment to sustainable finance, pledging to mobilise an additional $300bn (£230bn) in capital by 2030, with a previous commitment set to be achieved six years ahead of schedule.
Why Refill is turning to transport 'hubs' to slash plastic bottle use
EXCLUSIVE: Since its launch in 2017, City to Sea's Refill campaign has spurred dozens of independent businesses and high street chains to offer free water bottle refills. But as it strives to meet its 2021 ambition of having locations in every town and city, its key focus will now be engaging the transport sector.
Ikea reveals mixed progress towards 'climate-positive' and circular economy goals
The world's largest furniture retailer has revealed that 70% of the materials used to make its products during 2018 were either renewable or recycled, as it strives to reach the 100% mark by 2030.
BNP Paribas aligns with SDGs and Paris Agreement in new sustainability strategy
French banking giant BNP Paribas has outlined its latest strategy to accelerate its commitment to sustainable development.
Alpro and WWF pilot new nature-focused science-based target scheme
A pilot project has been set up to take science-based targets to the next level and "respect planetary boundaries" by WWF and food and drink firm Alpro.
IONITY one year on: How carmakers are delivering on Europe's 'super' EV charging network
EXCLUSIVE: Just over a year ago, a group of the world's largest carmakers launched IONITY - a joint venture with the single aim of creating a pan-European "super" network of rapid electric vehicle (EV) chargers. But with its 2020 deadlines now looming, edie explores how the firms are progressing towards this aim.
How to build a sustainability culture within the construction industry
Following edie's insight report on the construction industry, a one-hour webinar, sponsored by Reconomy, brought together industry experts, focusing on how they embedded sustainability cultures within their firms - and how they plan to take forward their agendas.
UK cafés and restaurants pilot lunchbox refill scheme to slash plastics waste
Dozens of independent cafés and fast food restaurants across the UK will allow customers to bring their own reusable lunchboxes as part of a pilot scheme aimed at reducing reliance on single-use plastic food packaging.
'The £1bn challenge': Natural capital investment project launched in Scotland
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Scottish Wildlife Trust have teamed up to launch a new project aiming to attract £1bn of investment in protecting the nation's natural capital.
Zipcar hits 250,000 members as new petrol and diesel car sales fall
Car-sharing firm Zipcar has revealed that more than 250,000 UK residents are now signed up to use its service, with one-third of members having joined up since last January.
Living Lagom in London: Inside Ikea's new 'leading' sustainable store
edie reporter Sarah George takes a trip to Greenwich to learn how Ikea's new store - touted as its "most sustainable" UK location to date - evidences the company's shift towards circularity and 'climate-positivity'.
Consumer goods giants team up to launch 'zero-waste' refill service
Unilever, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and PepsiCo are among the 24 corporate co-founders of a new 'waste-free' retail platform, whereby businesses will provide product refills while retaining ownership of their reusable packaging.
Finance firms must adopt a natural capital approach to risk, PwC warns
In the face of climate challenges, most financial service providers are still failing to assess the extent to which environmental degradation could pose financial risks to their firms, PwC has warned.
VW and Ford forge partnership to spur low-carbon transport transition
Carmakers Ford and Volkswagen (VW) have forged a new low-carbon road transport partnership, which will see them work together to develop electric vehicles (EVs) and other clean technologies.
Lush to open UK's first plastic-free cosmetics store in Manchester
Health and beauty brand Lush has unveiled plans to open its first plastic-free shop in the UK this week, following the success of its 'naked' stores in Germany and Italy.
Why Unilever's employees are key for a new era of sustainability leadership
EXCLUSIVE: With environmental goals approaching a 2020 deadline and chief executive and the embodiment of sustainability leadership Paul Polman announcing his departure, Unilever’s decision to ask its 172,000 staff what sustainable business meant to them may well keep the firm in the vanguard of corporate responsibility.
Veganuary: Why meat-free meals could be the key to tackling climate challenges
It may be the time of year for celebrations and resolutions, but this week also marked the start of Veganuary - a month-long campaign encouraging meat-eaters to switch to plant-based foods. With this in mind, edie explores the full environmental and social impacts of the animal protein industry, and what the global business community is doing to reduce our reliance on it.
World's biggest commercial EV project set to launch in London
Several big-name businesses, including Uber and UK Power Networks, have teamed up to launch a three-year project aimed at determining how the UK's business community should be supported as it undergoes the electric vehicle (EV) transition.
How ING achieved boardroom buy-in to launch its second green bond
EXCLUSIVE: Banking giant ING was able to launch its second green bond earlier this month due to its past experience in structuring external green bonds for sustainability-conscious clients, the firm's global head of sustainable finance Leonie Schreve has claimed.
Corporates 'set to lose $1.6trn' without action on natural capital
FTSE100 firms face collectively losing $1.6trn of market capital if they fail to adopt a natural capital approach to decision-making, by assigning a monetary value to natural resources.
Five ways retailers are using Black Friday to champion CSR
Today (23 November) marks Black Friday - but while the majority of companies and consumers conform to this spending spree, a select few a using the occasion to champion resource efficiency, social sustainability and environmental conservation. Here, edie outlines how five companies that are turning that trend on its head.