new business models
UK retailers 'will not suffer financial losses' from bottle deposit scheme
Retailers will not suffer financial losses from the introduction of a plastic bottle deposit return scheme (DRS) in the UK, according to an analysis of a similar system in Norway.
Top 10 sustainability stories of March 2018
It was a month of plastic take back schemes, big Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commitments and high-profile business innovations. Take a look back at March's biggest sustainability stories in this round-up.
Plastic pledges provide gateway to circular economy, says John Lewis
The recent focus on plastic pollution has given sustainability professionals an opportunity to "reframe the narrative" on resource efficiency to move business models towards the circular economy, John Lewis's sustainability manager Ben Thomas has claimed.
Mothercare and Hubbub expand baby clothing redistribution scheme nationwide
A pilot between environmental charity Hubbub and Mothercare to redistribute baby clothing is being expanded nationwide, after more than 20,000 items of clothing were allocated to around 2,000 families last year.
Auto giants launch EV-sharing platform in China
Chinese ride-sharing firm Didi Chuxing (Didi) has partnered with 12 automakers, including Geely Auto and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, to launch a new app-based, electric-vehicle-sharing platform.
Plastics now a 'competitive issue' for business, CIWM chief warns
EXCLUSIVE: Eliminating unnecessary uses of plastic from production and supply chains is quickly becoming a "competitive issue" for businesses, with the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management's (CIWM) chief executive Dr Colin Church urging companies not to wait for legislation.
ING announces €100m Sustainable Investments fund
Dutch Bank ING has today (18 January) launched a €100m Sustainable Investments fund to help start-ups and innovative new business models scale up concepts and projects tailored for energy, water and resource efficiency.
VF Corporation exploring servitisation to champion circular economy
EXCLUSIVE: Global clothing giant VF Corporation is exploring rental and service-based business models to promote the circular economy to its consumers, as the company pushes ahead with a new corporate strategy that commits to science-based targets and 100% renewable electricity.
Long-term policies can help business capture €324bn circular economy opportunity
A new report has called on European Union (EU) institutions to promote resource efficiency beyond the completion of the Circular Economy Package, by learning from best practice scenarios that could add €324bn to the EU's economy by 2030.
Starbucks targets a plastics circular economy to drive waste management
EXCLUSIVE: There is no "competitive leverage" to be gained by failing to work with rival brands to tackle ongoing waste issues regarding paper coffee cups and the wider use of plastics, Starbuck's vice president of corporate affairs Simon Redfern has claimed.
Kering championing 'disruptive' innovations to push towards science-based targets
Luxury fashion group Kering is partnering with "disruptive" new minds to uncover innovations that will help reach ambitious science-based targets, and the firm's chief sustainability officer Marie-Claire Daveu wants to pass these learnings to the sector through an open-sourced approach.
Information overload: Why retailers must finetune sustainability communication
Retailers must be careful not to "bombard" consumers with information, despite heightened external pressures to champion Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, according to delegates from Kingfisher, H&M and Debenhams.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Meeting the drivers of the circular economy
Waste specialists Veolia discuss how investing in people can help drive emerging new business models, while UK start up Rype Office explains how 007 and the NHS are linked together through remanufacturing.
Policy must catch up with business 'ingenuity' on resource efficiency, says Corporate Leaders Group
Business "ingenuity" on resource productivity has "moved ahead of the policy agenda" and politicians need to introduce new legislation that fosters the circular economy and service-based business models, according to the director of The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group (CLG).
VW, Nissan and Toyota enter the UK diesel scrappage market
Automaker Nissan is offering a scrappage scheme for customers to switch to all-electric Nissan LEAFs, while fellow Japanese automaker Toyota and German manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) have also entered the diesel scrappage market.
A greener footprint: How Timberland's boots ignited a decade of circular economy progress
As Timberland celebrates the 10th anniversary of its EarthKeeper product range which utilises recycled plastic, edie catches up with the outdoor clothing retailer's sustainability director Colleen Vien, who explains how a decade of continual improvements has put the firm on track to achieving the circular business model.
Scrappage scheme signals Ford's intention to lead a business model 'revolution'
EXCLUSIVE: Ford's decision to offer a scrappage scheme for older, more polluting vehicles is part of a "menu of initiatives" that the carmaker is introducing as it attempts to lead the industry on a business model "revolution" that captures new service-based markets.
Business 'crusade' built on leadership can deliver zero-carbon buildings, says NG Bailey
EXCLUSIVE: The biggest barrier on the pathway to zero-carbon buildings is a lack of "appropriate leadership" from Governments, although this has presented the private sector with an opportunity to train and retain the next generation of sustainability leaders.
Property industry develops sustainability toolkit for acquisitions
A coalition of the UK's leading commercial property owners has teamed up to launch an industry toolkit which delivers practical guidance on sustainability criteria within the acquisition process.
Leading businesses rally to place circular economy into the office workplace
A host of private sector organisations including Interserve, Lloyds Banking Group and JLL have all backed a new initiative aimed at reducing the estimated £15bn waste costs incurred by the private sector, by championing the circular economy in the workplace.
Mars launches Farmer Income Lab to help eradicate smallholder poverty
Nutritional giant Mars has today (10 July) launched a programme which aims to foster cross-sector collaboration to improve smallholder farmer incomes across agricultural supply chains.
ISO 16745: First global standard for measuring carbon footprint of buildings
A new international standard created to simplify the measuring and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing buildings will "bring a response to the expectations of all", according to industry experts.
edie's 2018 Sustainability Leaders Awards open for entries
Entries are now open for the 2018 Sustainability Leaders Awards, which recognise the incredible people, initiatives and products that are helping to deliver excellence within the green economy.
New route map guides London towards £2.8bn circular economy
A new route map was launched on Monday (19 June) outlining how the collective buying power of the private sector could catalyse the circular economy in London, unlocking £2.8bn annually in the process.
Jaguar Land Rover invests £20m in ride-sharing service Lyft
British car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has entered the market of smart transportation with a new £19m investment in ride-sharing service Lyft.
Ellen MacArthur: Businesses must collaborate to make circular economy mainstream
EXCLUSIVE: Businesses need to adopt a collaborative systems approach to packaging and product design that creates value for the vast amount of plastic that has seeped into the oceans, Dame Ellen MacArthur told edie.
New natural capital metric a 'powerful lever for change', says Kering
EXCLUSIVE: A new natural capital biodiversity metric will act as an "internal change management tool" that allows companies to define and translate what environmental footprints look like in a business context, Kering's head of sustainable sourcing innovation has claimed.
Sharing economy makes inroads to combat London's air pollution
A rise in car club members in London is reducing the number of diesel vehicles on the roads, leading to less air pollution and a reduction in vehicle carbon emissions.
'Lego block' buildings: Adaptability essential for building stock to combat climate change
The impacts of climate change are exasperating the living conditions of humans, forcing them to be adaptable, a trait that should be mirrored in the global building stock.
Sir Ian Cheshire: Sustainability leadership will be defined by courage
Companies that embrace new business models that push beyond 'defensive' actions to future-proof operations will be the next generation of sustainability leaders, British businessman Sir Ian Cheshire has said.
Internal communication key to driving resource efficiency in fast-fashion world
Sustainability professionals working within incumbent fashion retailers need to be more closely aligned with procurement departments in order to accelerate the transition to more sustainable fashion industry.
New ACT programme seeks to assess transformative business models
New methodologies to quantify the preparation of companies in the utilities, transport and retail sectors in shifting towards a low-carbon economy look set to be deployed, after year-long pilot projects highlighted the needs of these sectors.
From disruptors to established leaders: Britain's sharing economy set for 60% upsurge in 2017
Sales generated by the UK's five biggest sharing economy sectors could grow by as much as £8bn this year, driven by an increasingly digitally literate and entrepreneurial population, according to new predictions from professional services firm PwC.
WRAP: Consumer demand creating economic opportunities for resource management
The private sector can progress waste reduction methods and promote recycling and reuse by building new business models around the consumer, WRAP's technical specialist Greg Lucas has claimed.
Plastic bag take-back: the next step towards a circular economy?
Plastic bag use is expected to fall significantly in Sweden after an innovative take-back trial conducted by Nottingham Trent University led to an 80% drop in consumer usage.
Theresa May urged to commit to $12trn SDG opportunity
More than 80 global firms including Unilever, Coca-Cola and BT have called on Prime Minister Theresa May to demonstrate commitment to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); on the same day that research revealed that the Goals could add $12trn to the global economy.
60-second sustainability skill - The Disruptor
In part four of our series of sustainability skills videos, Swarovski's new vice president of sustainability Dax Lovegrove explains the importance of using disruptive innovation to drive positive change within your organisation and beyond.
Human capital: Why low-carbon innovations must grow hand-in-hand with new sustainability skills
Companies that are driving the global low-carbon transition do so through the effective use of clean technology and a willingness to embrace new businesses models, but are the next generation of green businesses leaders primed with the right skills to push the sustainability agenda even further?
Click and collect shopping can deliver 'greenest Christmas yet', says Doddle
With the festive season just around the corner, new research from parcel delivery company Doddle has revealed the carbon footprint hidden inside Christmas present deliveries.
Britain's first online renewable energy marketplace launched by Good Energy
Businesses can now choose how and where their electricity is generated through the UK's first online marketplace for renewable energy, launched by independent supplier Good Energy this week.
New business models required to move away from resource inefficiency, says Carbon Trust chief
Businesses must capitalise on the positive momentum of the ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change by introducing new business models that place low-carbon energy and resource efficiency at the heart of operations.
Disruptive technology: The 'great hope' for widespread business model shake-ups
EXCLUSIVE: The unstoppable rise of "disruptive" technology such as cloud storage and the Internet of Things (IoT) will inevitably pave way for new and more sustainable business models, but entire industries will have to embrace this transitional period in different ways to accelerate the shift towards a circular and sharing-based economy.
Businesses remain unaware of natural capital impact, warns WWF
EXCLUSIVE: The majority of businesses are critically failing to address the impact of their operations on the world's depleting stock of natural resources, according to WWF-UK's director of advocacy.
Ford launches new shuttle and bike-sharing services as part of City Solutions initiative
Motor company Ford has created a new City Solutions team, which will seek to solve congestion issues in the world's busiest cities, starting in San Francisco where the acquisition of a crowd-sourced shuttle service will streamline transportation in the area.
Greg Clark: Britain's industrial strategy needs an upgrade fit for the future
Britain's industrial strategy will seek to provide easier routes to market for new business models and tap into the benefits of innovation and competition to allow for the creation of more sustainable products and services, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark has said.
Coming of age: The heroes and villains of the circular economy
The circular economy is growing up; moving beyond simple radical resource efficiency, towards an authentic triple-bottom-line. As with any transition, not everything is great. Business model innovation is the battleground for success - and while there are heroes, there are also villains holding back the real transformation that is needed.
Pokemon Go: Green business opportunity or environmental headache?
As people of all ages roam the streets in search of Pokemon, has this new, interconnected age of smartphone capabilities provided a green business opportunity for a fully fledged sharing economy, or will the increased energy demand spoil the environmental potential?
Businesses must embrace the 'radical paradigm' of sustainability
Many businesses are at risk from being left behind in the global low-carbon transition by failing to address the "elephant in the room"; choosing to focus on sustainable business models rather than products that combat real issues and global trends.
Business Cubed: one woman's mission to de-risk the global green innovation market
As a growing number of businesses look to tap into the huge potential of low-carbon innovators and sustainability start-ups to drive internal CSR programmes, Matt Mace talks to the creator of the successful RBS Innovation Gateway as she embarks on a brave new venture to bring even more ready-for-market green innovations into the mainstream.
Inside the access economy: Amazon and Nimber forge different paths to optimise logistics
EXCLUSIVE: As Amazon and Sainsbury's ramp up efforts to improve delivery times, the chief executive of 'social delivery' service Nimber has claimed that the next few years will be a defining era for crowd logistics and the sharing economy.
Businesses urged to 'think differently' and adopt Sustainable Development Goals
The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) has called on business, governments and local authorities to adopt new ways of thinking that align the "critical challenges of our time" with operational models and frameworks.
Low-carbon movement requires $7trn in green infrastructure, warns Bank of England
Close to $7trn will need to be spent on new green infrastructure across the globe in order to cut carbon emissions over the next 20 years, the Bank of England's governor Mark Carney has claimed.
Natural Capital Protocol launch 'heralds a new era' for green business
The Natural Capital Protocol has been launched today (13 July) to offer businesses a standardised framework to identify, measure, and value impacts and dependencies on natural assets, raw materials and natural infrastructure.
UN: Robust standards would help green bond market drive low-carbon economy
Green bonds have the potential to drive the global low-carbon transition in the wake of the Paris Agreement, but standardised criteria will be critical for the future credibility of the market, a new report from the United Nations (UN) has concluded.
Internet of Things paves way for connected cars of the future, says BT's sustainability chief
The automotive industry has the power to become a lynchpin of the 'Internet of things' (IoT) phenomenon, connecting cars with homes and transforming the way we use and store energy, BT Group's head of sustainability Niall Dunne has said.
The demands of supply: How BT's customer-focused carbon commitments rest in the hands of suppliers
edie's Matt Mace talks to BT's head of sustainable business policy Gabrielle Giner on how the company's customer-centric carbon reduction commitment is influenced by a flexible and highly innovative supply chain.
Green Bond market in urgent need of 'vigorous' industry standards, says WWF
Industry standards in the Green Bond market are needed in order to overcome the "complexity and confusion" that is currently hampering investor confidence in financing green projects, new research from WWF has suggested.
Policies should push companies beyond compliance, says new Corporate Leaders Group director
EXCLUSIVE: Policymakers should foster the creative thinking shown by the private sector in order to "unleash new business models and new motivations" that will act as catalysts to allow business to evolve beyond compliance mindsets.
ING joins Circular Economy 100 to unlock business opportunities
Dutch multinational banking group ING has become the latest global institution to join the Circular Economy 100 (CE100), the innovation platform launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to accelerate circular economy ambitions.
Construction industry needs a collaborative 'evolutionary jump' towards a circular economy
Collaboration within the construction industry is crucial to ensuring that businesses can embed best practice and overcome barriers to applying circular economy principles to the built environment, the UK Green Building Council's (UKGBC) sustainability officer has claimed.
Businesses urged to 'make friends with disruption' and embrace the millennial movement
EXCLUSIVE: Businesses should do more to drive the sustainability agenda by embracing the willingness of the first "digital natives and a globally empathetic generation" in order to ignite behaviour change within consumers, the chief executive of collaborative organisation Collectively has said.
Why businesses need to take a 'bottom-up' approach to sustainability
EXCLUSIVE: Businesses must adopt a bottom-up approach to embedding sustainability within the company culture, according to the sustainability director of carpet tile manufacturer Interface.
Remanufacturing no longer a 'niche' business model, says Innovate UK
EXCLUSIVE: Remanufacturing has a "crucial role" to play in every large-scale heavy industry business approach, the lead technologist resource efficiency at Innovate UK told an audience of sustainability professionals at edie Live.
Internet of Things 'can unlock huge range of circular economy opportunities'
EXCLUSIVE: The Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon will play a "critical role" in creating efficient reverse logistics within supply chains, with big players such as Samsung, eBay and UPS already recognising its potential, the UK trade association for the technology sector has said.
Business as usual approach pushing the world past its environmental boundary, says IEMA
Companies operating with a "business as usual" approach are driving the planet past its environmental and social boundaries and will need to adapt to address the combined force of global megatrends, a new IEMA report has revealed.
Bristol NHS Trust slam brakes on emissions through journey-sharing app
A specially-developed journey-sharing app is helping NHS staff across Bristol and South Gloucestershire reduce congestion, CO2 emissions and travel costs by enabling them to find walking, cycling or car-pooling "buddies" to share their daily commute to work.
Companies must look 'beyond the storm' and embrace long-term strategies, says IEMA
Companies failing to account for looming long-term megatrends are at risk of becoming "unviable businesses", unless a transformative switch away from short-term thinking can be introduced, the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment's (IEMA) policy and practice lead has claimed.
Veolia: energy and heat are the missing pieces of the circular economy jigsaw
EXCLUSIVE: Businesses are missing out on the benefits of taking a closed-loop approach to energy and heat consumption due to being too "hung-up" on waste-driven models, the head of circular economy at Veolia has claimed.
Energy Systems Catapult unveils five-year delivery plan for UK energy transformation
A leading technology and innovation centre has today (9 May) unveiled its five-year delivery plan to help create a new systems approach to deliver an affordable and secure energy transformation in the UK during its official London launch.
Why the new world of sustainability leadership lies in products
EXCLUSIVE: Companies that are tackling key environmental and societal issues through they way they design, make and sell products will become the leaders of the low-carbon economy, as customer-facing begin to diversify their services in favour of sustainable business.
DHL unveils new reverse logistics model to deliver circular supply chains
Delivery services company Deutsche Post DHL has collaborated with Cranfield University and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to develop a new 'reverse logistics' business model that will allow organisations to map out and develop closed-loop product supply chains.
Coca-Cola Enterprises reveals five-step pathway to 'factory of the future'
Collaboration, effective data management and bridging the skills gap form key parts of a new five-step pathway to creating a sustainable 'factory of the future' in the UK food and drink industry, drawn up by soft-drinks bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE).
Businesses 'dared' to embrace circular economy as ING prepares for new era of green finance
EXCLUSIVE: Companies should be ready and willing to shake up their business models in favour of the circular economy, with Dutch multinational banking group ING indicating a strong desire to provide more financial support for the low-carbon movement.
WRAP calls on UK SMEs to take 'circular leap of faith'
Liz Goodwin, the soon-to-depart chief executive of the Government's Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), has today (8 March) provided new evidence of how the circular economy is beginning to make a big difference for small businesses across the UK.
Green procurement offers 'quick win' for circular economy
The systematic adoption of green procurement (GP) policies will provide the UK with its single biggest 'quick win' in its transition to a circular economy, a new report from the All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group (APSRG) has found.
Liz Goodwin to step down as WRAP chief executive
Liz Goodwin will step down as chief executive of the UK Government's Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) later this year, after nine years in the role.
The time is NOW for green innovation and creative destruction, says Forum for the Future
EXCLUSIVE: The world needs to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to incrementalism and embrace innovation and creative destruction if we are to achieve the bold emission reduction pledges set out at the Paris climate talks.
Unilever and Novelis collaborate to educate on circular economy
Sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future has launched two new online tools designed to help businesses embrace the circular economy, following partnerships with consumer goods firm Unilever and the world's biggest aluminium can recycler Novelis.
Unilever's Paul Polman launches Global Commission to accelerate sustainable business methods
Unilever CEO Paul Polman and former United Nations deputy secretary-general Mark Malloch-Brown are working to articulate and quantify the massive economic rewards that could be available to businesses who become leaders in poverty reduction and sustainable development.
Are Uber and Lyft helping or hurting the environment?
Are on-demand ride services like Uber and Lyft good or bad for the environment? It's an increasingly urgent question as the services proliferate, but the answer is currently unclear .
EU 'missed a trick' by omitting circular economy from Paris pledge
The European Union 'missed a trick' by failing to include any mention of resource efficiency or the circular economy in its INDC submission ahead of the Paris conference.
Business leaders prepared to build on Paris agreement with climate action, survey finds
With the ambitious climate deal secured in Paris being hailed as "the greatest business opportunity of the century", it appears international business leaders are already beginning to factor climate change issues into their decision-making.
Ben & Jerry's makes non-dairy ice cream to slash emissions
Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's is introducing a non-dairy alternative that will result in 40% lower emissions during the production process compared with it's traditional ice cream equivalents.
Will the new circular economy package be ambitious enough?
With the European Commission unveiling its long-awaited circular economy package on Wednesday (2 December), UK experts and green groups are keen to find out if it will contain the necessary ambition to drive resource efficiency.
Energy firms unveil plan to double planet's renewable capacity
Sixteen of the world's largest energy companies have launched a joint plan to nearly double the planet's renewable energy capacity by 2025.
Hugh's War on Waste puts fast fashion in the spotlight
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall continued his 'war on waste' last night (9 November), with the second episode of his TV show highlighting the need for a more sustainable fashion industry.
Circular thinking - a miracle cure for NHS waste management?
Britain's healthcare system has historically had a poor track-record in waste management and recycling. But things are beginning to change, with several NHS Trusts now adopting more circular business models, as Maxine Perella finds out.
Towards earth-smart economics: what's wrong with economics as usual?
In the second of our feature series with Ashridge Business School, faculty members Tim Malnick and Stefan Cousquer explore the ever-changing relationship between sustainability and economics.
Mobile phone contracts model due an upgrade, researchers claim
The 'frequent upgrades' business model for mobile phones is not fit for purpose if the industry is to deliver the transformational change needed to create a sustainable future, according to new research from the University of Surrey.
EU asks for public advice on circular economy
The European Commissions has launched a 12-week public consultation to help inform its upcoming circular economy action plan, to be presented by the end of 2015.