Energy innovation: Delivering the smart grid of the future, today
The mission is clear: we must accelerate the shift to zero-carbon energy systems in order to slash emissions and mitigate global warming. But this mission IS possible: renewable energy costs are tumbling and new approaches to energy management such as battery storage and demand response are offering new ways for organisations to operate more sustainably.
Securing healthy returns
The NHS, social care, and public health system face challenging times to ensure the investments we make have the best possible outcomes for current and future generations.
UK fashion retailers and law enforcement agencies to partner on tackling modern slavery
Some of the UK's largest fashion retailers, including John Lewis and Marks & Spencer (M&S), have committed to work with law enforcement bodies to help identify and act on cases of modern slavery in the textiles industry.
Big-name fashion retailers collaborate to fund digital deforestation map
Seven of the world's largest fashion retailers including H&M and Kering have collectively funded the development of a new online tool that allows businesses, investors and customers to track the origin of paper, wood and viscose sourced by corporates.
Asda commits to new zero-deforestation soy policy
Supermarket giant Asda has this week made a fresh sustainability pledge to ensure that the soy it sources for agricultural raw materials and animal feed is "net-zero deforestation" verified by 2020.
Three years on: How the Modern Slavery Act has reshaped best practice for sustainable business
The Modern Slavery Act (MSA) served to highlight issues of human rights abuses and human trafficking when it was written into UK law three years ago. But with half of UK businesses still pre-compliance with the Act, edie explores the impact it has had on sustainable business practices to date.
In numbers: The growing consumer demand for corporate transparency
The Consumer Goods Forum and social change agency Futerra surveyed more than 3,600 consumers on the importance of purpose-led brands and transparency surrounding environmental, social and ethical issues. Here, edie rounds up the key facts and figures.
Apple and Dell top green supply chain rankings
Companies including Apple, Dell and Levi's have been named as the corporates leading the drive for sustainable and transparent supply chains in the 2018 Green Supply Chain Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI), which has added Whirlpool and Bosch to its rankings.
PZ Cussons outlines plastics and palm oil goals
Healthcare and consumer goods manufacturer PZ Cussons has committed to reduce the amount of plastic it uses by 25% while also setting out an action plan to source all its palm oil from sustainable sources.
HP and Ikea join commitment to create global supply chain for ocean-bound plastics
HP and Ikea have joined a business consortium committed to incorporating ocean-bound plastics in new packaging and product materials by developing the first global supply chain for plastics that are seeping into the oceans.
AB InBev teams up with WWF to champion supply chain water stewardship
The world's largest brewer has launched new partnerships with WWF and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in a bid to accelerate water security initiatives in water-stressed areas around the world.
Co-op: Fair pay for supply chain workers 'could be the next plastics'
As more companies begin to emphasise the importance of human rights across global supply chains, the Co-op's chief commercial officer Michael Fletcher has noted that supply chain worker treatment could have a “David Attenborough moment” and become the next big sustainability issue for consumers.
Lidl becomes first UK retailer to purchase 100% sustainably-sourced soy
Discount chain Lidl has become the first UK retailer to switch to 100% sustainably-sourced soy for its own-brand products, after joining the Government's Roundtable for Sustainable Soy.
M&S launches digital map to boost seafood supply chain transparency
Marks & Spencer (M&S) has this week launched an interactive digital map that allows customers and shareholders to track the origin of its seafood products.
IPCC 1.5C report: How can business drive the creation of a carbon-neutral world?
The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is celebrating its 30th birthday this year, and has done so by releasing a landmark report that acknowledges the severity of the challenge at hand. But how can business stop being part of the problem, and co-create the necessary solutions?
Mondelez expands cocoa sourcing programme to empower 100,000 women
The owner of Oreo and Cadbury's Dairy Milk has announced action plans to empower more than 100,000 women in four cocoa origin countries.
UK Government to invest £26m in tackling modern slavery in Asia
The Government has announced that it will invest £26m into a string of initiatives aimed at combatting modern slavery and child labour across six Asian countries.
H&M accused of failing to ensure living wage for supply chain workers
Fashion giant H&M has been accused of failing to fulfil a commitment to pay all garment workers enough to keep them above the poverty line, a week after claiming that almost one-million employees are covered by its "fair living wage" approach.
UK agrees new principles to combat supply chain modern slavery
The UK Government has spearheaded a collaborative new set of principles aimed at helping nations tackle modern slavery in global supply chains, which is believed to impact more than 45 million people.
UK business giants commit to 'world-first' Roadmap to halve food waste
Some of the UK's largest supermarkets, hospitality firms and food and drink manufacturers have committed to a "world-first" initiative from WRAP to halve food waste by measuring and acting on wastage levels across a "farm-to-fork" approach.
Almost one million garment workers covered by H&M's 'fair living wage' strategy
H&M has revealed that more than 930,000 garment workers located in its supply chain are now covered by a "fair living wage" approach, with 84% of the company's product volume now produced in factories that are improving wage standards and human rights approaches.
Primark expands Sustainable Cotton programme to Pakistan
EXCLUSIVE: Primark has announced it is expanding a sustainable cotton sourcing programme to key suppliers in Pakistan, after more than 4.4 million pairs of pyjamas made with the cotton were sold by the retailer in the UK over the last 12 months.
Interface unveils goal of becoming carbon negative by 2040
Modular flooring firm Interface has set a new target of becoming carbon negative by 2040, building on a 2020 ambition of having “no negative environmental impact”.
One year on: What has Mars' new $1bn sustainability strategy achieved so far?
Food and drink giant Mars has revealed the progress it has made towards the aims of its new $1bn Sustainable in a Generation Strategy, which notably saw the company adopt science-based emissions targets last year.
Data-driven 'Plastics Cloud' launched to combat plastics waste
Software firm SAP UKI has unveiled plans to collect live data from supply chains as part of a "Plastics Cloud" pilot aimed at improving plastics purchasing and recycling.
Big-name investors call on food industry to tackle supply chain deforestation
A group of 44 global investors have called on food companies which source beef from South America to mitigate and eliminate deforestation risks from their supply chains.
Deforestation monitoring and £50m EV investments: 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.
Meet the Sustainability Leader: Sustainability Innovation: Standards, Systems & Software - HH Global
With entries for edie's revamped 2019 Sustainability Leaders Awards closing TODAY, this new feature series will showcase the achievements of the 2018 winners, revealing their secrets to success. Up next: our 2018 Sustainability Innovation: Standards, Systems & Software winner - HH Global.
The Climate Coach: Transport
It will take you twenty minutes to get there - depending on traffic. Not an unusual statement wherever you live. People design cities and communities and yet often it is people that seem to be least considered as most of the space for movement is taken up by cars, vans and lorries. Pedestrians are pushed to the side and cyclists must brave traffic with a risk for their lives.
Manufacturing the future: We must chase the positive and reverse climate change
Interface's vice-president and chief sustainability officer Erin Meezan recently provided the foreword to edie's brand-new sector insight report, which provides an end-to-end overview of the steps that organisations within Britain's manufacturing industry can take to achieve a sustainable future, today.
Global food waste set to rise a third by 2030 without ‘aggressive’ action
The amount of food wasted each year worldwide is set to rise by a third by 2030 without "urgent and aggressive" action from nations and corporates.
edie Explains: Science-based targets
This brand new edie Explains guide breaks down everything you need to know about adopting and implementing science-based targets for your organisation.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: How to build a sustainable supply chain
Episode 47 of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast sees edie interview speakers at the Sustainable Supply Chains conference, to explore how corporates are future-proofing supply chains to boost resiliency against global megatrends.
Building a sustainable business: Watching your environmental footprint and the bottom line
Meeting environmental responsibilities - at a consumer and business level - has skyrocketed up the UK policy agenda this year. Now a major focus for the general public, this has led to monumental changes in everyday practices, such as charging for single-use plastic carrier bags, and more recently, the introduction of a charge on single-use paper cups.
Aldi begins black plastics phase-out as part of packaging overhaul
Discount chain Aldi is switching a range of its fresh produce packaging from hard-to-recycle black plastic to clear, recyclable alternatives, in a move that is set to save around 265 tonnes of plastic a year.
Walmart reduced supply chain emissions by 20 million tonnes last year
The world's largest retailer has revealed that its suppliers collectively reduced their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 20 million tonnes in 2017, as the company pushes towards a target to cut supply chain emissions by one billion tonnes by 2030.
AccorHotels now using 600 onsite urban food gardens
Hospitality giant AccorHotels has announced that it is on track to install urban fruit and vegetable gardens at 1,000 of its 4,500 global hotels by 2020, as part of its commitment to cut emissions from food transportation and reduce its food waste output.
BT teams up with Unseen to launch modern slavery reporting app
Communications giant BT has partnered with anti-trafficking charity Unseen to launch an app that lets users report concerns in confidence of potential cases of modern slavery.
If you think sustainable procurement costs more – you’re doing it wrong
Failure to observe a simple economic principle is at the heart of the myth that sustainable procurement costs more. It shouldn't. But bad procurement will cost you more.
edie at 20: How did sustainability become so business-critical?
edie's 20th anniversary as a sustainable business media brand is an ideal opportunity to remind ourselves of the past two decades of corporate sustainability, which have seen it evolve from an environmental add-on to a fundamental aspect of growth.
Dirty fashion: Companies criticised over 'damaging' viscose use
Luxury fashion brands and high-street retailers have again been linked with the damaging production of viscose textile fibres, despite some of last year's laggards making notable improvements to sourcing practices.
edie Explains: Onsite solar
What is onsite solar and how could it work for a business? What are the business benefits from installing onsite solar? And what considerations and funding opportunities need to be examined to build the business case? This free edie Explains guide gives you everything you need to know.
Capital goods sector primed to capitalise on low-carbon transition, says CDP
The capital goods sector is on the "verge of a low-carbon industrial revolution" with numerous high-profile companies urged to turn to microgrids, energy storage and hybrid renewables to lower emissions and capture new economic opportunities, a new report has found.
EY to remove 7.7 million single-use plastic items from its UK offices
Financial services provider EY has outlined plans to reduce its consumption of single-use plastic items by more than 7.7 million pieces, by offering all staff reusable cups and bottles for personal use.
McDonald's joins Starbucks to fund new coffee cup innovations
McDonald's has committed £3.8m ($5m) to help research, develop and commercialise recyclable and compostable coffee cups, joining Starbucks as a founding member of the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge.
Stepping up the global energy transformation: Why Mars Australia commits to 100% renewable electricity
Major brands like ours have an opportunity to lead in accelerating the transition to a low-carbon future. A new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows that businesses are stepping up their use, procurement and investment in renewable electricity. While this is good news, only 17% of us have a specific target for renewable electricity and a mere 134 have committed to 100% renewable electricity use.
Apple launches $300m fund to build 1GW of supply chain solar capacity
Tech giant Apple has announced that it has partnered with its key suppliers to jointly invest $300m (£228m) in solar power projects, as it strives to drive the uptake of renewable energy across its supply chains.
Tesco commits to new zero-deforestation soy policy
Supermarket giant Tesco has made a fresh sustainability pledge to ensure that the soy it sources for its own-brand products and animal feed is verified as "zero deforestation" by 2025.
How intelligent are we in our fight against exploitation?
There's still a feeling that labour exploitation doesn't happen in the UK. Positive sentiments for change aside, nothing is more powerful than taking action.
UK businesses must make tackling modern slavery business-critical, experts warn
EXCLUSIVE: UK businesses must move beyond viewing modern slavery as a “tick box” exercise and do more to combat cases at every level of their supply chains, according to representatives from the likes of Marks and Spencer (M&S), Innocent Drinks and PwC.
Tesco and Target join CDP's supply chain initiative
Tesco and Target have committed to a programme to cut emissions, tackle deforestation and promote water efficiency in their supply chains, through a partnership with CDP.
PepsiCo on track for palm oil goals despite NGO concerns
PepsiCo has released an updated sourcing policy in a bid to source 100% certified sustainable palm oil by 2020, a move that the Rainforest Action Network has described as a "dodge and cover" action plan.
Report: UK supermarkets failing to protect supply chain workers' rights
The UK's largest supermarkets "routinely" implement weak human rights policies in their supply chains, "exerting relentless pressure" on their suppliers while "trapping" overseas workers in poverty, a new report from Oxfam has claimed.
HP used eight million 'ocean-bound' plastic bottles in products last year
HP has revealed that it has diverted 170 tonnes of plastic from the oceans over the past 12 months, after pledging to recycle "ocean-bound" plastic bottles for use in its range of ink cartridges.
Business appetite for tackling food waste could lead to international rollout for Neighbourly
EXCLUSIVE: As businesses push to create ever-more holistic approaches to their role in tackling food waste and social issues, social platform Neighbourly is on the brink of an international rollout driven not by the enterprise itself, but by its clients.
Breaking the plastics habit: The changing role of business in achieving a circular economy
Between increasing consumer pressures and sluggish policy changes, corporates are being stretched to their limits to tackle the plastics problem - but it is critical that this sudden step-change in awareness of the issue does not lead to unintended consequences, as edie's Matt Mace investigates.
Interface goes carbon neutral for entire product range
Flooring giant Interface will only offer carbon-neutral products as standard to buyers, with the firm’s entire product range now listed under a Carbon Neutral Floors programme.
Mondelez to use 100% sustainably-sourced wheat in EU
Confectionary giant Mondelēz International has committed to making 100% of the biscuits it manufactures in the European Union with sustainably-sourced wheat, a 40% increase from the company's biscuit production last year.
World Green Building Council calls for net-zero building sector by 2030
The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has called on the built environment sector to set ambitious targets that eliminate carbon emissions for building portfolios by 2030, in order to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement.
Quorn moves to eliminate black plastics from packaging supply chain
Vegetarian food brand Quorn Foods is switching almost 300 tonnes of hard-to-recycle black plastic packaging to clear, recyclable alternatives, at a cost to the company, to reduce the amount of plastic waste it produces.
Making Sustainability Real: Inside Canary Wharf Group's bold net positive strategy
EXCLUSIVE: British property giant Canary Wharf Group (CWG) has this week unveiled a sweeping new 2030 sustainability strategy, including goals of becoming a circular economy leader, transforming its estate into the world's first 'SDG-compliant micro-city' and becoming net positive.
'Stimulating and inspiring': How P&G made sustainability business critical
EXCLUSIVE: Procter & Gamble's (P&G) vice president of global sustainability Virginie Helias believes that internal behaviour change helped the company transform a sustainability strategy into an "unstoppable" and holistic ethos.
BT generates £5.3bn in revenue through carbon-combative products, again
BT's range of consumer operations and products which contribute to carbon savings were worth more than £5.3bn last year for the second year running, while the company also increased the amount of carbon it helped customers avoid by 1.3 million tonnes year-on-year.
Unleashing the next wave of sustainable business leaders
At this month's edie Live conference in Birmingham, I'll be joining a panel to discuss how we encourage more businesses to join the green revolution. I was pleased to be asked, because the question of how we support and develop sustainable business leaders is something - in my new role as ICRS Chair - I am closely concerned with.
Final places remaining for free Mission Possible Workshops at edie Live
Sustainability and energy professionals have just a few days left to pre-book their place for a series of free 'co-creation' workshops taking place at edie Live on 22-23 May.
Apple partners with mining firms on zero-carbon aluminium smelting
Technology giant Apple has announced a new partnership with industrial firms Alcoa Corporation and Rio Tinto Aluminium to accelerate commercialisation of new technology that eliminates all greenhouse gas emissions from the smelting process of aluminium.
Hospitality & leisure firms struggling to act on modern slavery, edie report finds
EXCLUSIVE: Modern slavery is seen as a 'business-critical' sustainability challenge by just one-fifth of firms operating in the UK's hospitality and leisure sector, with businesses struggling to achieve fully-transparent supply chains, edie's latest sector insight report has found.
The Essential Eight: edie launches supply chain sustainability handbook
Sustainability and CSR professionals looking to implement best practice to drive sustainability into the supply chain now have access to a new 'handbook' which provides expert advice and insight to tackle eight essential areas of supply chain management.
The Supply Chain Sustainability Handbook
This handbook outlines eight essential opportunities that businesses can seize upon now to drive supply chain sustainability. Each page of the handbook provides an overview of the opportunity, supplemented by top tips, ‘in action’ case studies and expert comments from businesses that will be represented at edie’s Sustainable Supply Chains 2018 conference in June.
Premier League partners with Sky to eliminate single-use plastics by 2020
Sky has teamed with the Premier League to eliminate single-use plastics from the organisation by 2020, while encouraging football clubs and fans to stop using certain plastics.
Mondelez calls for 'brave' collaboration to bring cocoa supply chain out of poverty
EXCLUSIVE: The head of Mondelez's Cocoa Life sourcing programme has called on the cocoa industry to "be brave" when exploring new ways to enhance supply chain practices that ensure cocoa is sourced sustainably while bringing smallholder farmers out of poverty.
Accelerating the shift: 10 industry game-changers for low-carbon vehicles
This insight report, produced in partnership with UK Power Networks Services, investigates some of the game-changing developments which are driving green mobility.
Why you need to know what the animals in your supply chain are being fed
Earlier this month, sitting in a packed room full of food and feed industry executives from around the world, we spoke together with leading retailers on why animal feed is one of the critical sustainability issue of our times.
Consumer demand for transparency to disrupt food sector, report finds
Public trust in the food sector has eroded to an "all-time low", with a new report commissioned by premium food supplier Cranswick warning that heightened consumer demand for increased transparency looks set to disrupt the sector.
Olam unveils new 'net-positive' supply chain policy
Multinational agri-business Olam has launched a new sustainability strategy which supports a 'net-positive' approach to supply chain and landscape management.
Paving the way to a better built environment
Construction businesses lie at the juncture of some of the world's most pressing environmental and societal challenges. Here, the UK Green Building Council's chief executive Julie Hirigoyen charts the progress being made across the industry in the key areas of climate change, resource use, nature and biodiversity, health & wellbeing and socio-economic impact.
How Icebreaker's first transparency report aims to disrupt the outdoor apparel industry
A New Zealand-based outdoor apparel company's attempt to disrupt the industry by reducing plastic synthetics has been highlighted through its first Transparency report, which provides complete disclosure into supply chain contracts, living wage commitments and edible packaging innovations.
Hershey commits £355m to supply chain sustainability
Global confectionery company Hershey has committed $500m (£355m) to tackling child labour and links to deforestation in its supply chains, as part of a comprehensive new sustainability strategy.
Supply chain roundtable: Going 'beyond audit' to drive sustainability action
Sustainability and procurement professionals from some of the world's largest businesses recently came together for an exclusive roundtable hosted by edie and DNV GL to discuss the strategic steps required to take supply chain sustainability onto the next level.
Easter sustainability: Chocolate firms urged to become 'good eggs' for green business
Chocolate companies still have "a huge amount of work to do" in implementing truly sustainable policies, with some doing much better than others, the Washington-based NGO Mighty Earth concluded in a consumer guide ranking chocolate producers on their sustainability leadership.
Meat industry driving 'astounding' levels of deforestation, report finds
Global agribusinesses have been implored to improve the traceability of their soy and soybean supply chains, after a new report linked food products sold in European supermarkets with severe deforestation cases in South America.
World Water Day - How we can ensure resilience of our water supplies
Peter Simpson, CEO, Anglian Water, discusses the action we can take together on World Water Day to ensure the resilience of our water supplies
McDonald's to reduce emissions by a third under approved science-based targets
McDonald's has become the first global restaurant company to have an emissions reduction target approved by the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTI), as the fast food giant outlines plans to reduce carbon emissions by 150 million tonnes.
The SDGs are not for the faint-hearted but companies have much to gain
We used our latest quarterly business roundtable discussion to explore how companies across a range of sectors are engaging with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We know there are challenges in getting to grips with the framework but for me, as a CR and Sustainability professional, the discussion only served to highlight how much there is to gain for business in engaging.
Financial incentives for recyclability the way forward, says Co-op
A fiscal system that rewards recyclability and labelling, coupled with reducing the range of polymers available for use, would enable retailers and waste management firms to better tackle the rise of plastics pollution, according to the Co-op's environment manager Iain Ferguson.
Hotelier coalition calls on industry to make modern slavery top priority
A coalition of hospitality firms with a collective annual turnover of more than £14bn is calling on the industry to drive change in supply chains by treating modern slavery as a critical corporate responsibility.
The 'resource currency': Pushing sustainability higher up the corporate agenda
Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at the edie Sustainability Leaders Forum. Everyone I spoke to was passionate about pushing sustainability up the agenda in their respective boardrooms so for me, this was an ideal opportunity to engage with businesses which have already bought into the sustainability concept, but who feel they can make an even greater difference in the way their businesses think and operate.
Energy resilience roundtable: Paving the path to a clean energy future
Energy management experts from some of the world's biggest manufacturers and retailers recently came together for an exclusive roundtable hosted by edie and Centrica Business Solutions to explore some of the biggest challenges and opportunities when it comes to building energy resilience.
Apple moves towards greener supply chain with zero-waste and clean energy milestones
Apple has made progress in its ongoing effort towards a greener supply chain, with big achievements over the past year in key areas such as waste and low-carbon energy procurement.
British retailers linked to polluting supplier factories
Marks & Spencer, H&M and ASOS are among the global companies that have agreed to incorporate new measures into sourcing policies for textile fibres, after a new report linked Tesco, Asda and Next to Asian viscose factories that are polluting the environment and contributing to premature deaths.
How Twinings is championing women's rights in the tea supply chain
EXCLUSIVE: Twinings' decision to increase its funding initiative with UNICEF for vulnerable tea farmers in Assam was built on a belief that improving skills, health and wellbeing is critical to securing the long-term security of the supply chain, the company's head of social impact has revealed.
Are reuse and refill missing pieces of our sustainable packaging jigsaw?
Last week the Church of England and Members of Parliament pledged to go single-use plastic-free for the 40 days of Lent, while the BBC plans to be similarly plastic-free in its operations by 2020. These are the latest (at time of writing at least) in an ever-growing list of sustainable packaging commitments being made at an almost breakneck pace.
Unilever implements 'radical step' on palm oil traceability
Unilever has become the first consumer goods firm to publicly disclose palm oil suppliers and mills that it sources from, both directly and indirectly, a move described by the firm as a "major milestone" in driving sustainability through the industry.
Valentines special: All that glitters is not gold
Are you considering buying a piece of jewellery for someone close to you this Valentines day? Gold and diamonds are frequently bought as gifts on special occasions. It is reported that Americans spend more than $10bn dollars on jewellery on Valentines Day and Mothers day.
Primark's Global Sourcing Map emphasises the importance of brand transparency
Primark's decision to publish a Global Sourcing Map to its website is part of an ongoing journey of supply chain transparency, and a reflection that there is a greater appetite amongst retailers to collaborate on societal and environmental issues.
8 global sustainability trends to watch out for in 2018
Over the past 12 months, challenges around addressing sustainability issues have featured consistently in global headlines. Despite mixed political messages about our transition to a low-carbon future, the private sector has continued to drive sustainability up the business agenda; from Science Based Targets (SBTs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to increased investor scrutiny over non-financial reporting.
We have a problem and a lot of plastics
Plastic is everywhere: it is in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, it is the food we eat and in the clothes we wear. We have a plastics pollution problem, leaching into our environment and finding its way into our marine environment, being swept up to the Arctic, ingested by marine life causing harm, polluting our waterways and reducing the aesthetic value of the places we love the most. How we manage plastics is a serious issue, but things just got a bit more complicated.
Apple and Sky among swelling list of green procurement leaders
The number of top companies leading the way on tackling emissions on the supplier chain has doubled in the past year, but many corporates are still missing out on the business opportunities of supplier engagement.
Unilever to increase sustainable palm oil production in Indonesia
Global consumer goods firm Unilever has struck a deal with a government-owned palm oil plantation firm in Indonesia to create a support framework that enables local mills and smallholders to produce palm oil according to standards of no deforestation and no peatland deterioration.
What does the future role look like for the sustainability manager?
Sustainability leaders from AkzoNobel, Asda, Rolls Royce and Taylor Wimpey gave their thoughts on the future role of the sustainability manager during an action-packed first morning of the edie Sustainability Leaders Forum.