Palm oil bans, sustainable fashion and edie’s 30 Under 30: The top sustainability stories of November 2018

As November comes to a close and we begin to think about putting up our Christmas trees and wrapping our presents, edie rounds up some of the best-read sustainability stories and standout pieces of content from the past 30 days - from Iceland's now-infamous popular palm oil advert to the launch of our exclusive new networking group for young sustainability professionals.

It’s been a busy month in the green policy sphere, with reaction to Chancellor Philip Hammond’s new budget measures pouring in and Environment Secretary Michael Gove hinting at new measures to tackle single-use plastics ahead of the imminent Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS).

Meanwhile, the UK’s business community has continued to move at a pace to implement new ideas, frameworks and innovations to help drive the low-carbon transition and bolster resource efficiency. So, take a look through all of the month’s most-read news stories, and click the links in the descriptions below to read them for yourself.

Why Iceland’s deforestation-focused Christmas advert won’t be on TV this year


It will come as no surprise to some that our most-read story this month covered why Iceland’s deforestation-themed Christmas advert, which told the story of a little girl befriending an orangutan that had been displaced due to habitat loss, was banned from airing on TV. Since the story broke, more than 800,000 members of the public have signed a petition urging advertising regulatory body Clearcast to air the advert, which promotes Iceland’s decision to remove palm oil from all its own-brand products.

Former National Grid boss Steve Holliday: Britain is undergoing a chaotic energy revolution


edie readers were also particularly interested in hearing former National Grid chief executive Steve Holliday’s insights into the nationwide transition to decentralised, decarbonised energy systems. Holliday’s speech, which was made at edie’s SPARK! event for energy professionals, can be watched in full by following the link above.

edie launches mini-series of reports to help businesses spark an energy revolution


Those who didn’t attend SPARK! – or those who did, but would like a reminder of the key takeaways – will be keen to read edie’s new series of mini-reports exploring the challenges and opportunities facing Britain’s business energy revolution. The series contains five reports and covers behaviour change, energy innovations, data management solutions, flexibility opportunities and E-mobility.

Is the fashion industry about to have its ‘plastics moment’?


With MPs urging clothing brands to disclose impacts, consumers increasingly protesting “fast fashion” and documentaries on the true cost of cheap garments emerging at a pace, edie explores whether the fashion industry is set to have its “plastics moment” as the next big sustainability issue for the public.

Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Big energy ideas, meat-free meals and women leaders


In the latest edition of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast, the edie editorial team travels to Birmingham to garner insight on the changing state of energy for business in the UK. This edition also includes interviews with Quorn’s head of sustainability Louise Needham and Rhian Sherrington, founder and director of the Women in Sustainability network.

Are you a rising sustainability star? edie opens nominations for new ’30 Under 30′ campaign


If you know a young sustainability or energy professional who  deserves recognition for their efforts, you’re in luck. edie has officially launched 30 Under 30 – an all-new networking programme for young leaders  to share ideas and further their careers. Full information on how to nominate someone can be found via the link above.

How are food and drink manufacturers adapting to Industry 4.0?


As the fruits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution continue to alter how businesses operate within society, edie’s recent sustainable manufacturing webinar explored how some of the world’s biggest food and drink manufacturing firms adapting, growing and using new technologies to minimise their environmental footprints. Here, we round up some of the key takeaways from that session, which is also available to watch on-demand.

Former Ikea boss Steve Howard: Big businesses must go all-in on sustainability


Bloomberg’s Sustainable Business Summit in London was undoubtedly one of the biggest and busiest events for sustainability professionals this month, featuring discussions on topics ranging from SDG alignment to green finance. On the second day of the summit, Ikea’s former chief sustainability officer Steve Howard urged business leaders to be bold and set 100% targets to achieve a sustainable future in the face of rising global megatrends.

In action: EDF Energy’s smart data focus to drive energy efficiency


Our latest case study explains how EDF Energy successfully installed its PowerNow live energy monitoring system at one of its own offices as a way of trialling its own solutions whilst improving the energy efficiency of the building. The project has achieved excellent results all round, making it an excellent best-practice example for other firms to learn from.

Disruptive plastics firm Polymateria backed by £1m Innovate UK funding


Those wondering what BT’s former chief sustainability officer Niall Dunne had been working on in recent times were keen to learn more about his new venture, which he has described as the “Tesla of plastics”. This month saw Dunne’s Polymateria, which is aiming to introduce solutions that convert standard plastics into biodegradable packaging, receive £1m of Innovate UK funding.

Sarah George

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