Plastics pacts, Mission Possible pledges and the Autumn Budget: Top 10 sustainability stories of October 2018

As October comes to a close and we begin to dust off our old Halloween costumes, edie rounds up some of the top sustainability stories and standout pieces of content from the last 31 days - from new collaborative commitments to plastic and Mission Possible pledges to the green economy measures outlined in this year's Budget.

The UK has certainly not been lacking in sustainable business success stories over the past month, with numerous new commitments, events and announcements taking place to mark the nation’s first-ever Green GB Week. But fast-forward two weeks, and the tricks and treats the Autumn Budget had in store for the green economy are continuing to dominate the headlines.

Nonetheless, businesses are charging ahead with 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.

Unilever partners with Veolia to create circular economy for plastic packaging


It will come as no surprise to regular readers that this month’s most-read story focused on consumer goods giant Unilever, which this month agreed a partnership with waste management Veolia in order to co-create innovative solutions to the plastic waste crisis. Read how the partnership is aiming to tackle the plastics puzzle from all angles.

Heathrow to waive landing fees for world’s first electric aircraft


Following on from Virgin Atlantic’s first flight to utilise low-carbon jet fuel made with “recycled” gases, Heathrow Airport this month pledged to waive a year’s worth of landing charges for the world’s first electric passenger plane once it is developed. Readers were keen to debate whether this move would encourage the low-carbon transition to gather pace in the aviation sector.

Sustainability Leaders Awards 2019: Shortlist revealed…


After a record-breaking year of entries, the judges have convened, decisions have been made and edie has revealed its finalists for the Sustainability Leaders Awards 2019. Click the link to find out which 131 people, projects, products and organisations are redefining what it means to be a sustainable, ethical and responsible business.

From Amazon to PwC: Meet the 67 companies to have made Mission Possible Pledges


With the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launching the nation’s first-ever Green GB Week on 15 October, edie encouraged businesses from all sectors to make new sustainability commitments through the Mission Possible Pledge Wall. More than 67 pledges have been made so far, ranging from the elimination of single-use plastics to the switch to 100% renewable energy.

Sustainable Business Covered podcast: The Great Green GB Week relay


On the topic of Green GB week, edie’s editorial team utilised the string of events being held to champion clean growth to facilitate a week-long podcasting relay, interviewing an array of sustainability experts from the likes of Adnams, BT, Good Energy, PwC and WWF.

Green GB Week: a UK policy wishlist to drive clean growth action


The last piece of Green GB Week coverage to be featured in this round-up is edie’s coverage of the top green policy recommendations made by sustainability experts throughout the jam-packed five days of events. Ranging from subsidy schemes for energy-efficient technologies to local onshore wind laws, the recommendations have been made by politicians, business leaders and sustainability professionals.

A blueprint for business leadership: edie launches sustainable mobility report 


As the electric vehicle (EV) revolution continues to gather pace, edie has launched a brand-new insight report which explores how UK businesses can take the lead on accelerating the transition to more sustainable forms of mobility. Developed in association with E.ON, is structured around five key areas: EVs, Alternative Fuels, Green Fleets, Smarter Business Travel, and Sustainable Shipping & Aviation. 

Autumn Budget 2018: Chancellor commits to new plastic tax, rules out ‘latte levy’


The unveiling of Philip Hammond’s Autumn Budget has dominated headlines this week, with many key green economy figures left disappointed at the measures included around energy, resource efficiency and low-carbon innovation. Here, edie rounds up the headline green-related inclusions from this year’s Budget.

In action: EDF’s renewable energy-based renovation of a listed building


The second case study in edie’s series focusing on successful projects that have helped end-user companies reduce key environmental footprints was published this month, exploring how EDF Energy installed onsite renewable systems at a 12th-century listed building to generate low-carbon heat, cooling and electricity.

Science-based targets: Are 2C goals ambitious enough in the wake of the IPCC report?



In the wake of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report on global warming, edie held a webinar to discuss the importance of science-based targets to business action on climate challenges. This article rounds up the key takeaways from the webinar, featuring insight from the likes of BT, Capgemini, Signify and the Price of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group.

Sarah George

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