Plastics, Pledge Walls the potential ‘death’ of CSR: Top 10 sustainability stories of September 2018

Another month has passed which means it's time to remind ourselves of September's most-read sustainability stories and standout pieces of content from September - from massive plastic phase-outs and circular economy masterclasses to new supply chain commitments and a discussion about the future of CSR.

High-profile week-long climate events in the US set the stage for new corporate ambitions to delivering a low-carbon economy in September. But closer to home, it has been the ongoing war on plastics that continued to dominate the headlines this month.

As this round-up proves, businesses are charging ahead with new ideas, frameworks and innovations. 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.

1) Lucozade pledges to trial edible drinks sachets to reduce single-use plastic at sports events

This month’s most-read story focused on beverage giant Lucozade Ribena Suntory’s trial of edible drinks sachets made from seaweed at the Richmond Marathon and the West Sussex Tough Mudder. Read how the switch-up has led to a welcome phase-out of single-use plastic bottles.

2) Unilever opened up about its own plastics packaging strategy

As the most-read story of the month showed, plastics is still the hot topic in the sustainability sphere. There would be obvious interest as to how sustainability leader Unilever was approaching the issue and edie was able to arrange an exclusive chat with the business giant’s chief R&D officer David Blanchard.

3) Burberry committed to stop burning unsold products as part of resource efficiency drive

We move temporarily away from the plastics debate to showcase how transparency can be both painful, but also progressive in the world of CSR. After voluntarily disclosing that it had destroyed almost £30m of stock, Burberry has announced it will stop the unethical practice, in another of this month’s highest-read stories.  

4) We introduced our very own Mission Possible Pledge Wall

September was a big month for edie’s Mission Possible campaign. Sustainability, energy and resource professionals are now being called upon to make bold new commitments for edie’s ‘Mission Possible Pledge Wall’ to achieve a sustainable future for their business.

5) Our latest report mapped out a sustainable future for RETAIL

The Pledge Wall is just one exciting aspect of edie’s Mission Possible campaign. The second in our brand-new sector insight report series was also launched in September. It provides an in-depth exploration of the steps that sustainability and energy professionals within Britain’s retail industry can take to achieve a sustainable future, today.

6) A panel debate asked: is CSR dead?

It appears that the Mission Possible campaign is building momentum at the right time. A range of corporate professionals recently met in London to discuss whether CSR was dying. edie was on hand to explore what comes next for the traditional CSR strategy.

7) A roundtable discussed the future of sustainability reporting – from TCFD to SDGs and ‘pop-up squads’…

Whether CSR is dying or not, one thing the September proved is that the reporting landscape is changing. At a recent edie roundtable, a number of sustainability professionals discussed what the future holds for sustainability reporting.

8) Lord Deben told us we must avoid ‘knee-jerk’ plastic phase-outs

We’re back to the plastics debate for the next two entries. Firstly, Committee on Climate Change (CCC) chairman Lord Deben waded into the discussion, calling on businesses to avoid knee-jerk reactions to phase-outs that lead to unintended consequences.

9) The Sustainable Business Covered podcast explored Carlsberg’s Snap packs and Canary Wharf’s SDG city

The other plastics story was focused on in the latest Sustainable Business Covered podcast. Carlsberg recently announced new measures to get rid of the plastic beer can rings from its products. edie chats exclusively Carlsberg’s sustainability director Simon Boas-Hoffmeyer to find out more. This episode also features an exclusive inter with Canary Wharf Group to uncover more information on their focus on the Sustainable Development Goals.

10) And Cranfield University held a 30-minute masterclass on implementing the circular economy

The latest 30-minute masterclass webinar with Cranfield University focused on the circular economy and saw hundreds of people tune in to watch. The 30-minute masterclass offers a taster of the full Sustainability Leadership Programme that has been developed by Cranfield University for edie’s network of sustainability professionals. 

Matt Mace

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