The statistics on plant-based proteins are eye opening: Beyond Meat’s shares have more than tripled in value since its IPO in May, Impossible Foods can now be found in about 10,000 restaurants, and the market for meat substitutes is expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2023. In fact, dollar sales of plant-based products are growing double digits across the country, and you can now find meat alternatives in Burger King, White Castle and Carl’s Jr, among other chains. Read more
“Without business, … we will never achieve the goals of keeping temperature increases below 1.5 degrees (Celsius). This is only the beginning – we are just getting on track.”
-Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, the UN Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Action Summit
In the wake of the failure of the UN Climate Conference in Madrid, it is even more urgent and critical that global business lead the way – showing a path forward for prosperity and a thriving planet.
Brazil’s space research agency (INPE) detected almost 80,000 fires this year, around half in the Amazon, up 84% over last year. If unchecked, this trend would be catastrophic for the planet. Businesses will take a huge hit – but they can also be an important contributor to reversing these trends. Read more
The historic heat waves forecasted for Europe this week are a stark reminder that we are in a race against the clock to protect the most vulnerable populations from the impacts of climate change which will continue to grow in number and severity.
Today, around 1.1 billion people lack access to cooling, which not only makes them vulnerable to heat waves but also contributes to food insecurity. Roughly 30% of food worldwide is wasted because of lack of refrigeration. As the global population continues to grow – and climate change impacts food production – we simply can’t afford to waste this much agricultural output.
This is why we are joining the Institute of Refrigeration, the UN Environmental Programme and organizations around the world in celebrating the first World Refrigeration Day.
In a world where big-box retailers are falling to online giants, Best Buy has managed to thrive.
Earlier this week, Best Buy announced a Science-Based Target (SBT) to help consumers reduce their carbon emissions by 20 percent and save $5 billion on utility costs. In its own operations, Best Buy will reduce carbon emissions by 75 percent.
To date, 567 companies have set or committed to set SBTs. But what makes Best Buy’s story unique is its strategy to make customers part of the equation: Reduce the company’s total carbon footprint by selling more energy efficient products to customers.
Here’s how this goal was set
In 1955, LIFE magazine ran an ad promoting “Throwaway Living,” encouraging the use of disposable items as a way to help cut down on household chores.
We used to depend on plastic, and now, our planet is being suffocated by it. Environmental impacts are showing the need for a more circular economy, and businesses are responding by offering innovation solutions, such as new products, packaging and business models, to address resource scarcity and climate risk – not to mention unlock a $4.5 trillion economic opportunity.
I recently caught up with Brendan Edgerton, the Director of Circular Economy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and EDF Climate Corps alum, about the progress being made toward circular models of design and production – and his love of Swiss chocolate.
Circularity refers to shifting from current linear methods of production and consumption, where products are designed without consideration for what happens after use, to adopting circular models that keep products, components and materials within the economy.
My 12-year-old daughter Anna has become quite the environmentalist lately. She’s even started turning out the lights while you’re in the room to save on energy! Yes, this can be annoying. But I admire her passion and enjoy watching her become more invested in our planet.
Anna and the 1.4 million kids skipping class to protest climate change this spring give me hope. I got goosebumps when I heard the charismatic 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, whose actions started this movement, speak. She summed it up perfectly when she said: “We can’t save the world by playing by the rules because the rules have changed.”
These kids are on the front line. It’s their futures at stake. They’re scared, they’re angry and they’re energized.
And they should be on businesses’ radar.
The contrast between how the two largest retailers – Amazon and Walmart – engage on sustainability is on full display right now.
Every April, Walmart convenes hundreds of suppliers, associates and partners at an annual meeting to evaluate progress against the company’s aspirational sustainability goals. A major focus this year was celebrating progress on Project Gigaton: in just two years, more than 1,000 suppliers have signed on to the initiative and collectively avoided 93 million metric tons of emissions towards the billion-ton GHG reduction goal.
The days when business leaders could dodge social or political issues are coming to an end. CEO engagement on issues such as health care, sexual harassment, gun control and immigration have been steadily on the rise.
In a U.S. House committee meeting just last week, lawmakers “grilled [bank] executives more on social issues than business fundamentals,” according to Reuters, and probed them about fossil fuel investments.
And as a recent Axios Trends piece suggests, pressure on CEOs to address social issues is increasing ahead of the 2020 political campaigns. In particular, demands that they act on climate change are heating up.
Furnishing a new home is a big job. I know because I recently went through the process myself. You need to purchase the big ticket items, maybe a new bed from Pottery Barn, down to the nitty-gritty items, possibly a nice west elm throw for the couch. It’s taxing work – for you and the planet.
Danielle Jezienicki, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Williams-Sonoma, Inc. works across the company’s eight brands, including Williams-Sonoma Home, Pottery Barn Kids and PBTeen, west elm, Rejuvenation and Mark & Graham, to ensure that products are made with the environment in mind.
I recently spoke with Danielle, an EDF Climate Corps and Presidio Graduate School alumna, to learn how Williams-Sonoma, Inc. works with stakeholders – from customers, employees and vendors – to engrain sustainability into its values.
Here’s an edited version of our conversation.