1.5 Percent of Corporate Profits Can Transform the Fight Against Climate Change

8 06 2023

Image credit: Mika Baumeister/Unsplash

By Abha Malpani Naismith from Triple Pundit • Reposted: June 8, 2023

The current narrative on climate action puts the world in a bind. On one side, present-day action is considered inadequate to achieve the global warming limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius determined by the U.N. On the other side, there is increasing debate over whether that limit is even attainable.

This narrative is dubbed the “doom loop” in a recent report from the U.K.-based think tanks Chatham House and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). In the doom loop, the focus on crisis consequences and failure to reach targets takes away from the focus required to implement solutions.

In order to move forward, the narrative needs to quickly change to one that encourages action. TriplePundit spoke with Saskia Feast, managing director of global client solutions at Climate Impact Partners, about how collective private-sector action can help to catalyze that change — starting with Fortune Global 500 companies. 

We don’t need large investments to create change 

Fortune Global 500 companies made more than $2.2 trillion in annual profits over the last three years, according to a recent report by Climate Impact Partners. Investing only 1.5 percent of that — about $33.5 billion — to fund carbon reduction projects like forest conservation, reforestation and micro-renewables would be a massive step toward achieving the transformational change required to hit global climate action targets.

On average, each Global 500 company made $6.7 billion over the last year, according to the report. Committing 1.5 percent of those profits ($100 million) could cut 7.8 million tons of carbon emissions, plant 60,000 trees and protect 120,000 hectares of forest. If every company in the index did the same each year, it would amount to more than 2.6 billion tons in carbon reductions — even more than what scientists say is necessary to cap global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. 

To put this corporate expense into perspective, on average the world’s largest companies spend 12 percent of their annual profits on research and development, 27 percent on sales and administrative expenses, 8.7 percent on marketing and 8.2 percent on information technology, according to the report. 

Offsets or no offsets?

For more than 20 years, Climate Impact Partners has worked with businesses to support over 600 carbon removal and reduction projects in 56 countries. But its work faces criticism around carbon offsets. 

“There is a lot of criticism of the companies who are taking action around offsetting carbon emissions and this idea that it is greenwashing,” Feast said. “By not criticizing the companies that are not taking action, those companies are feeling safer.” 

Saskia Feast, the managing director of global client solutions at Climate Impact Partners.
Saskia Feast, managing director of global client solutions at Climate Impact Partners. Photo courtesy of Climate Impact Partners.

Inaction on climate change could cost the global economy $178 trillion over the next 50 years, or a 7.6 percent cut to global gross domestic product (GDP) in the year 2070 alone, according to a recent report from the Deloitte Center for Sustainable Progress. 

Carbon offsetting is a long-debated method for companies and other large emitters to get involved. Supporters claim it is effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while conserving natural resources in sectors like transportation, energy and agriculture.

Some critics dismiss the practice as a flawed system that has negligible impact on reducing emissions. They argue offsets are generated by projects that enable polluting industries to continue their harmful practices. 

When a company first starts its carbon-neutral journey, it might need to offset a higher proportion of emissions, Feast said. But putting a price on it forces emission reductions over time. 

“Once you start putting a price on carbon, you start measuring it and looking for strategic ways to reduce it,” she said. “That helps you drive the internal reduction strategy or the adoption of renewable energy within your organization. The role of the offsetting market is just to help transition us to the low-carbon economy.”

The number of companies using, or planning to use, an internal carbon price increased by 80 percent over just five years, according to a 2021 report by the environmental disclosure management nonprofit CDP. 

The return on sustainability investments

Today, financial success and sustainable practices are increasingly tied to each other. “The business of sustainability reporting has improved dramatically over the last 20 years,” Feast said. “What we’re seeing now is companies including those metrics in their annual reports, like a carbon footprint or water use risk. So, the metrics are merging, which is a great development in the market. We’re seeing sustainability leaders, who are our clients, now working directly with investor relations, their CFO and financial teams.” 

The business case is stronger than before as company sustainability measures impact reputation, market value, and overall ability to attract and retain employees. And now there are many carbon footprint and ESG measurement tools that enable business leaders to truly consider how their operations impact people and the planet. 

Smaller companies can fight climate change, too

Investing in carbon reduction and removal is for every company — small, medium or large. Smaller companies that want to act don’t need a grand plan, Feast said. They can start making decisions in incremental steps like measuring their footprint, supporting renewable energy, making climate-friendly products, and discussing the price of carbon on their business.  

“We want to encourage companies to take action,” she said.”Get out there, start taking your steps and maybe one day run a marathon.”

COP28 Global Stocktake: Tracking progress to 1.5 degrees Celsius

As the baton moves from climate technicians to politicians at the COP28 Global Stocktake, which is also commented on with skepticism, policies driving increased financing of climate action could make a significant impact.

Emerging markets and developing economies must collectively invest at least $1 trillion in energy infrastructure by 2030 and $3 trillion to $6 trillion per year across all sectors by 2050 to mitigate climate change by substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to the International Monetary Fund.

An additional $140 billion to $300 billion a year is needed by 2030 to adapt to the environmental consequences of climate change, such as rising sea levels and intensifying droughts. This could skyrocket to between $520 billion and $1.75 trillion annually after 2050 depending on how effective climate mitigation measures are.

“One of the most important things is to move away from talking about climate financing — and actually doing the financing,” Feast said. “The more money we can put to finance these projects, the more we will be reducing emissions going forward.”

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.triplepundit.com/story/2023/corporate-profits-climate-change/775241


Americans Are Ready to Change Their Behavior for the Sake of Sustainability: Are Brands Willing to Help?

2 06 2023

Image credit: Bluewater Sweden/Unsplash

By Mary Mazzoni from Triple Pundit • Reposted: June 2, 2023

We hear it time and time again: People aren’t ready, willing or interested in changing their lifestyles for the sake of sustainability. They’re too busy, too broke or too ambivalent to think about how their choices impact the world around them. And until they change their tune, there’s nothing brands can do about it — except sell them more stuff. 

This prevailing narrative has been around for decades, but data continues to show that it isn’t representative of how people really feel. The public is increasingly aware of the environmental and social challenges we face — from climate change to wealth inequality — and they want to be part of the solution. 

Over half of Americans say they’ve already made lifestyle changes like shopping secondhand, purchasing products in reusable or refillable packaging, and buying less overall in order to reduce their impact on people and the planet, according to a December survey conducted by TriplePundit and our parent company, 3BL Media, in partnership with the research technology firm Glow. 

Let’s break down what U.S. consumers are really saying about sustainability, how it factors into their own lives, and how brands can respond differently than they have in the past. 

what people view as the most pressing challenges facing society - survey findings
Americans rank climate change and economic inequality among the top three challenges facing society today, only behind their anxiety about keeping food on the table. Download the report to learn more.

People are willing to change their behavior for the sake of sustainability 

Shopping secondhand. Purchasing products made from, or packaged in, recycled materials. Choosing items in reusable or refillable containers. Shopping in the grocery bulk aisle to avoid packaging altogether. Some would have us believe these lifestyle shifts are too expensive or too cumbersome for Americans. But more than 60 percent of respondents to our survey said they’re already making these changes or intend to do so within the next six months. 

Of course the say/do gap — which refers to the difference between what people say in surveys and what they actually do in their daly lives — is always a factor. Even so, the interest in these lifestyle changes is significant and runs counter to preconceived notions that consumers don’t really want — or aren’t really ready — to change their lifestyles for sustainability reasons. 

People even expressed interest in behaviors that are commonplace in other countries but often dismissed as something that could “never work” in the U.S. For example, over half of respondents said they would be willing to take packaging like bottles back to a store for wash and refill.

people are willing to change their behaviors for sustainability - survey findings
More than 60 percent of U.S. consumers are willing to adopt lifestyle changes like shopping secondhand, opting for the bulk aisle, or choosing items in reusable or refillable packaging. Download the report to learn more

Our findings support existing research on general readiness for behavior change: In another 2022 survey, for example, half of responding U.S. adults said they’re willing to accept 95 percent of the changes needed to avert the climate crisis and restore ecosystems. The survey also revealed the extent of climate anxiety among the public, with 1 out of 4 respondents worried they may have to give up long-term goals like starting a family. 

When it comes to packaging in particular, our findings indicate that 75 percent of U.S. consumers are willing to choose reusable alternatives — echoing 2022 polling from Trivium Packaging which found the same. The trade publication Packaging World recently declared reusable and refillable packaging to be a “global opportunity,” with sales forecast to grow by 4.9 percent annually to $53.4 billion by 2027.

75 percent of people have purchased a product in refillable packaging or would be willing to do so - sustainability survey findings
Download the report to learn more

How brands can respond to shifting consumer preferences

Many advocates point to the calls for consumer behavior change as merely a delay tactic from large companies: If the narrative keeps people focused on their own behaviors — analyzing everything from cup preferences to clothing choice — they won’t have energy left to push for a shift in corporate practices or government regulations.

In the past, this may have been true, with consumers and brands pitted against each other in a cyclical blame-game while the poor get poorer and global temperatures rise. But findings like these indicate we’ve reached a critical moment when ideologies can align, and brands can show up as partners for consumers looking to play a role in the future they want to see. 

Leveraging our nearly two decades of experience in communicating about sustainability, TriplePundit and 3BL Media’s Consumer Insights and Sustainability Benchmark report includes key action items for businesses looking to respond to consumer sentiment in a positive way. 

“Understanding people’s uncertainties and anxieties about the future, and what they want to see from business, gives companies the opportunity to communicate and present themselves as part of the solution that consumers are looking for,” the report reads. “The next piece of the puzzle is to figure out how businesses can tailor their communications to appeal to consumer interests and bring them on board their journey to a more sustainable world.” 

In particular, we highlight how brands can adopt a more meaningful role of partner and educator — rather than simply another purveyor of goods and services. “Since consumers want to be part of the solution, help them do that by sharing actionable information,” the report reads. “It may be as simple as telling them how to make your product last longer or how to lower their personal carbon footprint with a checklist on your website. You can celebrate your company’s successes by applauding theirs.”

For more insight on how brands can — and should — respond to shifting consumer attitudes about sustainability, check out prior reporting on TriplePundit or download the report here

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.triplepundit.com/story/2023/consumer-behaviors-sustainability/775591

How to close the corporate accountability gap on sustainability

2 06 2023

A fire burns in a in Porto Velho, Brazil, 09 September 2019. Photo Credit: FERNANDO BIZERRA JR [Fernando Bizerra Jr (EPA-EFE)]

If businesses are to take corporate sustainability seriously, they will need to add relevant sustainability expertise to their boards, argue Nicolas Sauviat and Sanjini Jain. By Nicolas Sauviat and Sanjini Jain from euractiv.com • Reposted: June 2, 2023

On 1 June, the European Parliament is due to take a plenary vote on a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), legislation which aims to foster sustainable and responsible corporate behaviour throughout global value chains. If it’s formally adopted, it will require companies to identify – and, where necessary, prevent, end or mitigate – the adverse impacts of their activities on human rights, in terms of issues like child labour and worker exploitation, as well as the environment, for problems like pollution and biodiversity loss.

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) was heralded internationally as the ‘Paris moment’ for nature to lead the world towards a more harmonious relationship between nature, people and the economy.  If we have any hope of living up to this moment and fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the blueprint for how we achieve a better, fairer and greener world in the short time left – the private sector must take responsibility for its actions.

One key issue in this vote up for debate is whether now is the time to challenge boardroom’s traditional focus on generating wealth for its shareholders, and to reorientate their focus to provide value for all its stakeholders.

With scientists projecting that the crucial 1.5°C global average temperature threshold will be temporarily breached in just five years, we are running out of time to change direction. But do boards have the needed skills and expertise are required to meet this challenge, and should legislation be used to accelerate their action?

This could be a crucial moment to close the corporate accountability gap on sustainability. As things stand, business action remains largely voluntary. And yet, we cannot keep this planet viable for life without the private sector.

At the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), we assess corporate progress against the SDGs. From our experience we know that company boards are key to action on sustainability. Only by ensuring that they have the right knowledge and expertise can the accountability gap be closed, and progress made.

As things stand, most big companies have set sustainability targets. Many have pledged to a net-zero carbon objective. However, very few actually provide the necessary details on how they will go about accomplishing these ambitions. The data reported by businesses often lacks substance. Knowingly or not, many companies oversell their sustainability credentials.

A major reason for this is a skill and knowledge gap, especially within companies’ top executive forces. This impacts the boardroom’s understanding and subsequent ability to address Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks. Indeed, a recent survey by the professional services experts at PwC found that only 27% of boards fully understand ESG risks.

Our own research delivered even worse findings. Assessing corporate progress on protecting the natural world, WBA’s Nature Benchmark examined the governance structures of 400 of the world’s largest companies. It looked into whether they have accountability systems in place for achieving their sustainable development goals – including governance bodies with the right expertise to understand the material pressures on nature created by their business activities.

While nearly 70% of companies assigned responsibility for their sustainability strategy to their board, just 2% of boards possessed the relevant sustainability expertise. This stark discrepancy highlights the fact that boards are accepting their sustainability responsibility without a clear understanding of what it actually entails.

Boards must rapidly adapt to their new sustainability role, lest they become an obstacle to their companies’ futures. In this context, we desperately need corporate board members with CVs beyond banking and accounting. Specialist scientific committees can also help provide boards with credible information.

Businesses should ensure that boards have the expertise to tackle their most relevant sustainability topics. This could be done by demonstrating that they have undertaken training by a certified organisation. Alternatively, they could have board members with previous experience in specialist organisations, like consulting firms or NGOs, or have authored academic studies.

As we hurtle towards irreversible environmental tipping points, we hope that European legislators pass the CSDDD with a legal mandate for boards to have a duty to oversee and sign off on their due diligence policies. This mandate should be accompanied by further guidance to ensure boards demonstrate relevant ESG expertise. That’s how to close the corporate accountability gap on sustainability and drive action.

Now is the time for boardrooms to shift from their traditional focus on generating wealth for their shareholders towards generating value for all stakeholders. After all, no company will profit from an uninhabitable planet.

Nicolas Sauviat and Sanjini Jain are researchers at the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA).

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/opinion/how-to-close-the-corporate-accountability-gap-on-sustainability/

Circular Platforms: Unlocking Sustainability And Material Security

31 05 2023

Photo: Getty Images

By Peter Evans, Chief Strategy Officer, McFadyen Digital; Co-Chair, MIT Platform Strategy Summit and Faculty, Fast Future Executive via Forbes • Reposted: May 31, 2023

The world is grappling with a sustainability crisis, but the emerging circular economy shows promise as a solution. Circular platforms, which combine digital marketplaces with circular models of production and consumption, can play a vital role in increasing the reuse, repair and recycling of valuable resources.

To date, platform marketplaces have largely supported linear consumption, with products and packaging becoming waste after use. Through the examples below, I hope to show how businesses can use circular platforms in consumer and B2B markets to help reduce waste, improve material security and drive innovation.

Consumer-Oriented Circular Platforms

There are several circular platforms emerging that are facilitating the sharing, leasing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling in consumer markets. The following are some lessons I think we can learn from them.

Building Community

One benefit of using a circular platform is the ability to build community. As an example, Poshmark, a popular online marketplace that connects users to buy and sell things like used clothing and beauty products, has a social media-like interface that helps foster a sense of community among its users. Including a community aspect in your platform can enhance the overall user experience, increase user loyalty and boost the visibility of users’ listings. Look for ways that users can connect with each other, share inspiration and receive feedback.

Giving Assurance

Platforms can also help provide quality assurance. Backmarket is an online marketplace for refurbished electronics that ensures the quality of products sold through its marketplace through rigorous testing and certification processes. This gives buyers confidence in the reliability and performance of refurbished electronics, overcoming concerns associated with second-hand purchases.

Providing Affordability

Too Good To Go offers a platform to purchase surplus food from local restaurants and grocery stores, reducing food waste and enhancing affordability. Any way that you can find to increase accessibility to sustainable options is a smart move in this economy.

Enabling B2B Transactions For The Circular Economy

Circular platforms also facilitate circular transactions between businesses. Like their consumer-facing counterparts, platforms in the B2B marketplace can showcase benefits.

Obtaining Data

One main thing you can take advantage of with platforms is the ability to gather otherwise hard-to-obtain data. For example, Scrap Monster connects buyers and sellers in the scrap metal trading industry and is able to provide unique data for scrap metal pricing that cannot be found elsewhere.

Enhance Discovery

Often the “waste” from one industry can be a valuable input into another industry. Platforms can provide discovery engines that help procurement teams in one industry find useful used materials from another industry. Rheaply, which enables buying and selling of construction waste, recently expanded to play this discovery role when it acquired Materials Marketplace and its network of 2,600 partners.

Allow Cross-Broder Transactions

Rebound Plastic Exchange is a trading platform for recycled plastic and is just one example of how you can significantly reduce friction associated with cross-border transactions. To illustrate, Rebound Plastic Exchange provides standardized processes and procedures for listing, communication, pricing and compliance with complex international rules governing the moment of waste materials. When it comes to complex processes like this, customers appreciate a platform that can streamline and simplify.

The Overall Power of Platforms

One of the strengths of platform business models is their ability to scale rapidly. As they facilitate user interactions, they can quickly grow to reach a large audience, creating a positive feedback loop where more users attract more users, leading to exponential growth.

You can also use platforms to leverage discovery engines to reach a wider audience. Discovery engines help users find new content and products, which can attract more visitors to the platform. Using data and algorithms can personalize recommendations to individual users based on their interests and behavior.

Circular platforms, specifically, can aid in responding to the growth of extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws. These laws assign responsibility for managing a product’s end-of-life environmental impacts to manufacturers or brand owners, reducing the burden on taxpayers. By joining a marketplace, industries can improve recycling rates, reduce resource consumption and prevent pollution.

Emerging Opportunities

In addition to participating in existing circular marketplaces, I see new emerging opportunities to establish circular markets. One area is around battery recycling. The shift to electric vehicles is creating significant demand for the materials for EV battery production. Ideally, circular platforms can orchestrate the collection and recycling of batteries, thereby reducing the pressure to expand mining capacity.

Another example involves recycling plastics used in the construction of new cars. BMW is already using recycled fishing nets to make headliners and floor mats for a few of their other models. Imagine if a marketplace was established in which all car manufacturers participated in a used plastics exchange. Given the size of the automotive sector, such a marketplace would create significant demand for waste plastics that are increasingly choking landfills and the world’s oceans.


Creating and growing circular marketplaces is not without challenges. Like traditional platforms, circular platforms also must overcome the classic “chicken and egg” dilemma of attracting enough supply and demand to secure sufficient transactions.

Circular marketplaces often meet resistance as they can require changes to traditional procurement and supply chain management. Companies may need to rework business processes and align incentives with various stakeholders to create a closed-loop system.

Other barriers to acknowledge include the need for trust to ensure the quality and reliability of recycled materials. This requires things like testing and digital twin technology to capture, store and update critical information. Like other marketplaces, circular platforms must also ensure timely delivery, manage inventory and handle returns and refunds, which can all be complex, time-consuming and resource intensive.

Circular platforms offer a promising path toward a sustainable future by enhancing material security, reducing waste and driving innovation. While the transition to a fully circular economy may take time, I believe significant progress can be made by adopting circular platforms. These platforms can help incentivize companies to design products that are more durable, repairable and recyclable. By shifting from a linear “take-make-dispose” economy to circular models of production and consumption, we can pave the way for a more sustainable world.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2023/05/30/circular-platforms-unlocking-sustainability-and-material-security/?sh=6fbd4c766d01

The Carrot or the Stick: Which Inspires Business to Be More Sustainable?

30 05 2023

Image credit: THIS IS ZUN/Pexels

By Riya Anne Polcastro from Triple Pundit • Reposted: May 30, 2023

Corporations are more likely to embrace sustainability when it benefits the bottom line. That isn’t surprising considering they are ultimately in business to make a profit. For many, purpose may very well come in second — if at all. Still, there’s more than one way to encourage businesses to do better by people and the planet.

TriplePundit spoke with Dr. Steven Cohen, a professor of public affairs at Columbia University and author of the new book “Environmentally Sustainable Growth,” about how the profit motive can catalyze the desired effect where shame and guilt have failed.

Incentivizing sustainability can be easier than it sounds

The best way to make corporations behave is by creating an environment in which doing so will help them make more money, Cohen argues. “In some cases, you don’t have to do anything other than educate people and say, you know, this will be a profitable item,” he told TriplePundit. 

Cohen advocates for a carrot instead of a stick approach. He’s hopeful that making good behavior profitable will hasten more wide-sweeping changes at the business level than punishing or charging companies for the negative impacts they have. And he’s not alone in that opinion. 

“Sustainability is on the cusp of an evolutionary leap,” Georgia Makridou of the ESCP (École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris) Business School wrote in an impact paper on the challenges confronting sustainable energy companies and their resulting tactics. “Sustainable companies are becoming the new norm as those that have a well-rounded approach to sustainability can see wide-ranging growth opportunities.”

That’s because many business leaders now see that sustainable practices can actually lower their operating costs in the long run — and that naturally leads to increased profits, Cohen explained. Additionally, doing the right thing resonates with consumers — especially those in younger generations — and promotes brand loyalty over time.

Further, employees want to work for companies that align with their values. “If I’m in a business that requires talented engineers, talented designers and and so forth, to attract those people, I have to be a company they want to work for,” Cohen said. “That’s also incentivizing companies to start behaving this way: If you want to attract the best brains out there, then companies are under internal pressure to behave and to start focusing on their energy use and their waste and pollution.”

Environmentally Sustainable Growth - book cover - book on corporate sustainability
Dr. Steven Cohen unpacks practical steps to push sustainable business forward in his new book “Environmentally Sustainable Growth: A Pragmatic Approach,” out this month from Columbia University Press. Image provided.

Major companies reap cost savings through sustainability, while creating measurable impact that matters

Cohen gave examples of major multinational companies that moved toward sustainable practices because they foresaw a financial benefit. For example, “Walmart discovered they have a lot of flat roofs,” he said. All that space adds up vast solar energy potential — and Walmart and its big-box competitor, Target, are on the job.

Together, they’re the top two business installers of onsite solar. “In their case, you don’t have to do anything. They just had to internally figure out this was going to help them make money,” Cohen said. If fully harnessed, Walmart’s available roof space at stores across the country could produce enough solar energy to power more than 842,000 homes, according to the nonprofit Environment America. 

This month Walmart also teased new plans to roll out electric vehicle charging stations at thousands of stores across the U.S. The move will help bring in shoppers, while making EV charging more accessible to millions of people in towns large and small. 

One of the country’s top agricultural producers, Land O’Lakes, also cut its footprint through cost reduction measures. The company uses satellite telemetry, artificial intelligence, and robotics to ensure it doesn’t waste inputs like water, pesticides and fertilizer — using only what’s needed and none of what’s not. “They’ve now created a much more efficient form of agriculture, which also just so happens to cost less and pollute less,” Cohen said. 

Apple’s engagement in sustainability came out of a need to satisfy its customer base. “[Young people] started to make the demand that Apple reduce the pollution [associated with] their products, and Apple has done that dramatically over the last 10 years,” Cohen said. He cited the company’s buyback program and the fact that it hired a former Environmental Protection Agency administrator to manage its environmental endeavors as examples. “It’s not required by the government, but in order to meet their market, they have to do that,” he said. 

Incentives and regulations work. Shame and guilt doesn’t, this expert says.

That’s not to say there isn’t room for regulations — there still needs to be rules of the road. The key is a good balance between government regulations and the incentives provided by an improved profit margin, Cohen said.

“What doesn’t work is trying to shame people, to shame companies,” he argued. “People want to live their lives, and companies want to make money. I think that green principles are most effective when they line up with the self interest of people and of corporations. And when that happens, you see a lot of activity.”

As for how to shift from a scapegoating and punishment approach to one that focuses on financial rewards: “Instead of thinking about the company as an enemy, you think about the company as a partner,” Cohen said. “And the only way they’re going to be a partner is if they see they’re gonna make money out of it.” 

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.triplepundit.com/story/2023/corporate-sustainability-carrot-stick/775116

The journey from harvest to table: Cutting out food waste

29 05 2023

Photo: Getty Images

Jean Pierre Azañedo, CEO and co-founder of CoreZero, share the importance of achieving a sustainable food value chain. By Jean Pierre Azañedo from Sustainability Magazine • Reposted: May 29, 2023

The journey from farm to table is characterised by loss and waste – from overproduction to accidental damage and unmet quality standards – these are just some of the “opportunities” for waste that are encountered amid the farm-to-table process. In fact, almost 40% of the food in the United States is wasted. 

Not only does food waste cause greenhouse gas emissions and environmental damage, but it also exacerbates food insecurity in many communities. Like a vicious cycle, food waste accounts for 10% of total global emissions, yet, at the same time, the climate crisis is one of the main factors exacerbating food insecurity.

Since methane, a greenhouse gas that is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over twenty years, is released into the atmosphere when food ends up in landfills, it’s safe to say that minimising food loss across the supply chain should be treated as a priority, not as an option. 

Food waste across the supply chain

Besides the release of greenhouse gasses, when food goes to waste, so do all the resources that were utilised for its production, processing, transportation, preparation, and storage. Food waste in the United States, for example, results in the loss of water and energy equivalent to building more than 50 million homes

Consequently, it’s important to not only acknowledge the environmental effects of food waste but also to assess where food is specifically wasted and lost in the supply chain. 

For starters, while discussions about food waste usually refer to the household and retail sections, more than 15% of food is dissipated before leaving the farm. As an example, due to price volatility, farmers may not end up moving products into the market since the food prices may be lower than the costs of processing and shipping. From damaged crops due to environmental and biological factors to products that do not meet cosmetic market standards, these are a few of the reasons that lead to food loss and waste during the production stage.

Then, in the handling and storage stage, food waste and loss can occur due to numerous different factors, but it mainly boils down to improper handling and storage. In the case of vegetables, loss predominantly happens because of spillage and degradation during loading and unloading and improper transportation and storage. Then, when it comes to meat products, loss often occurs due to condemnation in the slaughterhouse while, for fish, spillage takes place during the icing, storing, and packing processes. Despite high-income countries having adequate storage facilities in the supply chain, food loss still happens during the storage stage due to technical malfunctions, overstocking, or inadequate temperature.

While some inevitable losses happen during the processing and packaging stage such as the loss of milk during the processing of yoghurt, most of the losses in this stage of the supply chain occur due to technical problems. Similarly, packaging materials can contribute to food loss if they are not designed to preserve the freshness of the products. 

Subsequently, in the transportation and distribution stage, food is lost, as the name implies, amid its transportation. In developing countries, for example, products may not meet cosmetic standards since they acquire bumps and bruises along the journey. Then, if food is delivered after its prime freshness window, it gets rejected in most cases. In Japan, for example, “the rule of one-third” entails that food and beverages must be delivered within one-third of their shelf life.

Finally, in the consumption stage, food is either wasted or lost in households or other food service establishments. In truth, the largest amount of food waste occurs in households, with 76 billion pounds of food being wasted annually per person in the United States. Moreover, the food wasted at this stage also has the largest resource footprint in the supply chain because of the resources utilised for its transportation, storage, and cooking.

A sustainable food value chain

While acknowledging the effects of food waste as well as its causes is crucial, in order to move forward, innovation is necessary. In fact, according to ReFED’s 2030 roadmap, the United States could reduce food waste by 45mn tonnes a year, cut GHG emissions by 75 million metric tons, and save food equivalent to four billion meals for those in need with the right policy changes and investments.

Since food waste has both societal and environmental effects, a sustainable food value chain should produce and distribute food in a way that is environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. Essentially, this means that the food chain should function in such a way that it has minimal impact on the environment while ensuring that people have access to nutritious food and supporting the livelihoods of farmers and other food system employees. 

A sustainable food value chain presupposes that all resources are used efficiently and sustainably and that waste is minimised. For instance, the food that is wasted during the production stage could be used to produce biogas or fertiliser through anaerobic digestion. Similarly, the ‘ugly’ food that doesn’t meet cosmetic standards could be kept out of landfills by being upcycled. That being said, for this transition to be resilient and sustainable, change needs to happen across the entire food chain.

For instance, in the production stage, food loss could be minimised through precision agriculture and improved agricultural practices such as crop rotation. However, precision agriculture technology will only work with education regarding sustainable agricultural practices and technologies. Alternatively, ‘waste’ can be repurposed by identifying alternative markets that might be interested in ‘imperfect’ products. Similarly, since the vegetables and fruits that do not meet cosmetic standards are still nutritious, they could be donated to food-insecure communities. 

On the other side of the food chain, awareness is key to reducing food waste at the consumption stage. The problem of food waste boils down, especially in developed countries, to cultural expectations and preconceptions regarding food and its transition to ‘waste’. From shopping locally and more responsibly to using leftovers and composting food scraps, these are just a few examples of how food waste can be reduced at the household level. 

Food waste minimisation: a necessity

From consumers composting food scraps and restaurants collaborating with food banks to edible by-products being developed into ingredients and local food distribution being promoted, a sustainable food value chain is achievable through collaboration.

However, food waste and loss need to be halved per person for the 2030 SDGs to be met, hence these tweaks in the food supply chain need to be treated as priorities instead of options. Since the effects of food waste are visible not only from an environmental perspective but also from an economic and societal one, an equitable and sustainable food system should result in improved food security and economic savings in addition to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing biodiversity.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://sustainabilitymag.com/articles/the-journey-from-harvest-to-table-cutting-out-food-waste

Sustainability is moving up the agenda for business schools.

23 05 2023

Educators are looking at ways to tackle the ambiguity that exists around definitions and measurement. By Aruni Sunil from Sifted.com * Reposted: May 23, 2023

Researching and teaching sustainability is high on business schools’ strategic agendas. At the same time, startups are struggling with measurement, reporting, definitions, action and strategy — and the path to net zero.

We looked into how sustainability is currently taught at business schools, how it’s changing and what it should grow into so that Europe’s startups can achieve their sustainability goals.

Founders want more

For Laurence Lehmann-Ortega, professor of strategy and business policy at HEC Paris, companies struggle to measure environmental and social aspects because there’s a lack of standardisation. 

“In finance, we’ve been building the standards for the past 70 years or so,” she says. “So there are no clear standards to measure ESG and I’m not sure we’ll get to very clear standards in the near future — the only common metric we’ve got now is measuring carbon emissions.”

It can be reductionist to measure just carbon emissions — metrics should be more industry and product-specific. For example, if your product is going to have a big impact on biodiversity because it’s in the agricultural space, it’s crucial to think about biodiversity first instead of carbon and the associated human rights challenges around agricultural commodities.

The only common metric we’ve got now is measuring carbon emissions That’s where business schools could come in. 

For Prateek Mahalwar, founder of Bioweg — a startup producing bio-based ingredients to replace microplastics in personal care and food products — sustainability should be taught at business schools with one part focusing on what sustainability means in the broadest sense, and the second part focusing on quantification. 

He says that discussing case studies tackling different aspects of sustainability such as energy or the use of raw materials is key for students to understand how sustainability works in the real world of business. It’s especially important to understand how startups can adhere to the new laws and regulations around sustainability such as the plastic packaging regulation, he adds.

Bioweg had MBA students working with its team through the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), a programme at HEC Paris that allows management students to work directly with companies, helping them develop financial models, evaluate potential markets and fine-tune their strategies.

“It’s a win-win — for the startup as well as for the student, not only in terms of exchanging knowledge or doing something practical, but also from the angle that there is a possibility for startup founders to hire them or get into the ESOP pool,” Mahalwar says.

A to ESG 

As well as experiential learning through programmes like CDL, HEC Paris teaches sustainability as part of its strategy and entrepreneurship programmes.

Lehmann-Ortega says that there are two ways that sustainability is taught as part of strategy in theory. The first is how a business can adapt and rethink their business model to be more sustainable, and the second is advanced strategy which is about being “more proactive and coming up with a new business model”.

She says that there’s also differences in how different subjects address the topic of sustainability. “For an accounting professor, it’s about how carbon emissions can be measured and measuring the environmental and social impact of the organisation; for finance professors, it’s about how to finance it; and for marketing, it’s about how to educate your customer to think about it.”

Other business schools are also encouraging students to take part in environmentally and socially relevant initiatives. 

For example, during the first year of their MBA at the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in South Africa, students are required to work with local non-profit organisations on community projects that tackle social problems.

A shift in mindset

Fabien Koutchekian was part of the CDL programme and is the cofounder of Genomines, a biotech that enhances the natural ability of plants to absorb metals. For him, teaching sustainability is primarily about tackling misinformation in the sector and for entrepreneurs to be more involved in the space of regulations and policy making. 

“There’s this mentality now that we are doomed and nothing will save us from what the previous generation has done to the environment. But I don’t believe this — we have to fight, we have to create startups, create innovation and change the regulatory environment, to spur innovation and research in the field,” he says.

For Lehmann-Ortega, sustainability is here to stay in business schools. 

“We don’t need standalone courses about sustainability — this doesn’t make any sense anymore. Every single course should have it — it’s about how you adapt the curriculum to the current shift that’s going on in the world,” she says.

“This reminds me of what happened 10 to 15 years ago with the shift to digital. We all had to integrate classes about digital marketing and so on, and now you can’t teach marketing anymore without digital.”

Mahalwar agrees, adding that sustainability isn’t dismissed as a passing fad anymore — it’s part of the core business in both startups and corporates. “Companies are paying attention to whole supply chains and committing at every level to look into carbon emissions, ESG goals and so on. 

“This creates a need for future hires to have knowledge in that area, and not only people who go into businesses with impact at their core, but also in other areas such as finance, strategy, product and procurement.”

At any given time, there are about a million green startups exploring new energy solutions. As of 2023, there are also at least 13k large and medium-sized companies in Europe transitioning towards more sustainable operations. 

This has to come from students, because they are the future of politics, the future of innovation and the future leaders

“There hasn’t been a single moment in the history of mankind where there were so many brains solving the same issue at the same time. It needs to keep going and we need to put in the work to find solutions,” says Koutchekian.

“More capital is needed and politicians have to create policies that stimulate the economy along with taxing polluting activity and so on — and this has to come from students, because they are the future of politics, the future of innovation and the future leaders.”

To see the original post, follow this link: https://sifted.eu/articles/sustainability-business-schools-brnd

Why 2023 Is (Finally) The Year of the Sustainability Pivot

15 05 2023

Image: Sustainable Brands

Four key trends are converging this year to create a permanent shift toward sustainability across industries — with implications for tech innovation, the planet and companies that have yet to start their sustainability transformation. By Jeff Herbert from Sustainablebrands.com • Reposted: May 15, 2023

Despite economic uncertainty, tech industry woes and a tightening VC market, money and talent are flowing into climate technology development at an unprecedented pace. This is accelerating progress and offering hope for meeting global decarbonization targets to mitigate temperature rise. We’re also seeing renewable energy solidifying its status as the “world’s cheapest source of energy.”‌

Why is all of this happening now, after many years of underinvestment in and debate about climate mitigation? Four key trends are converging this year to create a permanent shift toward sustainability across industries — with implications for tech innovation, the planet and companies that have yet to start their sustainability transformation.

4 trends driving the sustainability pivot

Workers seeking work with purpose

The first trend is a desire to make a positive impact and find meaningful work. The pandemic gave many of us more time to consider what we’re doing with our lives and with our technology. During the Great Reshuffling, as many as 90 percent of people in the labor market “changed roles in some way” in response to the pandemic. Gallup data confirms that workplace engagement plummeted and stress surged during 2021 — with most workers saying “they don’t find their work meaningful, don’t think their lives are going well or don’t feel hopeful about their future.”

Now, as the pandemic shifts from an acute crisis to a chronic issue, people are seeking work they feel has demonstrable value in the world.

Broader acceptance and understanding of climate change

Another trend is widespread awareness of climate impacts. With more time during the pandemic to ponder our life paths, a lot of us also had the opportunity to pay closer attention to the effects of the ongoing climate crisis — many of which we’re experiencing firsthand. For example, the wildfire proliferation in the western USdecimated many lives and properties; it also made the COVID situation worse for people living in areas polluted with smoke. Elsewhere, hurricanes are becoming more powerful and causing more damagethrough storm surges and flooding when they reach land.

What used to feel like an academic debate in the public sphere about climate change is now a conversation about what we’re going through today — and what we can urgently do to stop or slow the processes that are driving climate change. Consumers are reacting with more conscious purchasing behaviors, a willingness to pay a premium for more sustainable products, and votes for political candidates who promise to pursue climate solutions. Companies are responding, with increasingly bold climate commitments (including those from Microsoft and Google) and more Chief Sustainability Officers being hired in 2021than the prior five years combined.

The Inflation Reduction Act

The desire for meaningful work and the growing concern over climate change are intersecting with a third trend: A massive investment by the US in climate technologies through the Inflation Reduction Act. The tens of billions in federal loans offered through various IRA programs are projected to result in hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of investment by the private sector.

In particular, the IRA has accelerated the rate of investment in and development of carbon-capture and -removal technologies. For example, tech giants Google, FacebookStripe andShopify recently partnered to form Frontier — a $925M fund for carbon removal.

Tech layoffs

The fourth trend fueling this year’s sustainability pivot is the reversal of the big tech hiring boom. Instead of drawing in most of the talent, now the traditional tech sector is undergoing rounds of layoffs and hiring freezes. Over 130,000 workers in US-based tech companies have been laid off in mass job cuts so far in 2023 — giving emerging climate tech innovators access to the kinds of engineering and project management talent that were “once thought un-poachable” from tech giants such as Twitter and Meta.

An urgent need for more climate tech deployment

This pivot is resulting in new and expanded use cases for a variety of climate-mitigation technologies. For example, carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) tech prevents carbon from escaping industrial processes into the atmosphere, transforms it, and sequesters or eliminates it. CCUS has applications across energy-intensive domains including utilities, manufacturing, food production and food-waste management. Additionally, an increasing number of companies are pursuing direct air capture (DAC) and the associated carbon-credit market through a wide range of processes — from scaling natural carbon sinks such as kelp to chemical processes to scrubbing carbon straight from the air. Other technologies can help companies improve their operational efficiency and reduce their energy usage to reduce their carbon footprint; still others are behind new forms of renewable energy production and storage, as well as the growing electrification of vehicles ranging from bikes to 18-wheelers.

Climate tech innovations are happening at legacy companies such as fossil fuel producers, as well as at small startups. That’s crucial, because the International Energy Agency estimates that in order to reach net-zero carbon emissions globally by 2050, we need to be capturing 1,286 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2030. Currently, we’re capturing about 45 metric tonnes per year.

Beyond carbon-capture initiatives for industry, the sustainability pivot also hinges on another goal: reducing the carbon footprint of basically every product and process. There are opportunities for companies to reduce the impact of existing products by creating circular pathways such as resalerefurbishment and recycling. Products in development must also be made as sustainable as possible, considering everything from their raw materials and manufacturing to transport, use and end of life. These improvements not only address consumer preferences for sustainable products, they create other kinds of business value. For example, Forrester lists enhanced innovation, employee retention, regulatory compliance and revenue growth among the benefits of optimizing for sustainability.

Pivoting toward a sustainable future

As exciting as these developments in the climate tech space are, the pivotal changes we’re seeing this year are just the beginning of a longer-term sustainability transformation. By 2045, annual investment into CCUS technology is projected to exceed $150 billion — and that’s just one domain within the array of climate technologies now on the market and in development. For employees, investors, business and governments, this shift to a focus on sustainability offers meaning, purpose, the potential for value creation and a healthier planet; this year’s trends are bringing together the awareness, talent and capital to make it happen. As a result, there’s never been a better time for organizations to lean into their sustainability goals and accelerate their progress toward them.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://sustainablebrands.com/read/defining-the-next-economy/2023-finally-year-sustainability-pivot

How Retailers Are Embracing Sustainability With Circular Initiatives

5 05 2023

Let’s Change The Way We Shop’ sign outside Selfridges on Oxford Street. Photo: GETTY

By Clara Ludmir, Contributor via Forbes • Reposted May 5, 2023

With shoppers becoming increasingly mindful of their consumption choices, businesses are facing heightened scrutiny and pressure to meet new sustainability standards and adapt to evolving shopping habits. This is driving retailers to rethink their business models to make circularity part of their mindset and operations. So, how are retailers that weren’t born with sustainability at the core of their business concretely adapting to the circular momentum?

From Linear To Circular Business Models

Certain brands and retailers are paving the way for impactful mindset and operational shifts needed to truly put sustainability at the heart of their agenda. Luxury department store Selfridges developed a vision to reinvent retail through its ‘Project Earth’ initiative, built on three pillars: transitioning to sustainable materials, investing in new shopping models, and challenging the mindsets of its partners, teams and customers. In addition to aiming for net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, the retailer made a bold commitment: by 2030, 45% of transactions within the business will come from circular products and services.

Selfridges considers a transaction to be circular when it comes from a resale, rental, refill, repair or recycled product. This target is backed by continuous efforts and initiatives designed to accompany this ambitious strategic objective, such as the definition of specific targets to deliver a material transformation roadmap, new repair and rental services and in-store experiences to shift customer attitude towards circular shopping and consumption.

Rethinking The Product Life Cycle To Develop A Closed-loop System

Fashion brand Coach has also recently demonstrated its intent to take the circular momentum seriously through the launch of Coachtopia. Developed as a collaborative lab for innovation focused on circular craft, the launch marks a significant milestone for the company. Speaking to FashionNetwork.com at the label’s Regent Street flagship, Joon Silverstein, Coach’s SVP of Global Marketing and Sustainability and Head of Coachtopia, considers that this line is “rethinking the product life cycle from end to end. Creating beautiful new things from waste, designing to re-make at scale and ultimately working towards a closed loop system.” This approach is focused on producing items designed to have multiple lives, implying that they are created with the intent to be easily disassembled and repurposed into another product in the future.

In addition to embracing an innovative approach to designing products made from waste and meant to be recycled and repurposed, Coachtopia leveraged insights from a beta community of GenZ individuals to inspire and be inspired by a demographic that is more actively invested in climate change and the environment. “We believe very strongly that it’s important to create it not for these consumers but with them,” Silverstein told FashionNetwork.com, allowing this initiative to give a voice and platform to creatives and climate advocates excited to participate in disrupting fashion for the better.

The sub-brand offers a line of bags, wallets and ready-to-wear items that are available in Selfridges, Coach stores across North America and the brand’s US and UK sites.

In-Store Resale Offering Is Expanding

The second-hand apparel market is experiencing continuous growth, with sales expected to reach $350 billion by 2037 based on a report from resale platform thredUp. In the United States, 1 in 3 apparel items bought by women in 2022 was second-hand, with Millenials and GenZ responsible for more than half of the revenue. As a response to this growing demand, a number of retailers are designing in-store spaces dedicated to second-hand shopping through the launch of pop-ups, corners and own-brand initiatives.

Galeries Lafayette Paris
(RE)STORE space in Galeries Lafayette HaussmannGALERIES LAFAYETTE

In Paris, leading department stores have all started to welcome circularity through dedicated store spaces and offerings. For instance, the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann launched in 2021 a (RE)STORE space of 500 square meters dedicated to second-hand players and sustainable brands. In addition to hosting Monogram, a French luxury second-hand e-tailer, the space features a number of popular online resale shops as well as sustainable brands designing clothing or products made exclusively from offcuts and recycled materials.

Brands with a large retail footprint are evolving to embed circularity in their commercial model. For example, French baby and children’s clothing brand Petit Bateau is making space in its stores for second-hand clothing with the launch of its resale program, allowing customers to both purchase or sell second-hand items in-store. So far, around 20 stores in France are participating in the initiative, with a roll-out to other European countries and Japan expected in the next year. Petit Bateau aims to be the most durable brand in this segment, with products designed to be re-worn by multiple kids, thus almost naturally expected to embrace circularity. While today, only 1% of products sold come from this program, the brand’s CEO Guillaume Darrousez shared on French TV channel BFMTV that by 2030, 1 in 3 transactions will come from the circular economy, either through second-hand or rental products.

Adopting Circularity Is Key To Customer Acquisition And Retention

As of today, retailers are for the most part engaging in the circular momentum as a means to acquire and retain shoppers, rather than to grow profits. In fact, most brands launching their resale platform via a dedicated website struggle to make it a profitable endeavour. Luxury resale platform The RealReal has yet to find an attractive economic model, reporting a net loss of $196 million in 2022 and the closure of various retail locations, which highlights the sector’s struggle to make second-hand retail a scaleable and profitable business.

However, while retailers might not drive significant revenue from recycle, repair or resale initiatives just yet, these allow them to attract a new audience: as mentioned in thredUp’s 2023 resale report, 60% of the resale market’s growth will be attributed to new shoppers, stressing the rising interest for second-hand offerings. Considering the expected size of the resale market and growing pressure on brands to become more accountable and conscious of climate change, retailers are expected to get on board and adopt circularity on a bigger scale in the next five years.

By then, we might have the answer to the following question: will circularity – whether through recycling and reusing materials to produce new items or launching an in-house resale program – ever be scaleable and profitable? Or will it just represent a fraction of brands’ industrial and commercial operations while enabling them to showcase sustainable commitments?

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/claraludmir/2023/05/04/how-retailers-are-embracing-sustainability-with-circular-initiatives/?sh=189db1a83288

The Climate Science Behind Managing Disaster Risk

2 05 2023

Tourists try to stay dry in a flooded St Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy, in 2018. Flooding in the region has only intensified in recent years. Image credit: Jonathan Ford/Unsplash

By Joyce Coffee from Triplepundit.com • Reposted: May 2, 2023

It has become de rigueur for companies eager to reduce their climate-related disaster risks to sign up with groups that focus on assisting corporate clients with their climate change challenges. 

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), for one, helps the private sector set science-based emissions reduction targets. It’s a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Another, the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, offers guidelines for how companies can report their exposure to physical climate-related risks, among other things.

The assistance these groups provide is timely. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which protects investors and regulates publicly-held companies’ disclosures, is considering rules to require public companies to provide climate risk-related financial data. And most (if not all) U.N. agencies and other international climate change-related programs recognize the need to address disaster risks and other forms of climate risk worldwide. 

But do these groups follow climate science? That question arose last month when a distinguished engineer openly questioned climate science in a presentation to the U.N. Disaster Risk Reduction Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE) and its growing membership of U.S. corporate leaders. “We don’t know if climate change is happening now, and we don’t know if it will happen in the future,” he contended.

Peruse any legitimate climate source, and it’s nigh impossible to question climate science, whether our planet is warming and the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. The U.N. has a growing set of resources, among them:

As the U.N. plainly asserts: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred.” 

ARISE, whose U.S. arm I co-chair, follows the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The latest documents of the Framework — the 2015 U.N.-adopted document that calls for assessing and reporting progress on disaster-reduction plans — emphasize that disaster risks “are growing at an unprecedented rate globally, inflicting damage across sectors and vital systems for human societies and economies.”

It also maintains: “We are living outside the boundaries of what our planet can sustain, to the detriment of future generations. Radical shifts are needed to change course toward a more sustainable and risk-informed pathway, as the world is facing a projected 40 percent increase in disasters during the lifetime of the Sendai Framework to 2030.” 

The Framework cites climate change on over half of its 140 pages, and the No. 1 commitment of the U.N. Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience is to take a risk-informed approach. 

We must also heed another distinguished engineer, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, who earned a degree in the field from the Instituto Superior Técnico in Portugal back in 1949. “Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing, global temperatures keep rising, and our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible,” he told CNBC last year. “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.” 

And we must promote companies looking to the SBTi and others for assistance in mitigating disaster risks.  Onward with this important work!

Joyce Coffee headshot

Joyce Coffee, LEED AP, is founder and President of Climate Resilience Consulting. She is an accomplished organizational strategist and visionary leader with over 25 years of domestic and international experience in the corporate, government and non-profit sectors implementing resilience and sustainability strategies, management systems, performance measurement, partnerships, benchmarking and reporting.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.triplepundit.com/story/2023/disaster-risks-climate-science/773221

Should sustainability professionals (still) be working to make themselves redundant?

18 04 2023

Photo: edie.net

An ever-growing cohort of businesses claim they have ‘fully embedded’ sustainability. So, as business strategies and sustainability strategies become one and the same, should sustainability teams be working to end the need for their function? By Sarah George from edie.net • Reposted: April 18, 2023

It’s a question which leaders in the profession have been mulling for several years. When edie was founded 25 years ago, corporate sustainability was in its infancy. Many firms had no dedicated staff and those that did either tasked them with a compliance-based to-do list or with carrying out philanthropic initiatives on the periphery of core business.

Fast-forward to the 2020s and the perfect storm of top-down (regulatory changes, new scientific research) and bottom-up (growing public awareness and activism) pressures – as well as physical risks crystalising in this era of polycrisis – are prompting smart businesses to see their core strategy and sustainability strategy as the same thing.

Beyond mergers of strategy documents, this prioritisation can be seen in the trends towards integrated financial and ESG reporting and towards giving board members environmental KPIs. A PWC-led study published in February concluded that more than three-quarters of large businesses have now linked executive pay outcomes to climate targets, up from less than 50% in 2020.

And, promisingly, in edie’s recent survey of hundreds of energy and sustainability managers, 91% said their chief executive was ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ engaged with ESG. The proportion stood at 81% for the wider board.

But, of, course, a company’s culture does not hinge solely on executives. Mary Kay Cosmetics’ founder Mary Kay Ash is often quoted as saying that “a company is only as good as the people it keeps”. Sustainability professionals will need to embed culture beyond the C-suite if they are to ever make themselves redundant.

There is a growing body of research to prove that the workforce of the 2020s are increasingly seeking employers with strong ethics. But there is also a wealth of proof that, for most people in their day-to-day job, there is confusion on how to be part of the solution to big, global challenges like the climate crisis.

Are you an agitator or an ambassador? 

To help turn intention into impact, a growing number of businesses are now assigning ESG-related KPIs to all staff. One such business is innocent Drinks, which exceeded a pledge for at least 90% of employees to have such a target in 2020.

“As we know, working for a business you are proud of is becoming more and more important to staff …  But it’s one thing to know that a company cares about these issues, and knowing what you can do at your level is a bigger question,” explains innocent’s head of force for good in the UK, Emilie Stephenson.

To ensure that all new staff know what is expected of them in terms of ESG, every role description now assigns a related responsibility. Social media and communications staff, for example, are tasked with increasing discussions on topics like climate. Operations and procurement team members are told their work is key to reducing waste and emissions – not just to keeping smoothies and juices on shelves.

For existing staff, Stephenson explains, KPIs have been effectively retrofitted through regular updates to personal development plans.

Beyond giving staff targets, innocent makes a point of considering how their personality and skillset could best aid delivery. Since the mid-2010s, staff have been encouraged to work with their line managers to determine whether they are an  ‘agitator’, ‘activator’, ‘ambassador’ or ‘protector’.

Stephenson says: “I think it works because it’s so tangible – people understand what it is and they can talk to people about it. This, and the language itself, is motivational.”

Many board members are natural ‘protectors’, as they have the seniority to hold teams accountable for taking the actions needed to reach sustainability ambitions. ‘Activators’, meanwhile, specialise in taking the action, delivering specific projects on the ground.

‘Ambassadors’, meanwhile, share innocent’s work with others and advocate externally for a greater focus on sustainability in the private sector and beyond. And being an ‘agitator’ is the most common choice; these people scrutinise current strategies and practices to suggest potential improvements.

Blended roles and B Keepers 

Linked to the ‘protector’ role is the role of ‘B Keeper’ – a new title which came into being through innocent’s certification as a B Corp in 2018, and is linked to the protection of B Corp status. In Stephenson’s opinion, the B Corp certification process helped to provide a more “solid framework” of focus areas for staff. She also recounts hearing some team members who were typically not the most vocal speaking up and taking responsibility for certain sets of points during the process.

A similar experience is recounted to edie by Heather Lynch, head of impact and sustainability at fellow B Corp Oddbox. The business, which sells boxes of fruit and vegetables that would otherwise have gone to waste, became a B Corp in 2020 and is currently in the process of re-certifying.

Oddbox is a mission and vision-driven brand, Lynch explains. The mission is fighting food waste. The vision is of a world where all food grown is eaten.

“I see mission and vision as the ‘what’, and the B Corp as a framework for the ‘how’,” Lynch says, adding that the first B Impact assessment prompted a “thorough stock-take of opportunities” and the second as providing a “framework for tracking progress”.

One key opportunity identified through certification was to upskill staff. 70% of Oddbox’s staff have now completed an eight-hour carbon literacy training course, and the business is targeting at least 90% by the end of the year. As Lynch explains, this training ensures that staff have a base understanding of carbon jargon and climate science – and that they are clear on their role in the business’s delivery of net-zero emissions by 2030.

So, most Oddbox staff are officially carbon-literate and several of them are B Keepers. Beyond that, some managers have blended roles, due to their role in creating and delivering the sustainability strategy.

The operations team co-created the firm’s net-zero strategy, with support from Lynch and her junior, plus external consultants. As such, senior operations team members are effective net-zero managers, responsible for delivery and reporting. They are also helping senior logistics and packaging staff to do the same.

“Ownership is just as important as, if not more important than, awareness,” Lynch says. “That, I feel, has been really powerful.”

Ownership is a sure-fire way to ensure that people do not feel strategies or targets are being put on them from the top-down, landing them with an extra burden. Co-creating strategies with staff and emphasising the particular benefits to each group is a tactic gaining popularity far beyond Oddbox; the practice is often called green jiu jitsu and there are specific training courses.

The final say  

So, say your business has taken similar steps to Oddbox and innocent. It has a long-term sustainability strategy backed up with interim goals, and governance mechanisms in place to report against these and keep them on board members’ desks. Your staff all know exactly what role they have to play in contributing to goals, and relish taking that action.

Do they still need you?

“I don’t necessarily think there needs to be a separate sustainability function, but there needs to be space and time to think about – and plan for – sustainability over the long-term if not,” Lynch says.

She also emphasises how, even if sustainability is embedded, reporting and employee engagement are ever-evolving pieces of work. On the former, her junior is a sustainability data analyst, and she recounts how the addition of this role has left her with more time for “strategy, influencing, holding people accountable and also researching for the future”.

innocent’s Stephenson, however, believes that most businesses are not quite ready to hold that space for sustainability without having in-house experts.

She says: “Douglas [Lamont, former innocent chief executive] has previously advocated for sustainability being embedded in all teams and, therefore, not needing a separate team. My hunch is that this work is not done yet.

“Yes, everyone should be incentivised to play their part. But you still need a leader, there’s still that need for someone to co-ordinate centrally.

“In due course, yes, I’d love to be made redundant. But, at the moment, when you’ve got strategy to develop and deliver, when staff have conflicting priorities, I’d say you still absolutely need someone to hold the torch.”

It bears noting that while innocent and Oddbox are both B Corps, their staff cultures are doubtless very different. Oddbox, for example, that it has a far smaller – yet far more rapidly-expanding – staff base. It has around 75 staff, up from less than 20 in 2019. innocent has more than 760 staff.

Moreover, Oddbox was founded on that aforementioned mission of fighting food waste. While innocent’s founders have built a company often regarded as an exemplary specimen for purpose-led business, they were initially looking for a reason to leave corporate jobs to be their own boss – and the popularity of their smoothies at a music festival proved to be that reason.

So, one could only imagine the situation at even bigger, older, less agile companies, who still either publicly state their purpose as creating value for shareholders or are so frequently accused of purpose-washing. Such firms may say that they have ‘embedded sustainability’ or that it is ‘in their DNA’, but they may have only just hired their first senior specialist – let alone be ready to make them redundant.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.edie.net/should-sustainability-professionals-still-be-working-to-make-themselves-redundant/

A HoT Job: Why corporations need a Head of Traceability

17 04 2023

Graphic: Planet Tracker

There is a new acronym in town and it’s HoT. From Planet Tracker • Reposted: April 17, 2023

If you are looking for a job where compensation can be linked to your impact, consider becoming Head of Traceability(HoT), especially at a nature-dependent company.

Here is why:

  • Under pressure from regulators1, investors2 and consumers, nature-dependent companies in particular need to substantiate their sustainable claims. This cannot be achieved without traceability.
  • Traceability is cross-functional, covering sustainability, IT, product development, sourcing, legal, logistics and marketing: it needs a dedicated person to oversee all of these. Instead, traceability is often the remit of sustainability departments, who have limited leverage over sourcing and logistics staff, raising the risk of traceability-washing (when companies’ claims on traceability cannot adequately be traced to real initiatives). Or it is siloed in sourcing, logistics, or IT departments, potentially without considering sustainability issues.
  • Traceability allows companies to save costs and reduce risks (through increased efficiencies, reduced waste and recalls mostly): in textiles, we calculated that it would increase net profits by 3-7%. In seafood, we estimated that the whole industry’s meagre profits could rise by 60% if it became fully traceable. 
  • This makes HoT an attractive job where performance means a simultaneously positive impact on the company’s bottom line and a reduced negative impact on nature is feasible. Crucially, that performance can be measured and traced. It should therefore form part of the remuneration package of any HoT. Indexing remuneration on sustainability performance is badly needed, but proposals to do so typically fall short.
  • Being in charge of traceability is likely to be a challenging job: senior managers typically expect traceability to generate a variety of different outcomes – see Figure 1.

Figure 1: Companies’ top goals for traceability initiatives (Source: Bain, 2021)

Planet Tracker did not find enough HoT jobs

We have searched for all companies which have appointed a Head of Traceability (or equivalent title) on LinkedIn and performed a simple search on Google too. Our results are incomplete since “only” 25-30% of the global workforce is on LinkedIn,3, 4 the search was made in English only, and we might have omitted synonyms/equivalent titles. Still, we believe the results are noteworthy.

We found only 18 companies with a Head of Traceability – excluding companies whose business is to sell traceability solutions and government agencies. By comparison, there are at least 10,000 Heads of Sustainability on LinkedIn.5

One of the possible reasons why HoTs are a rare species could be that it exposes management to more searching questions from financial institutions. Access to a HoT, who has extensive reach and understanding of a company’s operations, could provide investors and lenders with significant insights. They should be very much in demand by the financial markets. Presently, the information asymmetry between management teams and their stakeholders is skewed in favour of the former.6 Please see ‘Implementing Traceability; Seeing Through Excuses’.

Companies with a HoT are engaged in a variety of sectors exposed to recognisable sustainability challenges – e.g. palm oil, textiles, tuna, leather, fertiliser, waste management. They are headquartered in 16 different countries on all continents, except South America. Three quarters of them operate in the food or textile industries – see Table 1. The absence of companies engaged in plastic production or meat production is noteworthy.

Table 1: List of companies with a Head of Traceability

Whilst large textiles companies such as H&M Group and Inditex have a Head of Traceability, many large food companies typically do not. This is concerning since a lack of oversight on traceability within a company is likely to elevate their risk profile and impede their success.

Achieving traceability in food systems is a key requirement that could increase overall food system profits by USD 356 billion or more and is key to transforming this global system. Please see the Financial Markets Roadmap for Transforming the Global Food System. Planet Tracker’s work on the seafood system alone suggested that companies that implemented fully traceable supply chains could see profits increase by 60%. Please see ‘How to Trace USD 600 billion’.

In many cases, the companies in our sample have a Head of Traceability with an IT background: traceability is viewed as a digitalisation issue. In others, they have a supply chain/logistic background. In a minority of cases, the responsibility for traceability is assumed by the Head of Sustainability.

Why HoTs will be hot

Presently, there are not many Heads of Traceability in place – if we have missed one at your company, please get in touch – but we believe this will change, for a number of reasons listed here, the most important being regulation.

Already the key expected outcome for traceability is compliance with regulation and likely to become more important given the number of new laws that will require traceability to be implemented. For instance, the EU deforestation regulation, the FDA’s increased traceability requirements in the US, EU Green Claims Directive proposal and the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which passed in January 2023.

For this reason, the urgent implementation of traceability systems overseen by a Head of Traceability or an equivalent cross functional person, is key in our view. Financial institutions should be engaging with company executives and enquiring where the traceability function sits within their management structure.

Note: this blog was inspired by this article in Vogue Business. Credit goes to Bella Webb for raising awareness on the need for Heads of Traceability.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://planet-tracker.org/a-hot-job-why-corporates-need-a-head-of-traceability/

Colleges’ Actions on Sustainability are a Draw for Students

10 04 2023

By Amudalat Ajasa from The Washington Post • Reposted: April 10, 2023

Solar cell panels set up on the West Campus of Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona.

Climate change is on the minds of many in the Class of 2027, and could be a critical factor in how current high-schoolers make their final college choices in the coming weeks. For many prospective students, climate change is an existential threat. So colleges and universities across the country are seeking and finding innovative ways to curb their emissions and become more environmentally sustainable.

A total of 413 schools, or about 10 percent of U.S. higher education institutions — where about 30 percent of full-time U.S. college students are enrolled — have signed a climate pledge from Second Nature, an organization committed to accelerating climate action through these institutions. By signing, schools vow to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as they can, according to Tim Carter, the organization’s president.

Some large institutions have been at the forefront of efforts toward sustainability, but the push is growing as colleges of all sizes join the fight. Many are also adopting solutions specific to their local community or environment.

Ohio University turns scraps to soil

Ever wondered what happens to all the uneaten food in dining halls? Where does your food go after it’s carried away on conveyor belts?

The answer is grim. Most food waste generated in college dining halls ends up in the trash and then a landfill. Food waste overall is the single most common material dumped in landfills and incinerated in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

But at Ohio University, the kitchen is just the beginning of your leftover food’s journey.

After students leave the dining hall, trained staff separate food left on serving trays. Nearly five tons of food waste per day is collected from dining halls around campus and brought to OU’s $2 million composting plant.

The plant, which opened in 2009, features a rooftop solar array that provides about 75 percent of the system’s energy, according to Steve Mack, the university’s director of facilities management. Its rainwater harvesting system provides all the water used at the facility.

By 2012, the university was composting nearly 100 percent of its dining hall waste.

“It’s the right thing to do; food waste going towards composting is much better than going to a landfill,” Mack said. “We’ve taken what was a waste stream and turned it into a resource.”

The campus has one of the most efficient university food services in the country, despite the unique challenges posed by the all-you-care-to-eat facilities. About 99 percent of campus food waste is post-consumer — left over from trays — while pre-consumer food waste from the preparation process makes up less than 1 percent.

The school uses an in-vessel compost system that combines organic waste — including meat, dairy and landscape waste — with bulking agents in which naturally occurring microorganisms break down material. It’s the largest known in-vessel system at any college or university in the nation. The material is then trapped in an enclosed environment where temperatures, moisture levels and airflow are monitored for two weeks. Once removed from the in-vessel system, the compost is placed in narrow piles outside for three to four months.

Food scraps are turned into nutrient-rich soil, which is used for landscaping and filling in intramural athletic fields. The soil has also been shared with the local school district.

All told, the university composts about 612 tons of waste a year. That’s equivalent to the weight of about 102 full-grown male elephants, according to the university.

Composting saves the university $14,000 each year in landfill fees and $22,000 in annual fertilizer costs, said Sam Crowl, associate director of sustainability at Ohio University.

Ball State University fires up a greener system for heating

When engineers tell you that you can’t replace a university’s 70-year-old heating system with the largest geothermal plant in the country, you’d probably heed their warning.

But Jim Lowe didn’t.

“For an engineer, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a system that’s beneficial to the environment and efficient for use of energy around campus,” said Lowe, who is associate vice president for facilities planning and management at Indiana’s Ball State University.

Lowe wanted to replace the coal-fired boiler heating system, which burns coal to create steam and heat, with a geothermal power plant — which draws heat from the earth and turns it into hot water, which, in turn, is used to heat buildings.

In 2009, BSU began the daunting task — and Lowe’s team had to start from scratch.

The team building the system drilled approximately 3,600 holes that were 500 feet deep under sporting fields and parking lots, digging up streets and sidewalks to place nearly 5.3 million feet of piping.

It took eight years, but the school said the process caused very little disruption to students’ day-to-day activities. Now the largest geothermal system in the country runs hidden under the school and provides heat and cooling to “50-plus major buildings” on campus, Lowe said.

Completed in 2017, the $83 million project has cut BSU’s carbon footprint in half — helping the school get halfway to its goal of becoming carbon neutral. Lowe estimates that BSU now saves $3 million in energy costs each year.

BSU’s project has inspired nearly 65 higher education institutions to start building their own geothermal plants.

Colleges and universities “have a responsibility to protect our environment and pay it forward for future generations,” Lowe said.

University of Iowa uses resources from its backyard

Most people who stumble across the inedible outer cover of an oat grain think nothing of it, but the Quaker Oats production facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, looked at piles of leftover oat hulls and saw a potential energy source. The company asked the nearby University of Iowa for help. And the school jumped in.

The University of Iowa became a green-energy champion by harvesting biomass energy using resources in its backyard — the oats facility is just 25 miles away. Biomass energy is generated by burning living or once-living organisms to create heat or electricity: Think of wood, corn or soy.

Oat hulls were once a treat for farm animals, but UI began buying the crop two decades ago. Now, the university buys nearly 40,000 tons of oat hulls each year from the Quaker Oats facility, reducing its reliance on coal.

“It’s hard for anybody to find much fault in what we’re doing because it’s good on cost, it’s good for the environment, it’s good for local businesses. It’s a good thing all around,” said Ben Fish, director of utility operations at UI.

Oat hulls aren’t the only thing UI is burning to make energy.

In 2015, UI began planting and harvesting acres of a billowing, bamboo-like grass that grows up to 12 feet high. The miscanthus grass is chopped, collected and combined with renewables and non-recyclables, like the waxy backing of labels and paper, to mimic coal when burned. The university partners with a Wisconsin-based energy company that uses the grass as a primary ingredient to create renewable energy pellets. The university also contracted with farmers within a 70-mile radius to plant the grass and expand their acreage.

Months into the worldwide pandemic, the empty university exceeded its goal of 40 percent renewable energy by 2020.

UI is making strides toward a new goal: going coal-free by 2025. Fish thinks it is “absolutely attainable.” He also said oat hulls will continue to be the “foundation” of UI’s future carbon reduction planning.

In January, the EPA ranked the school No. 2 on its list of top college and university green-power users — surpassed only by the University of California system. The 1,900-acre campus gets 84 percent of its energy from green power.

“All colleges and universities are trying to reduce their carbon impact, and we all just have a different way of doing it,” Fish said. “We’ve been able to make use of what’s around us.”

University of Minnesota at Morris moves with the wind

The University of Minnesota at Morris sits in a rural part of the state, surrounded by prairie and forest areas. The small liberal arts college with fewer than 1,300 students is about 2½ hours west of Minneapolis.

The school “in the middle of everywhere” uses a localized hybrid approach to renewable energy. Wind turbines, a biomass gasification facility and a solar array generate about 70 percent of the electricity used on campus daily. Annually, the school produces more electricity than it needs.

Two 230-feet-high wind turbines with 135-foot blades tower over the university. The turbines generate 10 million kilowatts of electricity per year, but the university uses only about 5 million kilowatts. The surplus power is exported to provide renewable energy to Morris, a city with a population of about 5,000.

The two turbines supply more than 60 percent of the annual electricity used on campus. The university achieved carbon neutrality in electricity for the first time in 2020 in large part thanks to those turbines, said Troy Goodnough, the school’s sustainability director. There are many instances when all the university’s electricity comes from wind turbines, which can generate electricity with wind speeds as low as 7.8 mph and as high as 29 mph.

UMN Morris was the first public university in the country to have the large-scale wind turbines constructed, according to university officials.

“What we try to do is be on the front edge of showing what a model of rural sustainability looks like,” Goodnough said.

Additional renewable energy comes from 636 individual solar panels and agrivoltaic solar farms. Agrivoltaic farming combines solar energy generation and agriculture.

Next to campus, cows graze the land and crops flourish in a field shared by an array of eight-foot-high solar panels. The 240-kilowatt agrivoltaic array is expected to generate more than 300,000 kilowatt-hours each year.

Arizona State University proves big schools can make big changes, too

Achieving carbon neutrality tends to be less daunting for smaller colleges and universities because they emit lower emissions compared with larger ones. Larger technical universities have nearly 10 times as many students and produce roughly four times the carbon emissions per student compared with smaller schools, according to an MIT study.

But those odds didn’t deter Arizona State University, with a total campus enrollment of more than 75,000 students, from pledging to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. It’s a goal the school crushed six years early.

“We decided to move the goal six years early in recognition of the worsening climate crisis,” said Marc Campbell, executive director of sustainability at ASU.

Between 2007 and 2017, the university increased energy efficiency in new building construction by using regenerative and sustainable materials, installing efficient cooling and heating systems, and maximizing natural light sources and shielding, Campbell said. Older buildings were retrofitted with efficient light fixtures, water-conserving shower heads and updated cooling systems.

The university built 90 on-site solar installations, which provide enough green energy to power an estimated 18,000 homes at once, according to Campbell. ASU also partnered with the Arizona Public Service, the state’s largest electric utility, on a solar farm that generates about 65,000 megawatt-hours per year of green electricity.

The school’s emissions decreased, and it reduced its carbon footprint by more than 30 percent.

By 2018, ASU was on the brink of fulfilling its pledge and began purchasing carbon offsets to meet its goal early. Carbon offsets are investments in projects that reduce or work toward the removal of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere.

The university became carbon neutral in scope 1 emissions, or emissions over which it has direct control, and scope 2 emissions, or indirect emissions, including from energy purchased by the university.

“Sustainability is now really in the DNA of ASU,” Campbell said. ASU’s School of Sustainability was the first of its kind when it opened in 2006, according to the university.

ASU has become a sustainability model for larger institutions despite increasing the size of its campus by 40 percent and increasing on-campus enrollment by 35 percent since 2007.

In January, the EPA ranked ASU No. 3 on its list of top college and university green-power users, right behind the University of California system and the University of Iowa. ASU gets 77 percent of its electricity from green energy.

ASU’s next sustainability goal: to be completely carbon neutral, including transportation-related emissions, by 2035. “It is attainable, but we still need to think through what the full road map looks like to get us there,” Campbell said.

Amudalat Ajasa covers extreme weather news for The Washington Post and writes about how extreme weather and climate change are affecting communities in the United States and abroad. To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2023/03/31/colleges-climate-change-sustainability/

Global Hunger: The Growing ESG Issue That Few Companies Want to Face

3 04 2023

USAID distributes food assistance in East Africa, where an unprecedented drought is pushing millions to the brink of starvation. Image credit: USAID U.S. Agency for International Development/Flickr 

By Eric Bebernitz, Director of External Relations, Action Against Hunger via Triplepundit.com • Reposted: April 3, 2023

Companies are working to meet rising stakeholder expectations on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in ways that can differentiate, build brand reputation, and engage employees. Yet the predominant approach misses a critical opportunity since it doesn’t focus on a critical issue that few want to face: global hunger.

Hear me out. Just as the climate crisis is a universal challenge, global hunger is a fundamental issue that ultimately impacts business success — and humanity as a whole. In 2021, an Action Against Hunger survey with The Harris Poll found that nearly half of all Americans worry about increases to the price of food as a result of climate change. The most recent Trust Barometer found that 67 percent of people globally are worried about food shortages leading to hoarding, riots and hunger, which Edelman characterizes as an existential societal fear. As a priority, the issue ranked behind climate change and just ahead of energy shortages. It’s not hard to see why.
After decades of progress showed that it is possible to dramatically slash rates of malnutrition, global hunger is once again on the rise. Approximately 828 million people — 1 in 10 worldwide — are undernourished, and as many as 50 million people in 45 countries are on the verge of famine. The costs of inaction are high.

Yet global hunger is a predictable and preventable problem that we can solve in our lifetimes. Doing so can provide a strong return on investment. As a 2022 study showed, every $1 invested in preventing chronic malnutrition in children can result in gains from $2 to $81 annually. Among the range of ESG issues, addressing malnutrition stands out for its ability to advance other corporate priorities, such as the following. 

Long-term workforce development 

Hungry children struggle to learn, and hungry workers are less productive. Hunger robs the U.S. economy of at least $167.5 billion annually, and research published in The Lancet found that, across 95 low- and middle-income countries, childhood stunting costs the private sector at least $135.4 billion in sales annually, amounting to around 1.2 percent of national GDP.

Socio-economic growth

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce believes an aging population will hit the country “like a ton of bricks,” with migration as a potential solution. Africa is the only region projected to enjoy strong population growth long-term, which can provide a global demographic dividend — but only if we invest in the potential. Africa has the world’s youngest population as well as the highest hunger rates, with 9 out of 10 children not receiving even the minimum acceptable diet, according to the World Health Organization. One in 3 African children are permanently stunted by hunger, reducing the region’s present GDP per capita by 10 percent. Hunger is growing in other regions, as well.

Political stability

Conflict and global hunger are deeply linked. As U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres noted in a 2020 report, income inequality is creating a vicious cycle of discontent, leading to mass protests in both developed and developing countries. Roughly 70 percent of the world’s most malnourished people live in countries with an active conflict, which disrupts harvests, hampers aid delivery, and creates a burgeoning population of displaced people. This can contribute to even greater instability, often in already fragile regions. 

Permission to operate

The epochal shift from shareholder capitalism to stakeholder capitalism comes as a growing number of millennial and Gen Z adults — now a majority of the U.S. workforce and a growing share of the electorate — hold a negative view of capitalism itself. Public willingness to subsidize, tax and regulate business can, quite literally, hinge on bread-and-butter issues.

The bottom line: The untapped potential of investing to fight global hunger

Although addressing global  hunger is a wise investment, it’s one that isn’t being made. Countries with “crisis” levels of hunger face a 53 percent gap in hunger funding. Corporate giving to health and social services dropped 5 percent in 2022, and median international community investments decreased by 15 percent, according to CECP. Among the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, companies consistently report providing the least support for the objective to eradicate global hunger. 

Inaction is particularly unwise in an era when economic anxieties and the mass-class divide are eroding trust. The effect is sharply pronounced among those with lower incomes: In the U.S., for example, there is a 23-point gap in the levels of institutional trust among lower-income and higher-income groups. Lack of trust has a corrosive effect on society, dimming long-term economic prospects.

In other words, chronic inequality — a major driver of global hunger — is bad for business. Ending hunger is no longer about charity or even being “woke.” It is now essential to foster the kind of operating environment that is essential to business value and long-term success.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.triplepundit.com/story/2023/global-hunger-esg-issue/770221

Top 10 responsible investment brands remain European

2 04 2023

The European Union Flag. Photo: FundsEurope

By Funds Europe • Reposted: April 2, 2023

The top 10 firms in the 2023 Responsible Investment Brand Index (RIBI) continue to be European asset managers, according to the fifth edition of the global survey.

The research said these brands have solidified their position as ‘avant gardists’ – those with above-average ranking.

The top-ranked firm for 2023 is Candriam, followed in order by DPAM, Axa Investment Managers and Mirova.

Impax Asset Management, Ecofi Investissements, Schroders, Amundi, Robeco, and CPR Asset Management make up the remaining spots, respectively.

European firms held the top 10 spots in last year’s research and their base has since grown. Last year, these top 10 firms represented 24% of the industry. This has crept up to 28%.

As a region, Europe ex UK firms have an average RIBI score of 2.12 which had also increased from 2022 when this was 1.84. The latest score is well above the world average score of just below 1.9.

As a region, the UK has lagged, with an average score of 2.11. This has also increased from 1.72 in 2022, closing the gap with Europe.

North America is the biggest laggard, as a region, with an average score of below 1.7.

“The main challenge the financial industry needs to address remains its reputation – the necessity to establish long-term, trusted and mutually profitable relationships with multiple stakeholders,” says Jean-François Hirschel, co-founder of RIBI.

“With times staying uncertain yet RIBI demonstrating progress within the industry, there has perhaps never been a better time for asset managers to focus on the genuine identity they convey through their brand.”

The RIBI survey is based on an analysis of close to 600 asset managers around the world assessed on commitment and brand.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.funds-europe.com/news/top-10-responsible-investment-brands-remain-european

How the bottled water industry is masking the global water crisis

23 03 2023

Bottled water corporations exploit surface water and aquifers, buy water at a very low cost and sell it for 150 to 1,000 times more than the same unit of municipal tap water. Photo: Shutterstock

By Zeineb Bouhlel, Research Associate, Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), United Nations University and Vladimir Smakhtin, Former Director of the Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), United Nations University via The conversation • Reposted: March 23, 2023

Bottled water is one of the world’s most popular beverages, and its industry is making the most of it. Since the millennium, the world has advanced significantly towards the goal of safe water for all. In 2020, 74 per cent of humanity had access to safe water. This is 10 per cent more than two decades ago. But that still leaves two billion people without access to safe drinking water

Meanwhile, bottled water corporations exploit surface water and aquifers — typically at very low cost — and sell it for 150 to 1,000 times more than the same unit of municipal tap water. The price is often justified by offering the product as an absolute safe alternative to tap water. But bottled water is not immune to all contamination, considering that it rarely faces the rigorous public health and environmental regulations that public utility tap water does

In our recently published study, which studied 109 countries, it was concluded that the highly profitable and fast-growing bottled water industry is masking the failure of public systems to supply reliable drinking water for all.

The industry can undermine progress of safe-water projects, mostly in low- and middle-income countries, by distracting development efforts and redirecting attention to a less reliable, less affordable option.

Bottled water industry can disrupt SDGs

The fast-growing bottled water industry also impacts the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in many ways. 

A pile of plastic bottle waste.
The rising sales of global bottled water is contributing to plastic pollution on land and in the oceans. Photo: Shutterstock

The latest UN University report revealed that the annual sales of the global bottled water market is expected to double to US$500 billion worldwide this decade. This can increase stress in water-depleted areas while contributing to plastic pollution on land and in the oceans.

Growing faster than any other in the food category worldwide, the bottled water market is biggest in the Global South, with the Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin American and Caribbean regions accounting for 60 per cent of all sales.

But no region is on track to achieve universal access to safe water services, which is one of he SDG 2030 targets. In fact, the industry’s greatest impact seems to be its potential to stunt the progress of nations’ goals to provide its residents with equitable access to affordable drinking water.

Impact on vulnerable nations

In the Global North, bottled water is often perceived to be healthier and tastier than tap water. It is, therefore, more a luxury good than a necessity. Meanwhile, in the Global South, it is the lack or absence of reliable public water supply and water management infrastructure that drives bottled water markets. 

Therefore, in many low- and middle-income countries, particularly in the Asia Pacific, rising consumption of bottled water can be seen as a proxy indicator of decades of governments’ failure to deliver on commitments to safe public water systems.

A group of people fill water in their drums from a truck carrying municipal water.
The rising consumption of bottled water in some countries can be seen as a proxy indicator of decades of governments’ failure to deliver on commitments to safe public water systems. Photo: Shutterstock

This further widens the global disparity between the billions of people who lack access to reliable water services and the others that enjoy water as a luxury.

In 2016, the annual financing required to achieve a safe drinking water supply throughout the world was estimated to cost US$114 billion, which amounts to less than half of today’s roughly US$270 billion global annual bottled water sales. 

Regulating the bottled-water industry

Last year, the World Health Organization estimated that the current rate of progress needs to quadruple to meet the SDGs 2030 target. But this is a colossal challenge considering the competing financial priorities and the prevailing business-as-usual attitude in the water sector.

As the bottled water market grows, it is more important than ever to strengthen legislation that regulates the industry and its water quality standards. Such legislation can impact bottled water quality control, groundwater exploitation, land use, plastic waste management, carbon emissions, finance and transparency obligations, to mention a few.

Our report argues that, with global progress toward this target so far off-track, expansion of the bottled water market essentially works against making headway, or at least slows it down, adversely affecting investments and long-term public water infrastructure.

Some high-level initiatives, like an alliance of Global Investors for Sustainable Development, aim to scale up finance for the SDGs, including water-related ones. 

Such initiatives offer the bottled water sector an opportunity to become an active player in this process and help accelerate progress toward reliable water supply, particularly in the Global South.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://theconversation.com/how-the-bottled-water-industry-is-masking-the-global-water-crisis-201756

IPCC report: Climate solutions exist, but humanity has to break from the status quo and embrace innovation

21 03 2023

Image: Fotograf Sune Tølløse –

By Robert Lempert, Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School and Elisabeth Gilmore, Associate Professor of Climate Change, Technology and Policy, Carleton University via The Conversation * Reposted: March 21, 2023

It’s easy to feel pessimistic when scientists around the world are warning that climate change has advanced so far, it’s now inevitable that societies will either transform themselves or be transformed. But as two of the authors of a recent international climate report, we also see reason for optimism.

The latest reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, including the synthesis report released March 20, 2023, discuss changes ahead, but they also describe how existing solutions can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help people adjust to impacts of climate change that can’t be avoided.

The problem is that these solutions aren’t being deployed fast enough. In addition to pushback from industries, people’s fear of change has helped maintain the status quo. 

To slow climate change and adapt to the damage already underway, the world will have to shift how it generates and uses energy, transports people and goods, designs buildings and grows food. That starts with embracing innovation and change.

Fear of change can lead to worsening change

From the industrial revolution to the rise of social media, societies have undergone fundamental changes in how people live and understand their place in the world.

Some transformations are widely regarded as bad, including many of those connected to climate change. For example, about half the world’s coral reef ecosystems have died because of increasing heat and acidity in the oceans. Island nations like Kiribati and coastal communities, including in Louisiana and Alaska, are losing land into rising seas.Residents of the Pacific island nation of Kiribati describe the changes they’re experiencing as sea level rises.

Other transformations have had both good and bad effects. The industrial revolution vastly raised standards of living for many people, but it spawned inequality, social disruption and environmental destruction.

People often resist transformation because their fear of losing what they have is more powerful than knowing they might gain something better. Wanting to retain things as they are – known as status quo bias – explains all sorts of individual decisions, from sticking with incumbent politicians to not enrolling in retirement or health plans even when the alternatives may be rationally better. 

This effect may be even more pronounced for larger changes. In the past, delaying inevitable change has led to transformations that are unnecessarily harsh, such as the collapse of some 13th-century civilizations in what is now the U.S. Southwest. As more people experience the harms of climate change firsthand, they may begin to realize that transformation is inevitable and embrace new solutions.

A mix of good and bad

The IPCC reports make clear that the future inevitably involves more and larger climate-related transformations. The question is what the mix of good and bad will be in those transformations.

If countries allow greenhouse gas emissions to continue at a high rate and communities adapt only incrementally to the resulting climate change, the transformations will be mostly forced and mostly bad

For example, a riverside town might raise its levees as spring flooding worsens. At some point, as the scale of flooding increases, such adaptation hits its limits. The levees necessary to hold back the water may become too expensive or so intrusive that they undermine any benefit of living near the river. The community may wither away.

A person in a boat checks the river side of sandbag levee protecting a community during a flood.
Riverside communities often scramble to raise levees during floods, like this one in Louisiana.  Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The riverside community could also take a more deliberate and anticipatory approach to transformation. It might shift to higher ground, turn its riverfront into parkland while developing affordable housing for people who are displaced by the project, and collaborate with upstream communities to expand landscapes that capture floodwaters. Simultaneously, the community can shift to renewable energy and electrified transportation to help slow global warming.

Optimism resides in deliberate action

The IPCC reports include numerous examples that can help steer such positive transformation.

For example, renewable energy is now generally less expensive than fossil fuels, so a shift to clean energy can often save money. Communities can also be redesigned to better survive natural hazards through steps such as maintaining natural wildfire breaks and building homes to be less susceptible to burning.

Charts showing falling costs and rising adoption of clean energy.
Costs are falling for key forms of renewable energy and electric vehicle batteries. IPCC sixth assessment report

Land use and the design of infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, can be based on forward-looking climate information. Insurance pricing and corporate climate risk disclosures can help the public recognize hazards in the products they buy and companies they support as investors.

No one group can enact these changes alone. Everyone must be involved, including governments that can mandate and incentivize changes, businesses that often control decisions about greenhouse gas emissions, and citizens who can turn up the pressure on both.

Transformation is inevitable

Efforts to both adapt to and mitigate climate change have advanced substantially in the last five years, but not fast enough to prevent the transformations already underway.

Doing more to disrupt the status quo with proven solutions can help smooth these transformations and create a better future in the process.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://theconversation.com/ipcc-report-climate-solutions-exist-but-humanity-has-to-break-from-the-status-quo-and-embrace-innovation-202134

What ESG Issues Do Consumers Really Care About?

9 03 2023

Image credits: georgerudy/Adobe Stock and Glow

By Terry E. Cohen from triplepundit.com • Reposted: March 9, 2023

Research has more than made the case for linking environmental, social and governance 
(ESG) strategies to corporate profitability. What’s good for people and the planet does, indeed, benefit a company’s bottom line. The trickier part is determining what programs will yield the best results for the investment.

Some ESG pathways are easier to attain and measure direct results, such as cost reductions. But top-line market growth demands a greater understanding of customer wishes and perceptions of a company’s ESG efforts. Those expectations and priorities will differ by industry sector, as well as by geographies, cultures, and demographics like age and gender.

While studies and reports can point companies in the right direction with top-level overviews of trends and industry insights, real-time survey and data collection can dig deeper into what consumers prize in ESG efforts.

Measuring consumer ESG priorities across industries, brands and more

Glow, a research-technology business with offices in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, first started tracking what consumers think about ESG issues in relation to purchasing decisions over two years ago. It began with a field of approximately 40 issues that, through multiple research studies across three markets (U.S., U.K. and Australia), were then synthesized into 13 ESG drivers of consumer priorities and perceptions.

The process yielded a diagnostic tool called the Social Responsibility Score (SRS) that not only provides a number to tell a company how it is perceived in its ESG efforts, but also where it stands in its industry and against its competitors and why consumers score it that way.

For example, among food and grocery (F&G) companies in particular, three environmental drivers — reducing emissions, respecting natural resources, and protecting wildlife and ecosystems — ranked highest for importance among consumers, as shown below.

ESG issues that are important to consumers for food and grocery brands - graphic
The ESG drivers that matter most to consumers for the food and grocery sector. The longer the ‘wedge,’ the more important that driver is for the industry. (Click here to enlarge  

This isn’t to say social drivers like health and well-being aren’t important to F&G customers — they are. But understanding consumers’ top concerns at a given time can help companies prioritize, in terms of both programming and messaging successes. Communicating accomplishments in the areas that matter most to consumers can translate into customer loyalty as well as brand switching. 

On the other hand, if a brand and its competitors are all communicating about the same things, it can be harder to stand out. In cases like these, a brand may opt to lean into an area that isn’t as much of a focus for peers and competitors. Or, if it finds it’s under-performing compared to peers on key issues that matter to consumers, it may decide to invest more in those areas and communicate an improvement story. 

Listening to consumers via data capture enables this kind of decision-making, helping brands to get the most return on their ESG investments.

comparison of ESG risks and opportunities for two brands - graphic
ESG risks and opportunities for two anonymized F&G competitors from Australia. (Click to enlarge)

Take, for example, these two anonymized F&G competitors from Australia, shown above. Both brands mapped their SRS in relation to the industry benchmark (the green line). Brand A clearly outshines Brand B on virtually all of the 13 drivers. The achievement gap in the areas most important to consumers, such as “reducing emissions”  is substantial enough to be a significant opportunity for Brand A to message that success to customers hungry for guidance on where to invest their purchasing power. Meanwhile, Brand B can see where it’s progressing and where further investments can help it improve credibility. 

ESG drivers differ across industries 

What weighs heaviest on consumers’ minds will vary across industries. For example, Glow found that governance and social drivers are the biggest influences on ESG credentials in the health insurance industry in the U.S., as shown below. 

The ESG drivers that matter most to consumers for the health insurance sector - graphic 
The ESG drivers that matter most to consumers for the health insurance sector. The longer the ‘wedge,’ the more important that driver is for the industry. (Click here to enlarge)

In travel and tourism, on the other hand, U.S. customers view all three divisions of environmental, social and governance factors as important for the sector to address.

The ESG drivers that matter most to consumers for the travel and tourism sector - graphic
The ESG drivers that matter most to consumers for the travel and tourism sector. (Click here to enlarge)

In a balanced framework such as the latter, drilling further down into age, gender, geography, and competition among brands is vital to determine the focus for programs and messaging to avoid spreading investment and resources too thin.

Continuing to zero-in on what matters to who

Price and quality are typically the engines powering consumer choices, but business leaders may be surprised at how strong “sustainability” has become as a beacon to consumers looking for safe harbor for their purchasing dollars. 

This is especially true in the F&G sector — where 1 in 2 U.S. consumers have switched brandsbased on sustainability considerations, and 1 in 5  ranked ESG/sustainability as one of the top three drivers for deciding what brands to purchase, according to Glow data.

ESG issues that matter to consumers
(Click to enlarge

Diving deeper to look at age segmentation, millennials prized ESG/sustainability even higher, with 1 in 3 such consumers rating it as one of their top three considerations, behind price and quality. Further, 10 percent of millennials rated ESG/sustainability as the top influencer of their purchase decisions, even more than price and quality, Glow found.

These findings demonstrate the importance of ESG initiatives and messaging to any company’s bottom line. To fail in listening and responding to consumers in this regard is to surrender profits and reputation to competitors that are willing to leverage the feedback.

Data and surveys give a brand that feedback continuously since the measurements can be taken over set time periods, in connection with program launches or in tandem with media campaigns.

“The response from people taking these surveys is actually very clear. You can understand what it is that’s driving the consumer response and what’s driving the metric you receive,” said Tim Clover, CEO of Glow. “It allows you to line up the programs you’re running with the different areas and ask, ‘Are these the programs we should be communicating?’ If so, to whom do we communicate and through which media?”

Alignment of ESG programs with consumer expectations, coupled with alignment of messaging to bring about positive public perception of those programs, creates a winning combination for brands. 

The tools exist to know what ESG concerns consumers really care about. The decision to use those tools enables business leaders to enhance brand profitability while “doing the right thing.” 

This article series is sponsored by Glow and produced by the TriplePundit editorial team.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.triplepundit.com/story/2023/esg-consumers-care/768091

Investors Want More Information From Firms On ESG – Nuveen

9 02 2023

Image: Nuveen

From familywealthreport.com • Reposted: February 9, 2023

Nuveen, the investment manager of TIAA, has recently released its 7th Responsible Investing Survey, tracking US investors’ attitudes and behaviors regarding responsible investing. 

A new survey by Nuveen shows that three-quarters of US investors believe that ESG factors should always be part of the investing process.

According to the survey, more than 80 per cent of US investors also think that companies need to be more open in communicating the risks and opportunities that shape their standing as “responsible investments.”

Seventy-three per cent said they are more likely to invest in a company that shares its plans with investors for effectively managing those factors.

Investors’ demand for more ESG-related information from companies is paired with strong agreement that ESG investing now represents a core portfolio approach, the firm continued.

Nearly eight out of 10 respondents see responsible investing as a framework that incorporates material factors not typically accounted for in traditional financial analysis. Four in five agree that investors should view responsible investing as a long-term strategy – and 76 per cent say that factoring in RI risks and opportunities should always be part of the investment process.

Younger investors are particularly in tune with the fundamental value of responsible investing:  92 per cent of Gen Z and Millennial investors agree that related risks and opportunities always belong in the investment process, compared with just 68 per cent of Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers, the firm said.

The survey, which was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Nuveen, covered 1,003 adults aged 21 and over with at least $100,000 in investible assets between July and August 2022. It includes 573 investors who said they currently own funds managed according to principles of responsible investing – also known as ESG investing.

“Although many investors are interested in RI’s positive impact on society, in their minds the process of managing key ESG factors should also focus squarely on mitigating critical impediments to company performance,” said Amy O’Brien, global head of responsible investing.

According to the firm, about seven in 10 investors agree that having RI options in their retirement plan makes them feel good about working for their employer.  The sentiment is even stronger among Gen Z and Millennial investors: 95 per cent would feel good, compared with just 56 per cent of Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers.

“Responsible investing options are becoming a ‘must-have’ for corporate retirement plans, driven by strong participant interest in aligning investments with their values while tracking toward long-term financial goals,” said O’Brien. 

“Retirement plan sponsors who introduce RI options and offer education about the portfolio advantages clearly have an opportunity to build even greater appreciation and loyalty especially among employees who are early on in their careers,” she continued.

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.familywealthreport.com/article.php?id=196917#.Y-UeIS2cZMa

Newsweek publishes its list of America’s Most Responsible Companies for 2023

15 01 2023

America’s Most Responsible Companies 2023

In recent years, and especially with the rise in popularity of “ESG” (environment, social and corporate governance) focused investing, “corporate responsibility” has become a phrase many companies are happy to use in their advertising. There is no set definition but generally it is used as shorthand for “Our company is not a soulless machine designed to do absolutely anything–no matter how destructive, reckless or dishonest–in pursuit of a buck.” In any given case, it can be hard to tell whether such a statement means a corporation really tries to treat its customers, employees and planet decently or is just public relations blather. Talking the talk is easy, but walking the walk is hard.

To highlight those corporations that are actually serious about trying to be good guys, Newsweek has partnered with global research and data firm Statista for our fourth annual list of America’s Most Responsible Companies. This year our list includes 500 of the U.S’s largest public corporations. They vary dramatically by size and by industry. We found the largest number of responsible companies (55) in the materials and chemicals business; the fewest (12) in hotels, dining and leisure. Our overall number one this year is the computer hardware giant HP.

We are proud to present this year’s ranking and to honor companies that actually mean it when they say they are serious about being good corporate citizens.

RankCompanyHQ StateIndustry RankIndustryOverall ScoreEnvironmental ScoreSocial ScoreCorporate Governance Score
1HPCalifornia1Technology Hardware93.0994.9499.5184.93
2General MillsMinnesota1Consumer Goods91.7992.0686.8496.56
3Whirlpool CorporationMichigan2Consumer Goods91.5393.8385.2195.64
4Merck & CoNew Jersey1Health Care & Life Sciences89.9591.07100.0078.86
5CloroxCalifornia3Consumer Goods89.5694.6888.0886.03
6HNIIowa4Consumer Goods89.4096.2187.9284.15
7Applied MaterialsCalifornia2Technology Hardware89.1291.0289.6486.80
8IntelCalifornia3Technology Hardware88.9888.3092.5186.21
9S&P GlobalNew York1Financial88.8095.2371.27100.00
10TapestryNew York5Consumer Goods88.6991.6087.4287.14
11XylemDistrict of Columbia1Capital Goods88.6895.0277.2193.90
12Abbott LaboratoriesIllinois2Health Care & Life Sciences88.0389.8480.9293.40
13QualcommCalifornia4Technology Hardware87.7283.3583.7996.10
14Keysight TechnologiesCalifornia1Software & Telecommunications87.6889.8679.2194.08
15AptargroupIllinois1Materials & Chemicals87.6896.7888.2478.13
16Texas InstrumentsTexas5Technology Hardware87.3984.5795.1582.53
17MicrosoftWashington2Software & Telecommunications86.9798.7669.1193.14
18Estee Lauder CompaniesNew York6Consumer Goods86.6192.8581.3885.69
19Cisco SystemsCalifornia6Technology Hardware86.5599.5174.5585.70
20Advanced Micro DevicesCalifornia7Technology Hardware86.5293.9775.3790.30
21BroadcomCalifornia8Technology Hardware86.2981.9282.4294.61
22AvientOhio2Materials & Chemicals86.2791.0978.5389.28
23Sensata TechnologiesMassachusetts9Technology Hardware86.0386.7878.1793.23
24Owens CorningOhio3Materials & Chemicals85.8082.4179.8995.19
25CortevaIndiana4Materials & Chemicals85.7981.4080.3895.69
26NVIDIACalifornia10Technology Hardware85.6986.9484.0886.13
27IlluminaCalifornia3Health Care & Life Sciences85.5490.5893.3772.75
28Campbell SoupNew Jersey7Consumer Goods85.2591.9078.6085.34
29Boston PropertiesMassachusetts1Real Estate & Housing85.2399.3878.1378.29
30Analog DevicesMassachusetts11Technology Hardware85.0995.5972.4587.34
31LumentumCalifornia3Software & Telecommunications85.0393.0876.4785.63
32JacobsTexas1Professional Services84.9895.2179.3280.50
33Maxim Integrated ProductsCalifornia12Technology Hardware84.9591.5780.1883.20
34Hewlett Packard EnterpriseTexas13Technology Hardware84.8095.3083.1576.04
35CumminsIndiana1Automotive & Components84.6392.1478.1683.68
36Lear CorporationMichigan2Automotive & Components84.6291.8170.8091.34
37Edgewell Personal CareConnecticut8Consumer Goods84.5789.8977.3486.57
38PayPal HoldingsCalifornia2Financial84.3593.7569.9789.42
39Walt DisneyCalifornia1Hotels, Dining & Leisure84.2793.5776.4082.94
40MastercardNew York3Financial84.2096.2765.9090.52
42TrinseoPennsylvania5Materials & Chemicals84.0491.9977.8782.34
43United RentalsConnecticut2Professional Services83.7492.0981.6477.60
44Iron MountainMassachusetts4Software & Telecommunications83.7293.3572.5285.39
45Regeneron PharmaceuticalsNew York4Health Care & Life Sciences83.5685.0887.6977.98
46EcolabMinnesota6Materials & Chemicals83.5596.3884.5069.88
47Berry GlobalIndiana7Materials & Chemicals83.5190.2974.1286.20
48Sun CommunitiesMichigan2Real Estate & Housing83.4890.3674.0886.09
49Newmont GoldColorado8Materials & Chemicals83.4066.2194.6789.39
50Eversource EnergyMassachusetts1Energy & Utilities83.3094.1582.1973.66
51Vertex PharmaceuticalsMassachusetts5Health Care & Life Sciences83.2674.6191.8483.40
52SeagenWashington6Health Care & Life Sciences83.1884.0783.0682.48
53American TowerMassachusetts5Software & Telecommunications83.1287.1581.7480.56
54Lam ResearchCalifornia14Technology Hardware82.9992.9887.8868.22
55Granite ConstructionCalifornia2Capital Goods82.9883.9777.9187.15
56General MotorsMichigan3Automotive & Components82.9491.3468.2889.29
57CraneConnecticut9Materials & Chemicals82.7984.8177.9285.72
58IngevitySouth Carolina10Materials & Chemicals82.6372.5188.2187.23
59ZoetisNew Jersey7Health Care & Life Sciences82.6085.4177.7584.72
60Baxter InternationalIllinois8Health Care & Life Sciences82.5992.1780.8074.90
61Moody’sNew York5Financial82.5484.4471.1692.10
62Edwards LifesciencesCalifornia9Health Care & Life Sciences82.4986.8771.6389.05
63Lowe’s CompaniesNorth Carolina1Retail82.4091.2775.8880.12
64Public Service Enterprise GroupNew Jersey2Energy & Utilities82.3380.8381.8984.35
65Kimberly-ClarkTexas9Consumer Goods82.3079.5176.1491.33
66JabilFlorida15Technology Hardware82.1183.5273.9188.96
67Regency CentersFlorida3Real Estate & Housing82.0288.7677.3280.09
68Motorola SolutionsIllinois16Technology Hardware81.9990.4471.8883.74
69Keurig Dr PepperMassachusetts10Consumer Goods81.9888.0874.8683.09
70Dell TechnologiesTexas17Technology Hardware81.9392.2876.1377.47
71AGCOGeorgia3Capital Goods81.9275.6281.9988.23
72Las Vegas SandsNevada2Hotels, Dining & Leisure81.7687.3780.5277.47
73Waste ManagementTexas3Energy & Utilities81.6382.3684.3078.31
74Jones Lang LaSalleIllinois4Real Estate & Housing81.6384.2672.3188.39
75Western DigitalCalifornia18Technology Hardware81.5883.5683.1878.08
76Armstrong World IndustriesPennsylvania4Capital Goods81.4884.0278.0782.42
77RibbonTexas6Software & Telecommunications81.3982.5077.3184.44
79Principal Financial GroupIowa6Financial81.2183.4873.9486.29
80CaleresMissouri11Consumer Goods81.1481.3281.9880.19
81McCormick & CompanyMaryland12Consumer Goods81.0693.5983.2666.42
82Summit MaterialsColorado11Materials & Chemicals80.9883.8972.8786.26
83Kimball InternationalIndiana13Consumer Goods80.8989.7279.0574.01
84AdobeCalifornia7Software & Telecommunications80.8788.8171.9981.89
85AmphenolConnecticut19Technology Hardware80.8489.6773.7079.25
86Huntington BancsharesOhio7Financial80.8284.5079.2678.80
87Cadence Design SystemsCalifornia8Software & Telecommunications80.7963.7989.2289.41
88PPLPennsylvania4Energy & Utilities80.7868.5799.2874.55
89Ball CorpColorado12Materials & Chemicals80.6986.8479.9575.38
90EXL ServicesNew York3Professional Services80.6777.7272.0392.33
91Healthpeak PropertiesColorado5Real Estate & Housing80.5490.2874.8476.59
92Sherwin-WilliamsOhio13Materials & Chemicals80.4987.9970.0683.50
93Univar SolutionsIllinois14Materials & Chemicals80.4792.8262.6586.02
94American WaterNew Jersey5Energy & Utilities80.4374.2291.9475.22
95HasbroRhode Island14Consumer Goods80.4189.3785.2266.72
96AppleCalifornia20Technology Hardware80.2491.3763.0086.45
98Newell BrandsGeorgia15Consumer Goods80.0081.8872.4485.75
99DeereIllinois5Capital Goods80.0087.9387.4364.71
100ManpowerGroupWisconsin4Professional Services79.9393.0972.2774.53
101Agilent TechnologiesCalifornia10Health Care & Life Sciences79.9394.5264.9280.45
102Baker HughesTexas6Energy & Utilities79.8991.9077.3470.53
103American ExpressNew York8Financial79.8793.4664.7181.55
104PNC Financial ServicesPennsylvania9Financial79.8183.3278.9877.22
105Hudson Pacific PropertiesCalifornia6Real Estate & Housing79.7084.2175.6579.33
106First SolarArizona7Energy & Utilities79.6789.7873.5875.74
107Eastman ChemicalTennessee15Materials & Chemicals79.6668.3486.2484.48
108Mettler-Toledo InternationalOhio21Technology Hardware79.6188.1964.8185.91
109NielsenNew York5Professional Services79.5983.7174.1680.98
110HessNew York8Energy & Utilities79.5977.8881.7379.24
111Colgate-PalmoliveNew York16Consumer Goods79.5580.5474.8783.31
112CenterPoint EnergyTexas9Energy & Utilities79.5471.0192.3775.31
113CBRE GroupTexas7Real Estate & Housing79.5272.9977.7187.94
114PPG IndustriesPennsylvania16Materials & Chemicals79.4782.4077.5878.53
115Becton Dickinson andNew Jersey11Health Care & Life Sciences79.4688.5168.8681.09
116Carter’sGeorgia17Consumer Goods79.4188.6974.6774.98
117Verizon CommunicationsNew York9Software & Telecommunications79.3988.2073.2776.79
118UbiquitiNew York10Software & Telecommunications79.1683.5564.8389.18
119BorgWarnerMichigan4Automotive & Components79.0779.1178.4979.67
120PotlatchDelticWashington6Capital Goods79.0578.8472.5185.88
121M&T BankNew York10Financial79.0183.6570.1883.28
122W W GraingerIllinois7Capital Goods78.9576.6775.7484.51
123AutodeskCalifornia11Software & Telecommunications78.9484.1384.9667.82
124IBMNew York12Software & Telecommunications78.8780.9676.7878.93
125Howmet AerospacePennsylvania8Capital Goods78.8580.6369.0286.99
126Deckers OutdoorCalifornia18Consumer Goods78.8369.7382.8284.02
127California Water Service GroupCalifornia10Energy & Utilities78.7770.1489.8476.40
128Regal RexnordWisconsin9Capital Goods78.6793.1167.7375.26
129NasdaqNew York11Financial78.6776.0163.9996.08
130Micron TechnologyIdaho22Technology Hardware78.6480.3678.3077.34
131Zurn Elkay Water SolutionsWisconsin10Capital Goods78.5680.9676.5878.22
132Thermo Fisher ScientificMassachusetts12Health Care & Life Sciences78.5477.0372.5586.11
133CommScope Holding CompanyNorth Carolina23Technology Hardware78.4794.4267.5473.55
134Kraft HeinzIllinois19Consumer Goods78.4581.0870.6483.71
135FMCPennsylvania17Materials & Chemicals78.3885.0167.1283.09
136Tennant CompanyMinnesota11Capital Goods78.3767.7487.1180.34
137CSXFlorida1Transport & Logistics78.2684.6469.5880.65
138CelaneseTexas18Materials & Chemicals78.2669.3497.3568.16
139AZZTexas12Capital Goods78.2083.2765.9785.43
140IDEXX LaboratoriesMaine13Health Care & Life Sciences78.1975.7882.6276.26
142Williams CompaniesOklahoma11Energy & Utilities78.1766.1492.0376.41
143Emerson ElectricMissouri13Capital Goods78.1385.1172.7676.61
144Church & DwightNew Jersey20Consumer Goods78.0793.4472.0368.82
145Marriott InternationalMaryland3Hotels, Dining & Leisure78.0679.5581.8272.88
146SempraCalifornia12Energy & Utilities78.0565.6388.5680.02
148ValvolineKentucky5Automotive & Components77.9278.8972.4182.54
149Ingersoll RandNorth Carolina14Capital Goods77.8881.9666.9384.83
150UnitedHealth GroupMinnesota14Health Care & Life Sciences77.8891.8671.4470.43
151ViasatCalifornia13Software & Telecommunications77.8487.0373.7772.83
152The Home DepotGeorgia5Retail77.8078.6276.6378.25
153Host Hotels & ResortsMaryland4Hotels, Dining & Leisure77.7890.0668.7874.60
154Norfolk SouthernGeorgia2Transport & Logistics77.7782.8270.7979.77
155RepligenMassachusetts15Health Care & Life Sciences77.7676.5566.7190.08
156VisteonMichigan6Automotive & Components77.7492.0473.4267.87
157Yum! BrandsKentucky5Hotels, Dining & Leisure77.7191.5862.7778.88
158Lennox InternationalTexas15Capital Goods77.7189.8474.6668.70
159ServiceNowCalifornia14Software & Telecommunications77.6878.0168.5286.58
160Commercial Metals CompanyTexas19Materials & Chemicals77.6882.8070.4579.86
161Conagra BrandsIllinois21Consumer Goods77.6390.1369.8173.03
162WatersMassachusetts16Health Care & Life Sciences77.6392.6567.2673.06
163JPMorgan Chase & CoNew York13Financial77.6084.0163.4985.37
164AbbVieIllinois17Health Care & Life Sciences77.5584.3970.8377.52
165MetLifeNew York14Financial77.4881.3467.3283.87
166West Pharmaceutical ServicesPennsylvania18Health Care & Life Sciences77.4479.2469.2283.95
167California ResourcesCalifornia13Energy & Utilities77.2873.0283.6975.20
168DanaherDistrict of Columbia19Health Care & Life Sciences77.2269.8677.6584.23
169FedExTennessee3Transport & Logistics77.2173.6875.9582.08
170NordsonOhio16Capital Goods77.1570.8083.4177.30
171Bank of AmericaNorth Carolina15Financial77.1490.2969.7371.50
172USANA Health SciencesUtah22Consumer Goods77.0274.0575.4481.65
173LabcorpNorth Carolina20Health Care & Life Sciences76.9684.1170.4876.40
174TeradataCalifornia15Software & Telecommunications76.9578.6861.3190.94
175Best BuyMinnesota6Retail76.8892.5272.7665.45
176KennametalPennsylvania17Capital Goods76.8886.1673.5371.02
177Stanley Black & DeckerConnecticut18Capital Goods76.8792.6664.9073.14
178AlcoaPennsylvania20Materials & Chemicals76.8061.4381.7187.33
179KoppersPennsylvania20Materials & Chemicals76.8079.1880.9070.41
180United TherapeuticsMaryland21Health Care & Life Sciences76.7961.4583.9485.03
181PfizerNew York22Health Care & Life Sciences76.7673.3569.7887.21
182MascoMichigan19Capital Goods76.6975.3669.0985.71
183Kimco RealtyNew York8Real Estate & Housing76.6786.4085.3258.37
184Qurate Retail GroupPennsylvania7Retail76.5688.5571.5369.68
185OtisConnecticut20Capital Goods76.5075.2872.0382.26
186Organon & Co.New Jersey23Health Care & Life Sciences76.4376.6284.3168.44
187Reliance Worldwide CorporationGeorgia21Capital Goods76.3867.2675.2486.71
188Air Products and ChemicalsPennsylvania22Materials & Chemicals76.3778.0176.9974.18
189Fluor CorporationTexas22Capital Goods76.3380.7070.0378.34
190SPXNorth Carolina23Capital Goods76.3178.1471.9378.94
191Darling IngredientsTexas23Consumer Goods76.2971.3668.3489.25
192Insulet CorporationMassachusetts24Health Care & Life Sciences76.2479.8077.5771.45
193Essex Property TrustCalifornia9Real Estate & Housing76.1688.5471.3868.65
194Truist FinancialNorth Carolina16Financial76.1168.7882.0477.59
195AtkoreIllinois24Capital Goods76.1175.2667.0686.09
196Pioneer Natural ResourcesTexas14Energy & Utilities76.0982.8079.1966.36
197VMwareCalifornia16Software & Telecommunications75.99100.0045.9282.14
198Regions FinancialAlabama17Financial75.9773.1977.6677.14
199WorkdayCalifornia17Software & Telecommunications75.9778.8867.5281.59
200SnapCalifornia18Software & Telecommunications75.9271.2884.7771.77
201PVHNew York8Retail75.9088.6066.9772.21
202Fifth Third BankOhio18Financial75.8993.1970.2564.33
203InfineraCalifornia24Technology Hardware75.8981.9468.9976.82
204Kilroy RealtyCalifornia10Real Estate & Housing75.8788.9263.4275.36
205Watts Water TechnologiesMassachusetts25Capital Goods75.8380.2466.1581.17
206XeroxConnecticut25Technology Hardware75.8096.3862.4868.63
207PrudentialNew Jersey19Financial75.7881.0965.5580.79
208Digital Realty TrustTexas11Real Estate & Housing75.7780.9278.3968.09
209OnsemiArizona26Technology Hardware75.6885.9956.0785.06
210BizLinkCalifornia26Technology Hardware75.6880.8273.6572.64
211Brixmor Property GroupNew York12Real Estate & Housing75.6573.2787.6166.15
212APA CorpTexas15Energy & Utilities75.5964.6174.6387.61
213Tractor Supply Co.Tennessee9Retail75.5080.3677.1769.07
214Dover CorporationIllinois26Capital Goods75.4773.5368.8184.14
215Universal DisplayNew Jersey28Technology Hardware75.4474.9980.4770.93
216United Parcel ServiceGeorgia4Transport & Logistics75.4375.2074.2676.91
217DanaOhio7Automotive & Components75.4283.1170.3872.86
218MicrochipArizona29Technology Hardware75.4281.4764.4380.44
219Teledyne TechnologiesCalifornia30Technology Hardware75.4180.2369.8976.18
220Element SolutionsFlorida23Materials & Chemicals75.4086.7466.4673.09
221GXOConnecticut5Transport & Logistics75.3276.8379.6269.60
222Fortune BrandsIllinois24Consumer Goods75.2980.4671.9573.53
223Weatherford InternationalTexas16Energy & Utilities75.2570.3578.9876.48
224Federal Realty Investment TrustMaryland13Real Estate & Housing75.2186.3264.4174.97
225J M SmuckerOhio25Consumer Goods75.2086.3563.5275.81
226GlobalFoundriesNew York31Technology Hardware75.1688.6966.3570.52
227AT&TTexas19Software & Telecommunications75.1480.1672.3672.97
228General ElectricMassachusetts27Capital Goods75.1077.6370.3777.37
229HubbellConnecticut28Capital Goods75.0577.6369.0978.51
230VF CorporationColorado26Consumer Goods75.0584.5869.7670.88
231AvalonBay CommunitiesVirginia14Real Estate & Housing74.8392.1467.1165.32
232Vornado Realty TrustNew York15Real Estate & Housing74.7990.4362.6971.34
233Crown HoldingsPennsylvania24Materials & Chemicals74.7774.3063.9286.16
234VirtusaMassachusetts20Software & Telecommunications74.6789.4864.0370.59
235CintasOhio27Consumer Goods74.6075.7168.6479.53
236State StreetMassachusetts20Financial74.5988.5853.6481.63
237Public StorageCalifornia16Real Estate & Housing74.5186.4770.0167.14
238GreifOhio25Materials & Chemicals74.4487.0258.1678.23
239Pacific Premier BancorpCalifornia21Financial74.3783.9369.6469.63
240Helmerich & PayneOklahoma17Energy & Utilities74.3667.6873.1382.34
241Salesforce.ComCalifornia21Software & Telecommunications74.2778.9671.6672.28
242LPL FinancialCalifornia22Financial74.2681.8669.4571.54
243Comfort Systems USATexas29Capital Goods74.2277.0668.9976.69
244Realty IncomeCalifornia17Real Estate & Housing74.2070.2089.5862.89
245National Energy Services ReunitedTexas18Energy & Utilities74.1979.0066.0877.58
246AlbemarleNorth Carolina26Materials & Chemicals74.1970.5883.9368.13
247Crown CastleTexas22Software & Telecommunications74.1571.8972.7077.93
248Arista NetworksCalifornia23Software & Telecommunications74.0576.5065.1080.64
249Quaker HoughtonPennsylvania27Materials & Chemicals74.0375.3460.0586.78
250ADMIllinois28Consumer Goods73.9780.6072.9668.45
251BungeMissouri29Consumer Goods73.9188.1567.9065.76
253SBAFlorida24Software & Telecommunications73.8767.9566.8286.92
254Hormel FoodsMinnesota30Consumer Goods73.8779.3283.4558.93
255VentasIllinois18Real Estate & Housing73.8171.8170.4579.24
256SpireMissouri19Energy & Utilities73.7964.7785.2471.43
257TimkenOhio30Capital Goods73.7780.5271.7069.18
258Bank of New York MellonNew York24Financial73.7687.9265.3868.07
259Omnicom GroupNew York6Professional Services73.7471.8971.3378.07
260ItronWashington7Professional Services73.7380.4068.4372.44
261Phibro Animal HealthNew Jersey25Health Care & Life Sciences73.7271.0669.6280.55
262Constellation Energy CorporationMaryland20Energy & Utilities73.7064.2985.6671.20
263Juniper NetworksCalifornia32Technology Hardware73.6767.2974.1679.62
264Cirrus LogicTexas33Technology Hardware73.6463.0473.1784.78
265Adtalem Global EducationIllinois8Professional Services73.6377.2271.7771.99
266TeradyneMassachusetts34Technology Hardware73.6079.6349.8891.39
267ABM IndustriesNew York9Professional Services73.6056.9877.1186.77
268CoupaCalifornia25Software & Telecommunications73.5673.9065.7181.15
269Allison TransmissionIndiana31Capital Goods73.5180.6664.3275.63
270MacerichCalifornia19Real Estate & Housing73.5090.0356.9173.64
271Illinois Tool WorksIllinois32Capital Goods73.4482.9468.8368.64
272Kosmos EnergyTexas21Energy & Utilities73.4270.5580.3569.43
273TPI CompositesArizona33Capital Goods73.4273.5382.3564.43
274Knowles CorporationIllinois35Technology Hardware73.4087.2468.2964.75
275TJX CompaniesMassachusetts10Retail73.3773.7766.6679.75
276Avanos MedicalGeorgia26Health Care & Life Sciences73.3676.4873.2370.45
277AMETEKPennsylvania36Technology Hardware73.2686.1570.6663.07
278Tanger Factory Outlet CentersNorth Carolina20Real Estate & Housing73.2583.3574.9861.52
279Cooper-Standard HoldingsMichigan8Automotive & Components73.1190.4672.4156.55
280NiSourceIndiana22Energy & Utilities73.0871.7076.5471.06
281American Axle & Manufacturing HoldingsMichigan9Automotive & Components73.0478.0465.5275.64
282HalliburtonTexas23Energy & Utilities73.0374.0671.4973.63
283Helen of TroyTexas31Consumer Goods73.0079.4579.5360.11
284NetAppCalifornia26Software & Telecommunications72.9667.8260.0091.13
285ResMedCalifornia27Health Care & Life Sciences72.9374.9067.8876.08
286Alliant EnergyWisconsin24Energy & Utilities72.9369.0886.6563.12
287Hilton Worldwide HoldingsVirginia6Hotels, Dining & Leisure72.9275.4267.5775.85
288CatalentNew Jersey28Health Care & Life Sciences72.9281.3068.6368.90
289WestrockGeorgia28Materials & Chemicals72.9064.8270.8183.14
290CarrierFlorida34Capital Goods72.8780.9272.6465.13
291Expeditors International of WashingtonWashington6Transport & Logistics72.8480.8076.3261.48
292GenArizona27Software & Telecommunications72.8061.3167.4189.73
293Mueller Water ProductsGeorgia35Capital Goods72.7974.3470.8073.31
294CaterpillarIllinois36Capital Goods72.7276.5862.0679.62
295Green PlainsNebraska29Materials & Chemicals72.7161.1875.0781.94
296XPO LogisticsConnecticut7Transport & Logistics72.7067.6672.5877.94
297Equity ResidentialIllinois21Real Estate & Housing72.6684.7065.6467.73
298AramarkPennsylvania7Hotels, Dining & Leisure72.6274.9968.8774.06
299Alphabet (Google)California28Software & Telecommunications72.5388.9359.5069.25
301Ormat TechnologiesNevada25Energy & Utilities72.4970.3171.2875.96
302MattelCalifornia32Consumer Goods72.4480.9270.7965.71
303Hecla MiningIdaho30Materials & Chemicals72.3977.5158.8980.84
305Simpson Manufacturing CompanyCalifornia37Capital Goods72.3668.7477.9370.49
306Compass Minerals InternationalKansas31Materials & Chemicals72.3263.9873.7279.33
307Charles River LaboratoriesMassachusetts29Health Care & Life Sciences72.3177.8374.3264.86
308Graphic PackagingGeorgia32Materials & Chemicals72.3069.0072.9974.98
309GrafTech InternationalOhio38Capital Goods72.2670.2871.3475.22
311OshkoshWisconsin10Automotive & Components72.2083.5370.9362.21
312Kansas City SouthernMissouri8Transport & Logistics72.1158.9979.0978.29
313IPGNew York10Professional Services72.1074.3160.2081.88
314HubSpotMassachusetts29Software & Telecommunications72.0979.3851.3685.62
315Goodyear Tire & Rubber CoOhio11Automotive & Components72.0679.6970.6565.93
316Kelly ServicesMichigan11Professional Services72.0270.5775.1170.46
317SimsNew York33Materials & Chemicals71.9781.0564.9969.95
318BalchemNew York34Materials & Chemicals71.9358.1568.0289.68
319CotyNew York33Consumer Goods71.9083.4272.7559.62
320KratonTexas35Materials & Chemicals71.9071.6470.9873.15
321DXC TechnologyVirginia12Professional Services71.8677.4565.6872.54
322Worthington IndustriesOhio36Materials & Chemicals71.8387.7054.7373.14
323SanminaCalifornia37Technology Hardware71.7779.0754.6081.73
324Scotts Miracle-GroOhio37Materials & Chemicals71.7677.4169.0068.94
325NOVTexas26Energy & Utilities71.7569.2375.8570.23
326Columbus McKinnonNew York39Capital Goods71.6990.9464.4559.76
327U.S. SilicaTexas38Materials & Chemicals71.5673.6580.8960.23
328SynopsysCalifornia30Software & Telecommunications71.5169.4463.5281.63
329AECOMTexas13Professional Services71.4655.0880.0879.28
330UnifiNorth Carolina39Materials & Chemicals71.4573.5064.8876.06
331FortiveWashington40Capital Goods71.4256.8962.7694.67
332Schlumberger NVTexas27Energy & Utilities71.4284.8871.9357.52
333Masonite InternationalFlorida41Capital Goods71.4077.2967.4469.54
334HologicMassachusetts30Health Care & Life Sciences71.3870.3058.1185.80
335Pactiv EvergreenIllinois40Materials & Chemicals71.3672.1170.5271.53
336ICFVirginia14Professional Services71.2284.3973.1056.25
337HanesbrandsNorth Carolina34Consumer Goods71.1585.8364.2263.47
338Empire State Reality TrustNew York22Real Estate & Housing71.1280.4452.8180.20
339Union PacificNebraska9Transport & Logistics71.1083.6955.9673.75
340Williams-SonomaCalifornia35Consumer Goods71.0663.2870.1679.80
341National InstrumentsTexas31Software & Telecommunications71.0477.7867.1768.26
342KLA CorporationCalifornia38Technology Hardware71.0440.0677.7295.39
343GartnerConnecticut15Professional Services71.0258.9667.9186.23
344Mid-America Apartment CommunitiesTennessee23Real Estate & Housing71.0085.7553.1574.19
345SteelcaseMichigan36Consumer Goods70.9987.8962.9462.22
346Molson Coors BrewingIllinois37Consumer Goods70.9683.2866.6763.00
347C.H. RobinsonMinnesota10Transport & Logistics70.8964.1975.6572.90
348AkamaiMassachusetts32Software & Telecommunications70.8877.9350.3984.42
349IntuitiveCalifornia31Health Care & Life Sciences70.8862.6377.8572.21
350Packaging Corporation of AmericaIllinois41Materials & Chemicals70.8563.8565.4783.28
351Ralph LaurenNew York38Consumer Goods70.8592.1149.9770.55
352ZendeskCalifornia33Software & Telecommunications70.7365.3467.8779.04
353Silicon LabsTexas39Technology Hardware70.6688.8970.4152.78
354SL Green RealtyNew York24Real Estate & Housing70.6578.4054.9478.70
355Dick’s Sporting GoodsPennsylvania12Retail70.6471.5162.0178.47
356MSA SafetyPennsylvania16Professional Services70.5083.2967.3360.97
357Global PaymentsGeorgia27Financial70.4884.1558.5168.87
358Murphy USAArkansas13Retail70.4463.6471.9975.76
359EntergyLouisiana28Energy & Utilities70.3844.9998.1568.05
360Essential UtilitiesPennsylvania29Energy & Utilities70.3780.1873.4057.61
361Howard HughesTexas25Real Estate & Housing70.2874.9562.1073.86
362Palo Alto NetworksCalifornia34Software & Telecommunications70.2377.1267.2466.41
363ONEOKOklahoma30Energy & Utilities70.2363.8073.1373.83
364Dominion EnergyVirginia31Energy & Utilities70.2150.7387.5672.38
365BrunswickIllinois42Capital Goods70.1865.2564.7780.60
366CF Industries HoldingsIllinois42Materials & Chemicals70.1745.3973.1292.05
367Marsh McLennanNew York17Professional Services70.1157.7364.8387.81
368Bread FinancialOhio28Financial70.0769.0667.2174.01
369Merit Medical SystemsUtah32Health Care & Life Sciences70.0762.3472.2875.64
370PerkinElmerMassachusetts33Health Care & Life Sciences70.0562.7565.4082.08
371Sonoco ProductsSouth Carolina43Materials & Chemicals70.0585.3860.1264.73
372GoDaddyArizona35Software & Telecommunications70.0471.3853.7785.03
373Ziff DavisNew York36Software & Telecommunications70.0254.4768.7386.90
374GenthermMichigan12Automotive & Components70.0177.0562.8670.19
375FormFactorCalifornia40Technology Hardware69.9579.3250.3680.26
376The Cheesecake FactoryCalifornia8Hotels, Dining & Leisure69.9383.3349.5676.98
377Skywork SolutionsCalifornia41Technology Hardware69.9271.8969.8868.06
378AmedisysLouisiana34Health Care & Life Sciences69.8967.7575.1566.82
379Booz Allen HamiltonVirginia18Professional Services69.8756.4771.2981.91
380Polaris Inc.Minnesota13Automotive & Components69.8481.8366.5961.19
381UDRColorado26Real Estate & Housing69.8481.7060.6467.26
382TextronRhode Island43Capital Goods69.8180.6164.9963.92
383Brown-FormanKentucky39Consumer Goods69.8164.3957.9787.12
384KB HomeCalifornia27Real Estate & Housing69.7757.1975.4076.77
385Sensient TechnologiesWisconsin44Materials & Chemicals69.7468.5562.2778.46
386Winnebago IndustriesIowa14Automotive & Components69.6861.4457.2490.41
387BurlingtonNew Jersey14Retail69.6191.2860.2457.40
388Dentsply SironaNorth Carolina35Health Care & Life Sciences69.6081.1476.7151.02
389TimkenSteelOhio45Materials & Chemicals69.5568.2965.2575.20
390SunPowerCalifornia32Energy & Utilities69.5170.8779.4458.30
392Meritage HomesArizona28Real Estate & Housing69.4247.7165.0695.55
393EnerSysPennsylvania42Technology Hardware69.4077.9848.7781.53
394Harley-DavidsonWisconsin15Automotive & Components69.3478.1165.6864.31
395TerexConnecticut44Capital Goods69.3167.0876.0564.87
396Cabot MicroelectronicsIllinois43Technology Hardware69.3084.1169.3554.52
397Clearway EnergyNew Jersey33Energy & Utilities69.2878.6468.7860.48
398DTE EnergyMichigan34Energy & Utilities69.1556.6079.6771.23
399Franklin ElectricIndiana44Technology Hardware69.1374.7869.1963.49
400Corporate Office Properties TrustMaryland29Real Estate & Housing69.0277.0368.9161.19
401ManitowocWisconsin45Capital Goods68.9963.3271.2872.42
402MPLX LPOhio35Energy & Utilities68.9861.1965.1180.69
403H&R BlockMissouri19Professional Services68.9768.0668.1270.80
404Xcel EnergyMinnesota36Energy & Utilities68.9253.4978.7574.58
405Ameriprise FinancialMinnesota30Financial68.9162.6852.9491.19
406AMN Healthcare ServicesTexas36Health Care & Life Sciences68.8966.5768.7671.40
407T. Rowe PriceMaryland31Financial68.8970.4367.5368.78
408T-MobileWashington37Software & Telecommunications68.8392.8549.8763.88
409Lumen TechnologiesLouisiana38Software & Telecommunications68.7774.7466.6165.04
410Renewable Energy GroupIowa37Energy & Utilities68.7682.8078.4145.16
411Iridium CommunicationsVirginia39Software & Telecommunications68.7481.0251.4673.82
412BlackbaudSouth Carolina40Software & Telecommunications68.6279.1352.7474.06
413Sunstone Hotel InvestorsCalifornia30Real Estate & Housing68.5575.4964.4365.81
414Gates Industrial CorporationColorado46Capital Goods68.5269.1775.1461.34
415Thor IndustriesIndiana16Automotive & Components68.4672.1859.2074.07
416International Flavors & FragrancesNew York46Materials & Chemicals68.4474.9265.5264.94
417PrologisCalifornia31Real Estate & Housing68.4069.6468.5867.06
418EquinixCalifornia41Software & Telecommunications68.3963.8266.8674.55
419Vistra EnergyTexas38Energy & Utilities68.3857.1580.4567.60
420CrestwoodTexas39Energy & Utilities68.3259.9883.3261.72
421AlnylamMassachusetts37Health Care & Life Sciences68.3276.4169.0659.56
422CeridianMinnesota42Software & Telecommunications68.2978.1463.8362.97
423LittelfuseIllinois45Technology Hardware68.2578.9469.8956.00
424Brinker InternationalTexas9Hotels, Dining & Leisure68.2479.2956.0769.43
425Hersha Hospitality TrustPennsylvania32Real Estate & Housing68.1385.6756.0062.82
426AARIllinois11Transport & Logistics68.1269.4850.9983.97
427Nextera EnergyFlorida40Energy & Utilities68.1256.4883.8964.05
428Tyler TechnologiesTexas43Software & Telecommunications68.0679.9661.0663.23
429NorthWestern EnergySouth Dakota41Energy & Utilities68.0452.9480.9970.26
430Roper TechnologiesFlorida46Technology Hardware68.0158.0065.8680.22
431Lincoln NationalPennsylvania32Financial68.0087.9367.0949.08
432Automatic Data ProcessingNew Jersey44Software & Telecommunications67.9960.5661.0282.44
433Taylor MorrisonArizona33Real Estate & Housing67.9832.6480.9490.39
434IPG PhotonicsNew York47Technology Hardware67.9859.5366.0678.40
435Western MidstreamTexas42Energy & Utilities67.9653.4465.6984.82
436Hawaiian Electric IndustriesHawaii43Energy & Utilities67.8653.0882.3768.19
437WESCO InternationalPennsylvania12Transport & Logistics67.8572.4870.4060.73
438DolbyCalifornia45Software & Telecommunications67.8452.0070.0781.50
439Southwest AirlinesTexas13Transport & Logistics67.7366.8361.8774.56
440CallawayCalifornia40Consumer Goods67.7260.1968.0674.96
441Alamo GroupTexas14Transport & Logistics67.7078.1860.7564.24
442Cooper TiresOhio17Automotive & Components67.6972.6964.0866.37
443KadantMassachusetts48Technology Hardware67.6869.8752.9180.33
444WolfspeedNorth Carolina48Technology Hardware67.6881.2265.2856.61
445EnphaseCalifornia50Technology Hardware67.6762.9572.2367.90
446CohuCalifornia51Technology Hardware67.6465.3662.1275.52
447Sprouts Farmers MarketArizona15Retail67.6368.2662.3972.32
448Monolithic Power SystemsWashington52Technology Hardware67.6162.2665.6075.04
449FISFlorida46Software & Telecommunications67.5070.3852.6479.55
450Sleep NumberMinnesota16Retail67.5070.3760.6671.53
451Synchrony FinancialConnecticut33Financial67.4459.8277.3965.17
452Paramount GlobalNew York10Hotels, Dining & Leisure67.3964.3068.4469.48
453Henry ScheinNew York38Health Care & Life Sciences67.3565.0661.0676.00
455LiventPennsylvania47Materials & Chemicals67.2773.7766.6761.45
456Carlisle CompaniesArizona48Materials & Chemicals67.1666.9453.4681.15
457Cooper CompaniesCalifornia39Health Care & Life Sciences67.1650.5872.9677.98
458VeecoNew York53Technology Hardware67.1586.5244.8870.13
459O-IOhio49Materials & Chemicals67.1149.8077.2974.29
460Sealed AirNorth Carolina50Materials & Chemicals67.0768.6460.1972.44
461Cornerstone Building BrandsNorth Carolina47Capital Goods67.0675.4965.0060.79
462Pebblebrook Hotel TrustMaryland11Hotels, Dining & Leisure67.0679.5763.7157.99
463GibraltarNew York48Capital Goods67.0566.8474.2260.18
464Varex ImagingUtah40Health Care & Life Sciences66.9969.4466.6464.95
465NRG EnergyTexas44Energy & Utilities66.9549.3072.1679.44
466FiservWisconsin47Software & Telecommunications66.8957.6066.2776.88
467HawkinsMinnesota51Materials & Chemicals66.7464.9661.3074.03
468Rogers CorporationArizona52Materials & Chemicals66.7173.9864.0062.22
469HF SinclaorTexas45Energy & Utilities66.6476.6574.4248.93
470MDU ResourcesNorth Dakota45Energy & Utilities66.6444.7584.9870.23
471National VisionGeorgia17Retail66.5955.1959.0585.60
472TransUnionIllinois20Professional Services66.5883.0254.3762.45
473Paramount GroupNew York34Real Estate & Housing66.5268.0054.8976.73
474Citrix SystemsFlorida48Software & Telecommunications66.4359.4351.1388.79
475ANSYSPennsylvania48Software & Telecommunications66.4369.5962.4567.31
476IntuitCalifornia50Software & Telecommunications66.4071.1659.2468.87
477SwitchNevada54Technology Hardware66.3664.5966.9667.59
478VeritivGeorgia53Materials & Chemicals66.2549.4673.4075.95
479HarscoPennsylvania21Professional Services66.2360.2174.3264.22
480Cabot CorporationMassachusetts54Materials & Chemicals66.2165.1971.1162.39
481The HanoverMassachusetts35Financial66.1968.5657.9972.09
482Americold Realty TrustGeorgia35Real Estate & Housing66.1875.8271.6751.13
483CentennialColorado47Energy & Utilities66.1750.3371.0177.23
484American Homes 4 RentCalifornia36Real Estate & Housing66.1260.8074.1163.49
485Equitrans MidstreamPennsylvania48Energy & Utilities66.1156.5579.7362.11
486Avis Budget GroupNew Jersey22Professional Services66.0962.7165.9069.73
487The Container StoreTexas18Retail66.0677.3550.8570.06
488Advanced Drainage SystemsOhio49Energy & Utilities66.0668.0863.5466.64
489QTSKansas37Real Estate & Housing66.0662.2269.3366.69
490Devon EnergyOklahoma50Energy & Utilities65.9365.3867.5664.92
491Installed Building ProductsOhio23Professional Services65.9251.8769.2176.73
492WabtecPennsylvania15Transport & Logistics65.9260.0368.9468.84
493Caesars EntertainmentNevada12Hotels, Dining & Leisure65.8983.1651.2763.31
494Array TechnologiesNew Mexico51Energy & Utilities65.8869.1360.8567.73
495New Jersey ResourcesNew Jersey52Energy & Utilities65.7756.2966.1674.92
496Range ResourcesTexas53Energy & Utilities65.7657.8876.6862.78
497Hostess BrandsKansas41Consumer Goods65.6858.0368.5770.52
498Kontoor BrandsNorth Carolina42Consumer Goods65.6154.3360.6681.90
499Greenbrier CompaniesOregon16Transport & Logistics65.6064.8867.5764.42

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If your company was listed in the ranking, click here to learn more about the licensing options.METHODOLOGY

THE RANKING AMERICA’S MOST RESPONSIBLE Companies 2023 focuses on a holistic view of corporate responsibility that considers all three pillars of ESG: environment, social and corporate governance. 
In total, 500 companies were identified as America’s Most Responsible Companies.The initial analysis focused on the top 2000 public companies by revenue and banks and insurance companies with total assets exceeding $50 billion. 

The analysis is based on two metrics:
1. Quantitative data from KPI (key performance indicator) research: More than 30 KPIs from the three areas of CSR (corporate social responsibility) were considered for the ranking.
2. The CSR reputation of each company from an extensive survey of 13,000 U.S. residents: Respondents were asked to select companies familiar to them and then to evaluate the company’s CSR performance in general and in the three sub-dimensions: social, environmental and governance.

  Visit our rankings portal 

he selection of the companies and the definition of the evaluation criteria were carried out according to independent journalistic criteria of Newsweek and Statista. The evaluation was carried out by the statistics and market research company Statista. Newsweek and Statista make no claim to the completeness of the companies examined.
The ranking is composed exclusively of U.S. companies that are eligible regarding the criteria described here. A position in the ranking is a positive recognition based on research of publicly available data sources at the time, the information provided in the validation survey and an extensive survey of U.S. residents. The ranking is the result of an elaborate process which, due to the interval of data-collection and analysis, is a reflection of official ESG data from 2020 or 2021. Furthermore, events following November 3, 2022 were not a subject of this survey. As such, the results of this ranking should not be used as the sole source of information for future deliberations. The information provided in this ranking should be considered in conjunction with other available information. The quality of companies that are not included in the ranking is not disputed. For a complete methodology see newsweek.com/amrc-2023 

ewsweek and Statista make no claim to the completeness of the companies examined.
The ranking is composed exclusively of U.S. companies that are eligible regarding the criteria described here. A position in the ranking is a positive recognition based on research of publicly available data sources at the time, the information provided in the validation survey and an extensive survey of U.S. residents. The ranking is the result of an elaborate process which, due to the interval of data-collection and analysis, is a reflection of official ESG data from 2020 or 2021. Furthermore, events following November 3, 2022 were not a subject of this survey. As such, the results of this ranking should not be used as the sole source of information for future deliberations. The information provided in this ranking should be considered in conjunction with other available information. The quality of companies that are not included in the ranking is not disputed. For a complete methodology see newsweek.com/amrc-2023 

Conservation International: Nature Is Speaking. And She’s Not Happy.

8 10 2014

“Nature doesn’t need people, people need nature.” 

In a series of short films debuting this week for Conservation International, Hollywood celebrities and advertising legend Lee Clow of TWBA Media Arts Lab lend a hand to raise awareness of the importance of protecting, preserving and nurturing the environment – for the good of mankind.

Narrated by various leading actors including Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford, Robert Redford, Ed Norton, Robert Redford, Penelope Cruz, Kevin Spacey, and Ian Somerhalder, each film highlights some aspect of the natural world and represents its point of view about the relationship with humanity.

Ford serves on the Conservation International Board of Directors and has been involved with the non-profit for twenty years.  He called on his celebrity friends to lend their voices to this important campaign.

In commenting on the campaign, Clow told Fast Company’s Co-Create:  “Like so many things right now in our culture and politics, everything seems so polarized that the two extreme ends are the loudest and everyone else in the middle is getting tired and sick of nobody being able to solve anything. That was the hope for this is to be a balanced message that everyone could get on board with.”

The films include the #NatureIsSpeaking hashtag the CI team is encouraging social media discussion with Twitter handles for each of the films’ subjects (@MotherNature_CI, @Ocean_CI, @Rainforest_CI, @Soil_CI, @Water_CI, @Redwood_CI, @CoralReef_CI).

HP, sponsor of the #NatureIsSpeaking hashtag will donate $1 to Conservation International, for every social media mention, up to $1 million.


Brandkarma: A new Global Reputation System for Brands

7 03 2014

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“Brands often fall short of their potential to do good – reputation without responsibility. Brandkarma will change that.”

Upendra Shardanand, founder Daylife

Welcome Brandkarma.com – the first social community that will rate and review brands ability to do good in the world.

Consumer research has repeatedly demonstrated that people expect businesses to operate responsibly and to contribute to positive change in the world.  Many people say that if brands fail to operate responsibly, they will stop purchasing the products that the brand provides.

Brandkarma.com was launched to empower consumers to better translate those beliefs into action.  Brandkarma.com allows consumers to see brands holistically – not only the quality of their products but the brand behaviors toward their employees, their community and the planet at large.

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visit brand karma.com here

CCC: Enhanced Reputation Key Goal of CSR Efforts.

17 01 2014

CSRNew reports cites increased funding, senior leadership appointments, management engagement and reputation enhancement goals for corporate citizenship.  The Center for Corporate Citizenship has released its The Profile of the Practice 2013.  The report explores how the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) dimensions of business—corporate citizenship—are managed in today’s business world, and how these practices have evolved since the last report in 2010.

“Corporate citizenship is managed at higher levels, corporate citizenship leaders are better compensated, and more companies establish both board committees and official budgeted departments to manage their programs,” said Katherine Smith, Executive Director, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship said in a statement. “These are all signs that CSR continues to be more deeply embedded in business as more executives realize that positive environmental, social and governance measures correlate to positive financial performance, improved reputation, and solid risk management.”

Among the key findings in the survey:

  • More than 70% of companies cited enhanced reputation among the top three business goals they are trying to achieve through their corporate citizenship efforts. The next most frequently cited goals are improving employee retention (45%), improving employee recruitment (41%), attracting new customers (33%), and improving risk management (22%).
  • The chief executive is more involved in developing strategy, setting goals, and communicating corporate citizenship than reported in both 2008 and 2010. More than 25% indicate that their chief executive is highly involved in corporate citizenship program evaluation.
  • Almost 100% of companies have a corporate citizenship budget today, while just 81% reported being budgeted in 2010.
  • Almost 60% of companies have an executive leading corporate citizenship. This is a 74% increase over what was reported in 2010. Close to one-third of corporate citizenship leaders are within one level of the chief executive.

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The survey was conducted in the Fall of 2013 of 231 companies  and their corporate citizenship strategies, operational structures, and business practices were analyzed. 

About the Center for Corporate Citizenship

The Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College is a membership-based knowledge center. Founded in 1985, the Center has a history of leadership in corporate citizenship research and education. The Center engages more than 400 member companies and more than 10,000 individuals annually to share knowledge and expertise about the practice of corporate citizenship through the Center’s professional development programs, online community, regional programs, and annual conference. The Center is a GRI-Certified Training Partner. For more information, visit the Center’s website at www.BCCorporateCitizenship.org.




National Research Council: Abrupt, near-term impacts to rival dinosaur extinction

10 12 2013

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With little fanfare and a noticeable lack of press coverage, the National Research Council released its report:  Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises last week.  The 200 page report suggests that a wave of species extinctions rivaling the dinosaurs’ demise might well be coming within the century — and that the time has come to set up early warning systems to detect this and other imminent climate catastrophes.

One of the authors, Anthony Barnosky, made this comment on the report:  “Our report focuses on abrupt change, that is, things that happen within a few years to decades: basically, over short enough time scales that young people living today would see the societal impacts brought on by faster-than-normal planetary changes.”

The study was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, U.S. intelligence community and the National Academies, which is made up of The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine and National Research Council.

Abrupt Changes Already Underway

Some of the abrupt changes are already taking place, according to the report.

  • The disappearance of late-summer sea ice in the Arctic, with predictions that it may be gone entirely within decades, which “would have potentially large and irreversible effects of various components of the Arctic East Coast system including disruptions in the marine food web, shifts and habitats of summary mammals, and erosion of vulnerable coastlines.”

Because the Arctic region interacts with a large-scale circulation systems of the ocean and atmosphere, changes in the extent of sea ice could cause shifts in climate and weather around the northern hemisphere. The Arctic is also region of increasing economic importance for diverse range of stakeholders, and reductions in Arctic sea ice will bring new legal and political challenges this navigation routes for commercial shipping open and marine access to the region increases for offshore oil and gas development, tourism, fishing and other activities.

  • Rapidly increasing extinction of plant and animal species at a rate already “probably as fast as any warming event in the past 65 million years, and it is projected that its pace over the next 30 to 80 years will continue to be faster and more intense.”   The report cites the following scenarios for species extinction.

If unchecked, habitat destruction, fragmentation, and over-exploitation, even without climate change, could result in a mass extinction within the next few centuries equivalent in magnitude to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. With the ongoing pressures of climate change, comparable levels of extinction conceivably could occur before the year 2100; indeed, some models show a crash of coral reefs from climate change alone as early as 2060 under certain scenarios.

  • Destabilization of the west Antarctic ice sheet, an “abrupt change of unknown probability,” carries the threat of sea-level rise “at a rate several times faster than those observed today. “

Early Warning System 

In the face of these threats, the report urges development of an Abrupt Change Early Warning System (ACEWS) to closely monitor signals of tipping points drawing near, digest the data and feed it into the best predictive models that can be developed.   “We watch our streets, we watch our banks,” the report’s chief author, climatologist James White of the University of Colorado at Boulder, told the Los Angeles Times. “But we do not watch our environment with the same amount of care and zeal.”  In a press statement releasing the report, Mr. White said “The time has come for us to quit talking and take action.  Right now we don’t know what many of these thresholds are.  But with better information, we will be able to anticipate some major changes before they occur and help reduce the potential consequences.”

The executive summary of the report concludes with this rather dire warning:

“Although there is much to learn about climate change and abrupt impacts, to willingly ignore the threat of abrupt change could lead to more costs, loss of life, suffering and environmental degradation.  The time is here to be serious about the threat of the tipping points so as to better anticipate and prepare ourselves for the inevitable surprises.”

Project Sunlight: Unilever’s Call To Action For Sustainable Living

21 11 2013

Unilever has launched  a worldwide new initiative to motivate millions of people to adopt more sustainable lifestyles.  Launched yesterday on Universal Children’s Day in Brazil, India, Indonesia, the UK and the US, Project Sunlight aims to make sustainable living desirable and achievable by inspiring people, and in particular parents, to join what Unilever sees as a growing community of people who want to make the world a better place for children and future generations.

Project Sunlight was launched with the four-minute film embedded here and created by DAVID Latin America and Ogilvy & Mather London at dawn on November 20th in Indonesia and then follow the sun to India, the UK, Brazil and the US. Additional information can be found at an online hub – www.projectsunlight.com – which brings together the social mission stories of Unilever’s brands across the world, and invites consumers to get involved in doing small things that help their own families, others around the world and the planet.

To mark the launch of Project Sunlight on Universal Children’s Day, Unilever will be helping 2 million children through its ongoing partnerships, providing school meals through the World Food Programme; supporting Save the Children to provide clean, safe drinking water; and improved hygiene through UNICEF.

Ogilvy & Mather Chairman and CEO Miles Young, explains: “Unilever asked us to find a new way to talk about sustainability that would make the benefits real for ordinary people. Project Sunlight is founded on the principle that even small actions can make a big difference and that together, we can create a brighter future.  We are honored to be a part of such a positive and significant movement for the good of our client and our communities.”  Famed film director Erroll Morris directed “Why bring a child into this world?” including moving interviews with expectant parents from around the world.

The project draws on the legacy of Unilever’s founder Lord Leverhulme, who believed that he could change the world with a brand of soap he called Sunlight.

Kudos to Unilever, Ogilvy, DAVID and everyone involved in this important initiative that hits at the heart of the matter: if we can’t work to improve living conditions on our precious planet, how dare you bring a child into this world.

Survey Shows Weak Collaboration Around Sustainability In Companies

11 11 2013


BSR/GlobeScan of 700+ corporate sustainability executives in companies worldwide shows decreasing levels of collaboration between sustainability functions and other core corporate functions.

Survey respondents note a lower level, and decreasing, engagement between sustainability functions and corporate functions, such as investor relations (with 37 percent of those surveyed saying they engage with investor relations, down 1 point from 2011), human resources (34 percent, down 3 points), R&D (32 percent, down 9 points), marketing (28 percent, down 14 points).  The weakest area of engagement is between corporate sustainability and finance at 16 percent, down 2 points from 2011.  Unless greater collaboration is made in this area, the business case for sustainability and its potential positive impact on financial performance will be very difficult to make.

“The trend toward weaker engagement between sustainability functions and core functions such as finance, marketing, HR, investor relations, and R&D, is concerning.” Chris Coulter, CEO at GlobeScan, noted, “Not only is engagement limited with these strategic areas, but collaboration between them and sustainability teams has declined—in some cases by a significant margin. While there is a clear need for external collaboration, there is an equally important case to be made for greater internal collaboration.”

Additional topline findings from this survey include:

  • When asked to choose which sustainability issues need collaboration the most, climate change and public policy frameworks promoting sustainability are ranked highest.
  • Only one in five companies has fully integrated sustainability into business.
  • Engagement between sustainability functions and corporate functions such as marketing, R&D, and finance remains very low.
  • Collaboration by BSR member companies focuses more often on engagement with NGOs and other businesses than it does on engagement with government.

Fewer companies collaborate often with governments (46 percent) or media (27 percent), both of which are rated as the most difficult partners for collaboration.

21 percent report that their company is close to full integration. A majority say that their company is either about halfway to integration (51 percent), or is just getting started (22 percent).

“The survey reveals both the sense of urgency to address climate change, and the sense that meaningful progress goes well beyond the steps a single company can take,” observed Aron Cramer, President and CEO of BSR.  “No one sector—not business, government, civil society, or consumers—can ‘save us’ from climate change.



One Year After Sandy: Companies Push White House On Climate Action Plan

29 10 2013


20 leading corporations – including Starbucks, Levis, Unilever and Mars -call on President Obama to follow through on climate change preparedness efforts outlined in the Climate Action Plan announced by the President on June 25th.

The corporate signatories of the letter, which rely on the stability of global supply chains for growth and profitability, cited the economic impacts of severe weather events on company operations and called for ongoing and significant investments to be made in strengthening climate change resiliency both in the United States and the world’s most vulnerable countries. Many of the signatories are members of Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy – a group of businesses advocating for meaningful energy and climate legislation.

Critical components of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan included federal investments in climate science, and support for disaster planning and risk management in multiple sectors. On the anniversary of one of the most catastrophic weather events in history, the companies reiterated the need for federal funding of programs and projects that benefit the most vulnerable communities and the businesses they rely on for employment, products and services.

“Our businesses depend upon a resilient infrastructure, resilient communities, and resilient value chains,” the companies wrote in a letter to President Obama today. “In recent years, severe weather events, combined with rising temperatures, have devastated critical infrastructure, decreased crop yields, and threatened water supplies. These trends are being felt globally… We call upon your administration to follow through on commitments for robust support of climate change resilience efforts.”

“Public investment in climate resilience is critical to the economic viability of companies we invest in that rely on consumers, labor, raw materials, and operations located in regions susceptible to extreme weather,” said Bennett Freeman, SVP for Sustainability Research and Policy at Calvert Investments. “We applaud the U.S. government for making investments in resilience and hope to see this strengthened in future years.”

“Extreme weather trends pose challenges to managing reliable supply chains and business planning,” said Anna Walker, Senior Director, Government Affairs and Public Policy at Levi Strauss & Co. “While Levi Strauss & Co. is committed to addressing its climate impact, we believe U.S. government leadership is essential for widespread action on climate resilience to strengthen communities and minimize economic disruption.”

The signatories recognized the Obama Administration’s efforts thus far to address climate change, and expressed support for public and private sector collaboration to continue advancing the implementation of the Climate Action Plan.

“The human and economic costs of severe weather are escalating and it is increasingly important that business and communities integrate climate risk into their operational and decision-making processes,” said Mark Way, Head of Sustainability Americas at Swiss Re America. “As experts on risk, everything we see points to the fact that climate change is something we simply cannot ignore.”

The Aspirational Consumer: 2.5 Billion People Redefining Responsible Consumption

8 10 2013


A new global consumer study confirms the rise of nearly 2.5 billion consumers globally who are uniting style, social status and sustainability values to redefine consumption.

According to the report by BBMG, GlobeScan and SustainAbility : The 2013 Aspirational Consumer Index – more than one-third of consumers globally (36.4%) identify as Aspirationals, defined by their love of shopping (78%), desire for responsible consumption (92%) and their trust in brands to act in the best interest of society (58%). The study draws from a telephone and in-person survey of more than 21,000 consumers across 21 international markets conducted in April 2013.


According to Eric Whan, Sustainability Director at GlobeScan, “Aspirationals are materialists who define themselves in part through brands and yet they believe they have a responsibility to purchase products that are good for the environment and society.  By engaging Aspirational consumers, brands can further the shift toward more sustainable consumption and influence behavior change at scale.”

Key characteristics of Aspirational consumers include:

  • Trust in Brands: Nearly six in ten Aspirational consumers globally say they “trust global companies to act in the best interest of society” (58%), compared with 52% of all consumers;
  • Seek Style and Status: Three-fourths of Aspirational consumers say “I want to stand out by the way I look, my style” (73%), compared to 53% of all consumers;
  • Positive Influencers: Nearly nine in ten Aspirational consumers say “I encourage others to buy from socially and environmentally responsible companies” (88%), compared to 63% of all consumers;
  • Empowered Shoppers: Nearly eight in ten Aspirational consumers say “shopping for new things excites me” (78%), compared to 48% of all consumers, and believe they “can change how a company behaves based on my purchase decisions” (78%), compared with 66% of all consumers;
  • Responsible Consumers: Nine in ten Aspirational consumers say “I believe we need to consume less to preserve the environment for future generations” (92%), compared to 75% of all consumers, and that they are “willing to pay more for products produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way” (91%) compared to 64% of all consumers;
  • Young and Urban: Demographically, Aspirational consumers make up the largest percentage of Millennial (40%) and GenX (37%) generations, compared to 32% and 33% in the general population, respectively, and nearly six and ten (59%) live in cities; and
  • Strength in Emerging Markets: Countries with the largest populations of Aspirational consumers include China (46%), Nigeria (45%), Pakistan (44%), India (42%), Australia (41%), Canada (40%), Indonesia (38%), Greece (37%), France (36%), USA (36%), Turkey (35%) and the UK (34%).

“Driven by young, optimistic consumers in emerging markets and amplified by technology and social media’s influence, Aspirationals represent a powerful shift in sustainable consumption from obligation to desire,” said Raphael Bemporad, co-founder and chief strategy officer at brand innovation consultancy BBMG. “With Aspirationals, the sustainability proposition has changed from being the ‘right thing to do’ to being the ‘cool thing to do,’ and brands have a profound opportunity to harness sustainable design and societal values to inspire the next generation of commerce and create positive impact in the world.”

“For decades, green marketers have been speaking to the wrong consumers, assuming that by engaging the most committed ‘advocates’ we would create significant business growth, cultural relevance and change at scale,” Bemporad added. “What makes Aspirationals so compelling is that they combine an authentic commitment to sustainability with a love of shopping, design and social status, aligning economic, cultural and social forces to shift the way we shop.”

“With 2.5 billion consumers worldwide, Aspirationals offer an important opportunity to redefine sustainable consumption,” said Mark Lee, Executive Director at SustainAbility. “Like never before, brands can engage Aspirationals to pioneer new models and practices that can deliver economic growth while reducing negative impacts on the environment.”


Read the original press release on CSR Wire.

Stay or Stall? Great Lakes Oil Shipping On Hold….For Now.

24 09 2013

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This week it was announced that a proposed crude oil shipping terminal on Lake Superior has been put on hold.   The proposed terminal would have shipped crude oil from the Bakken fields in North Dakota to be loaded onto oil tankers to be shipped to the East Coast.  As preposterous as this idea was in the first place, public pressure needs to be raised and continued to ensure that this proposal never comes up again.  Be it feasible or not.

Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, was quoted in an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune:   “It was one of those things that was a trial balloon being floated out there.  Economically, I don’t know if it really makes sense to move crude oil on the Great Lakes given the current conditions. It’s more efficient to move it by rail and pipeline.”

Thank god.  But economic conditions change and this idea needs to be permanently put to bed through public pressure and legislation.  There is much more at stake than economics.

Consider the Facts:

The Great Lakes make up the largest body of fresh water on Earth.

The Great Lakes contain one fifth of the freshwater surface on the planet, some 6 quadrillion gallons and 5,500 cubic miles of water.

The United States draws more than 40 billion gallons of water from the Great Lakes every day.

More than 35 million people rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water.

The Great Lakes support a $7 billion fishery industry and $16 billion tourism industry.

More than 800 toxic contaminants have already been identified in the Great Lakes water and sediment.

Even with these facts in hand, oil thirsty prospectors would consider shipping oil across this precious freshwater resource.   Many, many people would be thirsty if this plan goes ahead and inevitably awry.

Dangerous Waters

The combination of severe storms and unpredictable underwater topography make the Great Lakes on of the most dangerous bodies of water for navigation in the world.  The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum approximates 6,000 ships have been lost – while historian and mariner Mark Thompson has estimated that the total number of wrecks is likely more than 25,000. In the modern period between 1816, when the Invincible was lost, to the sinking of the Fitzgerald in 1975, the Whitefish Point area alone has claimed at least 240 ships.  Proposed oil tankers necessarily would sail past Whitefish Point on Lake Superior from the terminal in Superior, Wisconsin to the Soo Locks.

What We Learned In Alaska

Wildlife, economies and people are still recovering from the devastating natural and economic disaster from a single wreck of the oil tanker Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound in Alaska.  It is considered to be one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters. The Valdez spill was the largest ever in US waters until the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in terms of volume.  Prince William Sound’s remote location, accessible only by helicopter, plane, or boat, made government and industry response efforts difficult and severely taxed existing plans for response.   Many parts of the Great Lakes are equally inaccessible.

In 1991, following the collapse of the local marine population (particularly clams, herring, and seals) the Chugach Alaska Corporation, filed for bankruptcy protection. It has since recovered. According to several studies funded by the state of Alaska, the spill had both short-term and long-term economic effects. These included the loss of sports fisheries, reduced tourism, and an estimate of what economists call “existence value“, which is the value to the public of a pristine Prince William Sound.  The economy of the city of Cordova, Alaska was adversely affected after the spill damaged stocks of fish in the area. Several residents, including one former mayor, committed suicide after the spill.

But the disaster that was the Exxon Valdez happened in salt water.  People don’t drink salt water.


 Share this article with any Great Lakes residents and lovers that you know.  Write your Congressman.  Start your own campaign.  If you are concerned about your future and the future of your family, please get engaged to prevent crude oil shipping on the Great Lakes.

United Nations: CEOs say sustainability less important.

24 09 2013


In a massive new study which interviewed 1,000 CEOs around the world, The United Nations and Accenture report that only 32% of CEOs believe the global economy is on track to meet the demands of a growing population within global environmental and resource constraints.  Alarmingly, the number of CEOs of saying that sustainability is “very important” to their business success dropped to 45%, a decline from 54% just three years ago.

The third United Nations Global Compact – Accenture CEO Study On Sustainability 2013 points to CEOs concern about an uncertain global economic climate as directly impacting the urgency of addressing sustainable business operations.  Despite the report that 63% of CEOs expect sustainability to transform their business within five years – and 76% believe that embedding sustainability into core business will drive revenue growth and new opportunities – many struggle with market expectations, investor pressure and the difficulty of measuring the business value of sustainability.

The report demonstrates how the world’s CEOs are conflicted on the extent to which they believe that business is making sufficient efforts to address sustainability. with 33% agreeing business is making the acceptable effort, while 38% disagree.  See the report chart below:


In an executive summary of the CEO survey, the authors conclude:

“CEOs clearly recognize the scale of the global challenge—but may not yet see the urgency or the incentive for their own businesses to do more and to have a greater impact. This disconnect suggests that a gap persists between the approach to sustainability of the majority of companies globally—an approach centered on philanthropy, compliance, mitigation and the license to operate—and the approach being adopted by leading companies, focused on innovation, growth and new sources of value.”

Other key findings in the report include:

  • 83% of CEOs see an increase in efforts by governments and policy makers to provide an enabling environment for the private sector as integral to advancing sustainability.
  • 85% of CEOs demand clearer policy and market signals to support green growth.
  • Only 29% of CEOs regard climate change as one of the most important sustainability challenges for the future of their business
  • And just 14% regard water sanitation as an important issue for their business to address.

Clearly the lack of progress on the global economy and the failure of governments and regulators to provide consistent sustainability frameworks are holding back CEOs from focusing their full attention on the long-term issues of sustainability and threatened natural resources.  As the report highlights, more urgency is needed:

“As business leaders across the world come together this year to set out an architecture to align business action with global priorities, there is a clear and unequivocal call for greater ambition, greater speed and greater impact.”

– United Nations Global Compact

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Carbon Trust: 2/3 of public unable to name businesses that take sustainability seriously.

23 09 2013


In a recent survey of more than 1,800 adults in the United Kingdom, The Carbon Trust Fund found that 68% of people were unable to name a company that is taking sustainability seriously.

In addition, just 5% of respondents see businesses as being most effective in helping the environment.  Despite the significant efforts many companies across the world are making to turn their business operations to more responsible and sustainable entities, the UK study underscores how poorly those companies are communicating their actions.

According to Tom Delay, the chief executive of Carbon Trust:

“While it’s clear that consumers still care about the environmental future, their perspective on where the responsibility falls is skewed. It cannot be solely down to environmental groups to shoulder the weight of protecting our planet’s natural resources. Businesses have an enormous role to play here and need to be seen to be doing their part.  As businesses look for more ways to grow, sustainability should become a golden opportunity for investment, allowing them to become more resilient to future environmental resource shocks and to cut their costs and grow their revenues. The smart companies will invest now and put sustainability inside their businesses.”

The same survey of UK adults did have some encouraging signs regarding concern for the environment.   The demand for green products appears to be increasing with only 6% saying they are less likely to buy a sustainable product and/or service than five years ago while almost three in ten (27%) said they are more likely.   Increased concern about the personal impact of what they buy on the environment was the most important reason for this (45%) and 43% of the public surveyed said they lead a more sustainable life than five years ago.

CDP Report: World’s Largest Companies Doing Little On Climate Change

17 09 2013


“As countries around the world seek economic growth, strong employment and safe environments, corporations have a unique responsibility to deliver that growth in a way that uses natural resources wisely. The opportunity is enormous and it is the only growth worth having.” – Paul Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, CDP

Fifty of the 500 largest listed companies in the world are responsible for nearly three quarters of the group’s 3.6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, so finds the CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 released this week. The carbon emitted by these 50 highest emitting companies, which primarily operate in the energy, materials and utilities sectors, has risen 1.65% to 2.54 billion metric tons over the past four years.

The report is co-written by CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, and professional services firm PwC. It provides the most authoritative evaluation of corporate progress on climate change.

Inadequate momentum to mitigate climate change is also true of the biggest emitters found in each of the ten sectors covered in the report. Titled Sector insights: what is driving climate change action in the world’s largest companies, the new publication includes industry-specific analysis which shows that the five highest emitting companies from each sector have seen their emissions increase by an average of 2.3% since 2009.

Guardian Sustainable Business offered a biting analysis of the report, concluding companies are making little progress in addressing climate change.

“For all the talk of companies taking the threat of climate change seriously, the latest evidence shows the corporate sector is failing to respond in a meaningful way to the threat of environmental catastrophe,” wrote GSB’s Jo Confino.

Paul Simpson, CEO at CDP says: “Many countries are demonstrating signs of recovery following the global economic downturn. However, clear scientific evidence and increasingly severe weather events are sending strong signals that we must pursue routes to economic prosperity whilst reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. It is imperative that big emitters improve their performance in this regard and governments provide more incentives to make this happen.” 

While the biggest emitters present the greatest opportunity for large-scale change, the report identifies opportunities for all Global 500 companies to help build resilience to climate and policy shocks by significantly reducing the amount of carbon dioxide they produce each year. For example, the emissions from nearly half (47%) of the most carbon intensive activities that companies identify across their value chains are yet to be measured. The lack of detailed reporting and information of GHGs from sources related to company activities (Scope 3 emissions), as opposed to those from sources owned or directly controlled by them, may lead companies to underestimate their full carbon impact.

Malcolm Preston, global lead, sustainability and climate change, PwC says: “The report underlines how customers, suppliers, employees, governments and society in general are becoming more demanding of business. It raises questions for some organizations about whether they are focused on sustaining growth in the long term, or just doing enough to recover growth until the next issue arises. With the initial IPCC report only weeks away corporate emissions are still rising. Either business action increases, or the risk is regulation overtakes them.”

Companies that demonstrate a strong commitment to managing their impact on the environment are generating improved financial and environmental results. Analysis of the corporations leading on climate progress, as based on CDP’s acclaimed methodology and including BMW, Nestlé and Cisco Systems, suggests that they generate superior stock performance. Further, the businesses that offer employees monetary incentives related to energy consumption and carbon emissions are 18% more successful at accomplishing reductions.

The CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 is available to download free. It launches this week at CDP’s annual Global Climate Forum which is broadcast live online. The public disclosures of climate change information from Global 500 companies taking part in CDP this year are also available on the CDP website. Over 4,500 businesses in markets around the world have disclosed through CDP this year. Their data will be disseminated to investors via various channels, such as Bloomberg terminals, where it is downloaded an average of 1 million times every six weeks.

Read the CDP Report here

Adapted from an original article at Sustainable Industries blog here

Made Movement: Buy 5% more American made products for 1 million jobs

20 08 2013

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Alex Bogusky, our old friend – reformed advertising creative director turned consumer advocate, has launched a new campaign for the Made Movement challenging Americans to buy 5% more American made products.  The result of the Made Movement 5% pledge will yield one million jobs for Americans.

Bogusky has created a video explaining the campaign and asks viewers to share the video with two people.  You can watch the Million Jobs Project video here.

According to an article in USA Today, Bogusky says “there’s hippie value now to Made in America.  Red, white and blue are the new green.”  But he cautions in the video, “Sometimes, even if you think a brand is American, even if there’s an American flag on the package, it might not be made here.  You have to pay attention.”

You can read the full article in USA Today here.

USA Today: Ad guru attacks outsourcing, seeks to save jobs