Can sustainability save capitalism?

March 30, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Can sustainability save capitalism? Joel Makower Tue, 03/30/2021 – 02:11 My inbox and bookshelf have been groaning lately under the heft of some weighty books, essays and reports heralding a kinder, gentler era for capitalism. This idea isn’t exactly new. For years — decades, even — there has been a steady stream of visions and proposals aimed at, variously, reforming, rethinking, reimagining, reinventing, redefining and rebooting the operating system that drives capitalist economies. For most of those years, those visions and proposals were relegated to a relatively small group of academics and activists toiling in a world unto themselves. Few were taken seriously outside those circles. But it’s a different time. The conversation is growing, and not just among those selfsame insiders. It has broadened to include global business groups, investors, entrepreneurs and even some big-company CEOs, who believe that many of the woes facing the world — and especially the planet — can be linked directly to capitalism’s excesses. And that it may be time for a rethink. To be sure, few of these individuals and organizations are advocating for a sharp turn to socialism, communism or any other alternative-ism. Indeed, many claim to be diehard capitalists. And there’s a clear appreciation of the role capitalism has played in advancing food production, healthcare, transportation, industrial productivity and other quality-of-life aspects of our 21st-century world. For years, there has been a steady stream of visions aimed at reforming, rethinking, reimagining, reinventing, redefining and rebooting the operating system that drives capitalist economies. There is also a growing understanding that these advances haven’t been spread equitably — that vast swaths of the global economy lack adequate food, healthcare, housing, work, education and other basic human needs. And that while many at the lower rungs of the economic ladder are slowly moving up, those on the upper rungs are moving up much, much faster. Enter the alternatives: stakeholder capitalism; inclusive capitalism; regenerative capitalism; responsible capitalism; and probably a few others. Each has a slightly different take but a similar goal: to ensure that capitalistic economies and companies lift all boats and consider the interests of a broad range of stakeholders and interests, including the environment. Why now? I probably needn’t recite the current litany of global challenges — just peruse the 17 Sustainable Development Goals , perhaps the most comprehensive inventory of what needs to change or improve. The past year has laid bare a number of global and local problems and inequities, many of which were hiding in plain sight — most lately, the inequitable distribution of vaccines to combat the global pandemic, overwhelmingly favoring wealthier countries and populations, and growing “more grotesque every day,” according to World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. It’s become clear that the current system works only for a relatively small slice of humanity, and that the planet and vast populations are suffering as a result. Biblical proportions Amidst all this, the sustainability agenda has continued to gain steam, including recognition by heads of state, corporate chieftains, religious leaders and others of the urgency of addressing the climate crisis, the biodiversity crisis, the hunger crisis and the healthcare crisis, among others. Today, the notion of providing a universal basic income, wiping out poverty, protecting human rights, ensuring clean water and sanitation and mitigating climate change are no longer seen as do-good fantasies. They are viewed as moral and economic imperatives for living gracefully on a planet inexorably creeping its way toward 10 billion human inhabitants. As I said, there is no shortage of ideas. Both the World Economic Forum (WEF) and The Conference Board have weighed in with their Davos Manifesto and Purpose of a Corporation treatises. BSR has advocated Creating a 21st-Century Social Contract . The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is focused on Reinventing Capitalism . Perhaps most intriguing of all is the new Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican , which describes itself as “a movement of the world’s business and public sector leaders who are working to build a more inclusive, sustainable and trusted economic system.” The group, whose global membership includes dozens of corporate CEOs and board chairs, launched in December but its roots emanate from the publication of Laudato si’ , Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on climate change. The pope’s emissary on the council is Cardinal Peter Turkson, who heads the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development at the Vatican. According to the council’s launch press release, its emergence “signifies the urgency of joining moral and market imperatives to reform capitalism into a powerful force for the good of humanity.” (We’ll host a keynote conversation with the council’s leadership at next month’s GreenFin 21  event.) The council, which is partnering with WEF and WBCSD, among others, aims to be the “convener of conversation,” as one of its leaders described to me, and intends to encourage CEOs to make public commitments about sustainability and social purpose. The business execs share a mission to “harness the private sector to create a more inclusive, sustainable and trusted economic system,” according to the council’s website . It remains to be seen whether the pope’s influential voice can help transform today’s capitalist model, or merely encourages companies to continue to make commitments already within their comfort zone. And what kind of pushback will the council encounter? Will the Vatican find itself in a standoff of biblical proportions with some of the world’s largest companies and investors? It will be fascinating to watch where this goes. What’s significant is that all of these efforts to tame capitalism’s worst impulses stem from the basic tenets of sustainability — full-spectrum sustainability, that is, not just the environmental stuff: That economies, and the companies and institutions that drive them, must ensure that their benefits extend broadly and deeply through society, and that they promote the well-being and prosperity of all living systems and species, human and not. I invite you to follow me on Twitter , subscribe to my Monday morning newsletter, GreenBuzz , and listen to GreenBiz 350 , my weekly podcast, co-hosted with Heather Clancy. Pull Quote For years, there has been a steady stream of visions aimed at reforming, rethinking, reimagining, reinventing, redefining and rebooting the operating system that drives capitalist economies. Topics Finance & Investing Featured Column Two Steps Forward Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off GreenBiz photocollage, via Shutterstock

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Can sustainability save capitalism?

Can sustainability save capitalism?

March 30, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Can sustainability save capitalism? Joel Makower Tue, 03/30/2021 – 02:11 My inbox and bookshelf have been groaning lately under the heft of some weighty books, essays and reports heralding a kinder, gentler era for capitalism. This idea isn’t exactly new. For years — decades, even — there has been a steady stream of visions and proposals aimed at, variously, reforming, rethinking, reimagining, reinventing, redefining and rebooting the operating system that drives capitalist economies. For most of those years, those visions and proposals were relegated to a relatively small group of academics and activists toiling in a world unto themselves. Few were taken seriously outside those circles. But it’s a different time. The conversation is growing, and not just among those selfsame insiders. It has broadened to include global business groups, investors, entrepreneurs and even some big-company CEOs, who believe that many of the woes facing the world — and especially the planet — can be linked directly to capitalism’s excesses. And that it may be time for a rethink. To be sure, few of these individuals and organizations are advocating for a sharp turn to socialism, communism or any other alternative-ism. Indeed, many claim to be diehard capitalists. And there’s a clear appreciation of the role capitalism has played in advancing food production, healthcare, transportation, industrial productivity and other quality-of-life aspects of our 21st-century world. For years, there has been a steady stream of visions aimed at reforming, rethinking, reimagining, reinventing, redefining and rebooting the operating system that drives capitalist economies. There is also a growing understanding that these advances haven’t been spread equitably — that vast swaths of the global economy lack adequate food, healthcare, housing, work, education and other basic human needs. And that while many at the lower rungs of the economic ladder are slowly moving up, those on the upper rungs are moving up much, much faster. Enter the alternatives: stakeholder capitalism; inclusive capitalism; regenerative capitalism; responsible capitalism; and probably a few others. Each has a slightly different take but a similar goal: to ensure that capitalistic economies and companies lift all boats and consider the interests of a broad range of stakeholders and interests, including the environment. Why now? I probably needn’t recite the current litany of global challenges — just peruse the 17 Sustainable Development Goals , perhaps the most comprehensive inventory of what needs to change or improve. The past year has laid bare a number of global and local problems and inequities, many of which were hiding in plain sight — most lately, the inequitable distribution of vaccines to combat the global pandemic, overwhelmingly favoring wealthier countries and populations, and growing “more grotesque every day,” according to World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. It’s become clear that the current system works only for a relatively small slice of humanity, and that the planet and vast populations are suffering as a result. Biblical proportions Amidst all this, the sustainability agenda has continued to gain steam, including recognition by heads of state, corporate chieftains, religious leaders and others of the urgency of addressing the climate crisis, the biodiversity crisis, the hunger crisis and the healthcare crisis, among others. Today, the notion of providing a universal basic income, wiping out poverty, protecting human rights, ensuring clean water and sanitation and mitigating climate change are no longer seen as do-good fantasies. They are viewed as moral and economic imperatives for living gracefully on a planet inexorably creeping its way toward 10 billion human inhabitants. As I said, there is no shortage of ideas. Both the World Economic Forum (WEF) and The Conference Board have weighed in with their Davos Manifesto and Purpose of a Corporation treatises. BSR has advocated Creating a 21st-Century Social Contract . The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is focused on Reinventing Capitalism . Perhaps most intriguing of all is the new Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican , which describes itself as “a movement of the world’s business and public sector leaders who are working to build a more inclusive, sustainable and trusted economic system.” The group, whose global membership includes dozens of corporate CEOs and board chairs, launched in December but its roots emanate from the publication of Laudato si’ , Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on climate change. The pope’s emissary on the council is Cardinal Peter Turkson, who heads the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development at the Vatican. According to the council’s launch press release, its emergence “signifies the urgency of joining moral and market imperatives to reform capitalism into a powerful force for the good of humanity.” (We’ll host a keynote conversation with the council’s leadership at next month’s GreenFin 21  event.) The council, which is partnering with WEF and WBCSD, among others, aims to be the “convener of conversation,” as one of its leaders described to me, and intends to encourage CEOs to make public commitments about sustainability and social purpose. The business execs share a mission to “harness the private sector to create a more inclusive, sustainable and trusted economic system,” according to the council’s website . It remains to be seen whether the pope’s influential voice can help transform today’s capitalist model, or merely encourages companies to continue to make commitments already within their comfort zone. And what kind of pushback will the council encounter? Will the Vatican find itself in a standoff of biblical proportions with some of the world’s largest companies and investors? It will be fascinating to watch where this goes. What’s significant is that all of these efforts to tame capitalism’s worst impulses stem from the basic tenets of sustainability — full-spectrum sustainability, that is, not just the environmental stuff: That economies, and the companies and institutions that drive them, must ensure that their benefits extend broadly and deeply through society, and that they promote the well-being and prosperity of all living systems and species, human and not. I invite you to follow me on Twitter , subscribe to my Monday morning newsletter, GreenBuzz , and listen to GreenBiz 350 , my weekly podcast, co-hosted with Heather Clancy. Pull Quote For years, there has been a steady stream of visions aimed at reforming, rethinking, reimagining, reinventing, redefining and rebooting the operating system that drives capitalist economies. Topics Finance & Investing Featured Column Two Steps Forward Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off GreenBiz photocollage, via Shutterstock

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Can sustainability save capitalism?

Navex Global

March 13, 2021 by  
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Navex Global taylor flores Sat, 03/13/2021 – 11:02 NAVEX Global is the worldwide leader in integrated risk and compliance management software and services. Our solutions are informed, driven and refined by direct feedback from our customers, the industry’s largest community of risk and compliance technology users. Our commitment: helping organizations protect their people, reputation and bottom line.

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Navex Global

This acquisition could help make sustainable packaging the norm 

January 29, 2021 by  
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This acquisition could help make sustainable packaging the norm  Deonna Anderson Fri, 01/29/2021 – 00:30 In Manteca, California, a small company is pioneering the creation and production of paper bottles for brands such as L’Oreal and Seventh Generation. Across the U.S. in St. Petersburg, Florida, a manufacturing giant is strategizing on design, development and packaging services for the likes of Apple, Cisco Systems and HP Inc. Now, the two companies are combining forces to scale paper packaging made from recycled cardboard boxes and newspaper. Earlier this month, Jabil, the company in Florida, acquired Ecologic Brands, which will become part of its Packaging Solutions division. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. “The opportunity that we have is kind of bringing together their sustainable packaging platform, and leveraging Jabil’s advanced manufacturing and technology, expertise along with our global footprint to really scale this as a global solution for sustainable packaging,” said Jason Paladino, senior vice president of Jabil and head of the company’s packaging solutions division.  Jabil employs more than 260,000 employees across 100 locations in 30 countries. The acquisition will support the company’s own sustainability goals — it is a signatory of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment and has pledged to engage its customers “to eliminate problematic and unnecessary plastic packaging from their current solutions,” according to its 2019 sustainability report . In packaging, to really scale, it means having the quality that brands expect, because the top brands in the world have high, high standards around safety qualities [and] volumes are huge when you start going mainstream. With consumers demanding better from companies and consumer packaged goods companies setting sustainable packaging goals tied to 2025 , it seems the right time for this partnership, according to Ecologic Brands founder Julie Corbett. When Corbett started Ecologic in 2008, scaling its sustainable packaging was challenging because at that time, only the “diehard” in the green movement were pushing for such solutions, she said.  Ecologic’s Eco.Bottle is made from 100 percent recycled cardboard and old newspaper and has an inner plastic liner that is made with 60 percent less plastic than rigid plastic bottles, according to the company.  “We are getting this great, great point of success because we are the right package at the right moment, and consumers love it. But we were really faced with challenges — scale, how to do it in when you’re capital-poor. And you really want to do the right thing without cheating,” Corbett said. “That’s every entrepreneur’s dream — to scale. And if I launched a baby food company or a beverage company, it could have taken me two years,” she added.  “But in packaging, to really scale, it means having the quality that brands expect, because the top brands in the world have high, high standards around safety qualities [and] volumes are huge when you start going mainstream,” Corbett said. Back in 2018, Ecologic worked with L’Oreal to release its Seed Phytonutrients product line in paper bottles. That package has been touted as the first shower-safe paper bottle made in the beauty industry. Now, L’Oreal is working with Ecologic to develop paper packaging for its professional-level products that are used in hair salons. “One of the greatest successes of the Seed Phytonutrients initiative with the first 20 some products is that now we’re migrating what we’ve learned and our abilities to influence really big brands,” said Shane Wolf, global president for U.S. brands in the professional products division at L’Oréal. Wolf noted that the paper packaging for its Redken and Matrix professional lines are in the final stages of development with Ecologic. And he doesn’t want the more sustainable packaging options for L’Oreal to stop there. Rendering of Redken eco.bottle. Image courtesy of Ecologic Brands.   “The more of them that I can move into paper packaging the happier I’ll be,” Wolf said, of the brands that he manages at the beauty giant. And now that Ecologic has teamed up with Jabil, scaling its paper packaging across more products is possible. “Here’s Jabil, with an incredible culture fit, with a global scale of footprint already, creative [and] innovative people with a common vision. I couldn’t think of a better way to really see this technology take off,” Corbett said. Ecologic isn’t the only company working on paper bottles. There’s also Paboco, which GreenBiz previously noted is shorthand for “paper bottle company,” that has coordinated and brought together product development teams at companies such as Carlsberg, Absolut, Coca-Cola and L’Oreal. Then there’s 3Epack  and Diageo, which has teamed up with PepsiCo and Unilever to release products in its paper packaging early this year. Want more great analysis and news about the circular economy? Sign up for Circularity Weekly , our free email newsletter. Pull Quote In packaging, to really scale, it means having the quality that brands expect, because the top brands in the world have high, high standards around safety qualities [and] volumes are huge when you start going mainstream. Topics Circular Economy Design & Packaging Circular Packaging Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Image courtesy of Ecologic Brands.

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This acquisition could help make sustainable packaging the norm 

The State of Green Business 2021

December 21, 2020 by  
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The State of Green Business 2021 Date/Time: January 25, 2021 (1-2PM ET / 10-11AM PT) Following the challenging, turbulent year that was 2020, what is the state of sustainable business in 2021? Join us for the release of the 14th annual edition of State of Green Business, GreenBiz Group’s award-winning annual report. Each year, the report looks at key trends and metrics assessing how, and how much, companies are moving the needle on the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. The report is produced in partnership with Trucost, part of S&P Global, and covers the performance on the biggest publicly traded U.S. companies (S&P 500) and global players (S&P Global 1200). In this one-hour webcast, coinciding with the report’s release, GreenBiz Group Chairman and Executive Editor Joel Makower and Trucost CEO Richard Mattison will provide insights into key trends and metrics in sustainable business, including new metrics introduced in this year’s report revealing companies’ revenue aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, and how large companies’ emissions align with a 2-degree carbon budget. Among the topics: Why the “S” in ESG is gaining currency The new face of credit risk How ESG scores relate to financial performance Why sustainable mobility is becoming the newest corporate perk Corporate profits at risk from climate change Speakers: Joel Makower, Chairman and Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group Richard Mattison, Chief Executive Officer, Trucost, part of S&P Global If you can’t tune in live, please register and we will email you a link to access the archived webcast footage and resources, available to you on-demand after the webcast. Report Partner taylor flores Mon, 12/21/2020 – 10:22 Joel Makower Chairman & Executive Editor GreenBiz Group @makower Richard Mattison CEO Trucost, part of S&P Global @richmattison gbz_webcast_date Sat, 01/25/2020 – 10:00 – Sat, 01/25/2020 – 11:00

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3 circular economy trends that defined 2020

December 21, 2020 by  
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3 circular economy trends that defined 2020 Lauren Phipps Mon, 12/21/2020 – 00:15 As the year comes to a (welcome) close, it’s worth taking a moment to consider how the circular economy concept has emerged and evolved during this very particular year. Here are three trends that defined the circular economy in 2020, and what they might mean for the year to come.  1. Reuse is on the rise. Despite some setbacks posed by the pandemic (including misinformation about the safety of reusables peddled by industry lobbying groups), the transition from single-use to reusable packaging is building real momentum. With such proof points as Loop’s continued growth and recent $25 million Series A , Algramo’s New York expansion and the launch of the Beyond the Bag initiative, to name a few, it’s clear that reuse is taking hold at scale.  In 2021, I’ll be watching CPG and food and beverage companies, which have been scrutinized for one-off pilots and an overall failure to move quickly enough towards commitments to make all packaging recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025. If brands and retailers intend to fulfill their public commitments, we’ll need to see real investment in reuse platforms and systems in the year ahead.  2. Metrics begin to materialize. This year saw the launch of new tools and standards to calculate and track the circular nature of products, business and systems. Notably, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development released the Circular Transition Indicators and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched the Circulytics tool; GRI established a new standard on waste ; and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute released the fourth version of its product standard . The bright and shiny narrative of the circular economy’s promise will lose its luster without verified data and material evidence to show that circular is indeed better, and these tools are a step in the right direction.  Next year, I expect to see an emphasis on reporting and consistency of data behind various claims, as well as an effort to fold circular economy metrics into existing sustainability and ESG frameworks. I also will be looking for more actionable datasets and analysis on the link between climate change and the circular economy, and opportunities to mitigate carbon emissions using circular economy strategies.  3. It’s (still) all about plastic. Plastic continues to be the star of the show when it comes to the global conversation about materials management and circular economy solutions. The topic is top of mind for most of us given the increased demand for single-use everything amid the pandemic, which has led to a surge in plastic waste entering into waterways and oceans. But this year also offered a collective leveling-up of our data-backed knowledge and understanding about the flows and intervention points that could stem the tide on plastic pollution.  While source reduction continues to be the No. 1 solution to the global plastic waste crisis, many companies continue to solely address end-of-life management — notably in chemical recycling technologies for plastics packaging and synthetic textiles .  2021 is sure to bring continued tension between the problem of plastic waste and the problem of plastic production and use. I’ll be keeping my eye on the policy landscape and the balance between upstream action and accountability alongside downstream solutions.   This article is adapted from GreenBiz’s weekly newsletter, Circular Weekly, running Fridays. Subscribe here . Topics Circular Economy Reuse Plastic Featured Column In the Loop Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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3 circular economy trends that defined 2020

Sustainable holiday gift ideas for siblings

December 11, 2020 by  
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You grew up with them and have probably known them your whole life. So why are some siblings so hard to shop for? We’ve scoured the internet for fun, thoughtful and sustainable  gifts  which even the most discerning sib will be thrilled to receive. Zero-waste cocktail kit This  zero-waste cocktail kit  lets your siblings stir up a gimlet or  French  75 anywhere. The mason jar cocktail shaker, two stainless steel mini straws and sphere ice tray travel well in their own special tote. Related: Gift loved ones with classes that teach and build nature skills Organic soaps Okay, people often use soap as a sort of fallback gift when they don’t know what else to give somebody. But  Birch Ridge ‘s handmade soaps are something special. These soaps are vegan,  organic , synthetic-free and, best of all, come in delicious fragrances with cool names. Blood Moon is a combo of citrus notes — blood orange, tangerine, lime, sweet orange, tangerine and lemongrass. Collins pairs lemongrass with sage, patchouli, lime and bergamot. Hemp socks Want  hemp socks  without the hippie look? These unisex machine washable crew socks use a cotton, nylon and  hemp  blend. They come in three patterns: mustard with a mountain pattern, tan with bison and rust with a geometric pattern. The socks are also responsibly made in China (a self-reported label meaning a company aims to treat workers fairly and reduce environmental impacts). Sustainable wireless charger For the electronically-inclined sibling, try these  chargers  made from hemp and recycled plastic. Go Nimble offers several options, including a wireless travel kit and a dual pad for simultaneously charging two devices. A safe bet for your bro who is always wearing down his phone battery at  family  dinners. EcoVibe gift set EcoVibe  has done the work of putting together cutesy gift sets for you. The company has lots of choices depending on your sib’s favorite activity. An Icelandic bath kit includes a special  Icelandic  kelp soap, stone soap dish and matching tiny Icelandic kelp candle. The bike buff gift set includes shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream and lip salve to clean up post-ride, plus a cyclist kit and a pocket bicycle multi-tool. The air plant wall mounting kit will help up your sib’s botanical game with a natural cork backdrop for their air plant collection. Includes step-by-step instructions. Vegan jams by Trade Street Jam, like soap, is a classic gift because the recipient can enjoy a special flavor without leaving behind an artifact to clutter their house forever. We want to try all of  Trade Street Jam’s  interesting  vegan  blends, like strawberry chipotle and fig or plum and rose. Or maybe sour cherry ginger. Or smoke peach. Whichever you choose, be sure to order some of Trade Street’s darling mini wooden jam spoons to go with your gift. Wellness app membership Is wellness a gift you can give? Sure. Help your anxious sib learn to slow down with a gift of  Calm , the leading meditation app.  Headspace  is another meditation app that promises to change lives with an investment of only a few minutes a day. Or you could give a gift of Zoom classes with your sibling’s favorite  yoga  teacher. Vegan, biodegradable juice masks Is your sibling into clean living? This  masking and juicing set  brings the raw juice trend into skincare with biodegradable sheet masks. We especially like the set’s included sprout headband to secure your hair while the raw juice cleanse mask is on your face. This set is, of course, vegan, organic, eco-friendly and cruelty-free. I+I Botanicals For the CBD-inclined sibling,  I+I Botanicals  offers expertly crafted feel-good formulations to solve skincare issues. I+I Infused Bath Teas blend CBD and essential oils into bath salts. I+I Dry Oil Body Mist will leave your sib glowing, not greasy, and smelling of citrus and sandalwood. This women-owned company uses only American -grown, lab-tested CBD in its products. Artsy reusable water bottle People may not leave the house as often during the pandemic, but when your sibling goes out, they’ll want to be toting an eye-catching  water bottle . This cute retro  water  bottle comes in mint, coral, dark gray and indigo, each with a contrasting top. It’s vacuum-sealed and has a double-walled construction that keeps cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot drinks hot for up to twelve. Plant-based milk maker If your sibling is part of the global trend against dairy, they’ll benefit from this  plant-based milk maker . Instead of buying premade and processed faux milk from the store, this gadget turns  nuts , grains and seeds into fresh dairy-free milk at home. Your sibling can even devise their own custom blends. Compostable phone case Alas, every good thing comes to an end. Even a trusty and beloved phone case.  Compostable cases  for your iPhone and Airpods can help pare down the global waste stream. These cases made from a bamboo-based proprietary blend can decompose and return to the earth. When your sibling’s phone case must meet its maker, we prefer to think dust to dust than permanent burial in a landfill . To make these cases even sweeter, you can customize them with your sib’s name or initials. Cases come in colors like mint and French raspberry. These work great with wireless charging or a lightning cable. Images via Package Free Shop, Birch Ridge, United by Blue, Go Nimble, EcoVibe, Trade Street Jam, Calm, ESW Beauty, I+I Botanicals, The Grommet, Pexels, and Casetify

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Sustainable holiday gift ideas for siblings

Introducing … GreenFin 21

November 30, 2020 by  
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Introducing … GreenFin 21 Joel Makower Mon, 11/30/2020 – 02:11 The world of environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting and investing has ramped up significantly over the past couple years, even more so during 2020, when social risks and reporting became front and center for many companies and investors. Combine that with the growth of related finance products and services — sustainability-linked loans and bonds — and you can find sustainability sitting squarely on Wall Street. We call it GreenFin, our portmanteau for “green finance.” It may well be the most dynamic and impactful aspect of sustainable business today. Which is why GreenBiz Group is pleased to announce GreenFin 21 , the launch of a new annual event, virtual for now, taking place April 13-14. GreenFin will join our other annual event brands — GreenBiz , Circularity and VERGE — on the sustainability conference calendar. For all the sustainability reporting that companies serve up each year, it doesn’t always represent the kinds of data that investors need to assess corporate risk and opportunity. GreenFin 21 is the natural evolution of the GreenFin Summits we ran at our GreenBiz conferences in 2019 and 2020 . There, we convened a small group of professionals (100 in 2019, 200 in 2020) representing the ESG and sustainable finance ecosystem: corporate reporters (including those in sustainability, investor relations and corporate finance roles); institutional investors and pension funds; ESG rating and ranking organizations; and financial institutions, notably the world’s largest banks. Tower of Babel What spurred us to launch the summits back in 2019 was the realization that these parties weren’t always speaking the same language or understanding one another’s needs. For example, for all the sustainability reporting that companies serve up each year, it doesn’t always represent the kinds of data that investors need to assess corporate risk and opportunity. For their part, investors may not be asking the questions companies most want to answer. And neither side may fully understand how various parties are using this fast-growing cache of data. At the 2019 and 2020 summits, our goal was to have a candid conversation in a safe space to address this financial Tower of Babel. Based on the enthusiastic feedback we received, we succeeded. GreenFin 21 will build on that success, adding in the rapidly evolving world of sustainable finance products and services, to share what’s working, what can work better, and the path forward. It’s no small matter. ESG, as we’ve noted , has been one of investing’s bright spots in 2020, with tens of billions of dollars flowing into ESG-themed funds every quarter. According to Morningstar, ESG funds reached the $1 trillion milestone sometime during the second quarter of the year. Much of the action is taking place in Europe, where PwC predicted that ESG funds — “a central tenet of the investment landscape” — could outpace traditional funds by 2025. U.S. investors, for their part, are catching up. So, too, the growth of ESG-related bonds and loans . Corporate bond offerings focusing on sustainability and social issues are growing each quarter, and there’s a burgeoning market for loans linked to a company’s ESG performance or other sustainability metrics. As we reported recently , global green bond issuance shot past the $1 trillion mark in September. Still, there’s massive room for growth. Fully 96 percent of U.S. institutional investors, and 91 percent across six global markets, expect their firm to increase prioritization of ESG as an investment criterion, according to a recent Edelman Trust Barometer survey of institutional investors. Three in four U.S. individual investors said they are not familiar with the concept of sustainable investing, having heard little or nothing about it, according to a Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index survey released in April. Wild West The explosive growth of green finance makes sense. Increased investor interest in climate risk and, more recently, biodiversity risk is fueling the growth of several funds, as is an increased societal focus on economic, gender and racial equity. All of these issues are heading inexorably toward tipping points. Investors are increasingly moving money accordingly. Still, the markets for sustainable investing and finance are young and the standards are evolving or, in some cases, don’t yet fully exist. It’s still the Wild West out there. There are glimmers of hope . Just last week, for example, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the International Integrated Reporting Council announced their intention to merge into a unified organization, the Value Reporting Foundation, “providing investors and corporates with a comprehensive corporate reporting framework across the full range of enterprise value drivers and standards to drive global sustainability performance,” according to the press release . Earlier this year, SASB and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) announced their intention to collaborate. Such consolidation and collaboration are sorely needed to truly catalyze the full potential of sustainable finance. Ultimately, all of this relies on lots of data — ESG data — being compiled by a relatively small number of firms whose ratings can wield outsized clout among investors. The data is used to analyze stocks, of course, but also to assess creditworthiness and possibly even help determine whether a company is a great place to work. But where is this data coming from? How is it compiled? Who owns it? Is it accurate? Why do different ratings organizations assess the same company differently? These are among the questions still to be addressed. And these are among the topics we’ll be covering at GreenFin. We’ll be joined by our convening partner, S&P Global, along with a who’s who of community partners, including BSR, Capitals Coalition, CDP, Ceres, Competent Boards, GRI, Intentional Endowments Network, National Investor Relations Institute, Responsible Asset Owners, SASB, United Nations Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. We’re also excited to have a growing corps of advisory board members and sponsors, including from Citi, CDP, ERM, HP Inc., Intel, Morgan Stanley, SASB, S&P Global, State Street and Wells Fargo — with more to come. ( Let me know if you are interested.) Today, we’ve launched a call for speakers as well as a page to request an invitation . I hope you’ll join us for this landmark event. Pull Quote For all the sustainability reporting that companies serve up each year, it doesn’t always represent the kinds of data that investors need to assess corporate risk and opportunity. Topics Finance & Investing Reporting ESG GreenFin Featured Column Two Steps Forward Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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Unilever sets $1.2B sales target for meat and dairy alternatives

November 23, 2020 by  
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Unilever sets $1.2B sales target for meat and dairy alternatives Cecilia Keating Mon, 11/23/2020 – 00:30 Unilever has announced plans to dramatically increase sales of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives over the next seven years as part of a new sustainability program designed to shrink the environmental footprint of its food brands. The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant said last week that it plans to sell more than $1.2 billion worth of plant-based foods and dairy alternatives within the next five to seven years, largely by boosting sales from its The Vegetarian Butcher brand and increasing the number of vegan alternatives across its extensive portfolio. Unilever acquired plant-based meat company The Vegetarian Butcher in late 2018 and since has expanded the brand into more than 30 countries and secured a major supply deal for the firm’s vegan patties and nuggets with Burger King. In the same time frame, it has launched a number of vegan products for its most high profile brands, including Hellman’s, Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s. “As one of the world’s largest food companies, we have a critical role to play in helping to transform the global food system,” said Hanneke Faber, president of Unilever’s food and refreshment division. “It’s not up to us to decide for people what they want to eat, but it is up to us to make healthier and plant-based options accessible to all. These are bold, stretching targets which demonstrate our commitment to being a force for good.” The plant-based meat market is expected to expand rapidly in the coming years to meet burgeoning consumer demand for sustainable food products, with one analysis from Barclays predicting the market will grow by more than 1,000 percent over the next 10 years to reach $140 billion by 2029. It’s not up to us to decide for people what they want to eat, but it is up to us to make healthier and plant-based options accessible to all. Unilever also announced plans to bring forward its goal of halving food waste from its global operations by five years to 2025, a move commended by Liz Goodwin, senior fellow and director of food loss and waste at the World Resources Institute. “Food loss and waste have massive impacts in terms of cost to the global economy, the environment and society,” she said. “We know that food loss and waste contributes about 8 percent of global greenhouse emissions as well as wasting the land and water used in production of food. We need as many companies as possible to step up and prioritize the issue of food loss and waste and take action to reduce it.” In addition, Unilever committed to lowering calorie, sugar and salt levels across all its products and doubling the number of products that deliver “positive nutrition” globally by 2025, which it defines as products containing “impactful” amounts of vegetables, fruits, proteins or micronutrients such as vitamins and iron. Jessica Fanzo, associate professor of global food and agriculture at John Hopkins University, commended Unilever for its commitment, which she said would encourage people to embrace more sustainable diets. “The average person’s daily diet will need to change drastically during the next three decades to make sure everyone is fed without depleting the planet,” she said. “By improving food production and food environments, transforming eating habits, and reducing food waste, we can begin to solve these problems.” Pull Quote It’s not up to us to decide for people what they want to eat, but it is up to us to make healthier and plant-based options accessible to all. Topics Food Systems Alternative Protein Plant-Protein BusinessGreen Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Jaap Korteweg is a ninth generation farmer and founding father of The Vegetarian Butcher.  Courtesy of The Vegetarian Butcher Close Authorship

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Unilever sets $1.2B sales target for meat and dairy alternatives

New study finds eco-glitter just as damaging as ordinary glitter

October 16, 2020 by  
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Bad news for those of us who love sparkly stuff. Even though you thought you were saving the world one reflective particle at a time, that orange eco-glitter you sprinkled on your Halloween craft project isn’t any easier on rivers and lakes than conventional glitter. Despite the promises and inflated price tag, biodegradable glitter ends up the same way as old-school glitter — wreaking havoc on aquatic ecosystems. Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in Cambridge, U.K. ran tests to compare ordinary glitter with “eco” glitter. “Glitter is a ready-made microplastic that is commonly found in our homes and, particularly through cosmetics, is washed off in our sinks and into the water system,” said Dannielle Green , a senior lecturer in biology at ARU. “Our study is the first to look at the effects of glitter in a freshwater environment and we found that both conventional and alternative glitters can have a serious ecological impact on aquatic ecosystems within a short period of time.” Related: Scientists call for a worldwide ban on the global hazard of glitter Regular glitter is made from PET plastic. Eco-glitter comes in a couple of varieties. One type is made from eucalyptus-sourced modified regenerated cellulose (MRC) with a reflective aluminum coating and thin plastic layer. The other main type of eco-glitter is made from mica, that shiny mineral often used in cosmetics. In the ARU study, researchers spent 5 weeks observing how traditional, MRC and mica glitters affected an aquatic ecosystem. They were especially interested in how glitter influenced chlorophyll and root levels of plants . All three types of glitter yielded similarly negative results. Worse, the eco-glitter attracted New Zealand mud snails, an invasive species that steals food from local species. Sixty U.K. festivals had already announced a switch to biodegradable glitter by 2021. But this new research threatens to steal the sparkle from eco-conscious party people and render an already bleak 2020 even drabber. The U.K. supermarket chain Morrisons is axing glitter from its own brand before Christmas. So don’t expect any sparkle on your holiday cards, ornaments and present bags. If you just can’t handle ditching glitter entirely, try making your own with sugar or salt and non-toxic, natural food coloring. Via The Guardian Image via Sharon McCutcheon

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New study finds eco-glitter just as damaging as ordinary glitter

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