unadulterated contains our unvarnished views on sustainability. Use these insights and musings to inspire and accelerate your journey.
Few things are more disruptive to a processing facility than losing power – especially if several weeks’ worth of work is lost each time it happens. Facing this risk helped drive Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. to embed sustainability into the way it does business. The result is a demonstration of one of the principles in my book, The 10 Principles of Food Industry Sustainability: ensuring that food and ingredient processing both requires minimal inputs and outputs and strives toward generating resources. Sierra Nevada not only lives up to this standard but also gains business advantages along the way.
My recent meeting with the Boy Scouts of America and their suppliers radically shifted my view of what the Scouts are about. My impression of the Boy Scouts was stuck in my experience as a Scout back in the ‘70s. As a middle schooler, I joined the Scouts to hang out with my friends. I loved the outdoor activities and the pursuit of merit badges.
I highly recommend this insightful article by Jeffrey Hollender, Former CEO and Co-Founder of Seventh Generation and Founder and CEO of Sustain. He challenges businesses to chart a path that is net positive, restorative and regenerative. Sharing his experiences as CEO of a sustainable condom company, he highlights the work he and I did together to develop a "roadmap to becoming net positive" by developing a framework for tracking both positive and negative impacts in four areas important to Sustain's mission. It's a work in progress, but one that other companies can learn from and be inspired by.
Perhaps no subject is more critical than determining how to sustainably feed the world’s growing population in the 21st century. Pure Strategies’ VP of Consulting, Cheryl Baldwin, lays out the 10 vital approaches to accomplishing this in her new book, The 10 Principles of Food Industry Sustainability (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015). The book addresses the complex food system by discussing critical sustainability principles and sharing the latest data, best practices and tools, and real-world case examples from dozens of companies.
Everyday conversations about food are shifting from questions about whether to eat gluten or saturated fat to a new era in consumer food choices: sustainable diets. Some of this focus stems from recent findings reported by the federal government linking dietary choices to environmental impact and is bolstered by consumers’ awareness that their choices affect both their health and the environment. Consumers have long been seeking healthy food options and now the majority of consumers state that they intend to make changes in their diet for environmental reasons.
It can be daunting to ramp up a sustainability program. This is especially the case when moving from an operations focus, where most programs start, to successfully leveraging the many opportunities associated with product materials and sourcing, design, and production. Yet companies that take aim at their products and measure, improve, and communicate the environmental and social attributes across the life cycle are able to achieve significant improvements that dwarf those they could realize otherwise.
With many companies in the goal-planning stage as they retire 2015 targets and set new ones, it is an appropriate time to evaluate our troubled relationship with carbon goals. Despite strong agreement within the scientific community that we need to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (PDF), I’m not seeing goals that are bold enough to get us where we need to go.
This article was co-authored with Mark Rossi and Sally Edwards
2014 was a year of stunning statistics and some moments of brilliance from a few brands. Unfortunately, most of the numbers were of the gloom and doom variety: warmest year, worst drought, worsening economic inequality — not to mention Ebola, war, and a looming sixth Great Extinction. Was the business community’s response proportionate to the scale of the problems that were revealed? What actions stand out? I have five, admittedly subjective, awards to give out.
A whopping 97 percent of environmental impacts in the retail sector come from the product itself — from raw materials, transportation and product manufacturing. With impacts so heavily weighted in the supply chain, retailers are increasingly and creatively wading upstream to partner with their suppliers on their greatest impacts. The key to success lies in selecting the appropriate supplier engagement method and then using that approach as a vehicle to deeper collaboration. But can successful retailer approaches truly motivate meaningful supply chain improvements?
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