Read the full story from SustainAbility.
Welcome to SustainAbility’s annual trends review in which we identify ten issues that we believe will have significant impact on global sustainability and the corporate sector in 2018.
This year we expect to see continued momentum and leadership by companies on climate change, the social equity agenda, freedom of speech, sustainable mobility, and other core issues facing society. Despite declining leadership by national governments, we have reached an inflection point on renewable energy due to falling costs, and an increasing number of companies are investing in clean energy and strengthening climate resilience efforts.
Momentum is also growing for societies to close the gap on gender, racial and economic inequality. Last year saw a rising tide of support for a more equal society, with the emergence of the #MeToo campaign and vocal CEO and executive support for immigrants and minorities, and we expect this momentum to continue in 2018.
We hope that this report will spark further conversation and action in pursuit of a sustainable future. And as always, we invite your feedback.
Read the full story at Environmental Leader.
Glass container manufacturer Owens-Illinois (O-I) is the first food and beverage packaging company to receive gold-level certification for material health and re-utilization under the Cradle to Cradle standard. Based in Perrysburg, Ohio, O-I makes glass packaging for leading brands and had revenues of $6.9 billion last year.
Tannis Thorlakson, Joann F. de Zegher, Eric F. Lambin (2018). “Sustainability in global supply chains.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Feb 2018, 201716695; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1716695115
Significance: Supply chains tied to multinational corporations represent over 80% of global trade and engage over one in five workers. Supply-chain management therefore has a significant impact on key social and environmental challenges. Despite this importance, there is currently no comprehensive, empirically grounded understanding of how companies address sustainability in their supply chains. We develop a global database based on a random sample of publicly listed companies with annual reports in English to provide insight into how the private sector contributes to advancing global sustainability via their supply chains. This study provides a large-scale empirical analysis of corporate sustainable-sourcing practices across multiple sectors and geographies.
Abstract: Global supply chains play a critical role in many of the most pressing environmental stresses and social struggles identified by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Responding to calls from the global community, companies are adopting a variety of voluntary practices to improve the environmental and/or social management of their suppliers’ activities. We develop a global survey of 449 publicly listed companies in the food, textile, and wood-products sectors with annual reports in English to provide insight into how the private sector contributes to advancing the SDGs via such sustainable-sourcing practices. We find that while 52% of companies use at least one sustainable-sourcing practice, these practices are limited in scope; 71% relates to only one or a few input materials and 60.5% apply to only first-tier suppliers. We also find that sustainable-sourcing practices typically address a small subset of the sustainability challenges laid out by the SDGs, primarily focusing on labor rights and compliance with national laws. Consistent with existing hypotheses, companies that face consumer and civil society pressure are associated with a significantly higher probability of adopting sustainable-sourcing practices. Our findings highlight the opportunities and limitations of corporate sustainable-sourcing practices in addressing the myriad sustainability challenges facing our world today.
Read the full story in Environmental Leader.
On January 25, 2018, the EPA issued a guidance memorandum withdrawing the “once in always in” policy for the classification of major sources of hazardous air pollutants under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). Within the air compliance and permitting community, this guidance memorandum has been thought of as long overdue. Below are the guidance memorandum change details.
Read the full story at SBS.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: Iain Griffiths and Kelsey Ramage, the bartenders behind low impact pop-up bar Trash Tiki are not dumpster divers…
What they have done, quite successfully, is alter the perception that sustainability can only be sought in what we eat, how we dress or how much water we conserve around the house. Bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts can aim to incorporate sustainable practices into the business of drinking, too.
Tue, Mar 6, 2018 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CST
Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8393103707215233025
Green Chemistry has been widely adopted as a means for reducing hazards and waste in chemistry labs, while maintaining the necessary rigor for teaching fundamental reactions and techniques. In a collaborative partnership between Beyond Benign, My Green Lab, and MilliporeSigma, a new resource guide has been developed for undergraduate organic chemistry teaching labs. This guide provides educators with a set of safer, greener alternative organic chemistry experiments to demonstrate key chemical transformations to undergraduate chemistry students, and indicates quantifiable benefits when greener alternative experiments are implemented, including waste reduction, hazard reduction, and cost savings.
Read the full story in Nature.
Recycling leftover chemicals and equipment slashes energy bills and boosts research budgets.
Read the full story from NPR.
With the potential of another drought looming, California is looking at recycled wastewater as a source for drinking. Recycled water is California’s single largest source of new water supplies.