A Data Visualization Tool Identifying Opportunities to Recapture Plastic in the US & Canada

View the map and read the analysis.

Demand for recycled content is growing rapidly, with more than 250 brands and retailers in the U.S. committing to increase their use of recycled content in products and packaging. While 90% of plastic waste ends up in a landfill, incinerator, or worse, in our oceans and the environment, the current supply of recycled plastics meets just 6% of demand for the most common plastics in the US and Canada because of technical or market barriers. This highlights the significant gap between where we are and where we need to be.

Using plastic packaging as a starting point, this tool guides investors, brands, entrepreneurs and policymakers to make data-driven decisions that drive toward a circular future. The map brings to light the diversity of plastic waste, breaking down the volumes of plastics by type and the flows by country, state and province. In doing so, it highlights the critical opportunities to recapture valuable plastics and re-incorporate them into manufacturing supply chains. Enhancing the transparency of supply chains and better understanding the current flow of materials are essential first steps to improve plastics recovery.

Linking the SDGs and the GRI Standards

This document links the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the Global Reporting Initiative’s standards to make it easier for companies to report show how their sustainability efforts are moving them toward meeting the SDGs.

GRI’s Business Leadership Forum offers opportunities for stakeholder collaboration

A new forum will leverage the power of corporate reporting to drive action towards accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by facilitating dialogue and collaboration between companies and their stakeholders.

The GRI Business Leadership Forum is built around a series of quarterly online sessions with representatives from key stakeholder groups – including investors, governments, regulators, supply chains, civil society and academia. GRI reporting organizations around the world can now sign up for this two-year program.

The forum, which will start in March 2021, includes:

  • A blend of expert guidance, peer learning and relationship building with multiple stakeholder groups
  • Practical support on identifying and understanding different stakeholder needs, in order to showcase the company’s commitment to the SDGs
  • Opportunities to demonstrate sustainability leadership, by contributing to a series of session summaries and masterclasses, as well as co-creating a final outcome report.

“To mobilize the efforts and resources required to deliver the SDGs, we need to do all we can to increase collaboration between businesses and other stakeholders. And as we consider how to achieve a sustainable and inclusive recovery to the pandemic, the urgency is all the more evident.

Our Business Leadership Forum will provide companies with practical insights that can raise the quality and strategic relevance of their SDG reporting. It also offers a unique opportunity for multi-stakeholder collaboration, unlocking better outcomes both from the business and sustainable development perspectives.”

Mirjam Groten, GRI’s Chief Business Development Officer

Find out more about the Corporate Reporting as a Driver to Achieving the SDGs, including eligibility, program schedule and fees. The forum builds on the Corporate Action Group for Reporting on the SDGs (delivered by GRI and UNGC), which is set to conclude at the end of 2020.

In October, GRI and Enel launched an engagement series exploring how partnerships and transparency can ensure action in support of the SDGs. Three regional events have taken place, which will inform a summit early next year.

GRI provides resources and guidance to help companies report their contribution towards the SDGs, as well as an SDG mapping service so that these contributions are accurately disclosed and understood.

GEMI seeks solutions for recycling combo liners contaminated with food residues

GEMI’s Contaminated Plastics Work Group is seeking ideas, connections, and solutions with potential to address challenges in recycling post-industrial combo liner waste, a commonly used plastic film packaging material that is contaminated with food residues through the food production process.

Not-for-profit publisher makes big move toward open access science

Read the press release from Canadian Science Publishing.

Canadian Science Publishing (CSP)–a not-for-profit publisher of peer-reviewed STEM journals–is excited to announce a new transformative open access publishing agreement with the University of California (UC) that will offer unlimited open access publication for UC researchers publishing with its journals.

Carbon Disclosure Project announces 2020 A List

CDP has announced its 2020 A List companies. The A List showcases the companies leading on environmental transparency and action, based on their annual disclosure through CDP’s climate change, forests and water security questionnaires. Thousands of companies disclose through CDP at the request of investors and corporate buyers.

View the list and company data on the CDP website.

Circular Transition Indicators (CTI)

Download the document and use the tool.

The momentum to step away from a take-make-waste economic model is growing and we see both the private and public sectors to begin setting ambitious circular targets. Transparency and alignment are critical to establishing a common language across industries and governments.

For this reason, together with 30 of our member companies we have developed a universal and transparent framework to measure circularity. The Circular Transition Indicators (CTI), now at its second edition, is a simple, objective and quantitative framework that can be applied to businesses of all industries, sizes, value chain positions and geographies.

Built by business, for business, CTI provides companies with a common language to use for internal decision-making and communicating to key stakeholders.

Global Forest Review (GFR)

Many of the world’s forests are being damaged and degraded or are disappearing altogether. Their capacity to provide tangible goods, such as fiber, food, and medicines, as well as essential ecological services, including habitat for biodiversity, carbon storage, and moderation of freshwater flows, is under greater threat than ever before.

The Global Forest Review (GFR) provides insights generated from the best available geospatial data and analysis to support the global community working to protect and restore forests worldwide.

Opposition to Renewable Energy Facilities in the United States

Download the document.

Achieving lower carbon emissions in the United States will require developing a very large number of wind, solar, and other renewable energy facilities, as well as associated storage, distribution, and transmission, at an unprecedented scale and pace. Although host community members are often enthusiastic about renewable energy facilities’ economic and environmental benefits, local opposition can also arise. This report was compiled in Fall 2020 and Winter 2021
to document local restrictions on and opposition to siting renewable energy projects…

The report provides state-by-state information on local laws to block, delay or restrict
renewable energy. These include moratoria on wind or solar energy development; outright bans on wind or solar energy development; regulations that are so restrictive that they can act as de facto bans on wind or solar energy development; and zoning amendments that are designed to block a specific proposed project. While local governments at times enact legislation in response to a specific project proposal, as discussed below, some municipalities have banned, placed moratoria on, or significantly restricted wind and solar energy development even absent a proposed project. On the other hand, many local governments have allowed or welcomed renewable energy facilities while setting reasonable regulations; only local laws that scuttled a specific project or that are so restrictive that they could have the effect of barring wind or solar development are included in this report.

PFAS in the House: Are toxic “forever chemicals” a steady drip in this reporter’s home?

Read the full story at Great Lakes Now.

After spending several months reporting on the PFAS crisis, an alarming realization hit — taco night might be poisoning me.

I learned that the type of nonstick pans that I used to fry the fish usually contain the toxic chemicals, also called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Research alerted me to their use in some types of parchment paper used to roll tortillas, while the aluminum foil in which I wrapped leftovers raised a red flag with its “nonstick” label. For dessert, I purchased cookies that a local bakery packed in the type of paper bags sometimes treated with PFAS, and the chemicals may have been in my tap water and fish.

But PFAS, dubbed “forever chemicals” because they don’t naturally break down, aren’t only lurking in the kitchen. The synthetic compounds are often used to make thousands of everyday products water, stain and grease resistant, and they’re popular with manufacturers across dozens of industries because they’re so effective. That’s a problem because the class of around 4,700 compounds is linked to serious health problems like cancer, heart disease, birth defects, liver disease and decreased immunity.

The extent of PFAS contamination is only now coming into focus — recent studies have found drinking water supplies for well over 100 million people across demographic lines may  be contaminated by the chemicals. It’s estimated that they’re present in 97% of Americans’ blood, and public health advocates are just starting to understand how widespread their use is in everyday products.