Brief review of the year, a look forward to 2017 and the best of our podcasts

Festive greetings readers. In this post there’s a link to Innovation Forum’s review of some of the high points and low points of 2016. More importantly perhaps, we also take a look forward to next year and attempt to predict some of the big issues for 2017. Also below are some of most popular podcasts and webinars…

How business can tackle deforestation, some conclusions from our recent London event

At our recent conference on 21st-22nd November, in London, we focused on the themes of “Implement policy, meet targets and manage supply chain/procurement risk”. We’ve distilled and combined the key comments, along with some podcasts recorded at the event and other content from Innovation Forum that you might find useful. The notes below are unattributed. These…

Webinar: High Carbon Stock – a breakthrough in stopping deforestation?

We would like to invite you to participate in a complimentary webinar we are hosting on the recent developments from the High Carbon Stock convergence working group in reaching an agreement on the implementation of a collaborative approach in the palm oil sector to stop deforestation. You can register for the webinar here. Innovation Forum will be…

How should companies respond to populist politics?

It seems to me that Anglo-Saxon capitalism and globalisation has failed millions of people. In two recent episodes (one barely needs to name them as the Brexit vote and the US election result) many of these citizens decided to vote decisively in protest, for what they hope is change. When you have little to lose, you are…

Some key points about tackling modern slavery, forced labour and human rights in general

At Innovation Forum, we held another of our conferences last week. We brought together about 160 company executives, NGOs, government agencies and other experts to debate the thorny topics in the title of this post. Here’s a few of the bullet notes I took that sum up some of the key questions companies taking part are…

Should the G in ESG also stand for Government relations?

(A guest post by Martin Summers) McKinsey research suggests it should. Investors increasingly recognise that companies need to have the right governance in place and the ability to manage environmental and social factors (ESG) if they are to mitigate risk and create value over the long term. It’s also becoming increasingly obvious that some of…

Two short videos on the history of CSR and sustainability in business, 1720 to date

Here’s two short videos I taped a couple of years ago on the history of CSR and sustainable business. Each is about five minutes and they were the most popular ones on the online course I used to run with Mallen Baker (at least, out of the videos I taped) I have given this as a…

15 key issues for business tackling deforestation

Does the internet REALLY need another listicle, I hear you ask? Probably not. But readers do click on stuff like this, hence the headline. I think it’s because you know it’s not going to be very long (or deep) and you might have time to get to the end. My guesswork aside, this listicle (it’s better…

How Diageo and Golden Agri Resources engage smallholder farmers

Here below are four recent podcasts we taped at events we at Innovation Forum held earlier this year. The focus is all about smallholder farmers and how companies can better engage them, tackle capacity challenges, improve yields and overcome the limits to certification. (Many more podcasts can be found here) And this upcoming conference should…

Tech, innovation and sustainability: How can big food and retailers hit their targets?

Big food and FMCG brands and retailers have set important and game-changing targets in sustainable agriculture. Achieving these are amongst the biggest challenges that companies face in the next decade. Much has been done in recent years, but we’re a long way from overall success. So how will companies get there ‘on time’? Which techniques,…

Supply chain risk, how to get useful insight for your business

At Innovation Forum we’re now helping companies understand risk in a cost effective way, that’s not just through edgy, focused conferences which get to the heart of the issues. Several companies has asked us to provide them with a quarterly, cost effective risk briefing service via PDF report, and face to face meetings. These focus…

Palm oil debate, lawsuits, agri-tech & sustainability and Scott’s soapbox

Here’s the latest of the podcast series Scott Poynton, founder of TFT (The Forest Trust) and I are doing this year. In this edition we talked about the demise of the Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge, the IOI vs. RSPO lawsuit closure, Resolute vs. Greenpeace (briefly), why talking to critics is really the best way. We…

Should business defend environmental and human rights campaigners?

There are a few questions in the world of responsible business which always get attention. These are the thorny, difficult, riddled-with-potential-conflict-of-interest-and-controversy questions. One of them is: “How should companies responsibly engage and persuade Governments to think longer term in a sustainable way?” Another is this, the title of this post: “Should business defend environmental and human…

Thai court case that’s redefining corporate-activist relationships

The case of an activist being supported by a Finnish company testifying against a former supplier in Thailand shows how the progressive business landscape is changing Relationships between companies and campaigners have evolved over the last few years. Still often adversaries, multinationals and NGOs now also work together towards common sustainability goals. Now, a case…

Sustainable supply chains: Some dates for your diary later in 2016

As we move into the summer break, here are some upcoming meetings from Innovation Forum that readers might want to think about coming to later in 2016. Remember, we take away all the boring bits of conferences and emphasise the useful. So our events are all about debate, the right people in the room, focus,…