43 stats, facts, comments and notes, about smallholder farming resilience, engagement and the SDGs

Here’s some notes from our recent conference on How business can make smallholder supply chains resilient which we held on 13-14 March in London, where we were generously hosted by Diageo at their London HQ. Their work on smallholders is commendable, and can be seen here. Here are my notes from a few sessions. It by no means…

Six questions for Sasja Beslik, head of group sustainable finance, Nordea: “Banks are becoming active drivers of change”

I recently went to visit the new London Business School building on Euston road in central London. It’s an impressive, (and listed) building, where the architects have combined the new and traditional elegantly. I caught up with Ioannis Ioannou there over coffee. If you don’t know Ioannis’s work, I commend it to you. He is one…

Are these the biggest questions for agriculture, technology and innovation?

Last year, in an effort to bring together companies, scientists, investors, NGOs, regulators and other experts on agriculture, technology and innovation, we created a conference about it. No surprises there I suppose, given that’s what we do at Innovation Forum. We’re trying to ask the tough questions, and get some answers. here’s some of what we’ll…

What does a study of 449 publicly listed companies in the food, textile, and wood-products sectors, tell us about sustainable supply chains?

Supply chains tied to multinational corporations represent over 80% of global trade and engage over one in five workers, write Tannis Thorlakson, Joann F. de Zegher and Eric F. Lambi, in a new paper “Companies’ contribution to sustainability through global supply chains” They also state that: “80% of global trade flow(s) through multinational corporations, one in…

The eleven most difficult (management) questions facing corporate sustainability executives

I’m not a corporate sustainability director, or any kind of corporate executive. But I know quite a few people who are. So I was thinking recently about re-framing what we do at Innovation Forum around the most difficult questions those hard-pressed and under-paid executives who are our customers face every day. Whilst I’m not sure…

Sustainable apparel: How brands can transform supply chains

Just a quick note on the upcoming Innovation Forum: Sustainable apparel: How brands can transform supply chains (24th-25th April 2018,Amsterdam). Through focused discussion, this two-day conference, our third annual event on this topic, will address the most pressing issues in the apparel industry. It will equip delegates with the best-practice and know-how relating to the biggest…

The debate continues about zero deforestation approaches: “Zero DF pledges dumb down sustainability and CSR”

Last week I published this post about what brands might do as zero deforestation approaches are seen to need re-working, given we are 1000 days or so away from some big stated deadlines. That post is linked below, as is a response by Anita Neville from Golden-Agri Resources. Now, again below, is some further commentary…

How sustainability practices in wine offer useful insights to others

Josh Prigge, CEO of Sustridge and most recently sustainability head at Fetzer Vineyards, says there’s no doubt that studying sustainable wine has benefits for other business sectors. Josh has spoken at a couple of Innovation Forum conferences in the last few years. I found what he had to say highly interesting, and I was curious about a…

Happy New Year, some recent sustainability analysis, and what’s coming up

Happy New Year to all readers, and I hope you had a restful festive break. I was in rural Somerset with the family, where it rained a lot, but the local food and (mostly imported) wines were superb. Part of my New Year resolutions (along with more gym, fewer carbs and glasses of wine in…

Consumer perception of sustainability in supply chains, some recent findings from research

Sabine Benoit and Julia Hartmann at the Surrey Business School at the University of Surrey have been researching consumer perception of sustainability in supply chains (video here) They have been researching the question of whom consumers hold responsible and blame in case of irresponsible supplier behaviour and the subsequent reactions in consumer behaviour. The publication that’s the foundation of…

Latest sustainability and human rights analysis: Unilever, BNP Paribas, Big Data, Plastics, Eileen Fisher, Clarks and more…

Here below are some recent analysis and podcasts from us at Innovation Forum. It’s all free. You don’t need to register or anything. Just click and enjoy. We’ve got a lot coming up in the second half of 2017 and if you enjoy our analysis, please consider attending one of our events and supporting our…

Insights for readers: Palm oil, plastics, forced labour, embedding values, measuring progress

Here’s some of the interviews, insight and analysis, recently added to https://innovation-forum.co.uk The below is a mixture of written and audio content, usually recorded at/around our events from the first half of 2017. I hope there’s some useful insights here somewhere for readers. Happy summer break to all! HSBC’s noble stand on palm oil No…

Join us later in 2017 to debate deforestation, factory sustainability, ocean pollution, human rights, and sustainable sugarcane

Last month we wrapped our final conference of the first half of 2017, during which we covered smallholder farmer sustainability, sustainable apparel, deforestation prevention, and tackling modern slavery and forced labour, (in both London and D.C), measuring sustainability processes and outcomes. All our conferences are held under the Chatham House rule of non-disclosure, but here are…

An excellent short speech on why business should assist human rights defenders

We’ve written and held conference sessions on this above topic for a while now. And we’ll be covering it yet again in our business and human rights conference, held every year since 2014, which takes place again in London in November. (Hard to believe I first did one of these conferences in 2003. And yes,…

Traceability, digitalisation and the latest innovation in apparel supply chains

Here’s a quick update on our event ‘How apparel brands can transform supply chains’, taking place 13th-14th June in Amsterdam. Confirmed participants include senior representatives from the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, VF Corporation, H&M Group, Kering Group, Eileen Fisher, Inditex, Lindex, Levi’s, G-Star Raw, Cotton Connect, C&A Foundation, the ZDHC Foundation and more. With a particular focus…