Deforestation as finance climate risk – key stats and progress, of sorts

The Chain Reaction Research newsletter, published by Climate Advisors, recently highlighted deforestation as a financial risk. Their recent note makes for interesting and useful reading: The Chain: Deforestation as a Climate Risk for Investors Here’s a few choice excerpts which include some helpful framing numbers: “Approximately 70 percent of deforestation is connected to agricultural commodity…

Our research on plastics says these are the most salient issues

Plastics and their impacts are everywhere in the news these days. Most recently alarming news about rocky coastlines on islands covered in plastic, what’s being called “plasticrust”. Scary stuff. But as we know solving the problem is not all about just business. It’s about much more than that, including infrastructure, incentives, and much much more….

Sustainable socks, and other insights from brands, innovators and experts

We’ve shifted over to our new website at Innovation Forum. It’s much easier to find your way around now. Check it out here. Now, you can browse and listen/read by a number of categories. For example: If you want to delve into some business innovation analysis, go here. But if its brand and other expert…

Is sustainable intensification a myth or an inevitability?

This is a key question for the future of food, some materials and even some fuels. According to at least one academic journal, the term is ill-defined, and lacks accepted guidelines. The recent Sainsbury’s funded report, on the future of food, quoted in the Guardian, claims that: “Jellyfish suppers washed down with algae milk and…

Sustainable agriculture: Only farmers can change farming

There’s no substitute to working closely with farmers on-the-ground for real and effective transformation in agriculture, argues Chris Wille Many well-intended companies will not meet their 2020 zero-deforestation targets. The cattle agreement and soy moratorium in Brazil, which were already porous, may be upended by the election of Jair Balsonaro. The Cerrado manifesto likely will…

Innovation Forum’s recent sustainable apparel and textiles conference, a few key points

After our recent modern slavery conference in London, I and the team decamped to Amsterdam last week for our sustainable apparel and textiles conference at the Planetarium. It’s a lovely venue. It’s not often you speak on a conference session and a heron flies past the window, as Alison Ward from Cotton Connect, who sponsored the…

Are biofuels a sustainable – and scalable – solution?

Innovation Forum would like to invite you to take part in our discussion-based webinar: Are biofuels a sustainable – and scalable – solution? Join us for an hour of interactive discussion with United Airlines, SkyNRG, WBCSD and IINAS on how businesses are taking steps to mitigate their carbon footprint using biofuels. Sign up here: https://bit.ly/2TOyJFo…

Six questions for boards who don’t grasp sustainability (and who have had their chance)

1) What is our culture and do we understand its value? How can we find out? 2) How is our culture linked to morale, and how do we value what our people think? 3) How do we compare with sector peers on sustainability, and is that comparison important? 4) Investors are asking all large companies…

If anyone asks you “why bother with forests?”, then show them this

I saw this excellent piece when it came out a few months back, and then forgot to mention it on the blog, as I should have. The stats and facts here were debated at our Sustainable Landscapes conference in early November in London, of course. But it’s worth putting this here on the blog, for…

Why climate resilient crops must be the future

From the recent Innovation Forum newsletter, written and edited by professional writers and editors with long experience in sustainability.  There is huge potential value in transforming agriculture production, but more companies need to start developing climate-resilience now The recent EAT-Lancet review of the global food system has been widely welcomed. By connecting, for the first…

Can Cannabis become legal, and sustainable?

Toby Shillito, CEO of Sunshine Labs, a provider of legal Cannabis flowers and derivatives based in Europe, reflects on what it will take to make cannabis sustainable, as well as legal Prohibition has prevented the normal growth of corporate social responsibility issues in the Cannabis industry. With prohibition in retreat, there are emerging opportunities for…

How can palm oil companies help create sustainable rural communities? Here’s some ideas

A few months back, I facilitated a session with Goetz in Accra, Ghana, at the TFA 2020 conference, on rural sustainability initiatives that will scale. It was a fascinating 45 minutes or so, and his company, *Golden-Agri Resources, seems to me to be leading the way, with a few others, in this area. The evolution in…

The sustainable soy story

Here’s our take on the latest in and around Soy sustainability. Proud to work with colleagues Ian Welsh and Tom Idle on this piece, although I must say I had little to do with it, other than suggesting we go more in-depth than the usual 500 words. Tom and Ian have delivered some excellent analysis…

The ten most important issues in…business and plastic pollution/innovation

At Innovation Forum, the team and I spend a lot of time working out the complex answers to one simple question in each of the areas we work in. That question is: “What are the most difficult issues/challenges in this particular area?”. We then spend months, often longer (given events are often repeated) working that…

Information age: the role of transparency in spreading best practice in commodity production

By Chris Eves, forestry officer at the Zoological Society of London Speaking recently, Christophe Deloire, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders, stated that: “None of the main issues which humanity is facing will be resolved without access to information”. With 2017 the second worst year on record for tropical tree cover loss, now is a good…