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,…

Long read: It’s time to rethink the role of business in social cohesion and domestic terrorism

In the wake of the terrible events in Nice of July 14 2016 and other terror attacks, business leaders and managers must respond by grasping the importance of healthy societies to the future of Europe, argues Tobias Webb  I’m writing this for two reasons. Firstly, because the terrorist attack that happened in Nice on Thursday…

How can companies and donors work together more effectively on sustainable development?

It’s easy for companies keen to promote sustainability and resilience in their supply chains to neglect the potential of relationships with donor agencies, NGOs and governments. But if scale is the goal, collaboration is clearly the method. But these two words, scale and collaboration, are hugely over-used and not always well understood. To cut through…

What CEOs say about sustainability strategy in 2016

So according to the biggest and most rigourous study of its kind, “eighty-seven percent of chief executive officers (CEOs) say the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent an essential opportunity to rethink approaches to sustainability, and nearly half (49 percent) say businesses will be the most important actor in their delivery”. This is…

NGOs, do they sometimes cross the line, and what can you do about it?

(This is a long post. Sorry, but sometimes longer stuff is worth reading. Remember books? They were there before Twitter, and much more informative) After my recent post “Should companies sue NGOs over financially-damaging campaigns?” (*more on this at end) which has had thousands of reads, two things happened. Firstly, I was attacked in the comments…

Darian McBain of Thai Union on human rights, fishing and sustainability

Thai Union have been front and centre in the debate about both human rights and fishing, and seafood sustainability around the world in recent years. Greenpeace continue campaigning against the company on Tuna and fishing devices. Meanwhile the company has made significant progress on human rights issues, in a challenging operating environment. Some campaigners might…

NGO campaigns and brands: Why are companies going to court? Toby Webb and Scott Poynton

Scott and Toby discuss recent developments in companies falling out with NGOs and membership groups, and why some of these disputes are going legal. Also in this edition, we discuss sustainable wine certification in our ‘certification corner’ and introduce a new segment ‘innovation focus’. The podcast discussion is embedded below and a direct link on…

Can beef ever be sustainable? Cattle and climate change Q&A with Chris Wille

At our most recent conference on how business can prevent deforestation, in Washington, D.C, last month, I caught up with Chris Wille. If you don’t know about Chris’s work, you should. He is a true pioneer in sustainable business, who has created models used today all over the world, during a 40 year career, 24 of…

Should companies sue NGOs over financially-damaging campaigns?

Picture the scene. Your company is under attack. A campaign has happened that has cost you millions of dollars in lost business. Big brands, fearful of their reputations and their own sustainability commitments, have cut you out of the their supply chains, or will do shortly. You know that doing this is a serious shift,…

Is sustainability certification fit-for-purpose? The pros and cons

….. Here’s another excerpt from our fab new Supply Chain Risk & Innovation publication, out ten times a year, sign up blah blah, it’s brilliant, blah blah blah. You get the idea. But here’s some good free stuff below, before you get annoyed with the marketing messages. Given we at Innovation Forum have a reputation for being a bit anti-certification (not…

Is Apple’s supply chain sustainability work actually making a difference?

Below is an excerpt from our new Supply Chain Risk & Innovation  publication, out ten times a year. As a result of its industry-leading position, tech giant Apple’s efforts on sustainability have come under significant scrutiny – especially when it comes to working conditions at factories in China. Now, via audits, reporting and increased engagement, it is…

Modern slavery & the fashion revolution – Earthworm’s Scott Poynton and Toby Webb discuss sustainability

In the second fortnightly podcast discussion between Earthworm Podcast host Scott Poynton and Innovation Forum founder Toby Webb the focus of discussion was on the interface between business and human rights – and the issue of modern day slavery. Listen to the podcast here. Toby and Scott begin by discussing the launch of the new Earthworm.net website – which has been…

Ten sustainable supply chain insights from Apple, Golden Agri-Resources, DuPont and Heineken

What are the need-to-know highlights for supply chains this month? Here are our top ten insights In the May issue of Supply Chain Risk & Innovation, we analyse the IOI Group’s falling out with RSPO and the latest supplier checks by Primark. We examine the latest tech innovation, looking at collaboration between the UN Food…

Local Content – a missed multi-billion dollar opportunity

Guest post by Martin Summers Local Content policies already drive billions of dollars of spending on local suppliers and enterprise development initiatives by foreign investors in the extractives sector. But the latest industry guidance from IPIECA misses the opportunity to set out a clear and positive agenda for reform. Reforming Local Content is crucial at…