Deforestation is front and centre, here’s a round up, and some thoughts on the way forward

The Economist cover this week is titled “Deathwatch for the Amazon”. You may imagine what it says. For example: “In the tropics, which contain half of the world’s forest biomass, tree-cover loss has accelerated by two-thirds since 2015; if it were a country, the shrinkage would make the tropical rainforest the world’s third-biggest carbon-dioxide emitter,…

A new venture on sustainable wine

Good morning all. Over the last few years I’ve occasionally posted something on here from my sustainable wine blog, which probably was a bit niche for some of you. It’s been a fun journey learning about how sustainability has changed the wine sector over the last few years and hearing some of the leading winemakers…

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….

Another example of the trade offs we face in finding sustainability

The New York Times reports that: Citrus Farmers Facing Deadly Bacteria Turn to Antibiotics, Alarming Health Officials In its decision to approve two drugs for orange and grapefruit trees, the E.P.A. largely ignored objections from the C.D.C. and the F.D.A., which fear that expanding their use in cash crops could fuel antibiotic resistance in humans….

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…

What are the most significant business management issues around plastics?

Last year we held a conference called “How business can tackle plastic pollution”. It was very popular, in the end. Some attendees objected to the title, which was deliberately provocative. I had to point out to them, that when we originally launched the event, it was called “Why plastics are essential, and how to make…

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…

Our 2019 meeting agenda: Human rights, apparel, the future of food, positive impact measurement, biofuels, plastics and commodities

Here’s some of the upcoming meetings we at Innovation Forum have put together April – November 2019. We’ve got a couple more in the pipeline and I’ll post about those soon. How business can tackle modern slavery and forced labour – 2-3 April – London Sustainable Apparel and Textiles Conference – 9-10 April 2019 –…

How do the leading companies frame their role in contributing to a sustainable world?

I had a conversation about this today with someone, for reasons I can’t go into. We were discussing this key question, which is not a new one, but is ever more relevant. I dashed off a few notes, without any further research, and so I’ve pasted them below, for better or worse. I was thinking…

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…

15 obvious points about sustainability strategy development (for comment)

After a chat today with some interested and interesting folks, I came up with a list of ways one might do a sustainability strategy development process. There are others. Thought I’d stick it on the blog and see what y’all thought. So here we go: Map issues Map stakeholders (internal and external) Engage Regroup and adapt…

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…