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…

Podcast frenzy & lots of no-cost insight, from human rights, to strategy, to sustainable landscapes

I haven’t posted on here for a while. We’ve been busy publishing on the main Innovation Forum site, which has hugely increased traffic in the last few months. We think this is due to our audio content, which is proving extremely popular, we think because a) its pretty good and b) its a flexible format…

Plastics and human health – overblown or a coming crisis, we just don’t know yet

Reading this from WEF, “Are you breathing plastic air at home? Here’s how microplastics are polluting our lungs”, all it needs is a few credible studies to confirm this, and global textile, home furnishing and manufacturers could have a major issue on their hands, and fast. Research needed into scope of the problem, and viable…

Sustainable commodities: The depressed and disempowered vs. the angrily incoherent – some ideas for real change

It’s not often I sit down to write a post that could well annoy almost everyone I know. This is one of those. But it’s a risk worth taking. Someone needs to say, I think, what I am going to say here. Scott Poynton blogged about this area recently, and I had the same conversation…

Business sustainability: We need to talk about measurement

First, and for a long time, we had philanthropy, and there was no need to measure that, except in cash given, and tax breaks received. Then we had early CSR, let’s say at some point in the 1980s, and that was about happier communities, some more motivated employees, the odd bit of PR and some…

Deforestation-free supply chains: Four trends to watch

Chris Meyer from the Environmental Defense Fund has put together an insightful blog post on the above topic, which is particularly timely, given this week is the TFA 2020 AGM in Accra, Ghana, where I am moderating a panel session on scaling up zero deforestation initiates, with speakers from Golden Agri Resources and Mondelez. I’ve…

Notes on the role of technology and innovation in sustainable agriculture

For the last two years, we at Innovation Forum have held conferences on this above topic in Washington D.C. Firstly with the Pew Centre and in 2018 with the Nature Conservancy, at their offices in Arlington. Thank you for the support to both organisations. Here’s some of the anonymised notes from the conference. A couple…

Some recent podcasts, engaging farmers, gene editing, missed deforestation targets, slavery and impact measurement

As you might know, we love a good old podcast at Innovation Forum. We find they get a lot more interest and listens/downloads than text articles, perhaps because they are convenient, and human-centered. So here’s quite a few we’ve taped recently, with executives from leading companies and other experts, on a whole host of sustainability…

Agro-food companies and tackling water risk management

Paul Reig is responsible for managing the World Resources Institute’s corporate engagement on water and their Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas In advance of our conference next week tackling this: “Can innovation and technology make agriculture sustainable? – 5-6 April 2018 – Washington DC ”  we thought we’d send him a few questions about his work, and…

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…

Notes on modern slavery and forced labour, including leaders and laggards

Here are some of my notes from our recent conference on this subject. These are just from a few sessions, so only represent a snapshot of the conference, which was fascinating. To get the full notes or experience, you’d need to attend. Sorry, but publishing is like the music industry now: It’s all about the…

Supply chain transparency and blockchain. If this story is right, it’s highly significant…

The story I’m talking about is this one: Chinese insurer ZhongAn plans blockchain chicken coup Poultry-tracking ledger technology can improve country’s food safety, says chief From the Financial Times today. In case you can’t read it (the curse of paywalls, media in search of a business model) here’s what it says, in quotes: “An insurance…

Brands, traders, producers and Deforestation debate heats up, key meeting next month

Greenpeace’s new “Moment of Truth” campaign report today claims that: “Eight major household brands such as PZ Cussons, Johnson & Johnson and Kraft Heinz are refusing to say where their palm oil comes from, despite promising to stop buying from companies that destroy rainforests. Eight others, such as Nestlé and Unilever, have made their palm…

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…

SDGs: It’s cash that counts for development goal success

 From the weekly Innovation Forum newsletter. Sign up here and join 40,000 readers each friday. (yes, it’s all free, are our our podcasts and webinars, here) While momentum is building behind the SDGs, lack of funding and focus on making them relevant remain key barriers “There are risks and costs to action. But they are…