Six basic principles for successful B2B sustainability collaboration

Can B2B collaboration make cars like the BMW i3 seriously profitable? Everywhere you look these days, some kind of potentially system-changing B2B sustainability collaboration is taking place. I say potentially because these are nascent, early-stage groupings in all cases. From apparel design to factory safety, to palm oil basics and innovation, these groups are emerging…

  • Apr 4, 2014
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Seven sustainability/CSR trends for 2014, and some personal plans

Big year for companies and forests ahead This year I won’t offer my own summary of 2013, given what we published on and in the print edition, did the job rather well. You can read it here. In a general business sense you can also read the 2014 preview here. Here’s a few quick…

  • Dec 31, 2013
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The Circular Economy in three minutes

Here’s a short, simple video on the idea of the circular economy. This is not a new idea but it is slowly becoming part of business models around the world. It will take some years and the right kind of incentives to make it stick, but finally more and more resources are going into the…

12 learnings from Ethical Corporation’s sustainable supply chain conference 2012

At Ethical Corporation we’ve just finished two fascinating days this week with 130 sustainable supply chain folks in London. Our subject, obviously, was corporate supply chains and how to make them more sustainable. Speakers came from Nike, Marks & Spencer, Skanska, B&Q, Ericsson, Lend Lease, Nestlé, Greenpeace, Oxfam, The Forest Trust, Solidaridad, Golden Agri Resources,…

Collaboration ain’t just about you

I can’t tell you the number of completely one-sided proposals for ‘collaboration’ I’ve seen over the years. As a Brit, and therefore a self appointed (and no doubt occasionally pompous) guardian of the term irony, I don’t throw the word around lightly. But it is somewhat ironic that folks who purport to work in the…

Sustainability as a commercial partnerships catalyst

Here’s my forthcoming column for Ethical Corporation’s September edition. Ambitious heads of corporate responsibility will help create the cooperation deals of the future, suggests Toby Webb Sustainable bedfellows? Here’s a prediction for you. Sustainable business strategy will one day soon incorporate brand to brand partnerships that incorporate the needs of society with social and environmental…

B2B Sustainability Collaboration: 16 lessons for managers

At the end of May in London twelve experienced senior sustainability executives got together for a 90 minute discussion on what B2B sustainability collaboration means for them, and to share experiences to date in managing a partnership approach. I organised and chaired the meeting, via my other company, Stakeholder Intelligence. The expert roundtable was sponsored…

  • Jul 11, 2012
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Rio+20, some brief company and policy highlights

Whilst I argued in a previous post that Rio+20 might have been better delayed until 2013/14, now it’s happened, we have to consider the positive aspects. Yes, CARE, a large development NGO, called it “nothing more than a political charade”. Whilst Greenpeace said it was “nothing more than a failure of epic proportions”. But in…

22 key sustainability challenges for Unilever

I”ve just come back from a conference on Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan progress on year on. I did warn readers that this week is “Unilever week”. No other large company would get this many tweets or blog posts about it written by me. But Unilever is the exception. No other company of its size has…

CEOs, corporate responsibility and the three C’s of sustainability

If you had to boil down the modern sustainability agenda into three words, what could they be? For the leading companies, but also firms starting the journey, I think you could do worse than consider three simple ways to frame an approach: 1) Competition 2) Collaboration 3) Cultural Change Competition is about the business case….

  • Apr 13, 2012
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Guest Post: What Alaska’s pullout tells us about the Marine Stewardship Council

Brendan May, in a guest post first published at, considers the ramifications of recent news concerning the Marine Stewardship Council. Some rather troubling news for eco-labels this month with the decision by the Alaskan salmon fishing industry to withdraw from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) programme. A decade ago, Alaska salmon became the first…

  • Feb 8, 2012
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A positive look forward into 2012

The ever-excellent Marcy Murninghan provides an excellent, cheering post on what we might expect in 2012 at this link. It’s easy to be bleak, as most commentators have been. In my earlier post on the year ahead, I felt I didn’t really delve much into the possible, looking instead at how just to keep things…

Is sustainability a safe career choice?

If this chart below is anything to go by, it ought to be. MIT Sloan says after a recent survey: “According to the respondents, 70% of companies that have placed sustainability on their management agendas have done so in the past six years; 20% have done so in just the past two years. (See “The…