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‘Climate criminal’ Shell fails to soothe troubled waters with energy transition plan

The weeks prior to the annual general meetings of "big oil" firms are rarely quiet affairs these days. Shell’s AGM late next month is no exception. Among the campaigners pointing the finger at the Anglo-Dutch oil giant is Friends of the Earth Netherlands, which is threatening legal action if the company doesn’t bring its business into line with the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5Co. A group of Dutch activist investors, Follow This, has tabled a motion to this effect as well.

Image: Channels: Business StrategyTags: ShellBPfossil fuelsParis AgreementdecarbonisationFollow ThisOIl Change InternationalPKAmethane emissionsrenewable energy

CSR Cheat Sheet: UK retailer Iceland ditches palm oil over deforestation fears

UK food retailer Iceland, famous for its frozen foods, used to feature celebrity Peter Andre in its TV commercials to entice shoppers. Now Iceland hopes its concern for forests will also start pulling in the punters, following its move last week to remove palm oil from its own-brand products. The decision was sparked by the devastating impact that the ubiquitous commodity is having on south-east Asian rainforests. Iceland has already taken the controversial ingredient out of half its portfolio, with the remainder of its products set to be reformulated by the end of this year.

In itself, the move won’t save the forests of Sumatra or Borneo, where palm-led deforestation is putting dozens of species on the endangered list, including the emblematic orangutan. Before its announcement, palm oil only occurred in 130 of Iceland’s own-brand products (around 10% of the total) and amounted to a mere 500 tonnes a year. Total palm oil production in Indonesia alone last year stood at 42 million tonnes. Furthermore, the supermarket will continue to stock non-Iceland branded products that include palm oil, from ice-cream and margarine to detergents and soaps.

The retailer’s announcement earned a stiff repost from the Roundtable for Sustainable...

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Close popup Image: Channels: Business StrategyTags: CSRIcelandUnileverOxfamdeforestationShip Recycling Transparency InitiativebiodiversityAmazonFMCGGreenpeaceIndonesiaSainsbury'ssustainable shippingRSPOFarm animal welfareCompassion in World FarmingWaitroseM&S

Eight takeaways from the second day of Responsible Business Summit NY

1 Pascal Balhussen, global vice president of procurement for Mars Inc, said the role of procurement has changed “beyond recognition” over his 25-year career. As Mars has faced into some of the big issues in its extended agricultural supply chain, such as poverty and human rights, it has had to engage in “uncommon collaboration, working with partners we haven’t worked with before.” 

Image: Channels: Communications & Reporting

‘We need to wake up to the existential threat surveillance capitalism poses to democracy’

Both sides of the Atlantic are in an uproar over revelations that the data of millions of Facebook users was acquired by the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica for the purposes of influencing elections. Investors have sent a strong warning signal to the social networking company: Nordea has put a hold on its investments in Facebook, whose stock has shed $70bn in the past 10 days. Analysts are predicting more to come.

Image: Channels: OpinionTags: online privacyFacebooksilicon valleysurveillance capitalismCambridge AnalyticaBig data

The disruptors: How Dave Stangis is making sure Campbell Soup is fit for the future

Cast yourself into the future. You’re a twenty-second century historian. On your desk (or your virtual holographic work station, who knows?) is a list you’re working up of breakthrough innovations from the past century.


You can bet the smartphone is on there. And the Hadron Collider. And perhaps even Elon Musk’s SpaceX Heavy Falcon space shuttle. But sippable soups: would they make the grade?

Image: Channels: Business StrategyTags: Campbell SoupCSRbig fooddisruptorsFMCGGMOsorganic foods

Why Nordea’s responsible investment funds have dropped Facebook

Facebook has a market cap of close to 500 billion dollars. 2.2 billion users, or 29% of the global population, are using the network on a monthly basis. This indicates that the company has established a solid, profitable and strong business model.

But can it persist in the long-term and is the business model sustainable?

Image: Channels: Stakeholder EngagementTags: Facebookdata protectionNordeaCSR and social mediaGDPRCambridge AnalyticaESG investors

Accounting for change: the drive to put a dollar figure on nature

This month, many companies will report on their end of year finances, and we’ll be able to see clearly who made a loss or a profit.


Alongside those accounts, companies might also disclose their carbon emissions, how much energy they saved, and whether they’re using less, or more, water.

Image: Channels: Business StrategyTags: Natural Capital ProtocolKeringA4SNewcastle UniversityNestléGreen Economy Coalition25-year environment planTCFDnatural capital finance allianceVDBOKepler Cheuvreux

‘World's largest viscose supplier ABG still in denial over rampant pollution'

Last June, Changing Market’s Dirty Fashion report revealed that, despite its potential to be a sustainable fibre, most viscose is still being produced using heavily polluting processes reminiscent of the dark days of rayon manufacturing in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century (See Fashion brands 'failing to heed warnings on viscose production').

Image: Channels: Supply ChainsTags: Sustainable Apparel CoalitionFSCPEFCviscoseCanopy Planetgarment supply chainMarks and SpencerAsdaNextH&MIndia CSR

Why HR holds the key to creating the leaders of the future

No business leader wants to create more air pollution, lead more children to suffer health issues, or put more plastic in the ocean. For the most part, business leaders would like to be a force for good. Yet every day, the decisions and actions of business leaders across the world contribute to significant social and environmental challenges that put the future of our societies and economies at risk.

Image: Channels: Business StrategyTags: human resourcesUnileverNestlépurposeBlack RockOlamCISL

#PressForProgress: Why women can lead the way on achieving the Global Goals

In January 2017 the Business and Sustainable Development Commission presented its flagship report, Better Business, Better World, contributing to the changing narrative around the private sector and sustainable development.

Image: Channels: Business StrategyTags: #WomenRising2030UN Global CompactInternational Women's DayBusiness and Sustainable Development CommissionSDG 5gender equality

CSR Cheat Sheet: No Monday blues for sustainability professionals

IT MAY NOT be the best paid job in the world. It may not herald great promotion prospects. It may even feel like an uphill battle much of the time. But this doesn’t seem to deter those working in the field of corporate sustainability. According to the latest data, environment and sustainability professionals are a (relatively) happy bunch.

Image: Channels: Supply ChainsTags: CSRminingdnvWWFsupply chainshuman rights watchTiffany and CoConsumer trustethical supply chainsjob satisfactionEdelman trust barometer

Why Unilever is smart to tackle its digital supply chain by facing up to Facebook

Unilever’s recent announcement that it may pull its advertising from digital platforms that "create division", foster hate or fail to protect children was big news. It demonstrated not only the power of big corporations in addressing issues that matter to the public; it also highlighted the complexity of delivering a brand with purpose in a world where technology is changing the rules of marketing, consumers are taking more control, and where the positive agenda of one organisation can conflict directly with that of another.

Image: Channels: OpinionTags: UnileverFacebookgooglepurposedigital supply chainmarketingCSRsustainability

Report review: Ørsted pushes green energy agenda beyond offshore wind power

Danish power company Dong Energy last year announced a permanent shift away from fossil fuels and a firm focus on renewables, describing it as a move from "black" to green energy. Along with this change came a new name – Danish Oil and Natural Gas became Ørsted, after Hans Christian Ørsted, the Danish scientist who discovered electromagnetism two centuries ago. Unfortunately, the new name did not sit well with Ørsted’s descendants, who in January threatened legal action.


Ørsted’s latest sustainability report explains how the company has been phasing out fossil fuels over the past decade. It has reduced coal consumption by 73% and committed to completely phase it out by 2023. Carbon emissions have halved and will have reduced by 96% by 2023. Ørsted’s transformation culminated last year in the divestment of its upstream oil and gas business, part of the reason for the name change.

2017 will be remembered as the year when newly built offshore wind became cheaper than black energy

The report also declares Ørsted’s firm commitment to the SDGs and outlines the three key pillars of its sustainability strategy: a world that runs entirely on green energy;...

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Close popup Image: Channels: Communications & ReportingTags: offshore windrenewable energyDong EnergyOrstedbiomassenergy from wasteBurbo Bankenergy storageFernSustainable Biomass Partnership

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