Today, the world emits 50 billion tons of CO2 equivalents of greenhouse gases (GHG) each year. As part of this, so-called "harder-to-abate" industries are responsible for 27% of the global CO2-emissions, being the second largest source of GHG emissions. Materials, steel, cement, aluminium, and chemicals are jointly responsible for almost two-thirds of these emissions. Directly affected by the generated emissions in the harder-to-abate industries is the construction industry, which relies on materials like steel and cement. According to the Global Alliance for Building and Construction, the construction industry emits 38% of global energy related CO2-emissions, with the expectation to grow if no urgent actions towards net-zero targets are implemented.
In the improvement of sustainability practices, there is still massive potential in the supply chain. For example, according to CDP, if suppliers to 125 multinationals were to increase their renewable electricity consumption by 20%, over a billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions could be saved: equivalent to the combined emissions of Brazil and Mexico. Nevertheless, only 23% of tier-1 suppliers are engaging on emission reduction activities with their own suppliers. Evidently, business processes such as planning, sourcing, producing, and logistics require restructuring and redesigning. One of the factors that can play a major role on enhancing efficiency and optimization in the supply chain is improving traceability: the ability to track and monitor all steps involved in the development of a finished good, from the procurement stage of raw materials to production, consumption all the way to the disposal of goods.
As consumers are increasingly aware of environmental issues, topics such as climate change, ocean plastics and alternative proteins are grabbing the collective attention. An equally important issue, however, still seems to be hiding in plain sight: e-waste. Its scale and impact have grown because of the pandemic, as companies are purchasing new hardware to accommodate homeworking while the office equipment sits idle. As such, it is estimated that approximately 25 percent of IT equipment in Europe will not be used in the future. Electronics companies have a great opportunity in measuring the impact of their core activities and products, and collaborating with value chain partners on knowledge-sharing initiatives in order to ultimately reduce the generation of e-waste.
On the 18th of March 2021, S&P Global conducted a webinar zooming into the criterion of Packaging, which was thoroughly updated in the 2020 Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). The 2020 CSA revealed that stronger commitments towards the removal of unnecessary packaging and packaging reduction are needed. Download our free summary of the highlights in the attachment of the article.
In a fast-changing world with increasing internal and external risk, companies need to find smart solutions to achieve their sustainability objectives. Building strong partnerships with external stakeholders can help companies increase their positive impact as well as gaining a competitive advantage. This article sheds light on the partnership between Accor and the food waste reduction start-up Too Good To Go, highlighting both organizations’ objectives and partnership’s benefits.
Worldwide, the mattress market is estimated at a sizable €23 billion. In line with global growth of our population, this market has been predicted to further grow with annual 6.5% between 2017 and 2024. With almost 90% of all mattresses produced in the EU containing between 2 and 15 kg of hard-to-recycle polyurethane foam each and increasing pressures from legislation, mattress manufacturers are starting to lose sleep over finding less impactful solutions.
Notably, the food industry is among the first sectors affected by climate change and a wave of new reports and articles about food and sustainability have been published in 2019: What to make of the new evidence of today's food system challenges - from agri-food related climate change, to biodiversity loss, the ever significant food loss and waste and not to forget the increasing poor diets-related illness?
In the past years, the fast fashion industry has received plentiful attention for its questionable environmental sustainability. This attention has been mainly focused on the chemical production processes, planned obsolescence of its products and the destruction of unsold stock. If the product circle could be closed, the fashion industry would significantly decrease its consumption of raw materials and its environmental impact. Undoubtedly fueled by consumer interest for transparency, big and small companies have taken it upon themselves to begin closing the loop on apparel.
As part of their round-the-world sailing trip in search of sustainable solutions, the Sailors for Sustainability have moored their boat in Portugal's Algarve region. It's not only popular among tourists, but also where the cork oak tree thrives. Their omnipresence has turned the country into the number one cork producer: it accounts for more than 52 percent of the global annual production of 350,000 tons of cork per year.
The next edition of the World Resources Forum is taking place in the heart of Antwerp, Belgium from 24-27 February 2019 in collaboration with the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM). This time, business leaders, policy-makers, NGOs, researchers, entrepreneurs, the media, and students will share solutions and practices undertaken to move from a linear and fossil to a circular and low carbon economy.