Top Stories

June 22, 2017

Supply Chain

Mondelēz International ramps up forest protection efforts in West Africa

Mondelēz International continues to make moves to clean up its cocoa supply chains by teaming up with governments across West Africa in an effort to tackle the problem of deforestation. Through its Cocoa Life sustainable sourcing program, the snack company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Environment as part of the country’s REDD+ program and a Letter of Intent with the Forestry Commission of Ghana and the UN Development Program to establish a REDD+ partnership in Ghana. Together, Cocoa Life and Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Environment will create a forest protection map, land use plan and tracking system to identify deforestation risks and opportunities to restore forest cover in the Nawa region, which is one of the last areas of primary rainforest in West Africa. Cocoa Life will also promote sustainable agricultural practices to enable farmers to improve productivity, adopt agro-forestry systems and free up land for other crops or reforestation. (Sustainable Brands)


Singapore unveils new rules to curb packaging waste

To curb the generation of packaging waste, Singapore will make it mandatory for firms to report packaging data and packaging waste reduction plans annually, by 2021. The National Environment Agency (NEA) tasked with keeping the country clean has noted that Singapore’s only landfill will be filled by 2035. Close to 200 firms are currrently signatories to the Singapore Packaging Agreement, which provides a platform for industries to collaborate with the government to reduce packaging waste. The agreement is currently voluntary to allow firms the flexibility to adopt the solutions they need. At the 10th Anniversary Awards Ceremony  Singapore’s Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli noted that “While the efforts of businesses to reduce packaging waste under the SPA programme have been laudable, the amount of packaging waste reduced still remains low compared to the total amount of packaging waste disposed of in Singapore.” (Eco-Business)

Responsible Investment

Sovereign investors tweak portfolios for environmental risk

Sovereign investors are reducing their exposure to fossil fuels or seeking clean alternatives to protect their portfolios from rising environmental risk. Norway’s $900 billion sovereign wealth fund SWF, itself financed by oil sales, and the New Zealand Super Fund are among those adjusting investments in anticipation of tougher environmental rules or damage from the impact of global warming. SWF is divesting from companies that derive more than 30 percent of their turnover or activity from coal. It is also investing in alternative fuel companies such as NextEra Energy, a US wind farm developer. The fund is also pushing companies to disclose carbon emissions and plans to handle climate change risk. (Reuters)

Human Rights

Consumer Goods Forum shares best practices to eradicate forced labour from global supply chains

In a bid to eradicate forced labour in global supply chains, a problem that affects 21 million people worldwide, The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has released a new report, Business Actions Against Forced Labour, highlighting best practices in tackling the issue. The report shares case studies from members such as Coca-Cola, Mars, Marks & Spencer, Unilever, and Walmart, detailing how they are setting up new programs, engaging in cross-sector collaboration and effectively implementing auditing schemes. Brands identified actions such as awareness training, cooperative action, traceability tools and grievance mechanisms as being especially effective in rooting out forced labour across supply chains. As part of its 2017 action plan, CGF members will take individual actions to mainstream the Principles with an initial focus on palm oil and seafood in Southeast Asia. (Sustainable Brands)


Queen’s Speech: Petrol stations to go electric

Petrol stations and motorway services will be required to install electric charge points, under plans outlined in the Queen’s Speech. The measure forms part of a government push to increase the number of electric vehicles on UK roads. The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill also contains plans to push driverless car technology. It includes an extension of car insurance to cover the use of automated vehicles. There are several trials of driverless cars ongoing in the UK. Car insurance will be extended to automated vehicles “to ensure that compensation claims continue to be paid quickly, fairly and easily”, the bill says. Official government research suggests that the market for automated vehicles in the UK will be worth £28bn by 2035. The government is investing more than £200m in research and testing infrastructure and is hopeful that the advent of driverless cars can have a profound impact on road traffic accidents. (BBC)

Image Source: Cacao Beans by Isai Symens at Wikimedia. CC 4.0