Top Stories

September 26, 2017

Sustainable Development

UN food agency links with Unilever to reduce food loss and waste

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has announced a strategic partnership with Unilever aimed at helping countries to reduce food loss and waste and tackle climate change through sustainable agriculture. The collaboration will pursue five strategic points of intervention: digital innovation, land governance and resilience building for smallholder farmers as well as climate change and food loss and waste. It is part of FAO’s Strategy for Partnerships with the Private Sector to achieve core SDGs. Unilever’s digital strategy for sustainable agriculture, centred on delivery of information and advisory services through mobile technology, has aligned with FAO’s vision to increase rural incomes. (Eco-Business)


Top carmakers must make ‘rapid changes’ or face billions in emissions fines

Only four out of 11 of the continent’s top carmakers, will reach the EU target on average emissions level of new cars by 2021, according to new research forecasts by PA Consulting Group. The majority of carmakers will face penalties of €95 for every gram of CO2 above the limit, multiplied by the number of cars they sell in 2020. According to the research, Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai-Kia and Daimler are set to miss their EU goals while Volkswagen is expected to face the biggest fine of €1.7 billion due to a lack of diesel alternatives in its portfolio. The report noted a positive shift towards greener fleets among some industry players, including Toyota, Renault-Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover, which are on track to meet the 95gCO2/km target. (edie)

Corporate Reputation

Printer firms ‘build in obsolescence’

A campaign group, Halte à L’Obsolescence Programmée (HOP), has accused HP, Canon, Brother and Epson of deliberately shortening the lifespan of their printers and cartridges. The group claims this is the first legal action made against programmed obsolescence.  If proven, printer manufacturers would be found in violation of the French Energy Transition Act 2015, and subject to two years imprisonment and a fine of €300,000. HP said the complaint was a generalised statement about the industry and stated that the firm has been “constantly working on improving the sustainability and quality of its products.” Epson rejected the accusation. Canon and Brother have not yet responded.  (CIPS)


Refurbishing offices could save $1.5tr, Philips Lighting tells business

LED lighting giant Philips Lighting has urged businesses around the world to upgrade their offices in line with best practice, after new research based on insights from Deloitte‘s move to the greenest building to date in Amsterdam, suggested firms could save up to $1.5 trillion in rental costs. The largest potential savings lie in Asia Pacific, where $977 billion could be saved in rent while Europe and North America could respectively realise $243 billion and $220 billion annual savings. Greener offices would also boost employee productivity, Philips predicted, by “enabling them to do things like… adapt the light and temperature conditions at their workstation”. The release comes as World Green Building Week starts with a call for all buildings to become ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050. (Business Green)

Supply Chain

Sixth mass extinction of wildlife also threatens global food supplies

The sixth mass extinction of global wildlife already under way is seriously threatening the world’s food supplies, according to experts from Bioversity International. Three-quarters of the world’s food today comes from just 12 crops and 5 animal species, which leaves supplies very vulnerable to disease that can sweep through large areas of monocultures. The new report sets out how both governments and companies can protect, enhance and use the huge variety of little-known food crops, which yet are more nutritious than those standardly used. Bioversity International has been working with Sainsbury’s to ramp up investment in agrobiodiversity in order to optimise the health benefits while protecting biodiversity and securing the sustainable supply of crops. (Guardian)


Image Source: Farming in Vietnam by Dennis Jarvis at Flickr. CC 2.o.