March 2017

March 31, 2017

photo by Chandana Banerjee

She found a way to make plastic waste useful

By Chandana Banerjee

Medha Tadpatrikar helped design a machine in Pune, India, that heats up plastic to convert it to fuel. The process is eco-friendly in more ways than one.

In 60 cities in India, 16,876 tons of plastic waste are generated each day, according to data from the country’s Central Pollution Control Board. Multiply that by 365, and you have more than 6 million tons of plastic that end up in landfills a year.

Such figures were keeping Medha Tadpatrikar awake at night. She was also deeply troubled by an incident she had witnessed on a safari in India – a deer choking on a plastic packet that it had swallowed. “I realized how big this plastic problem is and how every creature on this earth is affected by it,” she says of the incident.

So Dr. Tadpatrikar resolved to find a way to make plastic waste useful. She and Shirish Phadtare started experimenting in Tadpatrikar’s kitchen, trying to “cook” plastic in a pressure cooker to create a practical fuel. “Plastic is made of crude oil, and we wanted to reverse the process to get usable oil,” Tadpatrikar explains.

Full Story

March 30, 2017

Shutterstock/PKPix

Climate Corps is a testing ground for future problem-solvers

By Ellen Weinreb

There’s increasing evidence that sustainability jobs are becoming a large and growing portion of the U.S. workforce across multiple sectors. A 2016 GreenBiz survey (PDF) stated that 75 percent of the participating firms had dedicated sustainability budgets and 40 percent had grown these over the previous two years.

As companies continue to imbed sustainability throughout their organizations, job opportunities are likely to grow — a trend identified by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in a report released earlier this year. It states that sustainability jobs already count at 4 million and growing. Provocatively titled “Now Hiring: The Growth of America’s Clean Energy and Sustainability Jobs (PDF),” the report looks at the EDF’s successful fellowship program, Climate Corps, against the backdrop of the continued growth of the clean energy sector in the U.S.

Full Story

March 29, 2017

© malerapaso / Getty Images

Scientists Have Found a Brilliant New Use for Orange Peels

By Mike Pomranz

When we think of “food waste,” we tend to think of things like throwing out bagged salad we accidentally let expire, tossing leftovers we brought home that we never ate, or disposing of an untouched wedding buffet because the bride left the groom at the alter after discovering he had a secret second family living in Sao Paulo. But food waste also comes in more innocuous forms that we often overlook – things like orange peels. Sure, tossing the peel is a natural part of the orange eating process, but just because peels are natural, that doesn’t prevent them from ending up in landfills. However, a team of researchers believes they’ve found a use for all that excess citrus waste – developing a method for using peels to create a water filtration system.

According to the University of Granada, scientists from the Spanish college, together with Mexican researchers, have figured out a way to turn leftover citrus peels from fruits like oranges and grapefruits into a new absorbent material that’s able to clean wastewater by filtering out heavy metals and organic pollutants. Though these peels might seem innocent enough, the university stresses that the global fruit industry produces 38.2 million tons of these inedible fruit outsides every year. As Modern Farmer points out, peels can be an especially pesky problem for companies who make products like orange juice and orange concentrate that then have to deal with this waste on an industrial scale.

Full Story

March 28, 2017

Photo: Shutterstock

How Morocco’s Vision of Sustainability is Rooted in Cultural Preservation

By Dr Yossef Ben Meir

There are a number of sustainable development programs and policies in Morocco that display innovation and promote social solidarity. These participatory democratic initiatives are designed to catalyze people’s development and meeting multiple human needs at the same time. For example, the Municipal Charter of the nation requires the application of participatory methods for inclusive planning of community projects. Doing so enables new enterprises to address economic, environmental, and social factors and goals in a given region. Another example is Morocco’s Decentralization Roadmap, which harnesses the resources of the national and regional levels in order to achieve locally-identified development priorities.

Since early in his reign, the King Mohammed VI has championed integrating cultural and sustainable development into single movements. The kingdom’s position in regards to the Alliance of Civilizations, for example, embodies the natural chemistry of actions that are both multicultural and developmental, as well as – in the case of the Alliance – meant to improve cooperation among nations. As King Mohammed VI explained in 2008, “That vision consists in making sure culture serves as a driving force for development as well as a bridge for dialogue.”

Full Story

March 26, 2017

Sustainability: A New Path to Corporate and NGO Collaborations

By Joshua Cramer-Montes

The convergence of shifting CSR trends, untapped NGO value, and pressing development challenges holds tremendous potential for driving social impact and business innovation.

In 1953, Howard Bowen laid the foundation for the modern era of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by asking what responsibility—if any—businessmen had to society. In the 60-plus years since, the social contract between business and society has grown increasingly long and more inclusive.
Between the 1950s and 1970s, CSR took shape in the form of pre-corporate philanthropy, a largely disparate approach involving support for domestic nonprofits at the discretion of CEOs with little transparency or oversight. In the 1980s, intense foreign competition and a greater focus on shareholders led many publicly traded corporations to adopt more stringent quality and cost controls. This created greater demands to tie corporate philanthropy to financial performance through efforts like cause-related marketing and practices more aligned with a company’s business. Throughout the 1990s, CSR became more international in scope, but was typically reactive in nature and often a response to negative publicity. During this time, a holistic, triple-bottom-line accounting framework of sustainability also began to emerge. Since the 2000s, CSR has grown increasingly strategic, and a broader concept of sustainability has gained ground.

Full Story

March 25, 2017

Photograph: Scott Oates for the Guardian

Music to our ears: sustainability headlines Womadelaide festival

By

For all the good vibes and communal spirit, when it comes to environmental sustainability there isn’t a great deal to celebrate about the average music festival.

As anyone who has gazed upon the aftermath of one can attest, these orgies of consumption typically leave in their wake a trail of plastic cups and dumped tents strewn about a wasteland of churned earth.

And that’s just the visible impact – there are also the carbon emissions of transporting stage infrastructure, performers, crew and of course fans to the festival site, not to mention the ravenous energy consumption of gigantic light and sound systems often powered by dirty diesel generators.

In Australia festivals have been working to clean up their act, from Melbourne’s Off the Grid capitalising on the solar power of the summer solstice, to the Byron Bay Surf festival banning plastic, to Victoria’s Meredith music festival doing the impossible and creating good out of a festival toilet by using human waste for compost.

Full Story

March 24, 2017

JIANAN YU/REUTERS

How Recycled Water Could Revolutionise Sustainable Development

By Tamara Avellán

By 2025, absolute water scarcity will be a daily reality for an estimated 1.8 billion people. The Conversation

In a world where vital resources are increasingly scarce, nations cannot afford to flush them down the drain. But that is exactly what we do. After we use water in our homes and businesses, it is washed away, and takes many valuable resources with it.

Waste water is rich in carbon and nutrients and – if collected and treated properly – it could provide new water, fertiliser, and energy. A number of nations and major cities have already built sophisticated waste-water treatment plants that effectively recover nutrients and bioenergy, and produce “new water” that can be reused. But more than 80% of all waste water still currently flows into natural ecosystems, polluting the environment and taking valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials with it.

Full Story

March 23, 2017

Steph Wetherell

Sustainable Start-ups Changing Our World For The Better

By Susan Devaney

We are willing to bet that if every start-up business in the near future considered sustainability first, the whole world would benefit.

According to the European Business Awards, since the financial crisis of 2008, the rate of new businesses starting up in the EU is three times faster than in the USA. We are entrepreneurial, innovative, creative – and going green. And if these recent start-ups are anything to go by then it won’t be long before sustainability is at the core of every new business.

Not just your average farm:

The city of Bristol is quickly becoming a power player in sustainability. So it comes as no surprise that start-up Grow Bristol, founded by Dermot O’Regan and Peter Whiting, is both sustainable and engaging with the local community. Made from recycled shipping containers, the urban farm applies innovation while sustainably farming fish and growing salad vegetables. They then sell their produce directly to customers and the city’s restaurants.

Full Story

March 22, 2017

JOHN TOWNER

Sustainability for a Vulnerable Ocean

By Peter Neill

We have done our worst to despoil the land; are we really prepared to destroy the global ocean and all its potential for sustaining us into the future?

Our mission with the World Ocean Observatory is to advocate for the ocean through information and educational services. We do so in myriad ways: through these blog posts; a weekly radio program; an aggregated video channel; a digital magazine; a virtual aquarium; a monthly newsletter; online exhibits; a sharing space for classrooms; relentless social media; this blog; and the World Ocean Forum — a writers’ arena providing the best new voices with the best new ideas a place to share ocean solutions. The idea is to demonstrate the vast connection of the sea to every aspect of human endeavor, how the ocean nurtures us, and will provide for our future — if we will let it.

This relentless advocacy requires constant and varied activity, lots of bits and pieces that taken together provide content as wide, deep, and dynamic as the ocean itself’

Sometimes the subject seems so vast and varied that no amount of activity can do it justice and, as we see the constantly shifting shape of indifference, frustration abounds. Sometimes, then, it seems useful to review the challenges, the astonishing number of challenges, to the integrity and sustainability of this profound natural resource. Sometimes it serves to hear the names of our enemies read aloud:

Full Story

March 21, 2017

New biofuel from wastewater slashes vehicle CO2 emissions by 80%

By LACY COOKE

An innovative new project called LIFE+ Methamorphosis is pioneering a new sustainable biofuel for cars. Car company SEAT and water management company Aqualia have transformed wastewater into the alternative fuel. Powered with this biofuel produced during one year at a treatment plant in Spain, a vehicle could circumnavigate the globe 100 times.

SEAT and Aqualia came up with a creative answer to the issues of pollution from traditional car fuels – which have led to traffic restrictions in cities like Madrid – and reusing water, a scarce resource. To make their biomethane, wastewater is separated from sludge in treatment plants, and then becomes gas after a fermentation treatment. Following a purification and enrichment process, the biogas can be utilized as fuel. Compared against petrol, production and consumption of the biofuel releases 80 percent less carbon dioxide, according to SEAT. The new biofuel works in compressed natural gas (CNG)-fueled cars.

The project aims to show feasibility at industrial scales through two waste treatment systems. The UMBRELLA prototype will be set up in a municipal waste treatment plant serving Barcelona. The METHARGO prototype will create biomethane at a plant handling animal manure. The biogas made with the second prototype can be utilized directly in cars or could be added to the natural gas distribution network, according to the project’s website.
Full Story

March 20, 2017

©Chanklang Kanthong/Greenpeace

Companies Continue Progress in Erasing Deforestation, Human Rights Abuses from Supply Chains

By Sustainable Brands

A wave of efforts to increase transparency and ethics in complex global supply chains in recent years has not only unearthed grave ongoing issues, but a groundswell of private sector commitments to address them. Two that have risen to the forefront of concern for multinationals are deforestation and human rights abuses.

Greenpeace reported today that industry giants Mars and Nestlé have announced that they will take steps to ensure their pet food supply chains are free of human rights abuses and illegally caught seafood. Their commitments to enact standards on transshipping at sea increase the need for global seafood giant Thai Union Group, one of the world’s largest and likely most contentious seafood companies and a supplier for both companies, to eliminate any outstanding risks of human rights abuses and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in its own supply chains.

Nestlé has committed to a full ban on transshipment at sea in its supply chains, while Mars has committed to suspend the use of transshipped products in its supply chains if its seafood suppliers cannot adequately address the human rights and illegal fishing issues associated with the practice in the coming weeks.

Full Story

March 19, 2017

Chocolate just became way more environmentally friendly, so snack on

By AMANDA MALAMUT

Chocolate is one of the most delicious things in the world. It’s sweet and delicious. But unfortunately, producing chocolate affects the environment. Luckily, chocolate brands are joining together. Their plan is to make chocolate more environmentally friendly.

The production of cocoa causes deforestation. Which is obviously not great. Because of this, the CEOs of major chocolate companies are working together. Most of all, they want to change how they source cocoa.

Because the last thing we want is to feel guilty about eating chocolate.

Why would we feel guilty? Because a 7-ounce bar of milk chocolate produced from a cleared rainforest has the same carbon dioxide emissions as driving 3.2 miles in a car. Furthermore, a dark chocolate bar of the same size has the same emissions as driving 4.9 miles. Wow!

Full Story

March 18, 2017

sustainability

[Photo: ronstik/iStock, Pattern: Softulka/iStock]

What If We Could Deal With Landfills By Turning Them Into Clean Energy?

By BEN SCHILLER

While the world may be running short on certain key resources, including fresh water and rare metals like iridium, one resource is as abundant as ever: trash. The World Bank projects the global municipal waste stream to hit 2.2 billion tons per year by 2025, up from about 1.3 billion tons now.

Conceptualizing trash as a resource may be key to reducing its burden on communities, particularly in developing countries where landfills tend to be located closer to living areas. (In America, landfills are normally placed at the edge of cities and towns). If we can find ways of mining trash for precious commodities or turning it into energy, we could both reduce the size of the piles and create something useful. More to the point, repurposing trash would curb greenhouse gas emissions. Landfills are a significant source of methane, a pollutant many times more harmful to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

Full Story

March 17, 2017

Getty Images

What Will it Take to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals?

By HELEN CLARK

World leaders unanimously approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that lie at the heart of that agenda lay out an ambitious plan of action for peace, prosperity, and environmental sustainability.

The SDGs build on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that preceded them, and aim to complete what they did not achieve. The MDGs galvanized development, and there was significant progress in a number of the areas they targeted.

The SDGs, however, go further in advocating a paradigm shift in the way we think about and do development. They are broader in scope and more aggressive in ambition than the MDGs were. They are universal and designed to be integrated and indivisible. They are underpinned by a cornerstone pledge that no one will be left behind in development. They offer a blueprint for a world free of the worst effects of climate change, where extreme poverty is a thing of the past and the future is more secure and more hopeful for everyone.

Full Story

March 16, 2017

(Kenneth Chamberlain, courtesy of Ohio State University)

From Trash To Treads: Turning Tomato Peels and Eggshells Into Tires

By Randy Rieland

Scientists at Ohio State University are replacing the petroleum-based filler in tires with food waste.

Back when she lived in California, Katrina Cornish found herself wondering about those open trucks she saw carrying big loads of ripe tomatoes. Why, she thought, weren’t the tomatoes on the bottom crushed into big red puddles.

The reason, she would later learn, is that the tomatoes were bred to have tough skins that allowed them to withstand all that weight from above.

That bit of knowledge would come to serve Cornish well after she moved to Ohio State University, where she is a biomaterials researcher. Recently, she and her research team discovered that not only those tough tomato peels, but also crushed eggshells, can be effective replacements for the petroleum-based filler used in car tires.

Full Story

March 15, 2017

How a 94-Year-Old Genius May Save the Planet

By Kevin Maney

John Goodenough has defied the American tech industry’s prejudice that says old people can’t innovate.

A man old enough to be Mark Zuckerberg’s great-grandfather just unveiled energy storage technology that might save the planet.

John Goodenough is 94, and his current work could be the key to Tesla’s future—much as, decades ago, his efforts were an important part of Sony’s era of dominance in portable gadgets. Over the years, Goodenough has scuffled with Warren Buffett, wound up screwed by global patent wars, never got rich off a headline-grabbing initial public offering and defied the American tech industry’s prejudice that says old people can’t innovate.

Full Story

March 14, 2017

Oxfam International:Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

Enough is as good as a feast: Here’s how we can imagine a brighter food future

By Christoph Rupprecht

The World Economic Forum forecasts a bleak outlook for the future of food, with “unchecked consumption” and “survival of the richest” some the likely outcomes in a recent report. But there is a better way, says researcher Christoph Rupprecht.

The World Economic Forum’s 2017 report on the future of food examines what the world’s food systems might look like in 2030. But none of the four future scenarios it presents is particularly attractive. The Conversation

To create a world where everyone can eat well without wrecking the planet, we need better ideas, a rich imagination and the right tools.

The WEF report offers four potential scenarios.

Full Story

March 13, 2017

Students Providing Ideas for Innovative Solutions to Company-Defined Sustainability Challenges

By GISELLE WEYBRECHT

Continuing on with our theme this month of Student Engagement, this week we focus in on opportunities for students to solve real challenges with real companies, focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Breakthrough Innovation Challenge (BIC), a collaboration between PRME and the UN Global Compact, is a year-long programme that brings together young professionals from leading multinational companies to evaluate disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Internet of Things, and build sustainable business models addressing the SDGs powered by these technologies. The project is part of a larger UN Global Compact Initiative, Project Breakthrough, which aims to catalyze breakthrough, rather than incremental, corporate innovation to advance the SDGs.

“Disruptive technologies are radically transforming industries and changing many aspects of our lives. The Breakthrough Innovation Challenge brings together leading companies and young innovators to design the sustainable business models of tomorrow. This is an exciting opportunity for students to put their ideas and knowledge into practice.” Nikolay Ivanov Coordinator, PRME Champions

Full Story

March 12, 2017

Recycling still a major gap in sustainability efforts

By Samihah Zaman

Green audits presented at conference highlight the need to improve recycling efforts on campuses.

Abu Dhabi: While the UAE is expected to produce 29 million tonnes of waste this year, only about 10 per cent of residents in the country actively recycle their rubbish, a senior environmental expert said in the capital on Thursday.
Recycling is therefore a major focus of campus sustainability initiatives, especially as a number of self-audits undertaken at universities have found that on-campus recycling is still rather limited, said Fozeya Al Mahmoud, director of environment outreach at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD).
“A big reason why people exert very little effort towards recycling is because they cannot visualise the amount of waste that is actually generated, as well as how much of it simply lies in landfills. They stay wrapped up in their comfortable lives without seeing how much damage they are doing to the planet,” Al Mahmoud told Gulf News.
Full Story

March 11, 2017

PHOTOGRAPH BY ERMEDIN ISLAMCEVIC

World Legacy Awards 2017

By Costas Christ

National Geographic Traveler magazine recognizes this year’s leaders in sustainable tourism.

The numbers give rise to the reason: There were 25 million international tourists in 1950. Last year, more than one billion globetrotters set out to see the world’s cultural and natural wonders—from the Serengeti’s Great Migration to the ancient Inca cities of Peru. We now have more places to go and more ways to get there than ever before. With that comes an even greater responsibility to safeguard our fragile planet for future generations.

At National Geographic, we believe in the power of exploration to make the world a better place. And that conviction is why we launched the World Legacy Awards—to honor the travel visionaries of today who blaze the trail to a better tomorrow, based on environmentally-friendly practices, saving nature, protecting heritage, and supporting the well-being of local people. Our partners and sponsors include ITB Berlin, the Botswana Tourism Organisation, Adventure World, and the TreadRight Foundation. But at the core of our mission are fellow sojourners like you who share our passion for experiential travel and, yes, fun on the road, too.

Full Story

March 10, 2017

Five reasons why sustainability improves the bottom line

By Jeremy Luedi

Sustainability issues have long been regarded as an afterthought, or as a ancillary plugin tacked onto a wider business model. Approaching sustainability with such a mindset is a recipe for disaster, as sustainability has become a core requirement in all aspects of business planning. By focusing on sustainable business models, firms are able to mitigate a host of risk factors. This reduced risk profile in turn translates into easier access to capital, as sustainable investment portfolios have rapidly become must haves for both private and public sector investors.

Sustainability can be a daunting concept, especially for legacy firms: it is easy to get wrong, and its benefits are often not immediately apparent. Lauren Turner, research and outreach coordinator at Canadian Business Ethics Research Network (CBERN) highlights this conundrum.

Full Story

March 9, 2017

Image: Sam Valadi, CC BY 2.0

Do financial markets care about sustainability?

By Hannah Koh

Financial markets have shown they do not reward companies that embrace sustainability, said Sindicatum’s Assaad Razzouk at an event in Singapore recently. Asia’s sustainability crowd was not amused.

Until such time as fossil fuel companies cannot be listed on stock exchanges and consumers only make low-carbon choices, the financial market will not reward companies for being sustainable, Sindicatum Sustainable Resources’ CEO, Assaad Razzouk has said.

He and fellow panelists – JD Kasamoto from document management provider Ricoh and Agung Laksamana, director of corporate affairs from pulp and paper giant APRIL – were speaking on a panel themed “Will businesses drive the SDGs?”, but the conversation was dominated by whether the capital market generates returns for sustainable companies.

Full Story

March 8, 2017

What Will It Take To Keep Plastic Out Of The Oceans?

By BEN SCHILLE

Something like 9 million tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans every year, and, at current rates, the problem is likely to get worse before it gets better. As developing countries expand, they tend to consume more packaged goods while failing to implement adequate collection systems. By 2050, there could be more plastic in the water than fish, according to one estimate.

Forty years after the first recycling symbol appeared, only about 14% of plastic is currently recycled. But by redesigning packaging along circular economy principles, reusing more plastic bags, and by investing in recycling infrastructure, it should be possible to get that number nearer 70%, a new report estimates.

Full Story

March 7, 2017

Build a Greenhouse from Old Recycled Windows

By Gary and Gina Blocker

We garden, can, and preserve as much food as possible each year. We wanted a greenhouse to grow plants from seed and have fresh vegetables in the winter. However, we didn’t want to spend big money for a prefabricated structure. Instead, we came up with the idea to salvage and repurpose old windows, doors, and scrap lumber for our own “green” greenhouse.

Our first job was to find old windows and doors. We searched local papers, asked friends, and visited sites where houses were being remodeled or demolished.

When we had what we thought would be enough windows and old sliding glass doors for our planned 10-by-10-foot greenhouse, we laid out the windows in the yard like a puzzle so that we could determine their placement on each wall.

Full Story

March 6, 2017

Quantifying Sustainability

By BASF

Sustainable development has been defined as the balance of economic success, ecological protection and social responsibility. To effectively manage sustainability, a company must be able to measure or otherwise quantify sustainability in each of these pillars.

Many shoppers know the feeling: “I want to buy a decent product that’s good quality, worth the money, and manufactured in an environmentally and socially compatible way.” But finding such a product is not generally easy. Glass or plastic? Petrol or bio-diesel? Chemical or fermentation processing? The results are sometimes surprising.

Though a number of different measurement and valuation methods exist, most of them are focused exclusively on ecological aspects, i.e. impact on climate, forest decline or water. However, methods developed on that basis reflect only a small part of what sustainability is all about: balancing environment, society and economics. The aim of BASF´s analysis methods is therefore to quantify corresponding aspects.

Full Story

March 5, 2017

Nudge to action: Behavioural science for sustainability

By UNEP

Understanding human decision-making can provide insights on how to design more effective policies on sustainable consumption and production

In Kibera, Africa’s second-largest informal settlement, located in Kenya, researchers were puzzling over the low uptake of a water purification solution. This was a place where water-borne diseases were rampant and sometimes lethal, so why didn’t more residents buy this simple, cheap answer to a chronic health threat?

Even after residents were given discount coupons for the solution, not much changed. So the researchers started looking more closely into behavioural aspects of the process. What actually happened on the way from the water source to their homes?
It turned out that, with households making daily trips to a water source, an extra trip to the store for the chlorine solution felt inconvenient, even though the benefits were well known. Evidence from behavioural science shows that even small hassles can make it difficult to adopt a programme or product.

Full Story

March 4, 2017

How 5 firms are pursuing sustainability goals in 2017

By Hannah Koh

More companies are using sustainable thinking to get a competitive edge. Here’s what 5 MNCs – Rolls-Royce, Royal DSM, Panasonic, BASF and Henkel – are doing to become more responsible this year.

Think of sustainability and most people think of tree-planting and recycling. But multinational companies that have incorporated resource-light, ethical practices into their operations will attest that the S-word means more than a token corporate social responsibility gesture.

For a number of international giants, sustainability is a key part of their business. Targets are set and performance monitored, as with other key financial performance indicators. Becoming more energy and water efficient trims operating expenditure while carbon-light products and services can plump up the top line. In short, sustainability pays off for business.
Full Story

March 3, 2017

With high standards in place, Thailand moves toward MICE sustainability

By CIM News Magazine

Hot on the heels of a year of strong and consistent growth, Thailand’s MICE industry looks onward and upward toward new levels of standardisation.

In 2016, the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) saw great progress with a focus was on bringing the country’s MICE industry up to international standards through the Thailand Mice Venue Standard (TMVS) project.

The TMVS project involves a series of measures that, together, demonstrate to the rest of the world that Thailand is ready and able to host international events of the highest caliber. This in turn strengthens Thailand’s own MICE industry, encourages long-term growth and increases the country’s competitive edge.

Sustainability is a key aspect of the TMVS project and a major topic on the global MICE stage. Thailand’s MICE industry has also seen a significant shift towards sustainability in recent years. Reducing waste, lessening energy consumption, community outreach and utilising recycled materials are just some ways that hotels and meeting venues in Thailand have become more sustainable in 2016.
Full Story

March 2, 2017

Sustainable food

Pixabay – Karl Busamante

Switzerland’s Sustainable Food Scene Is Thriving

By Michael Pellman Rowland

Food production places a considerable strain on our natural resources. In order to meet the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, our food system needs significant change. The Sustainable Food Systems Programme (SFSP) launched by the UN is aimed at accelerating the shift towards a sustainable food system. In October 2015, Switzerland was tasked with co-leading this international initiative.

For those fortunate enough to travel to Switzerland recently, they’d likely find that the restaurant and hospitality scene is already in full swing, having established a variety of sustainability-focused menus. According to Gastro Suisse, eighteen percent of Swiss restaurants offer vegetarian food, and eleven percent offer food prepared vegan. I’ve compiled a list of some of the most impressive gems nestled here in the heart of Europe. Be sure to check them out the next time you’re in the land of snow-capped mountains and dark chocolate.

Full Story

March 1, 2017

Shutterstock/Galushko Sergey

Why the time is right to chart a new sustainability course

By Coro Strandberg

If your sustainability strategy is three or more years old, it’s time for a refresh.

Around the globe, we are facing unprecedented sustainable business issues. From resource constraints and scarcity to the unpredictable forces of climate change, rising income inequality and public expectations, businesses of all kinds are navigating challenging and often stormy waters. Surprisingly, many companies set sail poorly prepared to navigate this sea change.

In contrast, leading companies invest time charting their sustainability course and understanding the ever-changing forces they may encounter.

They prepare and provision accordingly, never losing sight of their destination — a safe harbor for themselves and society.

Transformational companies know that navigating there successfully means being responsive and adaptive along the way: when to raise the sails; when to trim them; when to wait for optimal conditions; and when to prevail.

Full Story]