World Wildlife Fund Sustainability Works

  • Date: 22 March 2023
  • Author: Tim Rice and Natalie Shahbol

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all UN member states in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth—all while tackling climate change and working to preserve nature.

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  • Date: 20 March 2023
  • Author: Sheila Bonini, Senior Vice President, Private Sector Engagement

It’s not a shocking revelation to say that water is the lifeblood of business. We know that every industry—indeed every company, organization, and person on Earth—needs clean and ample freshwater to survive. It’s such an obvious fact that we take it for granted and forget. For many of us, it’s difficult and frightening to even imagine a world in which we no longer have access to the water we need. Maybe this is why water stewardship never seems to get the attention it deserves. But we no longer have that luxury.

This week, the United Nations hosts the 2023 Water Conference, the first in nearly 50 years. All of us at WWF are thrilled to see water take center stage in a global platform. And I’m personally so excited to see the enthusiastic engagement, participation, and support from so many of the world’s leading companies. The reason for this goes beyond an altruistic notion to save the planet—though of course we admire and encourage that; it’s about making sure their business stays in business.

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  • Date: 09 March 2023
  • Author: Katherine Devine, WWF and Sandra Vijn, Kipster

WWF has written previously about turning food waste into animal feed, finding that 14.7 million tons in the US could be safely used for animal feed rather than go to landfills. A new WWF paper highlighting Netherlands-based egg company Kipster’s US expansion goes a step further, arguing that we should consider relabeling “food waste” to “surplus food.”

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  • Date: 03 March 2023
  • Author: Giavanna Grein, Lead Specialist, Wildlife

Today we commemorate not only World Wildlife Day, but also the 50th anniversary of CITES, the global treaty regulating the trade in wildlife species. A lot has changed in the last half-century: for example, the original signatories to CITES could never have imagined a future in which tiger cubs appear for sale on social media feeds. This is just one of the many ways in which changing technology has created new challenges for those of us striving to disrupt and ultimately end the illegal wildlife trade.

A simple search of social media sites illustrates the volume of wildlife for sale online, both legal and illegal. In just three seconds, and with only one search term, I was able to find elephant ivory for sale on social media. A jump into one hashtag will reveal available listings for various species and products, such as live reptiles, songbirds, primates, tiger cubs and claws, pangolin scales, rhino horns, and shark fins.

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  • Date: 03 March 2023

Collaboration is a key ingredient to ensuring a successful outcome for any conservation project. And if you want to deliver big conservation results that improve the health of vital habitats around the world, then choosing and working with trusted partners is a must. On World Wildlife Day, WWF celebrates the many conservation partnerships that contribute to securing a future where people, nature and wildlife thrive.

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  • Date: 02 March 2023

For our Rising Stars series, we're featuring the next generation of leaders who are working toward a more sustainable world. We recently spoke with Ashley Kuhn, Senior Director, Nature & Biodiversity at Procter & Gamble to learn about her role, what she finds most challenging and rewarding, and her advice for those new to the field.

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  • Date: 01 March 2023
  • Author: Jenna Bailey and Cheron Carlson, WWF

Are you ready to become a sustainability changemaker?

In partnership with WWF and Intersectional Environmentalist, Starbucks is launching an updated sustainability course, Greener Apron, on the company’s open-source platform, Starbucks Global Academy.

Greener Apron gives Starbucks partners (employees) and anyone wanting to learn more the information and tools they need to learn about sustainability, leveraging examples from Starbucks’ sustainability initiatives, and how they can make small changes to make a big difference at work and in their communities. The goal of the course is for individuals to be empowered with a personal action plan to move forward in their sustainability journey.

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  • Date: 28 February 2023

Our oceans provide a range of goods and services, many of which depend on healthy ecosystems.

Global seafood production supports the livelihoods of more than 600 million people, and serves as the primary source of animal protein for approximately 3 billion people. Yet with only about 30 percent of the seafood sold today certified or rated as sustainable, and with more than 30 percent of the world’s fisheries currently over-exploited, unsustainable seafood production poses an immense threat – both to the ecological health of our oceans and to the socio-economic health of the people and companies that depend on them.

Issues like climate change and habitat destruction compound the impact of overfishing, exposing companies in the seafood sector to financially material risks like declining productivity and changes in the distribution and abundance of fish populations. At the same time, human rights, worker safety and labor violations in both aquaculture production and wild capture expose companies to significant reputational, market and regulatory risks.

The challenges the industry faces are significant, but a new coalition of conservation and biodiversity focused organizations aims to help tackle these by leveraging the power of investors to engage seafood companies on critical nature- and biodiversity-related impacts and risks.

WWF, the FAIRR Coller Initiative, UNEP FI’s Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative, the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), and Planet Tracker have come together to convene a group of like-minded investors to conduct targeted engagement with key seafood companies. With the goal to eliminate overfishing, illegality and habitat conversion from seafood value chains, the coalition will support investors to develop targeted asks and utilize their collective power to strengthen companies’ commitments to and implementation of best practice in seafood sustainability.

Failing to adequately address the environmental and social risks and impacts in their seafood-related financing activities can expose investors to financially material risks which are often hidden through complex and opaque supply chains that span nations and continents.

And a new report from WWF shows despite most asset managers publicly recognizing biodiversity and natural capital impacts as risks, seafood-related risks and impacts are not, in the vast majority of cases, being addressed. Of the 42 asset managers whose public disclosures were assessed, only one has already developed and publicly disclosed seafood-specific environmental and social (E&S) expectations for its investee companies.

Banks are slightly more advanced in their thinking around seafood but have work to do as well. A recent assessment of banks’ seafood-related policies and procedures found that most major seafood lenders are aware of the need to manage E&S issues in the sector, but current policies – where they exist – are insufficient to prevent and manage their exposure to those risks.

The seafood industry’s strong dependence on nature and biodiversity makes it a strategic sector for financial institutions to begin to implement risk-hedging activities. In addition to supporting investors via the collective engagement initiative, WWF has also developed an e-learning course – Seafood Sustainability 101 for Finance Professionals – to help build financial institutions’ capacity to understand the key issues, challenges, and opportunities related to financing sustainable seafood value chains and to act on the recommendations in the two recent reports.

The investor collective engagement sponsored by WWF and its partners will equip financial institutions with practical strategies to manage their exposure to risks and to identify and develop sustainable investment opportunities. That will go far in maintaining the seafood populations needed to allow the $406 billion seafood industry to continue to thrive.

  • Date: 27 February 2023

Water is a vital element of life and one of the world’s most precious resources. However, with risks such as climate change, population growth, and changing consumption patterns, water is under threat. In fact, freshwater species are declining by 83%, faster than terrestrial or marine species. Humans are also at risk, with 1.1 billion people worldwide lacking access to water. By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages.

Building resilient communities and ecosystems is a crucial step in the fight against the water crisis and climate change, something that the WWF and The Coca-Cola Company partnership is working toward. Across the world, the partnership has identified priority freshwater basins and collaborated with governments, local communities, and other businesses to ensure the long-term protection and sustainable management of freshwater resources. Coca-Cola’s charitable arm, The Coca-Cola Foundation, has also supported work in this area.

One example of this can be found in the partnership’s work along the Yangtze River in China.

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  • Date: 16 February 2023
  • Author: Katherine Devine and Emily Moberg, WWF Markets Institute

The news is full of headlines about companies making commitments to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Given the alarming pace of climate change and governments’ failure to slow it, companies’ contributions are vital to both the planet and their bottom lines. Companies have a stake in mitigation efforts as climate change presents a real risk to their operations and infrastructure. However, behind all of the ambitious goalsetting and initial progress lies a secret that’s ripe for exploitation: product-level GHG accounting is so fragmented and flexible that it’s incredibly difficult to hold companies and sectors accountable for emissions reductions. What’s more, because companies can choose which methodologies to use and companies in adjacent industries may choose different methodologies (think: beef and leather), some emissions are simply not being accounted for once we get to the end products.

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