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World Wildlife Fund Sustainability Works

  • Date: 26 August 2019
  • Author: Daniel Riley and Luli Pesqueira

New opportunities in Mexican Electricity Market

Until recently, to most companies, buying electricity in Mexico meant plugging in and paying their bill. The market maintained a vertically integrated state monopoly, with very limited private generation. However, the Energy Reform of 2014 has transformed the Mexican electricity market entirely. This unprecedented reform created a liberalized wholesale market that allows commercial and industrial users to choose their own electricity supply at a competitive price.

With this new-found freedom of choice comes an urgent need for knowledge and market intelligence. Electricity buyers need transactional and technical support to help them navigate the new options in a complex marketplace.

The WWF team in Mexico sees this reform beyond cost-competitive electricity as it unlocks the conditions for more renewable energy with a stronger than ever business case for corporate buyers. 

Building upon the foundation of early buyers’ engagement, with the strong technical support of market experts, and ultimately made possible by the partnership among corporate buyers, renewable energy project developers, service providers, NGO partners and other key stakeholders, WWF has launched the Ren mx platform. Here, corporate buyers can find guidance to develop and execute a renewable energy purchasing strategy in only eight steps: from analyzing their energy demand to choosing a supplier and monitoring the performance of their deal, to everything in between.

The goal of Ren mx is to increase the competitiveness of businesses in Mexico by providing access to affordable and secure renewable energy, while helping companies to decarbonize their operations and ramp up the penetration of renewable energy in the Mexican grid.

Renewable energy: the new frontier for competitiveness 

More than 1,500 companies in Mexico have purchased renewable energy through Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) in the last 20 years. Mining, industrial and financial sectors are leading the way. The new market offers even more renewable energy supply alternatives and cost-competitive options with flexible terms that can be tailored to different business needs. These options offer a suite of benefits including price stability and transparency, cost saving, risk mitigation, and the opportunity to improve sustainability performance and demonstrate leadership. Renewable energy procurement is the new frontier for competitiveness in Mexico. While the market already saw the pioneering companies’ success, many more fall short due to the high transaction cost and complexity of large-scale renewable energy deals. Ren mx is here to provide capacity building to get the next 1,500 companies to source renewable energy.

Ren mx: a platform by buyers, for buyers

Inspired by Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance in US, Ren mx is born of consultation with corporate buyers and strives to serve buyers' needs. The platform provides timely and simplified market intelligence, training and tools for renewable energy buyers, and helps to connect buyers with suppliers. No more trying to figure it out on your own - Ren mx offers a standardized step-by-step guide and a community of learning and sharing.

As mentioned earlier, the Procurement Strategy Planner (Estrategia de compra) walks a new energy buyer through an eight-step process to determine a renewable energy sourcing strategy. It entails detailed tools and guides to perform an analysis of energy consumption, criteria to evaluate suppliers and design an RFP, to structure and negotiate a contract, and for comparing offers and understanding the legal implication of your deal. “The Procurement Strategy has made the renewable energy PPA so much easier,” said a corporate buyer in Mexico, “It shows the team behind this tool truly understand the challenges and demand of corporate buyers.”

Join Ren mx now and become a part of the transition towards a more competitive and renewable Mexico.

To learn more about Ren mx, visit www.ren.mx, or contact Luli Pesqueira Fernandez

  • Date: 31 July 2019
  • Author: Michele Kuruc, Vice President, Ocean Policy

Turtles entangled in plastic bags; whales dead and filled with plastic; sea lions trapped in six-pack rings: when images like these go viral, we’re motivated to do whatever we can to help ocean wildlife. Companies that produce and use plastic have opportunities to make and keep commitments to eliminate plastics in nature, but what if you’re not in the plastics business?

Plastics makers and commercial plastics buyers aren’t the only businesses that can save marine life. In fact, there is one sector that can have an even larger impact—seafood.

Plastics aren’t killing as much wildlife as unsustainable fishing
What we eat from the ocean impacts the marine world more than the single-use plastics that accompany our food.

Unsustainable fishing remains the single largest driver of declines in ocean wildlife. Currently, one third of the world’s assessed fish stocks have been pushed past their limits and are overfished or depleted. The rest most likely can’t afford the added pressure that would come with increasing catches. Irresponsible fishing has also led to declines in vulnerable populations of shark, turtles, and whales.

Sadly, this isn’t breaking news. But the problem is harder to visualize, so it doesn’t make headlines and garner consumers’ attention as often as plastics do. While there has been a coordinated effort to do something, the sustainable fishing movement needs more champions. Businesses that buy, sell, and trade in seafood can leverage their market power and step up and become leaders, achieving important conservation goals while simultaneously helping their businesses.

Sustainable fishing is a pathway to environmental and economic security
Fishing is a foundation of security for hundreds of millions of people in coastal communities. When effectively managed, fish stocks support livelihoods, provide food, and help maintain balance in critical coastal ecosystems. When ocean life flourishes, communities flourish.

Companies that buy and sell seafood can protect vulnerable marine populations while supporting local communities. They do this by prioritizing purchases from fisheries that are actively working to improve practices, which can be benchmarked against requirements of independent third-party assessment schemes like the Marine Stewardship Council.

Fishery improvement projects can address how fishing is managed, limit the bycatch of vulnerable marine species by modifying fishing gear and practices, and enhance the collection of data on fishing. These improvements can be made at the appropriate scale, whether that is local, regional, or international. Support from the marketplace can incentivize progress on an accelerated timeline.

Improving how the world fishes the ocean is critical but without a transparent supply chain there will never be the accountability necessary to stop unsustainable fishing practices altogether.

Commitments are only as useful as they are transparent
The fishing industry and governments are already using technology to track vessels and trade, ensure legality, and enforce compliance with rules. While there is a lot of information being collected, and some of it is being put to use, we’re not maximizing the potential of this data to curb unsustainable fishing.

The latest frontier of ocean conservation is creating uniformity of data throughout the supply chain, including how it is collected and shared. Industry is leading the design of standards through the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability, which includes participation from seven of the world’s 10 largest seafood production companies with combined seafood sales of well over $35 billion per year.

The dialogue is set to deliver its voluntary standards early next year to enable interoperability, lower costs, and improve the reliability of traceability systems, while substantially raising demand for transparent supply chains.

Plastics may pull at the heartstrings, but it’s not the only problem leading to declines in marine populations. Businesses in the seafood sector have an opportunity to lead on ocean conservation simply by spending wisely—transforming your supply chain in a way that prioritizes sustainable fishing is a response to declining populations of marine life that is well within your control.

And do cut back on single-use plastics in your office and home, too. Every little bit helps.

  • Date: 10 June 2019

Monarch butterflies embark on a marvelous migratory journey. Annually, they travel nearly 3,000 miles from the United States and Canada to their hibernation grounds in Mexico. These travelers arrive at the beginning of November and stay for five months at the Oyamel Fir forest of central Mexico before they migrate back North. Sadly, each year fewer monarchs make that journey as their population has drastically decreased due to climate change and depletion of milkweed along their migratory route, which is the only plant where monarch butterflies lay their eggs. 

WWF and our partners on the ground in Mexico are working to reverse this trend. Together, we are committed to protecting vital monarch butterfly habitat by countering illegal logging efforts, working with local communities and authorities on sustainable forest management, providing training for sustainable tourism, and leading sustainable projects such as tree nurseries that help restore butterfly forest and mushroom production. These measures have also helped to provide additional income to local communities that share the forest with the monarch butterflies.

As part of our efforts to save the monarch butterfly, WWF and world-renowned chef José Andrés are joining forces for the third year in a row to raise awareness and funds for these butterflies. During June 10-16, José Andrés’ DC-based restaurant, Oyamel, will feature special dishes inspired by the region in Mexico where migratory monarch butterflies overwinter. As part of the initiative, Oyamel will donate a portion of proceeds from a special Monarch Week menu to support WWF's work to protect the monarch butterflies.

In addition to Monarch Week at Oyamel, Chef Andrés acts as WWF’s Monarch Squad Champion by raising awareness about this species and encouraging fans to do their part to protect this migratory miracle. In the US, WWF has set a bold goal of getting one million supporters to join the Monarch Squad, to help save the monarch habitat by reducing habitat conversion and the use of herbicides along its migratory route in the US. Join José Andrés and learn more about WWF’s Monarch Squad here

  • Date: 03 June 2019
  • Author: James Snider, Vice President of Science, Research and Innovation, WWF Canada & Annika Terrana, Senior Program Officer of Responsible Forestry and Trade, WWF US

For the last century, the vast majority (80 percent) of the softwood lumber produced in Canada has been imported to the United States. These forest products are used to build homes and make paper products. The demand for wood products is increasing rapidly around the world—and could triple by 2050.

This week—after seven years of rigorous debate, deliberation, consultation and trials—the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in Canada rolled out a new national forest management standard that sets a high bar for forestry practices around the world.

This new standard holds the opportunity to show the world how 21st century forestry can provide meaningful solutions for collaborative, equitable and sustainable management of our forests.

The new FSC-Canada standard features three key elements:

  • Woodland caribou: Caribou are both an indicator and an umbrella species, meaning they signify the health of the forest and support other plant and animal wildlife. Caribou are also an essential resource for indigenous peoples. Numbers have dropped for many herds and actions to improve conditions for caribou must be prioritized. FSC now includes requirements to directly support caribou habitat and avoid harvest in breeding or migration areas.
  • Free, Prior, and Informed Consent: Over 1.6 million indigenous Canadians live in or near forests. The new FSC Canada standard introduces formal requirements to pro-actively design policies that recognize the rights of indigenous peoples to protect their culture, livelihood and lands, including language that is consistent with the legal definition under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Landscape-level management: The impacts of large-scale land use exist beyond a concession’s immediate boundaries. Landscape-level management is needed to maintain, enhance and restore ecosystem services. The new standard includes requirements to minimize and avoid landscape disturbance, like aligning forestry activities with other industrial activities and protection of waterways.

What’s at stake for Canada’s boreal forest

Canada’s boreal forest—a broad swath of northern forest stretching from the Pacific to Atlantic oceans—is home to more than 2.5 million people and over 600 indigenous communities. It, too, is a key driver of the Canadian economy, contributing up to 200,000 jobs. Timber from the boreal forest is a primary export to the United States and around the world.

The Canadian boreal forest is also home to woodland caribou, which is among the most iconic species of conservation concern in the country. It is one of the few large mammals with populations found across nearly every province and territory, amounting to a truly national species, as memorialized for more than 80 years on the 25-cent coin. The boreal populations of woodland caribou have also become a microcosm of debate on how conservation for at-risk species should occur in the country.

In short, the plight of woodland caribou illustrates the immense challenge of reconciling the growing demand for wood products, the tremendous importance of forests for wildlife and the important role the forests play as carbon sinks, the loss of which accelerates the climate crisis.

New standard is a global model

Canada is not alone in addressing these critically important issues, but in many ways is first in advancing practical solutions with potential to influence other high-forest cover countries, such as Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, that are grappling with similar challenges.

Credible certification standards can help ensure working forests are managed well. And among the certifications, FSC is the gold standard because of its inclusive governance model that equally weights economic, environmental, social and indigenous representation, as well as its performance-based standards that manage for natural forest conditions and preservation of ecosystem services.

Finding solutions is complex and requires leadership. Indigenous rights-holders and the stakeholders of Canada’s vast forests have shown us a new bar for how to be better stewards of our planet, support a stable climate, and ensure healthy forests for woodland caribou. Now it's up to us as forest-users to implement it, and consumers to ask for it. Sign the Pledge.

  • Date: 23 May 2019
  • Author: Ginette Hemley, Senior Vice President, Wildlife Conservation

Drawing upon some 15,000 scientific studies and government reports, an international team of scientists earlier this month issued the most comprehensive assessment ever undertaken of the declining state of nature and its implications for humanity. To call the news bad would be an understatement.

The web of life that sustains us is unravelling at an increasingly alarming pace due to human activities, with upwards of 1 million species now facing extinction within the next few decades. Many of these include species we depend on for food and life-sustaining ecosystem services such as crop pollination, fresh water and the oxygen in the air we breathe.

To those of us working in conservation or following developments in the field, this news was not exactly unexpected. Indeed, WWF’s Living Planet Report has been tracking and documenting these trends for the past 20 years.

But the latest assessment by more than 300 scientists from the U.N.-backed  Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES for short)  takes an encyclopedic 1,500 page deep dive into the declining state of nature – doing for biodiversity what the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) does for the atmosphere. While the full report is yet to come, an extensive summary for policy makers was released on May 4.

Among its findings:

  • The abundance of native species in most terrestrial habitats has fallen by at least 20% over the past century and biodiversity – the diversity in and between species and ecosystems – “is declining faster than at any time in human history.”
  • Three-fourths of the Earth’s land surface and two thirds of its oceans have been “significantly altered” by humanity’s growing weight (7.7 billion of us as of 2018). This, in turn, has placed increasing stress on natural resources. About 60 billion tons of resources (both renewable and non-renewable) are now extracted every year, but land productivity has decreased over nearly a quarter of the globe while as much as $600 billion worth of agricultural production is at risk due to the decline in pollinators – bats, birds, bees and other insects.
  • Things aren’t better in the marine environment, where 93% of all fish stocks are being harvested at either maximum sustainable or unsustainable levels, coral reefs are dying from acidification and bleaching, and marine vertebrates, from sea turtles to whales, are being contaminated by plastics, industrial waste and the toxic cocktail of other pollutants we dump into our oceans.

According to the report, the main drivers of this trajectory toward global disaster are, in order of impact: 1)  changes in land and sea use (e.g., conversions of forests to agricultural use); 2) the direct exploitation of organisms -- a wonky way of lumping together things like over-fishing and the illegal trade in wild animal parts;  3) climate change; 4) pollution of the land, sea and freshwater biomes; and 5) the invasion of alien species – no, not of the extra-terrestrial kind  but of species that hitch-hike from one continent to another via globalization, upsetting the delicate balance of biodiversity in the places they end up.

The scientists say there’s still a way out of this jam, but that it will require a truly transformative effort: something on the order of what proponents of the Green New Deal propose for climate change -- but implemented on a global scale. Indeed, climate change and biodiversity loss must be tackled together, not only because each help drive the other but because both in turn are driven by a now reckless level of human consumption.

“We cannot solve the threats of human-induced climate change and loss of biodiversity in isolation,” says Sir Robert Watson, the former chair of the IPCC and current chair of IPBES. “We either solve both or we solve neither.”

After 25 years of fruitless debate with industry-funded climate denialists, we must now hasten the transition from the fossil fuels that cause climate change to solar, wind and other renewable clean energies. We must also re-think how we grow our food (along with how much of it we waste after growing it); how we reform a toss-away culture that is poisoning our rivers, wetlands and oceans with plastics and other pollutants; and, as if all this were not enough, how we can help developing countries to do the same.

Will it cost a lot? Yes, but not nearly as much as losing the $125 trillion worth of ecosystem services that The Living Planet report estimates nature provides to us every year. Will it ruffle the feathers of powerful vested interests? That too. But if that is the price to be paid to leave our children a living planet, it’s a bargain.

There’s a fable in Greek mythology about the fate that befell King Erysichthon of Thessaly, who angered the goddess Demeter by clear-cutting the trees in her sacred grove to fuel the fires of his kitchen hearth. In revenge she cursed the king with an insatiable hunger that only got worse the more he ate. Consumption possessed him, driving his soldiers to plunder everything edible in the kingdom until famine gripped the land. In the end, there was but one thing left for Erysichthon to eat: himself… arm by arm and leg by leg until he was no more.

Even back then, some teller of tales seems to have had a premonition that the quest to consume more and more could, if we were not careful, end up consuming us all.  

  • Date: 22 May 2019
  • Author: Nancy Labbe, Manager, Sustainable Ranching Initiative, Ranching and Conservation

America’s beef sector has taken an important step toward greater sustainability. After years of intense collaboration among ranchers, retailers and every other link in the supply chain, the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef released its sustainability framework—the first time stakeholders across the entire supply chain from ranchers to retailers have agreed to a uniform set of metrics to improve their environmental, social and economic performance.

Representing thousands of ranchers and hundreds of companies, the U.S. Roundtable based its sustainability framework not only on their experience and knowledge but also on a variety of public comments from a diverse range of individuals and interests outside of the sector. The final product provides producers, processors, traders, retailers, restaurants and more with indicators and metrics that they can apply in their day-to-day business to improve air quality, protect waterways from runoff and waste, bolster healthy soils and grasslands, boost wildlife and reduce carbon emissions, among other things.

This is why World Wildlife Fund co-founded the Global Roundtable on Sustainable Beef in 2010 and its U.S. counterpart five years later. We envisioned an industry that thrives economically while promoting better social and environmental outcomes, one that provides nutrition without overdrawing the planet’s natural resources. This sustainability framework is one manifestation of this vision. Across the globe, there are more than 19 similar efforts working toward producing beef more sustainably.

What’s the industry’s next step? Implementation.

Sustainability in the U.S. looks different than it does in other parts of the world. Take Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, for instance. It suffers in part from deforestation to make room for cattle pastures. In the U.S., however, cattle can help save America’s great ecosystem—the Great Plains.

More and more, Great Plains ranchers are finding that what’s good for grass is good for cattle, and vice versa. It makes sense: Grasslands evolved with large herds of grazing animals. Bison historically filled this role and now some ranchers manage cows to mimic bison as they prune the grass, strengthen its roots, aerate the ground and fertilize the soil—all while turning that inedible grass into edible protein. (Chickens and pigs can’t do that.) This action allows the soil to harness carbon, nitrogen and other elements from the atmosphere and turn them into grass. When grasses grow, insect, bird and animal life grows with them. We’re even finding benefits for wildlife on ranches where cattle are grazed with grassland health in mind.

The Roundtable’s framework also provides guidance for auction houses, feedlots, processors, retailers and other supply chain stakeholders to improve in areas such as air quality, carbon emissions, water use, water quality and animal welfare.

It’s good to see industry leaders pushing this grassroots initiative forward; players that have been slow to adopt more sustainable practices are getting left behind. Consumers are demanding food they can feel good about eating and if they can’t buy it, they just simply won’t eat it. This sustainability framework lays the foundation for businesses to act and promote better beef for consumers with a smaller environmental footprint. As the industry now moves to put this framework into action, we’ll continue to work across the supply chain to save our grasslands and support the ranchers who sustain them.

  • Date: 14 May 2019
  • Author: Sheila Bonini, Senior Vice President, Private Sector Engagement

Last summer in an op-ed in the Seattle Times, I called for a plastics revolution. As a society, we were on the brink of rethinking how to tackle our plastic waste crisis, but there wasn’t a clear path on how to get there.  Since then, city governments, companies – both big and small – and other stakeholders have made public commitments, from bans on plastic straws and bags to large-scale pledges to reduce, re-source, recycle, and more.

While ambitious commitments are the jumping off point for any successful venture, we know that no single individual, organization, company, or government can tackle the root causes of plastic waste on their own. When it comes to the private sector, commitments move companies in the right direction, but to actually fulfill those commitments, companies need a roadmap for navigating the broken plastics system, a collaborative environment that fosters innovation and aggressive goal-setting, and the right tools to make their bold visions a reality.

That’s why World Wildlife Fund launched ReSource: Plastic, an activation hub designed to close the “how” gap for companies that are ready to move from aspiration to meaningful and measurable action. We’re inspired by the efforts of our Principal Members, including Keurig Dr Pepper, McDonald's, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Tetra Pak and The Coca-Cola Company, and the work of our Thought Partners Ellen MacArthur Foundation and ocean Conservancy. When leading companies and NGOs unite around comprehensive solutions to the plastics problem – by reducing their own plastic pollution footprint, shifting to bio-sourced and recycled materials, influencing public policy, and shaping consumer behavior – real change happens.

When we first started to think how WWF could help stop the flow of plastic waste into our oceans and other critical ecosystems, we examined our decades-long work with influential corporate partners. We quickly recognized the critical role that private sector collaboration could play in achieving our mission of No Plastic in Nature by 2030. In designing ReSource, we took a three-pronged approach to working with companies:

  • Prioritize strategies that will yield the greatest impact.
  • Implement those strategies and utilize an innovative methodology to measure progress.
  • Collaborate with other companies and key stakeholders to drive new solutions and investments.

We also knew we couldn’t do this alone. Our Thought Partners, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Ocean Conservancy, are already at the forefront of engaging businesses on this issue. Under our leadership, and with their strategic input and guidance, ReSource will be strongly rooted in science and focus exclusively on keeping plastic in the supply loop and out of the environment.

A year into the plastics revolution, I’m thrilled with how far we’ve come, but there’s more work to do. We challenge you to go beyond your commitments and join us. Together, we can show what a future with no plastic in nature actually looks like—a world where oceans, wildlife, communities, and businesses thrive.

Learn more at www.resource-plastic.com.

 

  • Date: 28 March 2019
  • Author: Lou Leonard, Senior Vice President, Climate Change & Energy, World Wildlife Fund

Americans love a good bargain. Case in point — the renewable energy market, where costs continue to fall, and companies are moving fast to take advantage. In 2018 alone, a mere 40 U.S. companies contracted for more than 6 gigawatts of renewable energy, doubling the previous record. That’s enough power to supply over 1 million homes.

But even as companies are doing more renewable energy deals than ever before, scientists warn that we have to move faster to decarbonize the economy in time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Companies can do even more to speed up America’s transition to renewable energy, if we can remove a few obstacles standing in their way. 

Increasingly, the price of renewable energy is not the problem: Costs for renewables are dropping, beating out coal and even natural gas in many places. Renewables also offer businesses less energy price volatility, allowing a company to lock in a price for decades, a significant advantage compared to market fluctuations in the price of natural gas. And renewables help companies meet their carbon reduction goals.

The price is right, companies can plan with confidence that the price won’t change, and renewables help companies meet their climate goals. So, what’s the problem? In short, access to the market for buying renewable power. Even for big companies, buying energy isn’t like buying a TV at the mall or ordering takeout online. If you want 100% renewable energy – rather than the mix of mostly dirty electricity with a little clean power thrown in that many utilities supply to their customers – it can get complicated, fast. Only the biggest companies have in-house expertise to navigate the complexities of a renewable energy deal.

And that’s in places where electricity markets are even open for these kinds of deals. In most American states, utilities control electricity markets, providing power to all customers — and choosing the source of this power. In these ‘regulated energy markets,’ companies can’t purchase their energy directly. A few companies have found creative ways to hack the system: For example, large technology companies have used their leverage when bringing new energy demand to the state (e.g., new data centers) to negotiate renewable energy deals with their utility. But existing and smaller customers lack the leverage to secure a deal.

It’s clear that the deck is stacked against these companies. To tackle climate change, that has to change. Companies need to learn from each other and to collectively use their voice to make it easier for everyone to buy renewables.

That’s where the Renewable Energy Buyers’ Alliance (REBA) comes in. REBA is a coalition of energy buyers and suppliers looking to transform America’s electricity system while bringing 60 gigawatts of clean energy online by 2025. And they are working together to drive progress in those challenging “regulated markets” — thanks to powerful new tools like green tariffs, buyer aggregation and innovative policy incentives.

Green tariffs come in many shapes and sizes but are essentially programs where a utility allows buyers to purchase renewable energy at a fixed rate. In some cases, companies have collectively partnered with utilities, which in turn buy electricity from renewable energy sources on the companies’ behalf. Such deals highlight a recent innovation of aggregating the purchasing power of multiple buyers in a single deal, thereby reducing prices and transaction costs.

This kind of ‘aggregation’ can be especially helpful for smaller companies. Large buyers are increasingly offering to ‘anchor’ lower costs for smaller companies who join the deal. In other cases, a group of smaller companies can serve as a collective anchor to negotiate a deal none of them could do alone.

It’s time to use these good examples to design innovative policies that bring these options to different markets. Legislation in Michigan and North Carolina triggered the development of green tariffs, while California expanded direct access for large customers to shop for renewables competitively. REBA is helping to build these innovative new procurement structures across markets, but more work is needed across the country.

And now REBA is about to really up its game. Today, the coalition is officially transforming from an NGO-driven initiative – driven by World Wildlife Fund, World Resources Institute, Rocky Mountain Institute and Business for Social Responsibility – to a business-led association. Under this new model, REBA will crowd in hundreds, even thousands, of new corporate members who collectively have the power to drive policy and regulatory fixes, level the playing field on costs and increase options for all customers to buy renewables.

Some trade associations in America have a bad reputation for blocking progress on climate change. But companies use trade associations for their biggest priorities, for when they really want to raise their voices together to have the greatest impact. What if we had a new trade association chartered to help save the planet? Starting today, we do.

Many challenges remain, but the unprecedented clean energy procurement in 2018 demonstrates a growing corporate consensus that renewable energy is the future. And now REBA offers a powerful vehicle — driven by American businesses — to help us get there.

 

  • Date: 28 March 2019
  • Author: John Marler, Vice President, Energy & Environment, AEG

This Saturday, March 30 at 8:30 p.m. local time, millions of people, companies and municipalities around the world will celebrate Earth Hour. They will turn out their lights in solidarity for the fight against climate change and renewing their commitment toward protecting our planet.

As the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company, AEG believes we have an opportunity to use our business assets and influence to create positive change in the world.  Through our worldwide network of more than 150 venues, we entertain more than 100 million guests annually, and what better way to raise awareness for this important initiative than to add our venues to the list of iconic structures that will join the global Earth Hour movement?

2019 marks the 10th year that AEG’s is celebrating Earth Hour. We’ve made this an annual tradition because we believe that sustainability is a shared endeavor, touching everyone in all organizations and all corners of the globe.  Through our environmental sustainability program, AEG 1EARTH, are working hard to conserve more, use less, source responsibly and find better ways to work.

But this year’s Earth Hour event takes on an even more urgent tone, in light of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recent report on global warming. According to the report, as a global society, we have less than 12 years to make “unprecedented” changes to our way of life or face increasingly dire consequences.  Just last month, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization released a report explaining that global loss of biodiversity from habitat and ecosystem degradation is threatening the world’s food supplies, as just nine species account for 66% of total crop production. 

John Marler AEG (002)

John Marler is the Vice President for Energy & Environment at AEG

In April, we will release our eighth sustainability report which outlines our progress towards our science-based climate goal, our risk-based potable water conservation goal, and our waste diversion goal. We’ll share our successes and business challenges, including the completion of the nation’s largest solar installation at a municipally-owned convention center, the launch of our employee-driven sustainability advocacy program and our work to reduce single-use plastics throughout our operations.

While our sustainability efforts are ongoing, we celebrate Earth Hour to unite and stand with others around the world. In Shanghai, the Mercedes-Benz Arena will turn off its lights and work with artist Fei Yuqing on Earth Hour activations during his concert. In Los Angeles, L.A. LIVE, STAPLES Center and the Microsoft Theater will be dimming unnecessary lights and promoting Earth Hour through their social media channels. And in Australia, ICC Sydney will black out two-thirds of the venue with messaging to the public and employees. These are just a few examples of what we’ll doing on March 30 in support of Earth Hour – we hope you join us!

 

 

The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of WWF.

  • Date: 19 February 2019
  • Author: Erin Simon, Director, Sustainability R&D

Plastic is everywhere. It’s in our food and water. It’s in hundreds of diverse wildlife species. It’s found its way to the most remote parts of the world. And in the centuries that plastic waste takes to degrade, it’s polluting critical ecosystems and the species that call them home in ways that we’re just starting to wrap our minds around.

One dump truck full of plastic waste enters our oceans every minute. Over the year, this accumulates to 8 million tons of plastic entering our oceans. If we continue with business as usual, the future looks dire for nature and people. It’s estimated that by 2050, 99% of seabirds will have ingested plastic. The plastic waste crisis poses an urgent and rapidly growing threat to the entire world. To avert catastrophe, we have to stem the flow of plastic waste into the natural world — now.

Forget piecemeal solutions. We must rethink the entire lifecycle of plastic — how we source, design, manage, and reuse the plastic materials that communities depend upon — and engage key players at every stage along the way. The global scale and complexity of the challenge demands a multi-faceted and coordinated response that spans every region of the world and every sector of society.

The private sector has a particularly critical role to play. Businesses can foster positive change in their direct operations and across their supply chains, motivate and collaborate with other industry leaders and service providers, influence policy, engage individual consumers, and spark public dialogue — exactly the kind of ripple effect we need to achieve WWF’s global vision of No Plastic in Nature by 2030.

A recent report by WWF, “No Plastic in Nature: A Practical Guide for Business Engagement,” examines the scope and causes of the plastic waste crisis and offers a clear and pragmatic guide for businesses to lead the much-needed plastics revolution. 

One dump truck full of plastic waste enters our oceans every minute. Over the year, this accumulates to 8 million tons of plastic entering our oceans

WWF brought different areas of expertise to bear in creating this report—a fitting process, given the critical role that collaboration has to play in all of our recommendations. Through an analysis of best practices, independent research, and case studies, the report synthesizes what works, and what’s adaptable. Specifically, there are the four ways that companies can drive systemic change:

  • Embrace strategic collaboration – making purposeful design improvements will maximize impact
  • Shift the thinking around design, packaging, and distribution so that the later stages of plastic’s life cycle are kept in mind. The result will be improved recycling and composting rates, as well as robust markets for recycled materials
  • Engage consumers in ways that shift behavior for the long-run
  • Innovate the ways we currently collect, recycle and compost waste

The plastic waste crisis represents a shared challenge for nature, communities, and business. The end goal of No Plastic in Nature is within the world’s reach, and now we have a roadmap to get us there. We call upon businesses to help lead the way.

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