World Wildlife Fund Sustainability Works

Better business for a better Earth

At World Wildlife Fund, we believe deeply in the private sector’s ability to drive positive environmental change. WWF Sustainability Works is a forum for discussion around strategies, commitments, technologies and more that will help businesses achieve conservation goals that are good for the planet and their bottom lines. Follow WWF Sustainability Works on twitter at @WWFBetterBiz.

filtered by category: Sustainable Business

  • Date: 16 May 2024

Chicago is known for deep-dish pizza, hot dogs, lake views, stunning architecture and next week it will be known for circularity – as sustainability professionals from around the world gather at GreenBiz’s Circularity24, to discuss how to accelerate the circular economy.

As always, WWF experts will participate in panels, lead discussions and host workshops dedicated to providing valuable insights on everything from plastic pollution to food waste.

If you’re participating in GreenBiz24, we invite you to join a workshop or session featuring WWF experts and of course come say “hello” during conference networking breaks. Here’s where you can find us:

It's Time to Tackle Food Waste

Wednesday, May 22 – 4pm-5pm CT

Daniel Burnham AB

WWF experts include:

This breakout session also includes speakers from: Ahold Delhaize, USA, Deloitte and ReFed

Countdown to a Global Plastics Treaty

Wednesday, May 22 – 4pm-5pm CT

Great Lakes A

WWF experts include:

  • Erin Simon, Vice President and Head of Plastic Waste + Business

This breakout session also includes speakers from: Ocean Conservancy and The Descendants Project

Global Packaging Innovations and Collaboration Strategies

Thursday, May 23 – 3pm-4pm ET

Architecture Room

WWF experts include:

  • Erin Simon, Vice President and Head of Plastic Waste + Business

This sponsored breakout session also includes speakers from: The Coca-Cola Company, Closed Loop Partners, and Republic Services

A Blueprint for Credible Action on Plastic Pollution

Friday, May 24 – 9am-11:30am CT

Great Lakes C

WWF experts include:

This workshop also includes speakers from: Colgate Palmolive and Starbucks

  • Date: 09 May 2024
  • Author: Emily Moberg

This is the third in a series of blog posts on carbon accounting standards. The first post provided an overarching explanation of carbon accounting and its inherent challenges. The second post examined variability in companies’ “Scope 3” emissions—that is, emissions that originate from upstream and downstream activities, which often constitute 90% or more of companies’ emissions. Here we discuss factors behind the variability of emissions across farms and regions.

The variability in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of product across the agricultural sector is striking, even when comparing identical products. Understanding this variability is crucial, particularly when assessing the complexities of supply chains. This variability manifests at multiple scales—from individual farms to regions—and significantly impacts both corporate strategy and policy formulation.

At the farm level, differences in emissions can be profound, even among neighboring farms that are both practicing conventional agriculture. For instance, two farms growing the same row crops can exhibit up to a twofold difference in emissions. Similar variability exists in aquaculture, where shrimp production emissions can vary by as much as five times. These discrepancies are often due to the efficiency of input use, influenced by factors such as soil quality, farmer skill, and local weather conditions. Such variability within a farm itself can result in certain areas being more profitable than others.

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  • Date: 18 April 2024
  • Author: Emily Moberg

The food system accounts for one-third of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. From cradle to landfill, about 70% of these emissions originate directly from farms. Downstream companies that ship, process, package, or store these products add another 15%, and ultimately consumers who cook and dispose of waste, add the remainder. To determine who is responsible for generating various emissions—and track improvement over time—we use GHG accounting standards, a set of guidelines that outline which emissions sources to include, the necessary data for these calculations, and the methodologies to be employed.

One critical concept from these standards is emissions “scopes.” A company’s Scope 1 emissions originate from its own operations, while its Scope 2 emissions originate from its purchased electricity and heat, and its Scope 3 emissions (which often account for 90% or more of its total emissions) originate from upstream and downstream activities, such as the production of purchased materials, transportation of purchased products, and the use of sold products and services. Thus, a company in the middle of the supply chain must account for—and help mitigate--the emissions of the inputs it procures (Scope 3), its own Scope 1 and 2 emissions, and the emissions other companies and consumers add to it after they sell it (Scope 3 again).

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  • Date: 11 April 2024

One of America’s most important and endangered rivers, the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo is home to more mammal species than Yellowstone National Park, more reptile species than the Sonoran Desert, more bird species than the Florida Everglades, and nearly 50% of all fish species found nowhere else in the world. This ecological treasure is teeming with biodiversity, but it is threatened by water scarcity – and without intervention, it may not be able to continue to support the millions of people and wildlife that rely on it.

That is why WWF is partnering with Finish to help protect and replenish the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo. Through this partnership, Finish is supporting WWF’s conservation work to help replenish the river alongside local organizations. Finish is also building awareness about the importance of water conservation by encouraging consumers to adopt simple, water-friendly habits in their homes, such as skipping the rinse when loading the dishwasher.

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  • Date: 03 April 2024

When we scrape the remains of our dinner plates into the garbage or toss out food that has gone bad in our refrigerators we often think about the social or financial impact of that wasted food. But there is an important environmental connection to food loss and waste that we need to consider as well. When we waste food, the energy used to produce and transport that food also gets wasted. So, if we stop food waste, we can help combat climate change in a big way. In fact, reducing food waste can help reduce about 6-8% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.

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  • Date: 01 April 2024

With the threat of climate change, plastic pollution, food waste, the loss of wildlife and critical ecosystems and more, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the issues our planet faces. As individuals, we want to make a difference, but often the question is: where to begin?

In honor of Earth Day, we would like to equip you with resources to make it easier for you to show love for the planet on April 22 and beyond. These tips are also perfect for sharing with others at work or in your community.

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  • Date: 29 March 2024
  • Author: Erin Simon, Vice President and Head of Plastic Waste & Business

Erin Simon addresses a full house for WWF's second annual Plastic Policy Summit

Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting WWF’s second annual Plastic Policy Summit, where more than 300 stakeholders came together to discuss solutions to one of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time: plastic pollution. While last year’s Summit focused on education and engagement, this year’s themes shifted to activation and acceleration.

Why? Because 2024 is shaping up to be one of the most pivotal years for action against plastic pollution in my memory – and I've been in this fight for over a decade.

But first let’s talk about progress. Since last year's Summit, we have made great strides, including advancement on policies at the state level, particularly in California and Colorado, where new laws have established Extended Producer Responsibility for plastic and packaging materials; release of the first ever EPA Draft National Plastics Strategy and action on key issues like procurement and environmental justice; and bipartisan support for federal legislation to improve recycling and growing congressional interest in more ambitious policies that would move us towards a circular economy.

Globally, we continue to raise the bar of ambition for the upcoming global plastics treaty. While the negotiation process has had its share of challenges, we still hear a strong commitment to centering a just transition, phasing out problematic plastics, tackling chemicals of concern, and ensuring mechanisms of implementation that can work for all countries.

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  • Date: 19 March 2024
  • Author: Elizabeth Lien

Climate change is expensive. In 2023 alone, NOAA recorded 28 climate change related disasters in the U.S. whose damages clocked in at more than a billion dollars each. Those 28 disasters cost the U.S. economy just shy of $93 billion in a single year. To give a sense of contrast, from 2018 to 2022, federal product liability Approved Class Action Settlement Awards and Punitive Damages, which are part of a category of risk that private companies are required to report on, together totaled about $415 million nationwide over five years. And despite the uncertainty involved in litigating class action product liability, an investor would be rightfully upset if a company failed to disclose a pending suit.

A step forward with a new rule

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a draft rule in 2022 on how publicly traded companies should report on their climate risk. In response, the SEC received over 24,000 comments on the draft rule and finally voted on a final rule on March 6, 2024. It is not often that such a mundane government meeting about financial reporting receives so much attention but there is a very good reason why: climate risks are increasing, they are expensive, and they can’t be managed if we don’t know where the problems are.

SEC Chair Gensler made clear that SEC staff have been working for years to develop and finalize this climate disclosure rule to provide decision-useful information to investors because climate risks are material and we couldn’t agree more. Climate risk can – and very often does – impact a company’s bottom line and it is critical that investors have sufficient information in the financial report to determine if a company’s finances are sound. Some companies have been reporting on climate risk for years and often do so in stand-alone sustainability reports, but this SEC rule standardizes the process and requires the reporting to occur in the financial report where it belongs and in a way that allows investors to compare across entities on an apples-to-apples basis.

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  • Date: 06 March 2024
  • Author: Danny Miller, Lead Specialist, Aquaculture, WWF

You are what you eat – or, more precisely, you are what you’re eating has eaten. Corn, for example, is so present in the diet and processing of the cows, chickens, and other animals eaten by Americans that the author Michael Pollan, in “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” quotes one researcher who calls us “corn chips with legs.”

For companies that produce animal proteins – the beef, fish, and fowl that make up so much of our dinner menus – knowing what is in animal feed is a key to knowing whether their animals are getting the right nutrients.

But there’s a surprising little secret in that world: most livestock and aquaculture producers don’t know the sources, much less the practices, associated with the production of ingredients in the feed that they give their animals.

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  • Date: 12 February 2024
  • Author: Sam Wildman, Senior Program Officer, Animal Ag Systems

The US Round Table for Sustainable Poultry and Eggs (US-RSPE) gathered 65 industry leaders, experts, and stakeholders in November 2023 for their annual meeting. This pivotal conference aimed to propel the sector’s sustainability efforts by addressing critical issues within the poultry and egg supply chains and creating a collaborative atmosphere for workshopping shared challenges.

In 2018, WWF was a founding member of the US-RSPE, in part because of the need to encourage market transformation towards sustainable intensification and the need for continuous improvement at speed and scale yet seen. The roundtable has evolved to not only be the thought leader on the sector’s continuous improvement, but to be a space for leaders to collaborate and advance action on shared challenges across the pillars of people, planet, and poultry.

The meeting encouraged and facilitated rich discussion across all three pillars of poultry and egg sustainability – people, planet, and poultry. Robert Bonnie, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation shared his optimistic perspective of the industry’s progress and opportunities, followed by timely discussions on how to advance the impact each organization has associated with biosecurity and bird health, effective workforce development strategies, and poultry feed sustainability.

Executive Director of US-RSPE, Ryan Bennett, expressed enthusiasm about the outcomes of the meeting, stating, "November was a chance for us to provide the resources and knowledge for the poultry sector to go into 2024 ready to support and change the conversation about poultry sustainability."

The meeting served as a platform to set the course for the organization's growth with the release of a new strategic plan, building on the success of the member-driven metrics framework and its impact on the poultry and egg sector.

A significant achievement highlighted at the conference was the current progress on the Roundtable Framework Tool, the first-ever sustainability assessment tool designed specifically for the poultry and egg industry. With a year of implementation behind them and having met past strategic objectives, US-RSPE is aiming to scale further, supporting the sector's growth and sustainability.

As the Framework continues to be a game changer, Bennett emphasized the organization's commitment to increasing awareness and expanding support to drive positive change within the industry. The US-RSPE annual meeting has proven to be essential for those dedicated to advancing sustainable practices within the poultry and egg sector.