World Wildlife Fund Sustainability Works

  • Date: 12 March 2021

Wildflowers are not just beautiful, these bright and fragrant plants also play a vital role in maintaining the health of some of our most essential natural habitats. As we celebrate Plant a Flower Day, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is excited to announce the launch of a new three-year partnership with Botanica by Air Wick®, Air Wick® Scented Oils that will reseed 1 billion square feet (~23,000 acres) of previously disturbed grasslands and wildflower habitats in the Northern Great Plains (NGP). The “One Square Foot” project will provide food and shelter for pollinators, grassland birds, and the many other species that are native to the region.

“Grasslands are some of the most threatened habitats on the planet. Each year hundreds of thousands of acres of the Northern Great Plains are plowed up for row crop agriculture. Our collaboration with Air Wick to reseed marginal croplands back to native grass and wildflowers will benefit wildlife and help ranchers achieve their goals.”

Martha Kauffman
Vice President, WWF’s Northern Great Plains program

Since 2009, the United States has lost 33 million acres of grassland and wildflower habitats in the US Great Plains, which equates to half the size of Colorado. For more than 7 years, grasslands in this region have been plowed-up at an average rate of four football fields per minute, prioritizing row-crop agriculture over the preservation of wildlife. In turn, every year more and more acres of native habitats are lost, risking the demise of vital wildlife species and one of the world’s only remaining temperate grasslands. Air Wick and World Wildlife Fund’s commitment will restore and protect one of the last remaining regions of its kind.

The project will roll out over a three-year period. Depending on weather conditions, seed availability, and partner schedules, the first seeds will likely go into the ground during the summer of 2021 and new areas will be added through the fall of 2023. Grasslands can take years to fully heal after being plowed but within a couple of years of planting, signs of recovery will begin to show.

“Grassland songbirds and vulnerable pollinators such as the American bumble bee may be some of the first species to return to these reseeded grasslands and wildflower habitats. As the years pass, these plants will send their roots deep into the earth, stabilizing the soil, and storing water. Under the management of our partners in the ranching community, these grasses and wildflowers will provide a strong foundation for a healthy recovery of previously disturbed grasslands.”

Clay Bolt
Communications Lead, WWF's Northern Great Plains program

Air Wick will also be distributing approximately 200,000 packets of regionally appropriate, organically produced native wildflower seeds to consumers across the United States. This will allow participants to help pollinators in their own backyards, balcony, or patio, one square foot at a time.

To learn more about Air Wick and WWF’s reseeding initiative and to find which wildflowers are native to your community, visit: https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/one-square-foot

  • Date: 11 March 2021
  • Author: Karrie Denniston, Senior Director- Sustainability, Walmart.org
Karrie Denniston

I’ve always loved nature. As a kid, nature fueled my imagination – it was dirt to play in, trees for forts and flowers and rocks for art projects. As I got older, nature also became a provider, not only of physical things like food from the garden, but also of needed space. There is just no replacement for a hike or a run in the woods when you need to think.

While I appreciated nature, I didn’t expect sustainability to be such an important part of my career. The first chapter of my work focused on how to lend my strengths to addressing hunger and increasing access to healthier food. I spent most of my time in the nonprofit sector, at the local, regional and national level in the US trying to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of food related policies and programs.

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  • Date: 11 March 2021

A Q&A with Jenny McColloch, Chief Sustainability Officer, McDonald’s Corporation

Jenny McColloch

What does your role at McDonald’s entail and what goals are you working to achieve?

Every day at McDonald’s, we serve almost 1% of the world’s population across nearly 40,000 restaurants worldwide. This means working with a vast and diverse network of suppliers, farmers, franchisees and employees to fulfill our purpose to feed and foster communities.

As Chief Sustainability Officer, I lead the team that coordinates McDonald’s environmental, social and community impact commitments. These commitments touch every part of the business—from our food and packaging supply chain to our restaurants, customers, and community engagements. My team also oversees human rights, employee volunteerism, corporate giving and our annual ESG reporting.

Our environmental goals include packaging and recycling commitments that are visible and important to our customers, a commitment to eliminate deforestation and other important sustainability criteria as we source key ingredients, and science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and drive climate resiliency.

Being a brand that serves millions of families every day, we have social and community impact goals to make more balanced meals accessible through our Happy Meals. We’re also working to reduce barriers to employment for 2 million young people in the coming years.

As you’d expect, to achieve these goals, we work with a range of partners both internally and externally, including a long-standing collaboration with WWF, prioritizing actions in areas where we can collectively drive impact at scale.

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  • Date: 10 March 2021

A Q&A with Taryn Barclay, Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement, Cargill

Taryn Barclay

What does your role at Cargill entail, and what goals are you working to achieve?

Through our global corporate responsibility and sustainability work, Cargill advances its purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. We recognize that we cannot do this alone. We form partnerships with organizations to improve food security and nutrition, strengthen farmer livelihoods, advance human rights, equity and inclusion and drive progress on our water, land and climate commitments. I help manage, support, and build those partnerships across Cargill, developing relationships with key organizations and institutions and supporting Cargill’s businesses to create their own transformational partnerships. This includes our partnership with WWF-US, I am fortunate to support coordination of our work and it’s exciting to see the programs we are collaborating on together.

Why did you choose a career in sustainability?

My background is actually in Human Resources; I transitioned about midway in my career into sustainability and CR. I think Human Resources was a good foundation to make the transition, especially in developing skills around empathy and listening and managing change. I have also always worked in large private sector organizations and being interested in the roles and responsibilities that companies, especially global multinational corporations, should and could play in society. I wanted to be more externally focused, understand the outside environment, and what stakeholders influenced the business. I felt I would have more opportunities to explore this in a sustainability-focused career than HR.

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  • Date: 10 March 2021

A Q&A with Halide Alagöz, Executive Vice President, Chief Supply Chain and Sustainability Officer, Ralph Lauren Corporation

Halide Alagöz

Why did you choose a career in sustainability?

During my undergraduate and graduate programs, I studied to become an Industrial Engineer – so I can’t say that I chose a career in sustainability from the outset. Instead, I believe that it has been my professional experiences, and the choices I’ve made along the way, that have led me on a path where I recognized the importance of integrating citizenship and sustainability into general business practices.

Over the course of my career, I have had the fortune of living in different parts of the world, including some of the largest textile and apparel producing countries. I saw firsthand how much value is generated when organizations and companies prioritize the environment and vulnerable communities, and what happens when they don’t. This real-world experience truly inspired and motivated me to pursue a career where I could be a part of the solution and help address the elimination of negative impacts of production and contribute to the innovations that create positive impact.

Eventually, my passion led me to oversee regional and global operations at H&M. During my time with the company, sustainability became a central function of the company and its business units, allowing me to be engaged and learn and grow in the area. I came away with the understanding that to make substantial progress on challenging problems, business has to drive the solutions. Now, I am proud to lead sustainability efforts for an iconic, global lifestyle brand.

At Ralph Lauren, we have developed a comprehensive, forward-looking Design the Change strategy, and our teams are collaborating in new ways to ensure sustainability is integrated into everything we do.

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  • Date: 09 March 2021

A Q&A with Christine Black, Senior Director, Global Government and Stakeholder Relations, The Coca-Cola Company

Christine Black

What does your role at The Coca-Cola Company entail and what goals are you working to achieve?

Working closely with key stakeholders in government, business and civil society – including, delightfully, the WWF! Aiming to help our company achieve its sustainability goals across water, climate, packaging, sugar reduction and community empowerment among other areas.

Why did you choose a career in sustainability?

Wanting to help make the world a better place.

What professional or educational experience led you to where you are now?

I spent most of my career working for government and I have also worked in the pharmaceutical industry. I commenced my career as a journalist.

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  • Date: 09 March 2021

A Q&A with Lisa Zwack, Head of Sustainability, The Kroger Co.

Image of Lisa Zwack

Why did you choose a career in sustainability?

It started in the seventh grade when I began volunteering at my town’s nature center. I loved maintaining the sanctuary trails, helping rehabilitate injured animals, and learning about different ecosystems. Protecting nature for our collective well-being felt important, and I decided to earn my degree in environmental sciences. Fast forward to my current role at Kroger, in which I am helping one of the country’s largest companies reduce their environmental impacts and seek positive outcomes, one change at time. I also think about the world in which my son and daughter are growing up, and how important it is to protect it for them.

What professional or educational experience led you to where you are now?

As they say, life is about the journey, not the destination. I have worked in multiple roles over the course of my career and have acquired skills and wisdom from each one that make me a better person today. After several years in environmental consulting, business development and communications roles, I earned master’s degrees in business and sustainability at the Erb Institute at the University of Michigan. Completing this dual-degree program was the launching point for me to work in the corporate sustainability space. The ability to speak different ‘languages’—business and sustainability—has proven highly important in a role where my primary goal is to be an internal changemaker and advocate for sustainability.

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  • Date: 08 March 2021
  • Author: Una Hrnjak-Hadziahmetovic, Senior Manager for Global Sustainability, Starbucks
Una Hrnjak-Hadziahmetovic

Often I am asked where my name “Una” comes from and if it might be short for anything else. Proudly I share that I am named after a river in the former Yugoslavia that flows from Croatia through my home country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Growing up as a little kid, I got to enjoy all the natural beauty of the region from family vacations on the Adriatic Sea to learning how to ski on the mountains where the 1988 Winter Olympics were held in Sarajevo. All of this changed drastically when the war broke out in 1992 and my family had to flee the horrific conflict in Bosnia which ended up displacing over two million people, left over one hundred thousand people dead, and endless impacts on the lives of people from there.

I’ve brought my background as a refugee and as a woman to every role I’ve taken on to bring a unique lens to the work I do. Once my family permanently settled in the United States, I almost immediately began the start of my commitment trying to make the world a better place by starting the organization “Student Advocates for International Peace” in high school. My journey did not stop there. For my undergraduate and graduate studies, I chose paths of study that were conducive toward my desire to make a positive impact on the global stage including proudly receiving a MA from American University’s School of International Service. Throughout this period, I was still figuring out how I could best apply my passions, experience and background to a full-time career.

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  • Date: 08 March 2021
  • Author: Sheila Bonini, Senior Vice President, Private Sector Engagement, WWF
Sheila Bonini (002)

Sheila Bonini, Senior Vice President, Private Sector Engagement, WWF

In 1911, on the first International Women’s Day, more than one million women and men took to the streets to campaign for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, hold public office, and end discrimination.

This year, as we mark the 110th anniversary of International Women’s Day, we celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world—and must take stock of how far we have come.

I lead private sector engagement at World Wildlife Fund (WWF), overseeing a broad portfolio of corporate partnerships that support the organization’s conservation mission. We partner with more than 100 companies —including some of the world’s leading corporations— to embed sustainability across their business, mobilize conservation investments, inspire employees to champion conservation at work and at home, and drive consumers toward greener choices.

As a global conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries to support people and nature. We strongly believe our diversity is our strength and are committed to upholding the rights of women and communities, both within the United States and around the world.

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  • Date: 03 March 2021
  • Author: Sheila Bonini, Senior Vice President, Private Sector Engagement

Today, we celebrate World Wildlife Day as a way to raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.

You may notice that the WWF logo looks different today. Along with some of the world’s best-known corporations, NGOs and sports teams, we are removing nature from our branding to highlight the dramatic loss of biodiversity globally and the social and economic risks it poses. Our move supports our year-long campaign, “Love It or Lose It,” which calls on everyone to show their love for nature.

Global populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have suffered an average two-thirds decline in less than half a century, according to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020. If the world carries on with “business as usual,” rates of biodiversity loss seen since 1970 will continue between now and 2050.

WWF’s newest report, World’s Forgotten Fishes, finds that nearly one third of freshwater fishes are threatened with extinction – a catastrophic number for the at least 200 million people who rely on freshwater fish as their major source of protein, many in land-locked and low-income countries.

From an economic perspective, nature’s free fall presents significant material risk for business and finance. By using up natural capital faster than natural systems can replenish it, and not accounting for its value or destruction, we’re putting $44 trillion in economic value generation at risk - more than half of global GDP.

We all depend on nature for our survival, and business is clearly no exception. Global economies are embedded in nature. When we extract natural resources and produce waste, we are damaging the economy and undermining nature’s ability to support it. As demonstrated in The Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity, we need to move away from incentivizing short-term, unsustainable growth and instead create sustainable economies.

By improving the way we manage protected areas and working lands and increasing large-scale investments in nature-based solutions, we can address biodiversity loss and climate change, while also conserving the natural assets so critical to building sustainable economies. This concept has gained momentum, as the Biden Administration has signaled support for the recommendation to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030.

One way to ensure the future of nature is to orient your company’s climate policies to the AAA Framework for Climate Policy Leadership. It emphasizes that business leadership on climate change must include policy leadership if we are to deliver emission reductions at the speed and scale needed to limit the worst impacts of climate change. And it calls on business to adopt science-based climate advocacy agendas in line with limiting average global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Five critical steps for business to take are outlined in AAA’s Open Letter to America’s CEOs.

In May, the private sector has a significant occasion to influence the global protection of our natural resources, as nations gather at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Our leaders have a promising moment to adopt a Paris-style global agreement for nature that could help secure a nature-positive world by 2030. Business and finance have a responsibility and opportunity to help ensure governments adopt an agreement that supports nature and sustainability, unlock new business opportunities and ultimately promote life on Earth. Read more about how business can get involved here.

As the world stands on the threshold of recovery from COVID-19, a pandemic born of our destructive encroachment upon nature, we face a choice: return to business as usual or imagine and create a better future. This World Wildlife Day, as our iconic panda is lost from our branding, think about all we could lose without biodiversity -- and the role your company can play in preventing such devastating loss and by joining other leading companies to support and carry out nature-positive solutions.

Let’s fight for a healthy and productive future. Only together can we secure it.


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