World Wildlife Fund Sustainability Works

  • Date: 10 June 2021

A Q&A with Linda Walker, Senior Director of Corporate Engagement for Forests, World Wildlife Fund

What is Forests Forward?

Forests Forward is a new WWF corporate program that engages companies around the world to help them reduce their forest footprint and support other on-the-ground actions—like forest restoration—to keep forests thriving for people, nature and climate.

The program is a one-stop shop for companies looking to implement best practices around nature-based solutions to deliver on their sustainability and business goals. Drawing on our deep expertise in forests, science and climate, WWF works with companies on both long-term and near-term strategies and collaborations that have lasting benefits—not only for the companies but also for local communities.

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  • Date: 08 June 2021

Plastic waste is choking our planet -- polluting the air, water, and soil both people and wildlife need to survive. And as this crisis spreads to every corner of the globe, WWF is leading the charge to help reimagine how we source, design, dispose of, and reuse the plastic materials communities most depend upon. One of the biggest challenges we need to solve for is the broken promise of recycling.

Only 13% of plastic packaging in the United States is recycled, which is a hair above the 8% global average. These alarming figures show that our waste management and recycling systems are not currently set up to handle the large amounts of waste we create today – let alone in the years to come, as the world is expected to double our production of new plastic by 2040 .

We need policy makers and business leaders to take game-changing actions to help us transition from our current linear, “take – make – waste" relationship with plastic to a circular one. Circular economies will help stem our demand for new virgin plastic by ensuring that the plastic products we rely on every day are re-used and recycled, and that the valuable resources we’re taking from the planet to make the material aren’t quickly ending up as the trash polluting it.

There are many large-scale interventions that will help transition to circular economies. One that has significant potential and requires urgent political will and action is Extended Producer Responsibility—or EPR—in the United States.

While it is as technical as it sounds, EPR is a waste management concept that is emerging at the forefront of the plastic waste conversation.

So – what is EPR exactly, and why does it matter?

EPR is policy framework that would revamp recycling in the US. At its foundation, EPR would shift the financial burden of waste management away from local governments and put it on the producers of plastic packaging.

A national EPR system in the US has the potential to not only bring much needed funding and efficiency to recycling, but also incentivize packaging to be designed to be recyclable or reusable and innovate solutions that minimize the environmental impact of their products. As a policy mechanism to streamline recycling operations in the US., it will also ensure consumer access and equity to recycling for all Americans.

EPR isn’t just an environmental priority; it’s a business one. Together with American Beverage Association, we’ve built consensus on how EPR should be built in the US. And, through the OneSource Coalition, we’re also rallying companies to tell policymakers that we’re ready to make EPR a reality as part of a three-pronged approach to plastic waste policy.

More importantly, 68% of the American public believes that the companies which produce plastic should be responsible for the collection, sorting and recycling.

  • Date: 01 June 2021
  • Author: Mike Carson, Director, eBay

For many online companies, addressing the threat of wildlife trafficking can be daunting. The laws that define this illegal trade are complex for those outside of the law enforcement and conservation fields. And for online companies, wildlife is just one of dozens of prohibited activities to consider in regulating content on the platform.

In 2008, eBay took the challenge head on and banned the global sale of elephant ivory on the platform. Since that time, the company has applied multiple measures to strengthen our enforcement and expand prohibited wildlife policies to include a broader list of endangered species.

Since 2017, eBay has blocked or removed 522,000 listings that violated its prohibited wildlife policies, with 257,000 of those actioned in 2020. While this is just a small fraction of the content on eBay’s platform, with more than 1.7 billion listings live at one time, it shows a commitment by the company to allocate significant resources to help protect wildlife through the influence of our marketplace.

eBay is a founding member of the Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online, a global partnership of 40 companies convened by conservation organizations WWF, TRAFFIC and IFAW aiming to unite the tech sector to reduce illegal wildlife trade through web-based platforms. Through this collaboration, eBay has:

  • Worked with convening organizations WWF, TRAFFIC and IFAW to train our enforcement staff to better detect illegal wildlife products like elephant ivory and pangolin leather boots;
  • Published communication pieces to help eBay buyers and sellers understand the link between prohibited products and illegal wildlife trade, as well as the social and environmental impacts of harming nature;
  • Utilized the key search words identified by the Coalition and academia to expand block filters and enhance automated detection of prohibited items;
  • Participated in the Coalition’s Cyber Spotter program, which trains volunteers to spot and flag suspicious wildlife listings on the platform; and
  • Shared learning with other online companies and industry media, to help expand awareness and best practices across the industry.

eBay’s success in addressing illegal wildlife trade on the platform is a direct result of the company’s senior-level commitment and dedication to the issue, backed up by the increased expertise and awareness of our staff trained by the Coalition. More about our company commitments to environmental and social governance can be found in our 2020 Impact Report, published on our website.

  • Date: 27 May 2021
  • Author: Alexis Bonogofsky, Program Manager, WWF’s Sustainable Ranching Initiative

“This is a land where the sky comes down the same distance all around, and those who live in it love it - most of the time.” - K. Ross Toole, Uncommon Land

I’ve always thought there are two kinds of people in the world, those who feel like they can take a deep breath in the wide-open spaces of the prairies and those who are wondering where the mountains are.

I, for one, feel most at home in the great swaths of open space in the rangelands of the Northern Great Plains (NGP) and although I can appreciate the majesty of the mountains, I tend to feel a little claustrophobic in them. I’m certain that Montana got its nickname, Big Sky Country, because of the plains of central and eastern Montana, where you can see a storm coming for hours before it is upon you and the sky ‘comes down the same distance all around.’

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  • Date: 19 May 2021
  • Author: Jason Clay, Executive Director, WWF Markets Institute

First-of-its kind Soy Traders Scorecard finds major traders are not taking sufficient action on their environmental and social commitments

In the last 50 years soy acreage has more than doubled. In just the last two decades, soy production also doubled, mirroring the world’s growing demand for animal feed. About 75% of the world’s soybean crop is used as animal feed for poultry, pigs, livestock, and farmed fish. While a small percentage (~15%) goes directly to foods for human consumption, including vegetable oil, edamame, soy milk, tofu, and other alternative meats, global meat production is still expanding faster each year than all the alternative proteins on the market.

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  • Date: 28 April 2021
  • Author: Punit Renjen, Deloitte Global CEO

Each year, Deloitte surveys the Millennial and the Gen Z cohorts asking them to share their top concerns about business and society. Prior to the pandemic, both groups ranked climate change and protecting the environment as issues that mattered the most to them. When we revisited the question in May 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, not much had changed. Even though healthcare and disease prevention edged slightly ahead among Millennials, climate change was still the top concern for Gen Z.

In a separate Deloitte survey, we asked 750 business executives in thirteen countries a similar question, and over 80% of them acknowledged that their organizations are concerned about climate change. However, 65% of them also acknowledged that their companies have had to cut back their environmental sustainability initiatives due to the pandemic.

Despite this, it is clear there is a determination to act. With nearly one in four businesses, according to our recent climate survey, experiencing the operational impacts of climate change and communities around the world already dealing with its harsh realities, the crisis is here now.

In the past year, we’ve seen how taking aggressive action against COVID-19 has inadvertently improved our environment. But as vaccines roll out, and people return to some form of pre-pandemic life, these environmental gains could dissipate fast. Scientists expect air pollution levels to rebound, and even surpass previous benchmarks, in the coming months.

We can’t afford to return to business as usual. We must reclaim the ground we’re losing, and push forward even further. Businesses can, and must, lead the way—in part because, by changing our behavior, we can have an immediate, significant and lasting impact.

For Deloitte, this means continuing to examine and retool every aspect of our operations to combat climate change and delivering our WorldClimate strategy to accelerate our efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030. As part of our commitment, we have also created a global campaign, #iAct, to empower and inspire all Deloitte professionals to take climate action.

This month, in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund, we are engaging and educating our people on their own climate change impacts – decisions about what they consume, use, and buy. Our goal is to enable our 330,000 professionals to make positive climate choices at home and at work, and amplify these through their personal networks. Our actions include:

  • Educating our people through a mandatory learning, climate impact quiz, awareness campaigns and social media engagement;
  • Partnering with world-leading subject matter experts to ensure we are leveraging the latest science and insights;
  • Enabling our people to make more sustainable choices, in turn, influencing those around them to amplify this impact.

Inspiring our people to become climate change agents is a powerful component of our WorldClimate strategy. This is further amplified through the work we do with clients and ecosystems to bring innovative climate solutions that will help us transition to a low carbon future.

I believe a future completely upended by climate change isn’t destined to become our reality. If we respond boldly and collectively to this moment, our future doesn’t have to be preordained. We owe that much to the future generations who are rightly worried about the planet they are inheriting.

  • Date: 23 April 2021
  • Author: Lisa Morden, Vice President, Safety & Sustainability, Kimberly-Clark

Growing up in small northwestern Ontario town nestled between Canada’s boreal forest and Lake Superior, our family was so incredibly fortunate for the natural abundance all around us. From fishing for a meal of pickerel (that’s Canadian for “walleye”) to enjoying the peace and tranquility of a hike in the bush (that’s Canadian for “forest”) to working various jobs in the forest products industry, our experiences engrained a true love and appreciation for nature and its role in our health and well-being, not to mention our survival.

Kimberly-Clark's Vice President of Safety and Sustainability, Lisa Morden enjoying nature with her family

After moving away and having children of our own, we had an important realization: How the constant din of traffic and the pace of set by our calendars can diminish our connections! Without a healthy planet, there aren’t healthy people – and giving our kids the experiences that help them to establish their own appreciation not only inspires them to protect the cultural, environmental and economic values that nature provides – it reminds us all!

Working for a company whose unifying vision is to lead the world in essentials for a better life has also provided many opportunities to stay connected and help protect these values. A strong and enduring focus on safeguarding the natural systems that we all depend on underpins a culture of caring at Kimberly-Clark– caring for people and the planet – which makes our work in sustainability core to the company’s vision and values. It is also why we have expanded our commitment to sustainability with an ambition to enhance the lives and wellbeing of one billion people in underserved communities with the smallest environmental footprint.

I hope that you find a moment to nourish your own connections to nature - and wish you a happy (and healthy!) Earth Day.

This post is part of an Earth Week series, in which you will hear from business leaders how their personal connection to nature inspires the work they do to ensure a more sustainable future for people and the planet.

  • Date: 23 April 2021
  • Author: Marcene Mitchell, Senior Vice President, Climate Change, WWF

On the eve of President Biden’s Global Leaders Summit, where forty heads of state are convening to discuss their commitments to address climate change, WWF hosted “Scaling Business Action for Climate and Nature: A CEO Dialogue.” The event brought together top business leaders who have made significant science-based targets and climate commitments reflective of the Paris Agreement. CEOs from Walmart, McDonald’s Corporation, HP Inc., The Hershey Company, and Gap Inc. spoke about what the private sector needs from government to accelerate their climate action, and the support business can provide to the public sector in tackling climate change.

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  • Date: 22 April 2021
  • Author: Virginie Helias, Chief Sustainability Officer, P&G

Snow-covered mountains, my inspiration.
The Creation in its raw state, untouched, strong yet so vulnerable.
Bridges between earth and sky, forcing contemplation and meditation.
Elevation, pointing to a higher mission.

Feeling of the top of the world.
Snow-covered mountains – but for how long?
Climate change is melting glaciers
– Mer de Glace near Mont Blanc has retreated by 800meters in the past 3 decades.

So I ask myself:
Before the Earth is too hot to handle, what can I do at Procter & Gamble?
Climate emergency is real
And we will be successful only if the planet remains wonderful.

We have committed to be carbon neutral by 2030 in our operations
and develop a roadmap to net zero in supply chain
We innovate so that people can reduce their emissions in their homes
– by washing their clothes in cold or skipping the sink before they run their dishwashers.
Homes represent more than 1/3 of global GHG emissions
and our daily actions can add up to meaningful impact.

We can make sustainable irresistible before climate change becomes irreversible.
We can slow down the melting and prevent snow caps from disappearing.
Let’s look up to the summit and step up to commit
From the mountain solitary meditation to the grounded collective action.

This post is part of an Earth Week series, in which you will hear from business leaders how their personal connection to nature inspires the work they do to ensure a more sustainable future for people and the planet.

  • Date: 21 April 2021
  • Author: Terry Macko, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, World Wildlife Fund

I grew up in Pennsylvania on an uncommon road that ran between deep woods in the back of our modest ranch home, and wide-open fields across the street with a stream that turned into a waterfall surrounded by caves made of shale along a hillside. It was an amazing playground.

Like most kids who grew up in the 70s, (think “Stranger Things”) when I got home from school my mother’s direction was to go play outside. So in the spring, summer and fall, that’s what I did, either with neighborhood friends or my four older siblings, and sometimes with my black Labrador retriever named Lightning. We would roam the woods, sit by the waterfall, and play inside the caves. Among this landscape I learned simple lessons about nature and gathered treasures: how you could hasten erosion by kicking in the dirt above the stream (not recommended), that garter snakes could be found under rocks (not scary), and a mysterious skull, probably that of a possum or raccoon (I never knew for sure). But I loved the endless discovery of my childhood, and thinking back, I never wanted to lose that sense of wonder.

Terry Macko hiking with grand nephew and namesake, Terence Frankie Harris. Belgrade Lakes, Maine

But as I grew into a teenager, I wanted to understand how the world worked. I became mystified by shopping malls and restaurants, and television advertising and products on shelves, banking and the stock market – how does all of this work I wondered? As the time for college grew near, I knew I wanted to study business and figure it all out. This desire led me to a BA in Marketing, an MBA, and 17 years in corporate marketing. And then I made a hard right turn in my career when I joined World Wildlife Fund (WWF) where I now head our communications and marketing team.

In my youth, I thought I was studying business to figure out how the world worked, but I was only learning how business works, a small subset of the world. What I have learned at WWF is that all business depends on nature, our lives depend on nature, and the future of humanity depends on nature. It’s a much bigger and more complex world than I ever imagined.

We know we need to do more than think of nature as an input into the value chain. I was lucky to grow up with such a direct connection to the natural world. But you don’t need memories like mine to appreciate everything nature provides. If we collectively want humanity to have bountiful oceans, clean freshwater, intact forests, and abundant species – all living under the umbrella of a stable climate – we need to harness the most powerful drive within us. We need to love. We need to love nature so much that we will do whatever it takes to ensure it thrives for future generations. Or we definitely risk losing it. And that is not an option.

And so at WWF we ask everyone to do one simple thing: Love it, or lose it.

This post is part of an Earth Week series, in which you will hear from business leaders how their personal connection to nature inspires the work they do to ensure a more sustainable future for people and the planet.