World Wildlife Fund Sustainability Works

  • Date: 30 April 2020
  • Author: Vishwanie Maharaj

The tuna industry provides job security for hundreds of thousands of people and contributes to the food security of millions more. An inter-connected network of people make up the sector and span the world. In places like Ecuador, the people who harvest fish work side-by-side with those who collect data about it, and those who work at the port in Guayaquil rely on the people who process fish landed there. When these groups work together, they can accomplish great things, including long-term environmental sustainability.

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  • Date: 28 April 2020
  • Author: Martha Stevenson, Senior Director, Forest Strategy & Research and Linda Walker, Senior Director, Corporate Engagement, Forests

Nature-based solutions and corporate goal setting for forests and climate.

While uncertainties and disruption associated with COVID-19 abound, many leadership companies are still moving forward with the important process of drafting their 2020-2030 sustainability goals. Companies leading the pack recognize the importance of integrating sustainability and business goals, given the close link between environmental and business risks highlighted by the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2020.

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  • Date: 15 April 2020

April 22, 2020 is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, a time to appreciate all that nature provides for us and consider how we can best protect our planet. This year, as the world responds to the global COVID-19 pandemic, our thoughts are with everyone impacted by this crisis, and our gratitude goes out to those working to provide essential services for our health and well-being.

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  • Date: 14 April 2020
  • Author: Matt Inbusch, Manager of Natural Capital Stewardship, International Paper

Earlier this year, I met some visionary leaders in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. They’re landowners living at the intersection of ecology, business, and culture in one of the world’s most important and threatened bioregions.

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  • Date: 08 April 2020
  • Author: Craig Beatty, Senior Program Officer, Forests Research & Strategy, WWF

The hearts of the world’s oldest and most intact forests are the global centers of evolution and biological diversity, and most of this diversity is unknown and microscopic. To a biologist, these “primary forests” are natural cathedrals that still contain untold numbers of undiscovered species. To an epidemiologist, they contain a primordial soup of novel and dangerous pathogens. Biological diversity does not only refer to the cutest or most charismatic of creatures.

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  • Date: 07 April 2020
  • Author: Craig Beatty, Senior Program Officer, Forests Research & Strategy, WWF

The protection of forests plays a key role in protecting human health, from providing nutrition to helping us manage disease.

Infectious diseases that find a home in people have always existed and probably always will. But something about COVID-19 and the rate at which it has spread compared to other outbreaks seems new. While many pathogens are present in wildlife and have been for longer than people generally know, some emergent infectious viruses that have spilled over from animal populations include SARS, MERS, HIV, and many more localized outbreaks of even deadlier diseases such as Nipah and Ebola.

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  • Date: 17 March 2020
  • Author: Dan Riley, Director, International Corporate Climate Partnerships

Clean technology innovation is a key opportunity to grow businesses around the world while protecting the planet, but entrepreneurs need more than a great idea to create a market-ready, final product and a viable business model. Access to incubation support and early stage investment are key ingredients for launching a product out of R&D and towards commercialization at scale. A perfect case study of what this stewardship can look like took place in India earlier this month.

While China and the United States have at times dominated the climate change headlines, decisions made today about the energy future of the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitting country, India, may play an even more critical role in the decades to come. With one of the world’s most rapidly growing economies, a rising population expected to surpass China by 2024, and tens of millions moving into the middle class and increasing their energy demand, India clearly has a pivotal role in the global climate equation.

To strengthen the country’s climate innovation pipeline, WWF India hosted the second annual Climate Solver+ Demo Day event last week in Delhi in partnership with TiE Delhi-NCR. Ten promising startups had the opportunity to pitch their low-carbon solutions to leading investors, government leaders, companies, and other innovation ecosystem stakeholders interested in climate and clean energy breakthroughs.

These clean technology startups were first recognized by WWF’s global Climate Solver initiative, which hosts an annual awards ceremony showcasing promising innovative low-carbon technologies. The Climate Solver+ initiative, led by WWF India, then worked in partnership with DLabs at the Indian School of Business to provide awardees with critical training and business development support to further refine their technologies, pitches, and business models.

Having completed the intensive incubation program, this year's cohort of climate innovators are now, connected by Climate Solver+ to interested cleantech investors during the annual Demo Day event. With these opportunities, three quarters of the Indian Climate Solver innovators have expanded their business operations across all of India or even into international markets.

“Many good entrepreneurs often fail to impress investors if they lack a proper business plan presentation,” said Mr. Hemendra Mathur of Bharat Innovation Fund, who attended a previous Climate Solver+ event. “This initiative by WWF India to provide business planning support…has really helped these ventures sharpen/polish their investor pitch.”

Through this Demo Day and incubation support, Climate Solver+ serves as a leading hub for climate innovation in India. By connecting and empowering more of India’s most promising cleantech entrepreneurs, WWF will help catalyze investment in climate solution technologies that will be impactful at scale. It also serves as a model globally for nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship in the effort to tackle the climate crisis.

Here in the US, WWF supports similar efforts to scale up the use of innovative clean technologies by businesses through initiatives like the Renewable Thermal Collaborative (RTC), a coalition accelerating access to and deployment of renewable heating and cooling solutions, and our international renewable energy programs, which draw on previous success growing the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). Innovation in the renewable energy space has led to skyrocketing investment, with global renewable capacity growing by more than eight percent for seven years in a row as of 2017. There remains a long way to go in tackling the climate crisis but building on this model of merging innovation and business acumen is an important piece of the puzzle.

  • Date: 16 March 2020
  • Author: Bryan Hitchcock, Executive Director of the IFT Global Food Traceability Center; David Schorr, Senior Manager, Transparent Seas, WWF

Ocean conservation is a venture of incremental progress. There is no switch to flip on a single solution to the many challenges faced across 71% of the planet. Instead, success comes from playing the long game where together we collect enough little wins to accomplish big things.

Still, there are milestones that signify a major shift is taking place in our relationship with the ocean, and we’ve reached one of those points in time.

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  • Date: 11 March 2020
  • Author: Lisa Frank

At Lisa Frank Inc, nature is one of our greatest inspirations, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. We produce art filled with adorable creatures and vivid colors to celebrate animals and wildlife. There's a special feeling of joy and awe that fills you up when you think of the majestic creatures that roam our planet. That feeling is what Lisa Frank always tries to capture with our designs.

For animal lovers, including so many of the Lisa Frank fans and followers, the past several months have been incredibly tough. The wildfires in Australia were so widespread and so devastating. The terrible toll these fires have taken on people, animals, and nature, is almost too much to bear. But even in the face of something so horrible, we can't give in to feelings of hopelessness. While most of us may not be firefighters or environmental scientists, every single one of us can do something to help.

In Lisa Frank's case, that means using the power of our designs and the reach of our business to raise funds for World Wildlife Fund to help with restoration and recovery efforts in Australia. We also want to give the Lisa Frank audience, especially our youngest fans, an easy way they can contribute and help make a difference.

To support this important cause, we issued a collection called, "I heart; Koalas." It's a design in classic Lisa Frank style, full of whimsy, color, and joy. While our motivations for starting this campaign are heartbreaking, we deliberately wanted to use an image that would give our fans that same warm, fuzzy Lisa Frank feeling. Our design reminds people why they care about wildlife, sparking them to contribute to the effort out of joy, love, and hope, not out of fear or sadness.

While the reality for wildlife on our planet isn't always sunshine and rainbows, it's so important that we continue to celebrate the love we have for nature, focusing on what we can save and restore, rather than what we've lost. This attitude is shared by World Wildlife Fund, which is why we're so excited to support them through this project. We want Lisa Frank's fans to know that there's a role for everyone to help, both with the recovery effort in Australia and with conservation around the world. Any individual -- and any business, including ours -- can do their part. And together by showing how much we care about wildlife, each of our efforts can add up to something incredible.

  • Date: 19 February 2020
  • Author: David Schorr, Senior Manager, Transparent Seas, WWF

Changing any complex system requires finding a point of maximum leverage. When it comes to creating transparency in the seafood trade, access to reliable information is the key, and there are two points of leverage to make it happen: getting companies around the world to agree on what data is needed, and ensuring they can share it seamlessly .

Affordable and reliable traceability—the concept of tracking seafood from bait to plate—depends on fishers and aquaculture farmers routinely providing verifiable data. One way to achieve that vision is for governments to require this information as a routine part of access to markets. But currently there is no global agreement on what information must accompany seafood products. In fact, a new study from a consortium of NGOs analyzed the key data elements required in the top three seafood markets—US, EU and Japan—which are responsible for nearly two thirds of all seafood imports. It found that even governments with the most robust import regulations don’t fully capture all of the data needed to ensure that the fish bought by consumers is coming from legal sources.

That’s where the considerable leverage of market leaders in industry comes in. WWF has been working with seafood companies around the world to develop urgently needed standards for capturing and sharing a consistent set of basic information based on shared industry-wide expectations.

Seafood is one of the most globalized of all food commodities, with supply chains that crisscross oceans and continents. While this global web of production allows coastal communities to sell their seafood products into important international markets--and gives consumers access to seafood from every corner of the planet--there are risks and new responsibilities for businesses. Traceability systems can mitigate these risks and provide benefits to public health, social welfare, and environmental sustainability. But only if those systems can communicate seamlessly via globally established standards. Businesses have a stake in enabling that to happen.

The first step is for companies to agree on what information needs to be shared. Key Data Elements, known as KDEs, are imperative for establishing reporting requirements at critical stages of production and trade. These can work hand-in-hand with government reporting requirements and trade controls, as well as with systems for data collection needed for sustainable resource management. Having the right KDEs is also what generates value in the form of consumer and brand confidence.

In fact, getting industry-wide agreement on KDEs is one key part of a new set of industry-led standards that are about to start reshaping the way businesses do seafood traceability. As highlighted in an open letter recently released by a group of seafood industry leaders, these groundbreaking standards include a ‘basic universal list’ of standardized seafood KDE’s that will set a global baseline for the information that should accompany all seafood products. These new standards, about to be released at a major seafood industry trade show in Boston this March, have been developed by industry through the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability, or GDST for short. The GDST 1.0 standards are the data-sharing foundation on which reliable, affordable, and efficient seafood traceability will be built.

Not only does GDST 1.0 provide a universal check-list of the information that must accompany seafood products, it sets out technical specifications for how systems share that information seamlessly. These technical standards are already being road tested by leading seafood supply chain companies, including some of the world’s biggest seafood processors, brand owners, and retailers. For the companies involved, it’s not just a matter of meeting CSR goals – these system design standards are helping address core business functions, and ensuring better return on investment when companies upgrade their traceability systems.

The ocean provides a bounty of seafood, supporting hundreds of millions of jobs and feeding billions of people. Creating seafood supply chain transparency creates accountability and provides the data needed for improved science-based management of fisheries and aquaculture farms. This mix of sustainability and business strategy is a powerful lever for driving change in the complex world of seafood trade and when GDST 1.0 launches this March during the North American Seafood Expo, industry will be one step closer to sustaining the future of the seafood industry.