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.

  • Date: 06 April 2022
  • Author: Tara Doyle, World Wildlife Fund
A photo of Moriah Saldaña

Moriah Saldaña, the Climate Action Plan Program Manager for the City of San Diego’s Sustainability and Mobility Department. 

In this blog series, I’m speaking with sustainability officials in local governments around the country to learn about how they’re tackling socio-environmental issues within the public sector. This week, I interviewed Moriah Saldaña, the Climate Action Plan Program Manager for the City of San Diego’s Sustainability and Mobility Department. Moriah grew up in San Bernardino, a region with historically poor air quality that likely contributed to her asthma and inspired her to become an environmentalist from an early age.

After earning her Master’s in Public Administration from San Diego State University, Saldaña joined the environmental nonprofit I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD), where she organized large-scale volunteer events to collect litter and debris from the beach. Saldaña started at ILACSD as a part-time program assistant and became their Director of Regional Affairs after five years. In that position, she managed government contracts and ran zero-waste educational programs in local schools, all while gaining public sector connections that later helped her transition into the San Diego government.

In 2015, the City adopted a Climate Action Plan that aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and obtain 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2035. The plan outlines five major goal areas: building utilities, renewable energy, transportation/land allocation, waste elimination, and climate adaptation. I spoke to Moriah about the Climate Action Plan, why she loves working in the public sector, and more.

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  • Date: 31 March 2022

For our Rising Stars series, we're featuring the next generation of leaders who are working toward a more sustainable world. We recently spoke with Mitsuko Wong, Director of Sustainability, Product and Supply Chain at Ralph Lauren to learn about her role, what she finds most challenging and rewarding, and more.

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  • Date: 30 March 2022
  • Author: Anukampa Freedom Gupta-Fonner, CEO, Spring

I was the first girl child to be born in my father’s family after 40+ years. In more ways than just that, I broke the mold.

I grew up in a community, in a part of the world, where spotting a single tree was a sight to behold. Growing up was an experience that was dense, crowded, loud and polluted. Wildlife sightings in the community were limited to pigeons, cows and eagles. Even as a five-year-old, I was yearning to get close to Earth. My parents made special efforts to take me to the nearest available parks, scant as they were. I so loved trees that I named my two favorite trees "Camel" and "Elephant."

Then, somehow, as a stroke of luck, I came across this wacky man by the name of Steve Irwin. To me, as a five-year-old, he fired my imagination. I was glued to his “Crikey!” catchphrase and would watch in sheer awe the wonders of wildlife. It came to such a head that I was called “Animal Planet” by all my cousins. My never-ending queries about the natural world, and really everything else, earned me the name “question bank.”

That’s when I knew I wanted to do something in the natural world. Life is not a straight line. It took a circuitous journey to truly understand how my love and passion for God’s green Earth could be expressed in the form of a career.

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  • Date: 28 March 2022

For our Rising Stars series, we're featuring the next generation of leaders who are working toward a more sustainable world. We recently spoke with Simone Emilie Gourguechon, Director, Global Sustainability & ESG Strategy, at McDonald’s Corporation to learn about her role, what she finds most challenging and rewarding, and more.

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  • Date: 25 March 2022
  • Author: Devon Leahy, Vice President of Sustainability at Ralph Lauren and Nicole Tanner, Freshwater & Food Transformation Manager, World Wildlife Fund

Hidden water is water that is not felt or seen in final products, but is required for almost every step of the production process. The water footprint of textile and apparel companies includes freshwater use throughout the phases of clothing production from growing cotton or other materials, to manufacturing and finishing the final garment. Therefore, water use needs to be effective and efficient across the value chain. By working to uncover where water is hidden within the value chain, the partnership between Ralph Lauren and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is finding innovative ways to decrease water-related risk, preserve the resource, and benefit the environment and local communities.

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  • Date: 22 March 2022

For our Rising Stars series, we're featuring the next generation of leaders who are working toward a more sustainable world. We recently spoke with Erika Meschkat, Senior Analyst, Sustainability, at The J.M. Smucker Co., to learn about her role, what she finds most challenging and rewarding, and more.

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  • Date: 16 March 2022
  • Author: Kari Armbruster, Kroger
A smiling woman and baby outdoors in the snow

My career at Kroger began in 2013. At that time, very few companies had begun to formalize their strategy on “sustainability.” Kroger was only one year in to having a full time employee leading the function and she was a team of one. I came into the corporate affairs department as a specialist designed to help manage projects for several different functions including sustainability and corporate philanthropy. My background was in politics and campaigning, so corporate social responsibility was brand new to me.

Looking back, I am so thankful that I came into Kroger at that time. Being a part of the development of a full scale sustainability strategy and the redevelopment of our social impact work was truly groundbreaking for me. There are two points in my life that I can look back on and realize that I lost myself in a passion for work: The first was in college on my first political campaign; the second was in the development and launch of Zero Hunger | Zero Waste.

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  • Date: 12 March 2022
  • Author: Clay Bolt, Senior Communications Lead, Northern Great Plains Program

North America’s grasslands are one of the least protected and most at-risk biomes on the planet, and as the grasslands disappear, so do the critical ecosystem services they provide. During the last decade, over 2 million acres of grasslands were plow-up to make way for croplands across the US and Canadian Great Plains. This is a rate of habitat destruction that’s comparable to the clearing of the Brazilian Amazon, and it’s occurring in our own backyard.

In 2021, to combat this loss, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launched an exciting new three-year partnership with Air Wick® called “One Square Foot.” The partnership’s mission is to reseed 1 billion square feet (~23,000 acres) of previously disturbed grasslands and wildflower habitats in the Northern Great Plains (NGP). Wildflowers are not just beautiful: they provide food and shelter for pollinators, grassland birds, and many other species that are native to the region. In our first year, despite on-going drought conditions across the NGP, WWF’s Sustainable Ranching Initiative was able to reseed nearly 51 million square feet of wildflower and grassland habitat.

For year two of the partnership, we hope to create even greater awareness about the importance of grasslands and wildflowers through a campaign extension of One Square Foot called the “Super Bloom.” In nature, a Super Bloom is when millions of wildflowers bloom at once, carpeting a landscape in color as a response to a period of late winter or early spring rains. Beginning on March 12th, WWF and Air Wick® aim to create a Super Bloom by planting a record-setting number of native wildflower seeds —and we want you to join us. From March 12th through June 1st, 2022, if you share any wildflower to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest—a photo, a video, an illustration (any wildflower counts)—we will plant one square foot of wildflowers in the Northern Great Plains as a thank you, and to help further restore this important habitat. Just tag your posts with #SquareFootSuperBloom and share them to your feed. It’s that simple!

To learn more about the “One Square Foot” initiative and the wildflowers that are native to your part of the US, please visit our project webpage.

  • Date: 10 March 2022
  • Author: Craig Beatty, Manager, Forests Research & Strategy, WWF

For millions of us, a walk in the woods changed from a pastime to a necessity during this pandemic. It’s about as safe and socially distanced as can be, and access to forests has often helped ease my mind. After being indoors for days on end, forests became a place where I could escape and unwind. Spending time in forests makes me feel better. But what’s the science behind that, and could forests be doing more for our health?

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  • Date: 15 February 2022
  • Author: Alix Grabowski, Director, Plastic and Material Science, WWF

We all know that plastic waste is a global crisis, but how often do you think about where plastic comes from?

Of all new plastic, 99% is made from fossil fuels like oil and natural gas, meaning the plastic that we use today starts trashing our planet long before it becomes trash. From the moment they’re made, these conventional plastics are contributing to climate change, degrading habitats, and threatening communities around the world.

Reducing, reusing, and recycling plastic are priority first steps in addressing the plastic crisis, but we cannot rely on these tactics alone. We will always need some new plastic to fill critical health and safety needs, but that new plastic does not need to be made from fossil fuels.

Plant-based plastic—also known as bioplastic or biobased plastic—comes from sources like algae, sugarcane, or used cooking oil, and can de-couple plastic production from the impacts of fossil fuels. However, plant-based plastic must be thoughtfully designed to build environmental, social, and economic resilience across ecosystems and communities. Over a decade ago, WWF realized that plant-based plastic and its sourcing was a cross-cutting issue that affected the habitats, wildlife, and people that we aim to protect. We convened the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA) in 2012 to advance knowledge on this critical and complex topic and ensure that plant-based plastic reaches its potential to benefit nature and people.

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