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: 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
Summit

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: 27 March 2024

Among popular dance-off videos, viral memes, and virtual shopping carts, lies a complex web of illegal activity to buy, sell, and smuggle protected wildlife globally. Online platforms are now the dominant market for the trafficking of live wildlife for exotic pets and wildlife products, the second most significant threat to endangered species after habitat loss. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) was involved in two key events leading up to World Wildlife Day that highlighted the threats and solutions that can expose and deter organized crime networks trafficking wildlife online.

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  • Date: 21 March 2024

The U.S. generates more plastic waste than anywhere else in the world, affecting American rivers, coastlines, landscapes, and communities. This crisis is apparent everywhere, from our cities to the countryside. While we don’t yet know the full impact of plastic pollution on human health, research increasingly shows that there is real cause for concern.

But do Americans recognize the severity of the plastic pollution crisis? What actions will they take or support to help fix it? To find out, WWF conducted a survey of more than 1000 Americans, representative of the U.S. general population.

Here are a few key takeaways:

  • The majority of Americans (85%) think that plastic waste pollution is a serious and concerning problem that requires immediate political action to solve.
  • Most Americans would support legislative action that enforces corporate accountability on plastic pollution
    • A majority of people would be in favor of laws that: incentivize companies to reduce plastic waste (87%); make companies responsible for the plastic waste they create (84%); penalize companies for creating waste (78%).
  • Over two-thirds of Americans support either banning (71%) or placing a fee (70%) on single-use plastics.
  • When asked “would you be more likely to undertake any of the following actions if there was more assurance it was beneficial to the environment” respondents said:
    • 94% said they were “somewhat to much more likely” to recycle plastics
    • 91% said they were “somewhat to much more likely” to limit how much single-use plastic they use
    • 92% said they were “somewhat to much more likely” to choose products that are made from recycled plastics
    • 91% said they were “somewhat to much more likely” to make use of reusable and/or refillable products in place of single-use plastic items

You can explore more survey results below:

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  • Date: 21 March 2024

Every year in March, we celebrate World Water Day to raise awareness and inspire action to tackle the water crisis. In this interview, WWF's Deputy Director of Freshwater Michele Thieme discusses the new “High Cost of Cheap Water” report and its impact for business.

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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: 11 March 2024
  • Author: Cristina Marcos

From the witness stand of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to the offices of 68 members of Congress, WWF is leading the charge on Capitol Hill for pragmatic policy solutions to reduce plastic pollution.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a first-ever hearing on March 6 to evaluate a potential solution to plastic waste long championed by WWF: Extended Producer Responsibility. Erin Simon, WWF Vice President and Head, Plastic Waste and Business, served as an expert witness to explain why this concept, also known as EPR, to shift the financial responsibility of material waste management from consumers and municipalities to plastic producers would help transition our economy away from wasteful single-use plastics.

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  • Date: 10 March 2024
  • Author: Ellen Dierenfeld, Lead Specialist, Sustainable Feed Innovation

Many years and another lifetime ago, I headed up the Department of Wildlife Nutrition for the St. Louis Zoo. One day I received a call from the head of a group called “Carpbusters,” who organized bow and fishing tournaments throughout the region to rid the rivers of invasive carp. Sportsmen paid fees to join the festivities, enjoyed their luck with feisty fish, and were awarded prizes for various categories of daily catch.

The lack of a proper outlet for the extracted fish, however, bothered the leaders of this conservation effort as thousands of pounds of high-quality protein rotted on the riverbanks after each weekend. Would the zoo be able to utilize carp for feeding fish-eating species? was the query. They could be delivered fresh and intact, as a free donation.

It was an excellent idea. As with most animal operations, feed costs comprised the largest portion of management, and the annual fish budget was high. If we could make a dent in the budget for feeding endangered species, while at the same time contributing to eradication of invasive species that threatened natives and their habitats, it would be a win-win for conservation.

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  • Date: 08 March 2024

Friday March 8th marks International Women’s Day, and we celebrate the many women in conservation whose contributions make WWF’s work possible. Achieving lasting impacts in sustainability requires diversity in ideas, backgrounds, and disciplines. From scientists to marketing experts, the women of WWF bring an array of perspectives and talents. We invite you to take a few minutes to watch some of our most recent video highlights featuring WWF women in sustainability.

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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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