World Wildlife Fund Sustainability Works

  • Date: 22 June 2021
  • Author: Dan Riley, Director, International Corporate Climate Partnerships and Marty Spitzer, Senior Director, Climate and Renewable Energy, WWF

Last summer, WWF submitted a proposal to the Lever for Change 2030 Climate Challenge, a competition for a $10 million grant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the buildings, industry, and/or transportation sectors in the U.S. by 2030. We submitted the proposal to supercharge our work on the Renewable Thermal Collaborative (RTC), which harnesses the market demand of large energy buyers (companies, cities, universities) to help break market, policy, and technological barriers preventing the scale up of renewable thermal energy.

Today, we are delighted to announce that our proposal was selected as the winner of this challenge among 68 competing proposals. Our bold vision is to slash industrial thermal energy greenhouse gas emissions 30% by increasing renewable thermal energy use 150% by 2030.

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  • Date: 21 June 2021

WWF, in partnership with Ziba Design, has launched a new toolkit that helps the hospitality and tourism industry communicate about food waste with guests. This resource was designed to provide businesses with guidance, tools, and ready-made campaigns to communicate with guests about food waste and help shift guest behaviors. While many in the hospitality industry have embraced the battle against food waste in their operations, finding ways to engage customers on the issue can feel challenging. Hospitality staff aim to create an ideal experience, and don’t want to alienate guests or sound preachy – this new toolkit can help.

Building on a pioneering partnership with Hilton Worldwide on the food waste strategy for their global operations in 2015, WWF’s food loss and waste team has been working with many across the industry through close collaboration with the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA). This work led to the development of Hotel Kitchen—a platform offering guidance and tools to prevent and manage hotel food waste, drawing on universal mechanisms to cut food waste in commercial kitchens. This platform has been introduced in over a dozen countries and adopted by hotels around the world.

Food waste is a senseless—yet persistent and complex—problem. We spend labor, money, fertilizer, water, energy, and land resources to grow our food; then we pay waste management companies to haul it away (and the majority of food waste is water) to be buried in landfills where it decomposes to become the third largest emitter of methane gas in the US.

“Our research demonstrated that everyone is willing to do the right thing…but only for their own good reasons. We set out to understand cruise and hotel goers’ motivations and emotional needs. Fueled by these guest-centered insights, we crafted messages that resonate across a variety of guests mindsets.”

Rob Wees
Ziba Design Creative Director

In the US, it’s estimated that nearly 40% of the 80.6 million tons of food waste generated annually comes from consumer-facing businesses – think hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, and commercial cafeterias. Resources like Hotel Kitchen and 86 Food Waste (a toolkit for restaurants) provide easy-to-use, accessible tools and guidance for reducing food waste and reaping the rewards of lower food costs, more efficient operations, and increased employee morale, along with the environmental benefits of an improved footprint. But we still see critical holes in the food waste initiatives inspired by these toolkits, a major one being consumer engagement.

Most food service businesses, especially hotels and cruise lines, are focused on delivering an experience to their guests. This experience has historically hinged on abundant food offerings, which unfortunately can translate into a lot of excess and waste. But, and especially in a post-COVID world, the traditional approach to hospitality is being outmoded in favor of more personalized dining, focused on maximizing experience, ingredients, and food safety.

Once a hotel or cruise has adopted strategic interventions to prevent and manage waste in their operations, they have an opportunity to bring their guests into the conversation. The new Toolkit for Communicating Food Waste to Guests guides hotel, cruise, and other tourism businesses through researched guest insights and communication strategies to develop their own branded food waste campaign, or download assets ready to use in their marketing, communications and operations. The guidance and sample campaigns are designed to meet guests where they are, acknowledging their travel priorities and celebrating their contributions.

We all must play a role in reducing food waste. Businesses can take the lead on prevention within their operations and show guests and customers that this is an issue that matters to their brand, but also one we as individuals can act on to reduce our own impacts by changing expectations and habits.

The simple and thoughtful messages in this guide could help disrupt unintentionally wasteful behaviors and empower different decisions at points of action. Together, food businesses and their guests will play a huge role in building a culture free of wasted food and reducing our impact for the benefit of people and nature.

  • Date: 18 June 2021

Every day, plastic pollution is flowing into our natural environment at an unprecedented rate, with at least a dump truck every minute entering into our oceans alone. It’s time to turn off the tap, together. We need everyone—industry leaders, policymakers, and everyday consumers—to play a role in transforming the broken systems by fixing how we source, dispose of, and reuse the plastics we need in our daily lives. And, the more we can coordinate these large-scale actions together, the more impactful we’ll be.

Building the foundation for collaboration is especially important in the United States, where the plastics landscape is defined by patchwork infrastructure frameworks, conflicting policies, and inefficient silos between stakeholders. As a result of this disjointed nature, the U.S. only recycles an estimated 13% of plastic packaging and has become one of the world’s top generators of plastic pollution.

The United States needs a national strategy – and this is where the U.S. Plastics Pact comes in.

Led by The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund, the U.S. Plastics Pact is a collaborative, solutions-driven consortium, and part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastic Pact Network. Since it launched in 2020, the consortium has brought together more than 90 U.S. Pact “Activators”—the companies, municipal leaders, NGOs, and other representative stakeholders on this issue—behind a common vision of a nationwide circular economy for plastics.

By 2025, the U.S. Pact aims to: define and eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging; ensure 100% of plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable; undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging; and establish an average of 30% recycled content or responsibly sourced, biobased content.

This month, the U.S. Pact released the Roadmap to 2025. The roadmap illustrates a path to reaching the four above targets through an ecosystem of diverse workstreams, driven by U.S. Pact Activators, to create scalable solutions that are tailored to fit the unique needs and challenges of the U.S. recycling system.

WWF joined the U.S. Pact as a founding member because driving the transition from a linear to a circular economy at this national level will have resounding impact felt worldwide. And through our data driven-lens, we are helping ensure that the 2025 targets are being met with rigorous and transparent reporting. As part of this role, we have integrated our ReSource: Plastic Footprint Tracker accounting framework as the tool all Activators will use to measure and report on annual progress. WWF has also helped design the Pact’s political engagement strategy through developing recommendations around emerging issues such as extended producer responsibility (EPR) and multistakeholder representation in policy discussions.

Read more about the U.S. Plastics Pact here.

  • 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.

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