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: 08 December 2021
  • Author: Erin Simon, Head of Plastic Waste and Business

Transparency is a critical piece to any corporate sustainability journey, as it raises the bar for accountability which in turn accelerates action. And for the plastic waste crisis, when corporate transparency is paired with cross-sector collaboration, we break down silos and unlock access to new data that sheds light into where and how companies can make the most impact on plastic pollution.

That’s why in 2019, WWF set out to find a way to expand transparency around plastic waste by launching ReSource: Plastic to ask – how can companies really make a difference on plastic waste? With the release of Transparent 2021, our second annual report from the ReSource program, we’re starting to be able to answer that question and it’s helping us fill in that “how” gap.

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  • Date: 23 November 2021
  • Author: Melissa D. Ho, Senior Vice President, Fresh Water and Food, WWF

“When will leaders lead?” Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados asked on the opening day of COP 26. As this “Super Year” of global events, including the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Conference of Parties (COP), and the Climate COP 26, concludes, I ask myself, did leaders lead?

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  • Date: 23 November 2021
  • Author: Alex Nichols-Vinueza, Program Manager, Food Loss and Waste

For most of us, Thanksgiving is all about the food. And for those looking to have a more environmentally-friendly Thanksgiving this year, the number one thing we can do is take steps to value the food we’re serving. This starts with us recognizing all of the resources that go into producing our Thanksgiving meal (long before we purchase our ingredients at the supermarket), and it ends with us doing our part to make sure none of it goes to waste.

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  • Date: 17 November 2021

Can plastic made from plants solve the plastic pollution crisis? The answer is no, not exactly; but, plant-based plastic (also known as bio-based plastic or bioplastic) will play a role in charting a path towards circularity.

Plastic production and pollution have been growing for decades, with lasting impacts to ecosystems around the world, with no end in sight unless we change course today. Fortunately, we can, by transforming our broken linear systems into circular ones. This will require a multi-faceted approach, including a combination of strategies focused on plastic reduction, reuse, and recycling. One of the key outcomes we'll need to see is the shift away from fossil-based plastic which has been a key feature of the take-make-waste linear economy fueling the environmental crisis today.

Currently, 99% of new plastic is made from fossil fuels, 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.

But, even the most functional of circular economies will still require some new plastic to meet our most critical needs, like keeping our foods fresh and our medications safe.

The good news is that there is a better path forward. Sustainable inputs – primarily, post-consumer recycled content and responsibly sourced plant-based plastic – will power circular economies. They can supply the material we need, but without relying on fossil fuels to produce new (or virgin) plastic. A strong supply of post-consumer recycled plastic in combination with responsibly sourced plant-based plastic, means we will no longer need to rely on fossil fuels to meet our remaining need for new plastic.

Plastic made from seaweed, sugar beets, or other plants can be an important part of the solution.

However, not all plant-based plastic is good for the environment. In order to serve as a truly sustainable alternative, the material must be thoughtfully designed to build environmental, social, and economic resilience across ecosystems and communities. WWF convenes the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance, a multi-stakeholder working group formed by some of the world's leading companies to advance knowledge of bioplastics and their potential social and environmental impacts. The BFA has developed a shared sustainability assessment for plant-based plastics to help actors make thoughtful decisions about biobased plastic sourcing, and drive change at scale.

Responsibly sourced plant-based plastic must also look beyond the benefits at the point of sourcing, to consider what will happen to the plant-based plastic after it has been used. Waste management practices, including collection, recycling, and composting, must be in place to ensure that this type of plastic can be effectively recovered and recirculated through the plastic system, and not end up as waste.

WWF continues to lead the charge to help reimagine how we source, design, and reuse the plastic materials communities most depend upon. Plant-based plastics represent an opportunity to reduce the negative impacts associated with the traditional sourcing of plastic from fossil fuels, and perhaps even contribute to the local economies, ecosystems, and resilience of communities in which they're grown. But plant-based or fossil-based, plastic has no place in nature.

For more information, visit the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance website here or check out WWF's Position on Biobased and Biodegradable Plastic.

  • Date: 28 October 2021
  • Author: Martha Kauffman, Vice President, WWF’s Northern Great Plains Program

It is impossible to gain a real understanding of a grassland until you’ve spent a great deal of time in one, watching, listening, and returning time and again to observe seasonal changes, or how the rise and fall of moisture influences wildlife and wildflower blooms. The first lesson that we’re often taught is just how deeply complicated these ecosystems are.

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  • Date: 26 October 2021
  • Author: Linda Walker, Senior Director, Corporate Engagement, Forests

Today, HP announced an $80 million expansion of its forest conservation partnership with WWF to help restore, protect, and improve the management of nearly 1 million acres of forest around the world by 2030. With this next step in our decades-long relationship, HP now becomes WWF’s largest U.S. corporate partner.

There is an urgent need for business leaders to set and implement rigorous nature and climate targets and to meet them by investing in high-integrity nature-based solutions that put people and communities at the center. This move from HP raises the bar for what leadership looks like for corporate climate and nature commitments. As part of the company’s sustainability and climate strategy, HP is pledging to address the downstream impacts of its business on nature by taking action for forests at a level that considers all the paper that runs through its printers and print services by 2030, even if it’s not HP branded.

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  • Date: 26 October 2021
  • Author: Anneliese Olson, HP Inc.

Here’s a challenge for you: Reflect on the places where you experienced life’s simplest pleasures. Do you imagine the scenic hike you took to get some steps in for the day? That park you took your kids to every Saturday morning? Or maybe even your own backyard?

It’s impossible for me to imagine being in any of my favorite places without trees, but beyond my personal enjoyment, forests are so important because they are home to three-quarters of the planet’s life on land and provide clean air and water. Forests are simply the best nature-based solution to address the climate crisis, and we must do what we can to protect them.

I’m fortunate to work at a company that understands the true value of forests both to its business and in the fight against climate change and knows the best way to make real impact is through partnership. HP Inc. and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have been working together for over a decade to ensure that we are sourcing our paper products responsibly. Partnerships like this have helped HP reach many environmental milestones. HP brand paper has been deforestation-free since 2016, and in 2020, HP achieved zero deforestation for 99% of HP paper-based product packaging with the remaining 1% assessed to ensure reported fiber usage meets HP’s Sustainable Paper and Wood Policy.[i]

In 2019, HP and WWF joined forces to go beyond our sourcing and broaden our conservation efforts to help safeguard global forest ecosystems. In the past two years, we’ve been collaborating to restore part of Brazil's threatened Atlantic Forest and increase sustainable management of state-owned forest farms in China—with the aim of protecting a combined area of over 200,000 acres.

Brazil’s Atlantic Forest is a biodiversity hot spot, home to iconic wildlife like the jaguar and 7% of Earth’s plant species. But it has lost more than 83% of its original area. Partnering with landowners and local groups, WWF and HP are helping to restore critical areas of the Atlantic Forest. Since 2019, together we have engaged over 50 local institutions and 150 community stakeholders in the Serra do Mar, Mogi Guaçu, and Upper Paraná regions to secure their participation in forest restoration activities.

In China, WWF and HP are working with forest agencies and forest owners to pursue Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification under the new FSC-China national standard across 220,000 acres. China is one of the largest producers of paper products, yet it relies heavily on imported wood to meet demand, much of which comes from countries with high risk of deforestation. Improving forest management in China can help reduce pressure on threatened and high value forests. The partnership is providing training and technical support to forest managers of 462,000 acres of forestland to help improve forest management practices and enable the long-term success of FSC certification.

Ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) this year, we announced a partnership expansion with WWF to counterbalance the amount of paper, regardless of brand, used in HP printers by conserving an equivalent number of forest resources.[ii] This builds on HP’s support of WWF’s development of science-based targets for forests. HP will be the first company to pilot a new methodology developed by WWF as part of its work on science-based targets for forests to more comprehensively estimate the impact on forests from non-HP paper that runs through HP printers globally. And then HP and WWF will protect, restore, and improve the management of a requisite amount of forests. By doing so, HP is helping to ensure nature-based solutions are informed by the best available science and protect the co-benefits forest ecosystems provide for people, plants and animals. As part of this partnership expansion, WWF is also joining HP’s Sustainable Forest Collaborative, a cross-industry collaboration we launched in 2019 to demonstrate scientific and commercially viable approaches to keep working forest ecosystems healthy.

For over a decade, our work with WWF and partners has helped us drive lasting, positive impact for the business and the planet. We’re proud and excited for the next decade of working alongside WWF to make a forest positive future a reality.

[i] In 2020, 99% of HP brand paper and paper-based product packaging were derived from certified or recycled sources. Packaging is defined as the box that comes with the product and all paper-based materials inside the box.

[ii] Fiber by weight will be 1) certified to rigorous third-party standards, 2) recycled, or 3) balanced by forest restoration, protection, and other initiatives through HP’s Forest Positive Framework. Paper does not include fiber-based substrates for HP industrial presses not listed in HP Media Solutions Locator catalogues.


The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of WWF.


  • Date: 21 October 2021
  • Author: Jason Clay, SVP, Markets & Executive Director, WWF Markets Institute

Trade is fundamental to well-functioning economies. It’s also critical for sustainability and for building more resilient food systems that can address the variability of the COVID-19 pandemic in the short term, but also for the chronic and urgent weather shifts from climate change. One might not realize it, but up until recently, food was mainly produced, sold, and consumed locally.

While that’s mainly still the case, since 2000 the amount of food traded grew from 6% to 20-25% in 2019. Trade fills gaps during bad years. And while we’ve clearly seen it can experience disruptions, trade also allows countries to achieve food security even, or especially, when what they do best is not food production. Many countries use food exports as a key part of their economy, like Brazil. China also generates a lot of food globally as does the US, though it’s a much smaller part of the economy.

So how do we monitor and govern food traded across international borders? Short answer, it’s complicated.

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  • Date: 20 October 2021
  • Author: Marcene Mitchell, Senior Vice President, Climate Change, WWF

In just under two weeks, the center of gravity for the climate crisis will be in Glasgow, Scotland at COP 26. The Paris Agreement’s over 190 signatories, along with NGOs, academics, corporations, and journalists will descend upon what was one of the most heavily industrialized cities in Europe, to talk about how to decarbonize the world economy.

One of the lingering questions the world will have is whether the United States is ready to be at the forefront of global leadership on climate. The Build Back Better Act, if Congress can pass it before the COP begins, could demonstrate its commitment, and be the herald that the U.S. is prepared to lead on climate.

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  • Date: 19 October 2021

The Mobile Basin Heirs' Property Support Initiative will help families in the Mobile Basin of Mississippi protect and keep their forestland. The two-year project was launched in October 2021 by the Center for Heirs' Property Preservation™ and the Mississippi Center for Justice with support from WWF and Kimberly-Clark.

The new initiative provides a combination of legal services, information, and access to financial and forestry resources to help Mississippians resolve land title issues that disproportionately affect Black families and often lead to loss of property, wealth, and forest resources.

We sat down with WWF's Senior Vice President for Forests Kerry Cesareo to discuss the project.

kerry

WWF's Senior Vice President for Forests Kerry Cesareo

Tell us why you are supporting this initiative and what you hope it will achieve.

Through the Mobile Basin Heirs’ Property Support Initiative, we hope to raise awareness of the legacy and prevalence of heirs’ property land loss, which deeply affects the environment and human well-being and unjustly impacts Black families in the United States. By focusing on the Mobile Basin, this project aims to help historically underserved Mississippians keep their generational land and preserve one of the most biodiverse wood baskets in the country.

In the coming years, the Southeast is facing an alarming loss of forests — up to 23 million acres by 2060. This is partially driven by unsustainable, rapid development. Only by preventing the exploitation of families and their land can we end forest fragmentation and loss in this country and mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

Forests are a source of health and wealth, but the burdens and benefits of caring for forests have not been shared fairly. We need to do everything we can to address injustice and support people who have helped us all by caring for forestlands for generations.

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