World Wildlife Fund Sustainability Works

  • Date: 26 March 2021
  • Author: Gyan de Silva, WWF

One of my most profound experiences as a child in Sri Lanka was watching a herd of elephants soundlessly crossing a river in the middle of the night. They were on their way to raid a sugarcane farm, a common occurrence driven in large part by drought. Another common occurrence while growing up was power cuts, again driven by drought combined with a national overreliance on hydropower. These are two small ways in which water has shaped my experiences.

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  • Date: 24 March 2021
  • Author: Devon Leahy, VP of Sustainability, Ralph Lauren

From growing cotton for our products to dyeing and washing fabric, water is a resource the apparel and textile industry is highly reliant on. That is why, at Ralph Lauren, water stewardship is an integral part of our citizenship and sustainability strategy, Design the Change. We are in the process of transforming the way water is used in our supply chain, introducing new technologies that minimize consumption, waste and pollution, and helping to protect the water resources we all use in our daily routines.

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  • Date: 23 March 2021

Plastic waste is everywhere. Plastic waste has invaded our homes; it has been found in the deepest parts of the ocean, piling up in landfills and leaking into nature since the 1950s. The public is increasingly frustrated with how pervasive and unavoidable single use plastics truly is today. Consumers are aware that plastic pollution is a major problem facing our environment but are often unable to reduce their reliance on waste. The time to end plastic waste is now.

In fact, a recent study commissioned by World Wildlife Fund found that 86% of Americans agree we need to transition from an economy that throws things away to one that emphasizes reuse and recycling. This broad agreement across political affiliations and geographies showcases the need for not only reforming our waste management system, but for a reevaluation of the ways plastic is produced.

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  • Date: 22 March 2021
  • Author: Melissa D. Ho, Senior Vice President, Fresh Water and Food, WWF

There are international themed “days” for everything, ranging from silly to somber. On March 22nd, somewhere in between World Sleep Day and International Whiskey Day is one that I would encourage everyone to acknowledge and celebrate: World Water Day.

World Water Day, at first glance, may sound niche—something only conservation scientists like myself would bother celebrating. But that’s exactly why water needs its day in the sun. Most of us take it for granted. Every. Single. Day. In fact, the only time many of us truly appreciate water is when our access to it is threatened, for example in periods of drought.

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  • Date: 22 March 2021
  • Author: Dr. Beth Hooker, Senior Manager of Water and Agriculture Resilience, Ceres; and Nicole Tanner, Manager of Corporate Water Stewardship, WWF

The world stands to see $10 trillion wiped off the global economy over the next 30 years due to climate change. Extreme weather will be more commonplace, droughts and floods will increase in frequency and severity, and water scarcity will be an ever-present threat. Yet freshwater ecosystems can be one of our most effective tools in adapting to climate change. Wetlands are a natural buffer against the most extreme events—soaking up heavy rainfall and regulating water flows, as well as storing and releasing water slowly—protecting against the most severe impacts of floods and droughts. Safeguarding these resources is essential for increasingly climate-stressed agricultural communities.

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  • Date: 12 March 2021

A Q&A with Samantha Sims, Vice President, Environmental Sustainability & Product Stewardship, PVH Corp.

Samantha Sims

What are some of the biggest challenges of your work?

One of the best aspects of working in corporate sustainability are the multi-faceted challenges – and finding solutions! Three that are top of mind right now are:

• Working across complex supply chains, poised to evolve significantly over the coming decade, to fulfill increasing consumer expectations related to social and environmental impacts of the products we offer, such as climate change and resource scarcity.

• Communicating information about environmental issues in ways that reach different associate audiences to help them adapt their everyday work to adjust to the impacts of climate change and generate more positive change.

• Scaling sustainable innovations that are critical for the apparel industry to make circular products mainstream.

What accomplishment or project are you most proud of?

While I’m incredibly proud of programmatic milestones that contribute to fighting climate change and enabling a circular economy, like setting a science-based target, driving PVH’s sustainable material footprint to be ~40% sustainable and our global water stewardship partnership with WWF, I’m most proud of the team we’ve built. This stellar team (of many women) partners with hundreds of associates across our global business to embed sustainable considerations into their everyday ways of working. With creativity, determination and resourcefulness they tackle everything from promoting renewable energy procurement in owned & operated and supply chain facilities to driving new sustainable approaches to product development. They’re simply awesome and I’m so fortunate to work with them!

We’re seeing a surge of women leaders across the sustainability sector. Why is this a positive development and what do you think it signals for the future?

My 5-year-old, Zoe, answered this by saying, “because women are strong and brave and problem solvers, Mommy.” I think she’s pretty spot on. I believe the problem solving piece links to a sense of creativity and energy that I see in many of the women I’m privileged to work with at PVH and throughout the sustainability space. I’m also incredibly energized by the need to engage more diverse points of view into the sustainability sector as we tackle big environmental challenges that intersect with similarly pressing social justice crises.

How do you think corporate sustainability will change over the next decade and beyond?

In terms of the apparel sector, consumers will gradually find more sustainable and circular products on (virtual) shelves thanks to increasing expectations for brands to be ethical and sustainable. The companies that offer the best sustainable and circular consumer products and brand experiences will have genuinely incorporated social and environmental considerations into long-term, strategy development, general ways of working, IT systems and HR performance management. I’m incredibly excited to see interesting sustainable business models, partnerships and acquisitions become tables stakes. Additionally, more and more businesses will consider their operations and risk management in relation to nature and climate change – but the most advanced companies will apply sustainability as a lens for creating opportunity and value – such as turning waste into assets.

About Samantha

Samantha (Sam) Sims leads the environmental sustainability function at PVH Corp., one of the largest global apparel companies with brands including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, IZOD, Van Heusen, Warner’s and Olga. She is also responsible for driving strategy planning across the Global Corporate Responsibility Function.

Sam built the environmental program at PVH, which encompasses initiatives across owned and operated facilities, supply chain, and brand product development. She serves on PVH’s Corporate Responsibility (CR) Leadership team where she advises company leaders on a range of environmental and human rights issues, as well as reporting quarterly to PVH’s CR Committee of the Board of Directors. Sam was instrumental in developing the company’s 2030 Forward Fashion strategy, which positioned the company to pursue a greater level of ambition with respect to human rights, climate change and sustainable product development.

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

  • Date: 12 March 2021

Wildflowers are not just beautiful, these bright and fragrant plants also play a vital role in maintaining the health of some of our most essential natural habitats. As we celebrate Plant a Flower Day, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is excited to announce the launch of a new three-year partnership with Botanica by Air Wick®, Air Wick® Scented Oils that will reseed 1 billion square feet (~23,000 acres) of previously disturbed grasslands and wildflower habitats in the Northern Great Plains (NGP). The “One Square Foot” project will provide food and shelter for pollinators, grassland birds, and the many other species that are native to the region.

“Grasslands are some of the most threatened habitats on the planet. Each year hundreds of thousands of acres of the Northern Great Plains are plowed up for row crop agriculture. Our collaboration with Air Wick to reseed marginal croplands back to native grass and wildflowers will benefit wildlife and help ranchers achieve their goals.”

Martha Kauffman
Vice President, WWF’s Northern Great Plains program

Since 2009, the United States has lost 33 million acres of grassland and wildflower habitats in the US Great Plains, which equates to half the size of Colorado. For more than 7 years, grasslands in this region have been plowed-up at an average rate of four football fields per minute, prioritizing row-crop agriculture over the preservation of wildlife. In turn, every year more and more acres of native habitats are lost, risking the demise of vital wildlife species and one of the world’s only remaining temperate grasslands. Air Wick and World Wildlife Fund’s commitment will restore and protect one of the last remaining regions of its kind.

The project will roll out over a three-year period. Depending on weather conditions, seed availability, and partner schedules, the first seeds will likely go into the ground during the summer of 2021 and new areas will be added through the fall of 2023. Grasslands can take years to fully heal after being plowed but within a couple of years of planting, signs of recovery will begin to show.

“Grassland songbirds and vulnerable pollinators such as the American bumble bee may be some of the first species to return to these reseeded grasslands and wildflower habitats. As the years pass, these plants will send their roots deep into the earth, stabilizing the soil, and storing water. Under the management of our partners in the ranching community, these grasses and wildflowers will provide a strong foundation for a healthy recovery of previously disturbed grasslands.”

Clay Bolt
Communications Lead, WWF's Northern Great Plains program

Air Wick will also be distributing approximately 200,000 packets of regionally appropriate, organically produced native wildflower seeds to consumers across the United States. This will allow participants to help pollinators in their own backyards, balcony, or patio, one square foot at a time.

To learn more about Air Wick and WWF’s reseeding initiative and to find which wildflowers are native to your community, visit:

  • Date: 11 March 2021
  • Author: Karrie Denniston, Senior Director- Sustainability,
Karrie Denniston

I’ve always loved nature. As a kid, nature fueled my imagination – it was dirt to play in, trees for forts and flowers and rocks for art projects. As I got older, nature also became a provider, not only of physical things like food from the garden, but also of needed space. There is just no replacement for a hike or a run in the woods when you need to think.

While I appreciated nature, I didn’t expect sustainability to be such an important part of my career. The first chapter of my work focused on how to lend my strengths to addressing hunger and increasing access to healthier food. I spent most of my time in the nonprofit sector, at the local, regional and national level in the US trying to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of food related policies and programs.

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  • Date: 11 March 2021

A Q&A with Jenny McColloch, Chief Sustainability Officer, McDonald’s Corporation

Jenny McColloch

What does your role at McDonald’s entail and what goals are you working to achieve?

Every day at McDonald’s, we serve almost 1% of the world’s population across nearly 40,000 restaurants worldwide. This means working with a vast and diverse network of suppliers, farmers, franchisees and employees to fulfill our purpose to feed and foster communities.

As Chief Sustainability Officer, I lead the team that coordinates McDonald’s environmental, social and community impact commitments. These commitments touch every part of the business—from our food and packaging supply chain to our restaurants, customers, and community engagements. My team also oversees human rights, employee volunteerism, corporate giving and our annual ESG reporting.

Our environmental goals include packaging and recycling commitments that are visible and important to our customers, a commitment to eliminate deforestation and other important sustainability criteria as we source key ingredients, and science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and drive climate resiliency.

Being a brand that serves millions of families every day, we have social and community impact goals to make more balanced meals accessible through our Happy Meals. We’re also working to reduce barriers to employment for 2 million young people in the coming years.

As you’d expect, to achieve these goals, we work with a range of partners both internally and externally, including a long-standing collaboration with WWF, prioritizing actions in areas where we can collectively drive impact at scale.

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  • Date: 10 March 2021

A Q&A with Taryn Barclay, Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement, Cargill

Taryn Barclay

What does your role at Cargill entail, and what goals are you working to achieve?

Through our global corporate responsibility and sustainability work, Cargill advances its purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. We recognize that we cannot do this alone. We form partnerships with organizations to improve food security and nutrition, strengthen farmer livelihoods, advance human rights, equity and inclusion and drive progress on our water, land and climate commitments. I help manage, support, and build those partnerships across Cargill, developing relationships with key organizations and institutions and supporting Cargill’s businesses to create their own transformational partnerships. This includes our partnership with WWF-US, I am fortunate to support coordination of our work and it’s exciting to see the programs we are collaborating on together.

Why did you choose a career in sustainability?

My background is actually in Human Resources; I transitioned about midway in my career into sustainability and CR. I think Human Resources was a good foundation to make the transition, especially in developing skills around empathy and listening and managing change. I have also always worked in large private sector organizations and being interested in the roles and responsibilities that companies, especially global multinational corporations, should and could play in society. I wanted to be more externally focused, understand the outside environment, and what stakeholders influenced the business. I felt I would have more opportunities to explore this in a sustainability-focused career than HR.

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