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: 31 October 2023
  • Author: Matthew Slovik, Head of Global Sustainable Finance, Morgan Stanley

People and economies cannot thrive without nature, including the living and non-living components of the atmosphere, land, ocean and freshwater, and biodiversity, which is the variability of organisms within nature. Nature and its contributions to human wellbeing and quality of life generate more than $44 trillion in economic value—more than half of the world’s GDP.¹

Yet, for the past several decades, nature has experienced unprecedented degradation. Since 1970, wildlife populations have declined by an average of 69%.2 Today, more than one million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction.3 The potential loss of entire ecosystems, including wild pollinators, marine fisheries and timber from forests—just a fraction of nature’s ecosystem—could result in a $2.7 trillion decline in global GDP annually.4

With critical resources such as food and fresh water supply at risk, investment in nature may provide help to better protect societies and businesses from the collapse of ecosystems. In particular, some investors are especially keen to understand how their investments can be detrimental or positive for nature, in the same way that they assess holdings with respect to their impact on climate change and the transition to clean energy in their climate investing.

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  • Date: 24 October 2023
  • Author: Katherine Devine

While I may have visited my first coffee farm in Costa Rica while studying abroad, I fell in love with coffee production a few years later in the Dominican Republic. Assigned by the Peace Corps to a small town, Juncalito, I was fortunate to be placed with extremely kind people, in a stunning landscape with a perfect climate, and given the pleasure of working with the Juncalito Coffee Producers’ Association. At this formative time in my life, I was privileged to experience firsthand the challenges faced by smallholder farmers and their tenacity, love for the earth, and truly delicious coffee.

Katherine Devine

When I learned last year that my team at WWF would be working on a series of papers on measuring and mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across key commodities, and that coffee would be one of them, I jumped at the chance to work on the project.

During my time in the DR, I saw firsthand how climate conditions can affect productivity and quality, making the difference between earning more for specialty coffee and selling for rock bottom commodity prices. I was curious to dive into WWF’s research to learn more about GHG emissions in coffee production, and what could be done to support farmers facing the direct impacts of climate change.

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  • Date: 20 October 2023
  • Author: Tara Doyle, WWF

I had the opportunity to talk to the award-winning filmmaker and scientist Valerie Weiss, who has directed popular shows including Outer Banks and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Dr. Weiss received a Ph.D. in biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology from Harvard, and says this scientific background has influenced her approach to storytelling. Her interest in human behavior and cause-and-effect relationships compels her to dig deeper into the characters’ motivations, making stories more emotionally rich and resonant. Dr. Weiss is also passionate about promoting sustainability on set and weaving environmental messages through her work.

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  • Date: 16 October 2023
  • Author: Michele Thieme, Deputy Director, Freshwater, WWF

Water is often assumed to be the world’s most abundant resource. While more than 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, only 0.5% of that is fresh and available for use. This finite resource and our freshwater security is in increasing peril. The global population has exploited our rivers, lakes, and aquifers creating a water crisis that is undermining human and planetary health. Now, billions of people lack access to safe water and sanitation, food insecurity is on the rise, and we are losing freshwater species at alarming rates. Why is this happening? Because we have failed to properly value the very water we rely on.

The High Cost of Cheap Water, a new report from the World Wildlife Fund addresses this issue head-on. Not only is water critical for community and species health, but water is also a necessity for industrial production of goods, their transportation, and the production of the energy needed to underpin the entire supply chain. There are no siloes when it comes to freshwater access and usage; every decision we make about water impacts another industry or community. When considering the total footprint that water has across our society, WWF estimates that the total global quantifiable economic use value of water in 2021 is approximately US$58 trillion, equivalent to the combined GDPs of the United States, China, Japan, Germany and India.

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  • Date: 10 October 2023
  • Author: Amanda Zhu, Markets Institute Research Intern

We know that no one organization or company alone could ever solve the nature or climate crises. That’s why leading companies recognize that cleaning up their internal operations is not enough; for change at a global scale, they must influence entire industries to shift toward more responsible practices.

But since change at this scale is slow and complex, how do you track if and by how much your organization is influencing the conversation and effecting change? Could it be possible to assign hard numbers to such an abstract concept?

This summer, I endeavored to answer those questions, researching and building a methodology to define and efficiently track influence in the future. I specifically studied the influence of case studies authored by WWF’s Markets Institute, but the lessons I learned could be applied to multiple uses.

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  • Date: 04 October 2023
  • Author: Corey L. Norton

New and proposed environmental, social, and governance (ESG) laws and regulations in the U.S. and EU represent a major step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, illegal deforestation and conversion of land, illegal fishing, and forced labor.

The new laws will affect the ways companies do business across borders and within certain jurisdictions. And they will have huge implications for environmental and social impact. But implementing the regulations is going to be difficult for many companies to do on their own. For those, collaboration is the key.

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  • Date: 02 October 2023

Seaweed, although often overlooked in Western diets, has been a staple in many Asian cuisines for centuries. This rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants is valued for its savory umami flavor. The cultivation of kelp, a popular type of seaweed, has a much lower environmental footprint compared to traditional agriculture on land. As climate change and increasing resource consumption create concerns over food security, kelp is gaining recognition as a food source with a low environmental impact. But many misconceptions still surround this sustainable superfood. In the first blog post of our Seaweed Explainer Series, we’ll examine the differences between wild harvested kelp and farmed kelp.

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  • Date: 28 September 2023
Small FWW Calendar
Adventures of a Food Waste Warrior Calendar

School is back in full swing for the 2023-2024 school year! As September turns to October, we all settle into fall routines. Friday, September 29th, is International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste, marking it the perfect day to start reducing food waste in school cafeterias as part of the fall routine.

In 2019, WWF’s Food Waste Warriors report, A Deep Dive into Food Waste in Schools, estimated that schools generate 530,000 tons of food waste annually, equating to 1.9M metric tons of CO2, 20.9 billion gallons of water, and $1.7 billion in school funds. This is important because this food waste impacts resources like water, energy, biodiversity, and school budgets.

Knowing how much is at stake, the school cafeteria can become a classroom where we prioritize food waste reduction and by doing so, reduce emissions and water use while also saving money. To help schools take action and educate students about the food system’s impact on our environment, WWF is introducing a NEW cafeteria calendar and animated video to help schools get started TODAY with forming a food waste warrior team, conducting a cafeteria food waste audit, and using our Food Waste Warrior toolkit for additional support.

Imagine a future where US schools make food waste reduction a priority and integrate food systems education into classrooms. This can all start one school at a time, planting the seed and watching it grow. You can stay updated on the Be a Food Waste Warrior homepage for news on current partnerships happening this fall with schools in Orlando and Seattle (as well as Baltimore, Chicago, Madison, and Rockbridge, VA alongside the Multiscale RECIPES network) as we continue to study innovative food waste strategies like share tables and teacher stipends to improve student nutrition, reduce school food waste, and empower students to drive change!

  • Date: 27 September 2023

Agriculture is one of the most essential aspects of our society—it sustains life, it creates jobs— contributing USD $3.6 trillion and employing 27% of the world’s workforce.¹

The need for sustainable resource management is more important than ever. Without it, agricultural production consumes excessive water (about 70% of the planet’s fresh water). It also significantly contributes to the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and is a leading pollutant in many countries, infiltrating water, marine ecosystems, air and soil.

Unsustainable farming practices can not only have serious impacts on the environment but on people as well. When managed sustainably, agriculture can help preserve and restore critical habitats, improve soil health and improve water quality. With demand growing for food, WWF is working with key stakeholders, including governments, companies and farmers to implement better management practices that benefit both the environment and the producers’ bottom line.

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  • Date: 20 September 2023
  • Author: Kerry Cesareo and Marcene Mitchell

Yesterday at New York Climate Week, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launched the Nature-Based Solutions Origination Platform (NbS-OP), a new model for scaling up, aligning and mobilizing public and private finance for high-quality nature-based solutions (NbS) under an integrated landscape finance approach. With this model, interventions to address nature loss, expand sustainable livelihoods, and mitigate climate risks are planned, financed and implemented holistically across large tropical forest territories, helping to ensure lasting success. The five initial landscapes where the NbS-OP will focus are the Atlantic Forest (Brazil); the Central Annamites (Viet Nam); Madre de Dios (Peru); the Northern Highlands/Diana (Madagascar); and the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico).

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