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: 18 September 2023
  • Author: Laura Phillips-Alvarez
Laura Phillips-Alvarez

Laura Phillips-Alvarez is an intern with the Media and External Affairs Department at WWF

I had a very D.C. childhood. And by that I mean, I grew up between Honduras, Uganda, Tajikistan, Nicaragua, Mozambique, and the U.S. (in that order). I never know what to respond when people ask me where I’m from, so I give a palatable answer that does not actually answer where I am from.

“My mom is from Guatemala and my dad is from Boston.”

“Cool!”

This mixed-identity crisis is common in third culture kids (TCK’s), a term coined in the 1950s for children who spend their formative years in a culture other than their parents.

Identity crisis aside, spending the first 13 years of my life in some of the countries that are the hardest hit by climate change (and the least responsible for it) instilled in me a great sense of urgency to live as sustainably as possible.

As Hispanic Heritage Month kicks-off, I wanted to reflect on some of the lessons in sustainable living that I adopted from my childhood across Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the U.S.

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  • Date: 21 August 2023
  • Author: Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Global Environment Facility CEO and Chairperson

They journeyed from 11 countries on five continents. From as far as South Africa and as close as the United States: hundreds of firefighters working to dousing the wildfires that have done unparalleled damage to Canadian forests this year and sent plumes of thick smoke across North America.

Their willingness to brave exhaustion and danger to stop the damage to northern forests was as startling as it was inspiring. It was incredible to see firefighters from my home country of Costa Rica decamping the tropics to do what they could in very different conditions. I was also struck by a sentiment shared by a South Korean firefighter on why he had made that trip.

“In my mind, it's the same forest,” Kim Man Ju told the CBC. “We should keep the forest. That means a promise to the future, a promise to the globe.”

This spirit of partnership is what we need to take forward from this grim and tragic summer, which has torched not only Canada but also Hawaii and large swaths of southern Europe amid record air and water temperatures and dangerously dry conditions.

We need to throw our collective weight behind a promise to the future, a promise to the planet.

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  • Date: 17 August 2023
  • Author: Tessa Bellone, Plastic Waste Specialist, WWF

Many people considered the invention of single-use plastic to be the height of innovation at its time, with disposable plastic bags, cups and utensils skyrocketing in popularity due to their versatility and convenience. However, after decades of overconsumption and mismanagement, these same products have now become a symbol of environmental degradation – clogging our oceans with millions of tons of plastic pollution every year.

As the plastic pollution crisis grows in severity, the world is in dire need of new business models that are capable of matching the ease, function and affordability of single-use plastic without the devastating levels of waste.

That’s where reuse comes in.

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  • Date: 10 August 2023
  • Author: Katherine Devine and Emily Moberg, WWF

Just about any production process causes greenhouse gas emissions, and the production of food is no different. As a whole, the food system creates about a third of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The great bulk of those occur on the farm – from deforestation that converts wild habitats to farmland; from land-based agricultural practices, like fertilizer use and livestock production; and from farming practices themselves, including fossil fuel emissions from tractors and other farm equipment.

Because of already tight profit margins, farms have little leeway to invest in processes that cut those on-farm emissions. That’s where incentives come in. By offering incentives to elements of their supply chain, companies can begin to shift behavior at various steps in food’s journey from farm to consumer, mitigating GHG emissions. Incentives can range from rewards to penalties, financial or otherwise. In a new report, the Markets Institute at WWF has focused on the rewards end of the spectrum, which companies have begun to discover is the more fruitful way to engage their supply chains.

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  • Date: 09 August 2023
  • Author: Daniel Riley, Director, International Corporate Climate Partnerships, WWF

Last week, the Renewable Thermal Collaborative (RTC) briefed Capitol Hill stakeholders on key insights of its Renewable Thermal Vision Report and the role federal policymakers can play in unlocking critical pathways to decarbonize industry and cut emissions to reach net zero by 2050.

The industrial sector produces 30% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., and industry’s use of thermal energy (heating and cooling) to create many of the products we use in our everyday lives accounts for nearly half of that number.

With the impacts of climate change becoming ever more dangerous, we must address every source of emissions that causes climate change, and one of the ways we can make real progress is by prioritizing the conversion of low and medium heat processes in the industrial sector to renewable energy. Though ambitious, undertaking the actions this would require stands to have tremendous impact–potentially reducing thermal emissions by nearly 80%.

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  • Date: 26 July 2023

There’s a growing awareness of the critical role nature plays in fighting the climate crisis. Nature captures and stores over 50% of man-made carbon emissions from the atmosphere; which slows the rate of global warming. Nature can also help reduce the impact of extreme weather events like storms, heatwaves, and drought. We call the intentional deployment of nature to address societal challenges like climate change “nature-based solutions.

It is fitting then, on World Mangrove Day, that WWF is launching ManglarIA (Spanish for “AI for Mangroves”), a new initiative supported by Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, that will help us use advanced technology, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), to understand how mangrove ecosystems and their contributions to communities are affected by climate change and its impacts. The project was selected from among hundreds of submissions to receive a $5 million grant from Google.org’s Impact Challenge on Climate Innovation. This project is representative of a growing movement to bolster nature-based solutions with advances in technology - creating more effective and measurable outcomes for climate solutions rooted in nature and enabled by technology.

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  • Date: 25 July 2023

The world has never been closer to reaching a global solution towards addressing the plastic pollution crisis. And with the Global Treaty on Plastic Pollution coming into view, the policy landscape around the world is advancing quickly – and it’s critical that the United States is keeping at pace.

In March 2023, World Wildlife Fund hosted its first-ever Plastic Policy Summit to help forge this path forward in the US by bringing together voices across the spectrum of plastic waste stakeholders and rights holders under one roof. Over the course of two days, speakers and participants—including federal agency representatives, state and local policymakers, nonprofit and corporate leaders, and members of Congress—took part in discussions to help inform how we, as a country, can advance policies and collective action toward a shared outcome of ending plastic pollution in the U.S.

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  • Date: 24 July 2023
  • Author: Jason Clay, Senior Vice President, Markets, and Executive Director, Markets Institute @ WWF

Have you ever thought that life was passing you by? Increasingly it seems to me that that is what is happening with climate change. The impacts are more extreme, more variable, and more omnipresent than we thought possible. And we all struggle — individuals, NGOs, companies, and governments alike — to find responses to these impacts.

This is perhaps most apparent in the global food system, where climate change is wreaking havoc via floods, droughts, heat domes and crop failures. Two years ago, the United Nations convened a Food Systems Summit to review and transform “the entire spectrum of food,” including its production, shipping, consumption, and disposal.

As a biennial Food Systems Stocktaking Moment begins Monday in Rome, we wanted to understand how some of the most advanced food companies we work with are coping with the current environment. The results are evident in this report, issued jointly by World Wildlife Fund and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

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  • Date: 06 July 2023
  • Author: Clay Bolt

Grasslands have a PR problem.

As a publicist and promoter of grasslands, it is my job to convince you—the reader—that these ancient, expansive ecosystems are important. I hope to compel you to regard not only the Northern Great Plains, where I live and work, as irreplaceable, but grasslands-at-large. I want you to understand that these ecosystems are more than just an empty stage suited only for growing crops, development, or resource extraction. WWF understands this, which is why in 2021 we launched a partnership with Air Wick® in 2021 called “One Square Foot” with the goal of reseeding 1 billion square feet of previously plowed grasslands and wildflower habitats across the Northern Great Plains.

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  • Date: 29 June 2023
  • Author: Tara McNerney, Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment Manager, WWF

The Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment (PCFWC) recently released a report detailing the initiative’s progress in 2022, demonstrating remarkable strides towards its goal of halving food waste by 2030. Particularly noteworthy is the PCFWC's groundbreaking dataset—developed using measurement and reporting tools provided by ReFED—that allows year-over-year comparison of food waste at the retail level. This dataset constitutes an unprecedented resource in food waste research that will provide much-needed guidance for the retail industry as well as other sectors.

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