While it’s no magic wand, developing blockchains can help supply chain transparency and companies meet no-deforestation targets.

In this podcast Jessica Verhagen, vice-president, business development and strategy, Ecosphere+, talks with Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh about blockchain and how it can help implement corporate policies on deforestation and develop more sustainable supply chains.

Verhagen explains why, with the processes of transparency and consensus built in, blockchain can maintain transparency and ensure that all stages of the value chain benefit correctly from transactions. She explains why getting the right checks and balances into a blockchain can ensure security for all parties, including around commodity certification, and how blockchain can develop the carbon credits market.

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In this podcast, Glenn Hurowitz, CEO of Mighty Earth, talks with Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh about his organisation’s work on trying to break the links between agriculture and deforestation.

They discuss the potential for success for the new soy manifesto in South American grasslands – and why soy sourcing has become a key risk for the international beef sector. The rubber sector is a new area of focus for Mighty Earth – Hurowitz argues that as the rubber sector companies have seen the reputational damage that palm oil sector has suffered in the past few years there is potential for NGO pressure to move the sector forward and engage on its deforestation risks. He also says that the recently announced deal on cocoa in west Africa could be a real game-changer for the sector as it brings all the relevant actors together.

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Cutting use of plastic requires smarter design and increasing circularity in waste management processes. 

In this podcast with Ian Welsh, Caroline Reid, project manager strategic sustainable development, Ikea, outlines the company’s plastic use and targets to reduce this. She explains the drivers behind them, including a very-aware customer base and strong momentum from the company’s corporate culture.

Reid argues the case for better recycling and waste management processes that make things easier for consumers to help business develop more closed loop processes for plastic and other materials. She says that prolonging product life is a core way to cut resource use, and their design is key to achieving this, such as making products modular so they can be added to or adapted over time.

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Emerging technology can help companies monitor their supply chains and track deforestation commitments better. But there is now so much data available, how can companies make sense of it all?

In this podcast, Niels Wielaard, managing director of remote sensing tech firm Satelligence, talks with Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh about how to get the right insights from satellite image data and identify the landscape changes that are relevant.

Once a company can, for example, identify where on a concession there is oil palm being grown or cocoa trees, and where the protected forests are, it can be much more certain of the deforestation risks in its supply chain. Technology can also link social issues to deforestation through analysis of geo-tagged social media. Looking forward, Wielaard argues that business should focus efforts more on smarter use of existing datasets than looking for evermore data itself.

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While we are starting to get the right frameworks in place on business and human rights, better enforcement of existing legislation would be a good place to start.

Global Witness CEO Gillian Caldwell outlines to Ian Welsh some of her top global trends on business and human rights. She points out instances where business goes along too easily with restrictions on freedom of speech and repression by governments, but highlights a clear movement from consumers expecting brands and companies to be properly engaging on human rights.

She also argues that there is a wider realisation for companies that as they have made human rights a C-suite concern it is an area where best practice has business wide positive benefits.

They discuss the importance of a fast yet fair transition to a low carbon economy. Caldwell stresses that it’s those who have contributed least to climate change who will be impacted most. But, there are risks involved in the transition, not least in that so man of the necessary minerals for low-carbon innovation, such as leading-edge battery technology, are sourced from countries and regions with significant human rights challenges.

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Business responds well to clarity, simplicity and consistency, and these three things are not hallmarks of plastics recycling and pollution prevention policy in many countries. Various approaches have been trialled by various governments and regional authorities to tackle plastics pollution, without much success.

In this podcast Delphine Lévi Alvarès, European coordinator of the #BreakFreeFromPlastic movement, Zero Waste EuropeZero Waste Europe talks to Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh about how the different piecemeal pieces of legislation can best be effective. They discuss when levies, such as the UK’s 5p plastic bag charge, can be effective, or when banning certain products in some circumstances are is the right way to go. Alvarès argues that consumers have lost a sense of value in plastics and legislation, with business support, can help bring this back.

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For brands and companies with commodity supply chains, ensuring sustainable sourcing is no longer just a corporate responsibility issue – it’s one of long term security of supply.

But with diverse and globalised supply chains, and the myriad certifications and guidelines schemes, what are some practical steps companies can take to help ensure what they source is produced sustainably? What are the key tools and initiatives that can help, and how can companies access them?

On this webinar, taking the coffee sector as a case study, four experts focus on how companies are collaborating together with partners, and using technology, to work towards Sustainable Coffee Challenge commitments. They discuss how partners can best work together to develop more sustainable supply chains and explore how to build brand equity through transparency and impact metrics.

Panel:

Bambi Semroc, senior strategic advisor, Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, Conservation International

Daniele Giovannucci, co-founder, Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA)

James Barsimantov, COO, SupplyShift

David Piza Cossio, director of corporate social responsibility and sustainable sourcing, S&D Coffee & Tea

Introduced and moderated by Ian Welsh, publishing director, Innovation Forum

 

Webinar sponsored by SupplyShift

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Plastic is everywhere. Its versatility, low weight and low cost have made our lives easier. However, one of its most remarkable properties – its durability – is also its main pitfall when it ends up in the environment, not least in the oceans. The numbers are scary. The World Economic Forum predicts that kilo for kilo there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050. Other research from the University of Georgia says that 8.6m tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans every year. In many respects ocean plastic pollution is essentially everyone’s fault and everyone’s problem. Therefore, it will require a multi-stakeholder approach to drive the necessary innovation, scale and speed to meet the challenge head on.

In this webinar discussion join:

Kirstie McIntyre, director, global sustainability operations, HP

Adam Hall, head of sustainability, Surfdome

Will McCallum, head of oceans, Greenpeace UK

Nicholas Mallos, director, Trash Free Seas program, Ocean Conservancy

Introduced and moderated by Ian Welsh, publishing director, Innovation Forum

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Cocoa farming is one of the critical drivers of deforestation and becoming ever-more the target of activist campaigning, but what can the cocoa sector do to drive real progress? 

In the west African nations of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, where the majority of the world’s cocoa beans are harvested, there is significant deforestation due to cocoa farming. Changing weather patterns from climate change are forcing farmers to expand into new areas or to relocate, leading to even more deforestation. Deforestation itself is, of course, a significant climate change driver.

Mondelēz, has developed a programme to address these challenges, and some partner organisations – including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Impactum – have provided crucial help along the way.

In this webinar, panelists from Mondelēz International, UNDP and Impactum debate cocoa supply chains and deforestation. The panellists share their experiences addressing deforestation and helping cocoa farmers become more resilient against the effects of climate change through cross-sector collaboration.

Panellists:

Cédric van Cutsem, global operations manager, Cocoa Life, Mondelēz International

Andrew Bovarnick, lead natural resource economist and global head, green commodities program, UNDP

Marc Daubrey, chief executive officer, Impactum

Introduced and moderated by Ian Welsh, publishing director, Innovation Forum

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In the past, companies have viewed human rights risks as a reputational risk – if abuses are found, the impact on the company’s reputation has been at the forefront, making them act. 
But, is this still the case? 

In this Innovation Forum webinar experts from the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and Hilton International discuss the new legislation designed to keep companies in check, such as the UK modern slavery act, and ask how far these rules and regulations really go. Are they, in fact, driving change in corporate behaviour? 



What are the other motivators for business to protect human rights? 
And how far do corporate human rights policies go in safe guarding the rights of those in their operations and supply chains? 
What role can other stakeholders play in encouraging (and helping) business to take proactive action on human rights? 


Ultimately, what does make companies act? 



With Mauricio Lazala, deputy director, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and Caroline Meledo, global head, corporate responsibility and human rights, EMEA, Hilton 


Introduced and moderated by Ian Welsh, publishing director, Innovation Forum

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