Eleonora Pessina, group sustainability officer, Pirelli talks with Innovation Forum’s Toby Webb about Pirelli’s new rubber policy, and the progress the sector is making on developing more sustainable supply chains. Less high profile than other tropical commodities such as palm oil, they discuss the challenges for the rubber sector to ensure a collaborative rather than fragmented approach. Pessina stresses that capacity building for the rubber value chain needs to start at the top.

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This week, Nusa Urbancic, campaigns director, Changing Markets Foundation, debates with Toby Webb the NGO’s new report investigating certification schemes in fisheries, palm oil and textiles – including RSPO and Better Cotton Initiaitve – and what they could do to achieve their aims via greater transparency and ambition. Plus new Nasa research on global water depletion, National Geographic’s campaigning on plastics, Greenpeace cutting ties with Asia Pulp & Paper over deforestation, and modern slavery in construction in the weekly news roundup

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Glenn Hurowitz, Mighty Earth, explains to Innovation Forum’s Toby Webb why soy’s deforestation impacts have been a little under the radar. They discuss why the successes of the soy moratorium in the Brazilian Amazon have not been translated elsewhere and what big commodity buyers need to do to help preserve the forests.

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John Gummer – Lord Deben – chairman of Sancroft, outlines to Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh the main findings from recent research into modern slavery in public procurement in the UK that finds over 40% of the top 100 companies in terms of value of public contracts are non-compliant with the UK Modern Slavery Act. They debate the pros and cons of a greater due diligence approach to reporting on slavery and forced labour. They also discuss plastics pollution and what business and government must do together for best impact to help solve the problem.

 

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Anglo American’s Jon Samuel on what the future of sustainable mining looks like, how to set stretching targets and engage strategically with stakeholders, and what sustainability really means for an extractives sector business. Plus: why the ILO thinks climate action will lead to new jobs, how Unilever's more-sustainable brands deliver profits and HSBC declares blockchain fit for purpose, in our sustainable business news roundup.

Hosted by Ian Welsh

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David Cleary, director for agriculture at the Nature Conservancy, and Toby Webb reflect on the lessons from Innovation Forum’s latest business and deforestation conference. Cleary argues that the impact on forests from beef production is the “elephant in the room”, and questions why there is not more focus on the sector from activists and campaigners. He outlines how use of already cleared lands for commodity plantation can ease impact on forests and also the cerrado grasslands in Brazil.

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Greenpeace forest campaigner Richard George debates with Innovation Forum’s Toby Webb about what companies have and have not been doing over the past few years on tackling deforestation, and why simply having good policies and commitments really isn’t enough. Despite hundreds of commitments from companies, George argues that there has been a lack of meaningful change on the ground. The challenge remains to implement policy and work harder to preserve the forests, he says.

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This week, Gabriel Thoumi, head of capital markets at Climate Advisers, outlines to Toby Webb the financial risks that big companies in the agricultural commodities sector, and others, are running by not dealing with environmental and social risks in supply chains properly. Nicole Rycroft from Canopy talks with Ian Welsh about the linkages between forest ecosystems, textile manufacturing and apparel supply chains. Plus new research that’s highly critical of certification schemes, UK consumers uninspired by food waste reduction scheme, and why Indonesia’s move to export more palm oil to China might be bad news for tropical forests, in the news roundup.

Hosted by Ian Welsh.

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Matt Carstens, senior vice-president, Land O’Lakes discusses with Toby Webb what his company is doing to work with ag-retailers to influence farmers. He outlines how Land O’Lakes is engaging with farmers on, among other key issues, soil health – what Carstens argues is their biggest asset. They also debate how consumers are changing their views on sustainability, and how this affects what they want to see on supermarket shelves.

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Brian Heese, director, investor relations, One Acre Fund, explains to Innovation Forum’s Toby Webb how the fund works and why it has grown from working with 2,000 to 600,000 farmers, principally in eastern Africa. With a 98% repayment rate on the loans One Acre Fund makes to farmers, it is a model that has proved it can work successfully in different markets and at scale.

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