This week: Toby Webb and Davd Westlake, CEO of the International Justice Mission debate how companies can help build capacity to tackle modern slavery, particularly in Thailand. And, Ian Welsh and Joe Arvai, professor of sustainability, and faculty director at the Erb Institute, University of Michigan, discuss how companies can measure impact and drive business benefits. Plus: good news for Adidas, and not for Starbucks, in the latest CHRB benchmark; why Iceland can't show its palm oil Christmas ad, and are asset managers going to save the forests? 

Hosted by Ian Welsh

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Louise Edge, European campaign coordinator at Greenpeace, discusses with Innovation Forum’s Toby Webb why there’s been such an explosion in interest in tackling plastic waste.

Edge calls on companies to go beyond existing targets on recycling, stressing the scale of the problem now and in a business-as-usual future. She outlines four steps that business can follow: transparency on what plastics they use; grasping the issue of ever-increasing single-use plastic; active investment in new delivery systems that are based on reduction and reuse; and taking immediate action to eliminate non-recyclable packaging.

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Erica Ocampo, global sustainability strategy manager, Dow Chemical, talks with Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh about how the company identifies its material issues and how they impact its business and stakeholders. Ocampo explains how Dow uses this to develop corporate strategy across all its business units. She argues the case for keeping reporting relevant – including cutting their length – and how to engage with standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative effectively.

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This week: Coca-Cola’s Joe Franses on what Coke is doing to develop better plastic recycling rates and to leverage the power of its brand to encourage consumers to do the same. And Golden Agri-Resources’ Gotz Martin on what sustainable rural communities might look like in 2030.

Plus: ZSL says palm oil companies still lack verification capacity, electric vehicles and child labour risks, and why consumers are going vegan, in the news roundup.

Hosted by Ian Welsh

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Christine McGrath, chief well-being, sustainability, public and government affairs officer at Mondelez, and Meghann Jones, senior vice president, corporate sustainability and citizenship at Ipsos, talk with Ian Welsh about how Mondelez, one of the world’s largest buyers of cocoa has designed its Cocoa Life sustainability programme to transform its cocoa supply chains. McGrath argues that this is designed as a holistic programme, because so many of the challenges the company’s supplier farmers are inter-related. They discuss what the programme means at a farm level, why helping develop farming communities is key, and debate impact measurement, what it means and how best to evaluate outcomes.

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This week: Lola Young, Baroness Young of Hornsey, speaks with Innovation Forum's Toby Webb about what business must do now to move from talk to action on modern slavery. And Sancroft’s Felix Gummer and Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh debate trends in how business is getting to grips with the environmental impacts of plastics, and why consumers expect immediate action. Plus: the implications of WWF’s Living Planet Report into drastic biodiversity decline, more corporate commitments on plastics and prospects for a holistic approach to non-financial reporting, in the news digest.

Hosted by Ian Welsh

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Speaking to Innovation Forum’s Tanya Richard, Cyndi Rhoades, CEO of Worn Again Technologies, outlines the process she and her colleagues are developing that can take in blended polyester and cotton textiles and recapture the raw materials – polyester and cellulose from the cotton – while separating out the dies and other components.

Rhoades argues that chemical recycling is the missing link that will allow the industry to go circular. And the challenge of textiles waste is huge – only 1% of end-of-use textiles are recovered into the supply chain. It also is part of the plastics pollution debate – and Rhoades argues that a practical answer is to think more about how to re-use the materials that are already in the value chain, while also developing better product design and microfibre capture processes, for example.

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Daniella Foster, senior director for global corporate responsibility at Hilton, and Jennifer Marsman, principal software development engineer at Microsoft, talk with Innovation Forum's Ian Welsh about how to make the business case to corporate boards so they sit up and engage with developing sustainability to future-proof business models. Investing in how to measure impacts better, both environmental and social, is crucial, they argue, alongside thinking about what the business will look like in the future.

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This week: Louise Edge, European campaign coordinator at Greenpeace, talks to Toby Webb about some of the key actions companies need to take on plastics pollution. And Erica Ocampo, global sustainability strategy manager, Dow Chemical and Ian Welsh discuss how to define corporate materiality and measure impact. Plus: Lidl’s sustainable soy sourcing switch; why companies are not yet using modern slavery statements as a catalyst for better reporting; and more questions about processing plastics waste.

Hosted by Ian Welsh

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Phil Bloomer, executive director of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, talks with Ian Welsh about why there are still only a small number of corporate leaders working effectively on human rights. Bloomer highlights, however, the increasing awareness of the investment community about operational and supply chain modern slavery and human rights risks as a real driver of change.

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