This week: François-Ghislain Morillion, co-founder of trainer brand Veja, on how the business has developed short and sustainable supply chains for materials in its shoes, including recycled polyester from plastic bottles. And, some exciting news from Innovation Forum about our spring conference series.

Plus: Cop26 in Glasgow in question; human rights impact of Covid-19 beyond health; and, why the meat sector mights lose 45% earnings, in the news digest.

Hosted by Ian Welsh

Andrew Wallis CEO of charity Unseen talks with Ian Welsh about the key human rights risks that business can’t ignore, and the unintended consequences of changing low-paid worker migration rules. Wallis argues that the pace of necessary change remains slow but welcomes the EU move towards tighter reporting rules, and other initiatives that can help companies move away from exploitative business models.  

Please note that this interview was recorded in mid February.

This week: Kristin Hughes, director of the Global Plastic Action Partnership, on how a holistic multistakeholder approach is necessary to deal with plastic pollution. She discusses why the partnership is working in southeast Asia and Africa to develop waste collection and recycling infrastructure, and the path to a circular economy approach. And, Danone North America CEO Mariano Lozano talks with Innovation Forum's Toby Webb about the growth of regenerative agriculture and the business case for change in practices.   

Plus: new European zero-emission plans, H+M shares supply chain and process detail, cobalt human rights risks in DRC, and Iceland’s plastic progress, in the news digest.

Hosted by Ian Welsh

New Forest 500 report authors Sarah Rogerson and Emma Thomson, from Global Canopy, discuss with Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh why the 2020 report argues there isn’t enough progress on deforestation from business and investors among the largest companies involved in commodity supply chains.

They talk about how some companies – the usual suspects – are making progress, and others are failing to live up to commitments or even quietly dropping them altogether. And they speculate that companies involved in the animal feed sector may be ones in the spotlight over the coming year.

This week: Yum! Brands’ Jon Hixon, Mondelēz International’s Christine McGrath and Nestlé’s Anna Turrell debate the action the food sector is taking to tackle the climate emergency, and make the necessary cuts in emissions to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C. They consider some of the challenges around developing effective science-based targets.  

Plus: rich country payments to protect biodiversity; synthetic palm oil boost; plastic leakage mapping; and, big brands in court over “misleading” recycling claims.

Hosted by Ian Welsh

Amy Yoder, CEO of agri-tech business Anuvia Plant Nutrients, talks with Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh on how from organic waste material can be turned into fertiliser that develops long term soil health, and allows for more food to be produced on less land. Yoder points out how a lack of focus on health of soil microbes and allowing for natural regeneration has led to decline in soil structure and fertility, and an increased reliance on chemical inputs.

Join Innovation Forum in Minneapolis on 27th and 28th May and in London on the 2nd and 3rd of June to debate the future of food

With targets looming and the ever-present reminders of the impact of climate change, 2020 is set to be a pivotal year in sustainability. Fashion, an industry with one of the largest carbon and water footprints, is having to rethink and transform its operations in an effort to stay within planetary limits and keep temperature increases below 1.5°C.

In this webinar, discussion focused on:

  • How companies deliver measurable reductions in GHGs across the value chain.
  • How effectively to scale up initiatives that are water efficient, reduce chemical discharge and protect the environment.
  • If sustainability concerns will spell the end of ‘fast fashion’.
  • How brands can leverage climate action to engage consumers.
  • How the new business models of the low carbon economy look set to evolve and grow.


  • Pascal Brun, head of sustainability, H&M
  • Stefan Seidel, head of corporate sustainability, Puma Group

Hosted by Toby Webb, founder, Innovation Forum

This week: Andrew Wallis from Unseen on the key human rights risks that business can’t ignore, and unintended consequences of changing low-paid worker migration rules. And, Santiago Navarro from Garçon Wines on why wine should come in flatter bottles made from PET plastic.

Plus: Fairtrade highlights cocoa sector poverty wages; global standards for nature-based solutions; how agriculture is driving tree loss; and, US government to push farms to cut impact, in the news digest.  

Hosted by Ian Welsh

Follow Innovation Forum on Podbean, iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your audio content for our weekly podcast and regular interviews with industry professionals.  

Nathalie Walker, director, tropical forests and agriculture, at the US’s National Wildlife Federation, talks with Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh about why confronting domestic climate change risks in the US means having to engage with international businesses to tackle tropical deforestation and other ecosystem destruction.

She argues that, whatever the public stance of the federal government, there is a widespread acceptance of the reality of the climate crisis and the need for urgent action.

Airbus’s head of sales, agriculture and forest solutions, Patrick Houdry, and Earthworm Foundation’s director of technical services, Rob McWilliam, talk with Ian Welsh about how the satellite remote sensing system Starling has developed over the past few years. From an initial project mapping palm oil in Malaysia and Indonesia, Starling now can map entire supply chains worldwide across commodities.

They discuss in particular how Starling has helped the SODEFOR organisation in Côte d’Ivoire to tackle deforestation related to the cocoa sector, and why better data has meant improved return on investment and implementation of remediation projects on the ground.

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