Each week, the Erb Institute shares a collection of news and updates regarding business sustainability. This month, the Erb Institute blog and social media is focusing on consumer goods, leading up to our C-Suite speaker event with Campbell’s CSO, Dave Stangis, on this upcoming Tuesday. Click here for more details!

Sustainable Business News – 1/20/2018 – 1/26/2018

Consumer Goods

Kate Fletcher: Sustainability begins with our wardrobes


“It’s a counter perspective that turns the lens on to the consumer of fashion. Kate Fletcher, professor of sustainability, design and fashion at the London College of Fashion, suggests that for fashion to be a sustainable industry, the biggest chunk of responsibility and ability for change lies with the consumer.”

Why Bug Proteins Are About To Go Mainstream

Mind Body Green Planet

“Insect proteins tend to be easier on the planet than traditional livestock and could therefore help feed a growing world. The United Nations has embraced them as a viable solution to the agricultural dilemmas we’re already facing, declaring ‘To meet the food and nutrition challenges of today—there are nearly 1 billion chronically hungry people worldwide—and tomorrow, what we eat and how we produce it needs to be re-evaluated. Inefficiencies need to be rectified and food waste reduced. We need to find new ways of growing food.'”

Unilever strikes Indonesia deal to firm up sustainable palm oil production


“Unilever has this week struck a partnership agreement with Indonesia’s state-owned palm oil plantation firm PT Perkebunan Nusantara (PTPN) that will see the two work together to support local mills and farmers in producing palm oil that aligns with zero deforestation standards.

The memorandum of understanding, which was announced yesterday, will help accelerate production standards in the country in accordance with NDPE policies – no deforestation, no development on peat, and no exploitation of people and communities.”

Budweiser launches label for beers brewed with 100 percent renewable electricity

Sustainable Brands

Budweiser is launching a new initiative to communicate its commitment to sustainability to consumers and kickstart an industry-wide movement. The AB InBev brand has created a renewable electricity symbol that indicates when its beer is brewed with 100 percent clean energy. The symbol will begin appearing on the label of every Budweiser brewed in the US in spring 2018. The US will be the first country where the brand’s beer is brewed exclusively using renewable power sources.”

Trending: Plastic packaging takes backseat to seaweed, origami-inspired alternatives

Sustainable Brands

“Though the normalization of single-use plastic packaging has made plastic pollution out to be an insurmountable problem, consumers’ and brands’ growing awareness of the implications of take-make-dispose models is helping drive the development of recyclable and renewable packaging alternatives. Ellen MacArthur Circular Design Challenge winners TrioCup and Evoware are two examples of packaging innovators leading the charge towards a more circular economy.

Will corporate action on ocean plastic make an impact? 6 ways to tell


“Will corporate commitments reduce the amount of waste produced in the first place, including by designing products with materials that ease collection and recycling? Advancements in material and packaging optimization have had incredible environmental and financial savings with a clear business case. And as we’ve seen most recently with leading industry efforts to eliminate microbeads and the United Kingdom’s ban on microbeads in personal care products, some plastics can be eliminated without compromising price or performance.

There is also room for creativity and collaboration: Plastic producers, consumer brands and major retailers can work together to re-think items such as food wrappers or single-use packages of everything from coffee to shampoo. Higher-margin reusable or refillable products can replace these where possible, or reinvent them when it’s not. In many developing countries, in particular, this would go a long way.”

Trending: Coca-Cola, Evian, Amcor unveil ambitious circular packaging strategies

Sustainable Brands

“Beverage giants Coca-Cola and Evian and global packaging company Amcor have announced new efforts that will fundamentally reshape their approaches to packaging. By 2030, Coca-Cola says it will collect and recycle 100 percent of its packaging; Evian has pledged to produce all of its plastic bottles from 100 percent rPET by 2025; and all of Amcor’s packaging will be recyclable or reusable by 2025.

However, some critics say the company is “dodging the main issue” — reducing reliance on single-use plastics. Coca-Cola currently produces over 110 billion single-use plastic bottles each year, many of which do not make it to the recycling bin.”

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