Last week Starbucks announced an agreement with Lyft that could be beneficial for Lyft drivers, riders and even for some Starbucks employees. Is this a victory for values-driven business?
Author: Leon Kaye
For years the United Arab Emirates has had the lowest automobile fuel prices in the world. Thanks to the government’s long-standing policy of subsidizing gasoline (petrol) and diesel, current average gasoline prices are less than 1.7 dirhams (50 cents) a liter. But the elimination of fuel subsidies signals a huge shift in the UAE.
Michigan makes you think of cars instead of farms, but the truth is that the Wolverine State grows some of the best local produce in the U.S. Visit Eastern Market in Detroit, and you will be awed by the state’s bounty. But as in just about every other state, Michigan has its struggles with food access in rural and urban areas alike. Michigan Good Food Fund, a nonprofit affiliated with Michigan State University, is determined to boost Michigan’s farming sector while increasing food access.
There are no missing screws about the Ikea’s commitments to renewable energy, from wind power investments to solar panels atop its stores — the latter of which are available for purchase at some stores, too. Now the company says it is ratcheting up its pledge to the tune of €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in new projects.
Boyan Slat, a 20-year-old Dutch national, believes he has invented a system that can help confront the growing crisis of plastic trash in the oceans. Slat’s idea suggests that, instead of deploying resources into the oceans to remove the trash, we simply use the ocean’s currents to clean them instead.
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, teamed up with Ceres to issue a guide for institutional investors seeking engagement on sustainability and corporate responsibility issues with companies. The resulting 68-page guide is certainly timely. More companies realize they have to consider the impacts that environmental and social issues have on their business, but the demands of Wall Street and the short-termism endemic in the U.S. means corporate social responsibility (or what our friends abroad designate as environment, social and governance — ESG) is still overlooked.
For those of us who are or have indulged in gardening, misshapen fruits and vegetables can be one of the joys of growing your own food. But as a society, something gets lost in translation when we go to the local supermarket or warehouse store: We expect our fruits and vegetables to be uniform in color, size and texture. To that end, the Oakland, California, startup Imperfect Foods is trying to change attitudes toward funny-looking fruits and vegetables while increasing waste diversion.
One year after announcing its plan, Method opened its South Side Soapbox factory last week in the Pullman Park district of Chicago. Cradle-to-Cradle pioneer William McDonough + Partners designed the factory, the first such LEED Platinum certified facility within this sector.
The powerful Church of England is putting its pounds and pence where its mouth is: The body that administers the worldwide Anglican Communion last week announced it is divesting from thermal coal and tar sands.
For several years running, India’s Unilever and Lifebuoy employees have been instrumental in running one of the country’s most successful social responsibility programs. The brilliance of this handwashing campaign is in its simplicity: It teaches and reinforces a task that takes about 20 seconds.
The global textile and garment industry is one of the world’s largest polluters due to its massive impacts on water, soil and of course, people. While consumers are becoming more aware that their fashion choices have on distant places such as Bangladesh, China and India, much work still needs to be done until the industry can be truly described as responsible and sustainable.
What began with appliance donations has become one of Whirlpool’s most successful corporate social responsibility programs. It is hard to argue with the numbers: over US$85 million in donations since 1999, 8,000-plus company employees who have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, and a renewed lease on life for over 100,000 families.
About 80 percent of California’s water sustains agriculture, but Sacramento is putting the onus on the state’s businesses and residents to find even more ways to conserve this precious resource. One sector scrambling to find even more ways to conserve water is Los Angeles’ denim industry.
One can surmise the many things tobacco companies have in common with fast food corporations, including the fact they must expand their business abroad while sales stagnate on both sides of the Atlantic. The result is that the World Health Organization estimates that 70 percent of the 8.4 million deaths that will be attributed tobacco use in 2020 will occur in developing countries. One country that has long run an aggressive anti-smoking campaign is Uruguay, but its laws are under threat by a lawsuit filed by Philip Morris International.
Shareholder activism made a difference again with yesterday’s announcement that Lowe’s will phase out the sale of neonicotinoid pesticides. Also referred to as “neonics,” which environmental watchdog groups said have been a leading contributor to “colony collapse disorder.” As the populations of bees have declined worldwide, these chemicals are often still sprayed on nursery plants, and are also in pesticides sold on store shelves