We’ve had quite the year here at TriplePundit, as there was no shortage of news stories, from brands taking stands to more advancements in clean energy technologies to more companies jumping on the circular economy bandwagon. Over the weekend, we crunched the numbers along with taking a look at the talk we generated on social media - and came up what we conclude are the ten most popular stories for 2019. The articles' authors are mentioned at the end of each summary.
In 2017, Danone’s U.S. subsidiary announced it had completed the steps in order to become the largest public benefit corporation in the U.S. – and by last spring the company that owns brands such as Silk and Horizon Organic could verify that it had become the largest B Corp on the planet. Danone’s commitment to social responsibility is not relegated to the U.S. Additional subsidiaries have been granted B Corp or similar certification, including business units in Argentina, France, Indonesia, Spain and the United Kingdom. This work is among many reasons why Mariano Lozano, Danone North America’s president and CEO, was a winner at this fall’s Responsible CEO Awards at 3BL Forum. (Leon Kaye)
The next few years could be a breakout time for solar panels on electric vehicles, and what once seemed like something out of a Jetsons episode could be reality sooner than we think. Readers clearly are anticipating such cars that can drive us into this future, so this story about a German startup that plans to launch production in 2019 ended up ranking high on this list. (Tina Casey)
With uncertainty whether the world can truly come together and follow through on the Paris Agreement, yet alone on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), readers were smitten with this story about how the electric aviation industry believes solar technology is ready to meet the challenge of reducing emissions while helping the world meet global climate goals. (Amy Brown)
The circular economy has been a topic we’ve covered extensively this year. In January, an announcement that 30 companies across 16 industries would participate in a long-term project could have prompted more businesses to take action. All year long, we’ve seen a push for companies to adopt systems in which more waste is eliminated – or prevent the generation of garbage in the first place. (Leon Kaye)
Make Coal Great Again was one of President 45’s promises that helped him pull that inside straight ushering him into the White House two years ago. But all year long, our lead clean tech reporter has been documenting how economics, state and local policy, as well as the continued scaling up of renewables, together have made that campaign promise a nearly impossible one to deliver. (Tina Casey)
All year long, we’ve been witnessing that the little things matter for big reasons – and that includes plastic straws and how we clump together six-packs of beverages. At this rate, it won’t be long till “Joe Six-Pack” is renamed “Jose Biodegradable Six-Pack” or “Joe Snap Pack.” Hence the popularity of this news item covering Corona’s replacement for the plastic six-pack ring. (Tina Casey)
Longtime PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi stepped down this fall, which at the time left only 24 women at the helm of America’s 500 largest publicly-traded companies – down from 32 the previous year. Despite all the talk about diversity and inclusion, plenty of questions remain about how penetrable the “glass ceiling” really is – especially for women of color. (Mary Mazzoni)
Are executives being compensated for genuine achievements, or are they simply collecting a bonus for successful greenwashing campaigns? That’s a fair question to ask, but a research team concluded that managers who foresee potential trouble spots and strategically target investments in corporate social responsibility (CSR) to address them are more likely to protect their firms from the effects of adverse events, while improving their companies’ overall reputation – and be rewarded in kind. (Tina Casey)
Earlier this year, four in 10 of the world’s largest firms referenced the SDGs in their corporate reporting, according to a study by KPMG, but many smaller companies remain unsure of how they can do their part. Case studies of how two small companies made alignment with the SDGs work for them resonated with readers, many of whom are looking here on 3p for direction. Trust us, we’ll cover this topic more in 2019. (Mary Mazzoni)
Why does this story matter? First the good news: renewables have helped the global power generation sector become more efficient and decrease emissions. But the fact that worldwide, transportation is generating more emissions than power generation for the first time in 40 years shows that the pressure is on automakers, logistic companies and the aviation industry to do their part to accelerate climate action. (Leon Kaye)
Image credit: United Nations News
Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.
Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.