While the harsh realities much of 2020 has wrought upon us are poised to continue for several months into 2021, few of us will feel wistful about winding up this year. But it wasn’t all bad news: We took a look at 2020 in review to see what articles were the most popular with our readers on TriplePundit the past 12 months – the following articles are what clearly resonated with you.
It’s the End of Recycling as We Know It (Tina Casey)
Yes, 2020 has been a horrid year for many reasons. But new developments in technology are one reason for optimism.
As 3p’s longtime writer Tina Casey pointed out this spring, the recycling sector can emerge stronger and more resilient than before the pandemic – even if importing recyclables to China is no longer an option. New technologies will be the key, however, if we can become successful in tackling the mounting waste problem.
The oceans have long been at a tipping point, and it’s clear that catastrophe awaits if we keep allowing tons of plastic waste to end up in our seas. As society seeks solutions for reversing this crisis, it’s clear we need ideas, so Roya’s article clearly struck a chord. “Small steps like reconfiguring a bike grip can make ripples toward circularity in the global business community not only through the waste captured and reused, but also by putting these issues at the forefront,” she wrote in May.
Yes, there was a lot of bellyaching on Twitter over this decision, but as I explained, Taco Bell’s decision summed up what a lot of restaurants faced as they had to shift to a model driven by deliveries and, of course, drive-thru. “Taco Bell has had to pivot quickly during this pandemic, which thereby comes with supply chain disruptions, dining room closures, and the need to take on new health and safety precautions,” I said over the summer.
“As the Black Lives Matter movement begins to fade out of the mainstream media’s headlines, professional sports leagues and individual players are taking actions to ensure the issue of police violence against Blacks in America remains in the public eye throughout the summer,” Tina wrote in August. This was among several articles Tina and other 3p writers wrote about how professional sports team owners and players showed the business community how to get it done when it came to pushing for social justice.
“Essential workers” became part of our lexicon this year, in part because within the retail sector, many companies were dragging their feet when it came time to compensate their employees commensurate with the risk they endured day after day. Clearly, many out there were searching for some positive news; hence this story about Lowe’s offering another round of bonus pay to its employees caught readers’ attention this summer.
Pebble Mine Decision Hints at New Ally for Corporate Environmental Activism (Tina Casey)
We’re proud of the coverage here on TriplePundit when it comes to the intersection of the Black Lives Matter movement, the inequities COVID-19 has further unmasked and how both are intertwined with the climate crisis.
Nevertheless, huge sustainability stories have still occurred pandemic or no pandemic, including this decarbonization decision the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reached earlier this month. And, this story is another fine example of how Tina will take on a big environmental news story and break it down to explain why it matters to the business community.
Lost in all the news about this crisis – from the pandemic deniers who called it the “China virus” to the anti-maskers to those who keep traveling as if there’s nothing amiss – is the fact COVID-19 is yet another virus that has a connection to how our society has hugely disrupted nature, especially from trafficking wild animals or relying on factory farms for food.
“It’s time to transform our relationship with nature into a more positive one that is less exploitative and creates more understanding of the value to human health — and the economy — of a resilient natural world,” Nithin concluded.
It’s been a trendy choice, even if it turned out that no, last-based saturated fats aren’t really that good for you, either: Coconut oil has long been viewed as beneficial for not only for the environment, but human health, too. The product has become a popular cooking and cosmetic choice, appearing on more and more shelves and ingredient labels. So, is it a viable substitute for palm oil, an ingredient that has scored more criticism (including here on 3p) as it became a mainstay in more food and consumer products? Well, it’s complicated. Read Nithin’s deep dive for a refresher.
15 Companies Retooling Their Operations to Fight COVID-19 (Mary Mazzoni)
With COVID-19 now seemingly spinning out of control during this “dark winter,” it’s easy to forget all of the disruptions that unfolded earlier this spring. Many companies stood on the sidelines, then promised to write a check and sought props for what was already clearly table stakes (it’s true, we have the receipts, i.e. the story pitches). Other companies rapidly stepped up and started to make masks, PPE, hand sanitizer and life-saving medical equipment - Mary highlighted 15 of them.
“As we all take a closer and more intentional look at how we are going to make progress in this fight for racial equity and justice, I would like to offer some thoughts on how a company should go about addressing racial equity in the near term, a blueprint of sorts,” wrote Cecily Joseph, who serves as Chair of the Net Impact Board of Directors and Advisor and is the former Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Symantec.
The numbers showed many of you listened and booked marked this article after we published it in June; Cecily suggests a 4-part approach for following through on a strong and authentic corporate diversity strategy. Let’s hope her advice was taken to heart.
Editor’s note: TriplePundit will published at a much lighter schedule for the rest of the year, as much of the staff will be taking some well-deserved time off. Thank you for your support, and we’ll resume our regular publishing schedule the week of January 4, 2021. Happy Holidays and definitely we're hoping for a Happier New Year!
Image credit: Immo Wegmann/Unsplash
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.