Sustainability

139 articles

Build Back Better

Now is the time to commit to sustainable-design practices that will rebuild the world’s infrastructure with climate resilience at the forefront.

Natural disasters are a part of human existence — ever since the inhabitants of Pompeii were victims of Vesuvius, Homo sapiens have been dying unnecessarily due to the extremes of Mother Nature. Yet today, extreme weather events are even more calamitous, increasing in both frequency and cost. In 2017 alone, the United States experienced 15 natural disasters that each […]

How to Achieve Zero Waste

Here are three cities that adhere to today’s demanding environmental policy.

Recycling initiatives are nothing new, but companies that depend on efficient hazardous waste management should be keen to the infrastructure that is operating right now and dedicated to those who need to know how to achieve zero waste. At Veolia, this applies to numerous spaces: household materials, the automotive industry, and electronics that don’t have […]

Local Business Innovation Equips Off-Grid Households with Electricity

Developing nations need solutions that provide a bridge toward tomorrow’s opportunities.

If the old adage is true and necessity is the mother of invention, then ingenuity must surely be the father. Globally, 1.2 billion people live without access to electricity. Within this decade, the global off-grid solar energy market has grown complex and dynamic. [Photo: Power Africa/USAID] Initially, it was marked by low levels of activity […]

How The Humble Bicycle Can Save Our Cities

Here's a blueprint for how cities can welcome the bicycle – and all the positive outcomes that a bike-centric city brings.

Mikael Colville-Andersen rides his bike everywhere in Copenhagen, but he would never introduce himself as a cyclist. “I’m just one of the 400,000 people riding a bike in this city because it makes our daily lives more effective,” he says. The founder of Copenhagenize, a design studio that specializes in bike infrastructure, as well as several […]

The Hidden Benefits of a Sustainable Mindset

With Earth Day approaching, let’s examine the link between a culture of sustainability and one of innovation.

In some respects, it’s great news that more than half of the global population now lives in cities – a figure expected to increase to two in three people around the world by 2050. This growth makes cities a great place to live and work and gives them a real sense of energy and vitality. […]

To Go Circular, First Go Vertical

The vertical integration of your supply chain provides both economic and environmental benefits.

Early last year, the waste management world was abuzz with news of furniture manufacturing giant Ikea’s minority stake in the Dutch plastics recycling company, Morssinkhof Rymoplast Group. Part of the $1 billion Ikea earmarked for sourcing sustainable materials, this was a step toward achieving the company’s goal of making its plastic products from 100 percent recycled […]

Managing Supply Chain Water Risk

The challenges of water scarcity will require businesses to expand their supply chain sustainability efforts.

In 2016, the information and communications technology (ICT) industry came under fire when environmental inspections found that 18 centralized water treatment plants in Shanghai had issues with heavy metals exceeding legal limits. As a result, the two large-scale electronics plants responsible for releasing these pollutants are now in the process of being forced to stop operations. […]

7 Things Every Company Should Know about AI and Sustainable Business

From human rights to environmental issues, we have much to lose if AI does not evolve in ways that support the public good.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is advancing rapidly, thanks to ever-more-powerful computing, massive growth in the availability of digital data and increasingly sophisticated algorithms. The world’s largest technology firms are investing billions to develop their AI capabilities, and companies across industries, from travel to real estate to fashion, are racing to bring AI-enabled services to market. AI […]

Advice for Breaking Down Sustainability Silos in 2018

The barriers between corporate functional silos are already crumbling.

As I reflect on 2017, one of the positive changes I noticed was the breaking down of silos. As the walls between sustainability, corporate social responsibility and other corporate functions start to crumble, leaders are better able to extend their influence and catalyze the integration of sustainable business practices across their company. As Charlene Lake, chief sustainability […]

Our Top 5 Sustainability Articles of 2017

A year-end look at the best sustainability content from Longitudes.

There are no longer separate paths for business and sustainability success – those two lanes are now one and the same. But even as the corporate community reaches a consensus on the importance of sustainable practices, many questions remain about how best to balance environmental, efficiency and commercial concerns. These questions take on an even greater […]

The Vital Role of Business in Global Development

Removing all barriers to mutually beneficial partnerships is smart business and good for our communities.

The challenges for businesses looking to invest in emerging economies are the same challenges for communities themselves: good governance and transparency, a strong, business-enabling environment, market accessibility and, of course, peace and stability. As a global development organization, Global Communities is committed to creating these conditions. And one of the most important ways to do […]

What Sensors Mean for Business, the Planet and Your Lungs

Business partnerships, when combined with scientific expertise, can turn raw data into action.

A recent study from UPS and GreenBiz revealed that 95 percent of surveyed companies recognize the effect that urbanization – particularly air quality and traffic congestion – will have on business growth and sustainability. Why? Because poor air quality costs the global economy $225 billion every year in lost labor income, according to the World […]

Protecting Our Food Supply

Let's dispel three myths about the food supply chain.

Today approximately 54 percent of the global population lives in an urban area, and the United Nations expects that by 2050, urban dwellers will make up two-thirds of the population. With the global rise of urbanization, we are becoming increasingly disconnected from our food sources. We know that in the United States, for example, food […]

Breakthrough Approaches for Sustainable Cities

The long-term health of cities matters – we must work together for a lasting future for our urban centers.

More and more of the world’s population is moving to cities. According to the UN, by 2050 nearly two-thirds of the global population will live in cities, and urban populations will increase by 2 billion people. While this mass migration will bring new, exciting opportunities for city residents, it also brings daunting challenges to urban […]

Sustainability on the Move: Transportation Innovation

Advancements in sustainability require advancements in how we move people and products.

In a recent blog post, I described how the design phase often determines the biggest sustainability impacts of infrastructure projects. With transportation infrastructure in particular — whether for air, rail, road or sea — about to be radically transformed through technological advances, I foresee tremendous opportunity for sustainability. If you think about it, the basic […]

Resiliency is Preparedness

Collaboration between cities and the private sector can prepare us for physical, social and economic challenges.

Cities across the globe are already experiencing a great deal of change – and stress – associated with the rise of urbanization. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, urban residents accounted for 54 percent of the total global population in 2015, and that number is expected to grow to 60 percent by 2030. […]

2 New Rules of the Sustainability Game

Here's how supply and demand are two sides of the same coin.

Last month, BSR brought together a group of luxury brands at Paris’ Salon du Luxe conference to talk about the new rules of the game when it comes to desirability, sustainability and luxury. In the past several years, the growth of the luxury industry has slowed, and aspirational brands such as Michael Kors and the […]

Circular Thought and Growth

A Q&A on the power of the circular economy.

We talked recently about the UPS-Optoro campaign to enable sustainable e-commerce. But you can’t have a forward-looking conversation about sustainability without discussing the circular economy. By circular economy, we mean an economic model based on a “continuous positive development cycle that preserves and enhances natural capital, optimizes resource yields and minimizes system risks by managing […]

Sustainable E-Commerce

Against the backdrop of growing consumer demand, two logistics leaders discuss their sustainability pursuits.

Known as the Motor City, you might not associate Detroit with sustainability. But in recent weeks, Ed Rogers, Senior Director of Global Sustainability at UPS, and Larisa Summers, Senior Vice President of e-Commerce and Marketing at Optoro, presented at the Sustainable Brands conference, right in the heart of the city synonymous with the automobile. With the […]

Finding Your Sustainability Values

Is your company missing out on sustainable opportunities?

We’ve entered the season of sustainability reporting, when companies release their latest summary of achievements and provide a peek into what’s on the horizon. What typically gets less attention in these reports is how a company focuses on certain issues and, more importantly, how they develop their sustainability strategy. In many cases, companies use a […]

Collaboration for a Cleaner World

Real-world partnerships are delivering unexpected results.

I live about 40 miles from work. If I leave at 6 a.m. when the morning rush begins, it takes me an hour to get to the office. And it takes me 70 minutes to get home if I leave at 5 p.m. This is the norm for the average commuter in Atlanta. Without changes, […]

Sustainability at UPS: The Road Ahead

Setting goals is the easy part. We’re getting to work on an ambitious sustainability agenda.

For more than a century, UPS has been helping people and businesses move goods by focusing on the road ahead — both literally and figuratively. Our success reflects relentless attention to emerging trends, innovative ideas and transformative technologies that enable global commerce, growth and sustainable solutions. Our 15th annual Sustainability Report, published Tuesday, reflects this […]

A Greener Fashion Industry – and a Brighter Future

This is what a sustainability makeover looks like.

Sustainability is a buzzword in today’s business world. That’s because it’s no longer a choice – but a requirement – for remaining competitive in the retail industry. But what does sustainability actually mean for businesses? Sustainability is often about creating or doing less throughout the product lifecycle: less waste, lower emissions and fewer impacts. It also means […]

Now is the Time to Invent Cleaner Technology

Improving today’s energy technologies can provide a healthier and more secure future.

The extent to which we support energy innovation today will determine the world our children and grandchildren inherit in 2050. It takes 30 years or more to successfully commercialize and deploy transformative new energy technologies at scale, so the investments we choose to make over just the next five years – or indeed those we don’t […]

Turning the Linear Circular: The Future of the Global Economy

When circular-economy models are combined with IoT, efficiency skyrockets.

Institutions, both in the private and public sector, can always reap the benefits of doing good, even while still accomplishing their goals. As resources become scarcer, a major way to enhance social performance is through resource conservation, which is being underutilized. Although the traditional model of the linear economy has worked forever and will never […]

Plastic Opportunities for Change

We need practical and scalable solutions to tackle plastic challenges.

Creating a perfect world of circulating resources is an enormous challenge, but the benefits of resource recovery and reuse are both exciting and imperative if our global community is to function with an improving quality of life. When evaluating our main waste streams and material categories, we know that virtually everything has value and can […]

Living in a Materiality World

Here are four guiding principles for companies embarking on their first materiality assessment.

While mega-trends such as urbanization, the digital economy, population growth and a rising global middle class have become a focal point for companies seeking to develop sustainable growth strategies, in reality the world is far more nuanced and complex than most companies are prepared to admit. Many large companies use an enterprise risk-management process to […]

The Future Looks Clean

The Sustainable Fuel Buyers' Principles will ensure progress toward an array of new fuel options.

When it comes to predicting the future, even the best forecasters rarely provide the crisp detail most of us need to make confident decisions in the present. Nowhere is this more true than in sustainable fuels for road freight. We know we’re heading toward a low-emission future where different fuels — compressed natural gas, liquefied natural […]

Baby Steps to Entrepreneurship: A Mompreneur’s Guide

Solving a societal need, one invention at a time.

Entrepreneurs are creative innovators and trend-setters who tap into their passions to help solve the world’s largest problems. Wendy Armbruster Bell, founder of Snugabell, and Colleen Dyck, founder of GORP, are Mompreneurs: entrepreneurs and mothers that have established businesses while keeping family life at the forefront of their business plans. Ahead of Mother’s Day, check […]

New Supply Chain Sustainability

Here's how a company's financial and sustainability goals can align.

The Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation defines sustainable supply chain management as “integrating environmentally and financially viable practices into the complete supply chain lifecycle, from product design and development to material selection (including raw material extraction or agricultural production), manufacturing, packaging, transportation, warehousing, distribution, consumption, return and disposal.” Here’s how we often look at supply chain […]