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Top Environmentally Friendly Companies Embracing Sustainability

In their commitment to sustainability, member companies of Sustainable Brands are working across borders and across industries to have a bold impact on both the environment and the lives of people across the globe.

Bold Business highlights three examples of the work these companies are doing to fulfill their strategic commitment to sustainability.

HP, Inc.

Sustainability - recycling electronicsMuch of our electronic waste, rather than being safely recycled ends up in the developing world for processing. Basel Action Network (BAN), a non-profit environmental group, reports that oversight is minimal and environmental and labor conditions are unsafe.  The e-waste is having a devastating environmental effect in these countries.

HP Inc., currently one of high tech’s most active recyclers, is leading the way, by taking bold action to change how electronic waste is handled. To increase transparency in the industry, HP is disclosing its recycling partners and establishing high standards for those partners. The company has a robust vendor certification program, wherein HP works closely with its vendors to assure they develop and adhere to recycling and reuse standards and ethical labor standards. HP is challenging other electronics companies to do the same.  “We challenge other companies in and outside of the high-tech industry to follow our lead and disclose recycler vendor standards and performance, as well as the list of recycling vendors they employ globally,” says Annukka Dickens, HP Director of Human Rights and Supply Chain Responsibility.

PepsiCo

In October 2016, PepsiCo announced its 2025 sustainability agenda, “From the start PepsiCo has taken a holistic approach to our sustainability work,” said PepsiCo Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Mehmood Khan. “Our first objective is achieving long-term profitability and that requires sustainable solutions to grow our business while minimizing our environmental impact.”

“Our first objective is achieving long-term profitability and that requires sustainable solutions to grow our business while minimizing our environmental impact”

One of the primary goals of this effort is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain and to make 100 percent of its packaging recoverable or recyclable. In a significant step toward meeting this goal, PepsiCo has partnered with biotechnology leader Danimer Scientific to incorporate biodegradable film resins into PepsiCo’s snack packaging. According to Dr. Khan, “Our plan to scale Danimer Scientifics’ technology is a step toward achieving both our greenhouse gas emission reduction and our recoverable and recyclable packaging goals.”

Leading Cocoa and Chocolate Companies

In an unprecedented collaboration, twelve of the world’s leading cocoa and chocolate companies have committed to collectively take bold action towards ending deforestation and forest degradation in the global cocoa supply chain. The companies have agreed to develop a joint public-private framework of action to address deforestation to be presented at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) meeting in Bonn, Germany in November 2017.

Cocoa farming is a driving force behind the rapid decimation of tropical rainforests in cocoa producing countries. “The most powerful direct reason for action is that deforestation threatens to undermine the very resilience of the cocoa sector itself and with it the livelihoods of the millions of smallholders who depend on it,” said HRH The Prince of Wales, host of the meeting of the twelve. “I am heartened that companies are undertaking to work up, in full collaboration with host governments and civil society, a Joint Framework of Action to make good on the commitments announced today, in time for COP 23 in November.”

Senior executives of the twelve including those of cocoa giants Cargill, Nestlé, Mars, in joining forces to put an end to deforestation, have made specific commitments. The bold leaders have agreed to make greater investments in more sustainable forms of landscape management; to fund programs to improve the cocoa productivity of smallholder farms; and to take significant action to protect and restore forests in the cocoa producing regions.

Bold leaders in the companies highlighted recognize the importance of having long-term strategies that include contributions to the sustainability of the world’s people and the environment. Future economic viability is dependent upon the vitality of both.

Telecoms: The Urge To Merge

“Out with the old and in with the new” seems to be the mantra of the 21st century for the big telecoms companies. One example of this affecting our world is the rapidly expanding digital technology push in the telecoms industry. Telecoms companies are finding themselves redefining their businesses in order to continue holding their place as world leaders in long distance communication. Significant increases in the number of mergers and acquisitions in telecom sector (M&A) have encouraged bold developments and diversification; paving the way for an industry that will be unrecognizable within the next few years.

With innovation comfortably seated at the heart of all technology, internet-based communication services have taken over what was once the foundation of telecoms, with over 80% of messaging traffic represented by the likes of WhatsApp, Viber, and Apple’s iMessage.

Telecoms - mergers and acquisitionsNetwork improvements are in high demand to, with the upcoming 5G upgrades showing immense potential. The pressure is on telecom companies to find modern solutions to keep up with ongoing advancements.

This is where M&A serves as an easy alternative for entering new markets, making it simpler to specialize in many areas of digital expertise. Telecoms spent an additional 137% on M&A in 2016, with further deals continuing to be well-documented in 2017.

Remaining relevant in an ever-changing and competitive digital world is no easy feat. Pushed by ongoing advancements and innovation, telecoms can expect even greater growth and industry expansion during 2017. Further changes will become apparent as M&A continues, encouraging a fresh approach from traditional telecom businesses.

While the exact direction of digital technology may be uncertain, one thing is for sure: continued diversification will completely redefine what it means to be a telecom company.

How To Increase London’s Food Supply

London’s food supply is on the brink of un-sustainability due to a variety of reasons. Population growth, climate change, and even its recent exit from the European Union will make it more difficult to feed the British people in the near future. The good news is, they’re preparing for this eventuality through bold developments in food technology.

At Syngenta, a top global crop protection firm, heated greenhouses are growing a new strain of resilient wheat seeds.  The Standard reports that London’s daily demand for bread requires almost 300 acres of land – this is just for the current population. Syngenta is keen on innovating food technology rather than have the people suffer supply shortages and steep prices.

Syngenta’Feeding London - Food and nutritions head of technology scouting, David Hughes, explains: “The idea of achieving a doubling of food supply by doubling the amount of land that is used to produce food would be a disaster for the environment.”

Among the things they’re working on are resilient seed varieties which can better stand rain, drought, pests and even humidity. Other bold concepts being explored are genome-editing which can alter a grain or plant’s genes to make it better yielding and resistant to parasites. Scientists have been experimenting with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for years, but this is being worked on at a much faster pace at Syngenta’s labs.

“Farming as it currently stands is not going to be good enough to rise to the challenges that we can foresee. It’s about using technology to be more efficient with resources to feed everybody,” Hughes said.
Other than developing a more resilient type of seed, the London firm is also finding ways to control weeds and toxic organisms which attack seeds and plants.

Discussing Food Technology and Sustainability

Farming and food sustainability is a hot topic in the city. Organic farmers and purists are still opposing developments such as genome-splicing as a means to solve the issue of food supply.  An open debate was held at the Somerset House on March 22 and was well attended by industry experts and representatives. This was the first in a series of discussions that touched on sustainability, genetic manipulation, obesity, food consumption and food supply.

“It’s about using technology to be more efficient with resources to feed everybody”

Majority of the panelists were advocating for a marriage of sustainability, concern for the environment, and bold ideas in food technology. No matter what people say, the population is growing larger by the minute and more and more resources are needed to continue putting food on tables.

In Africa, where food sustainability is as big a problem as ever, they have embraced digital transformation in the agri-business sector as the solution to safeguarding their food supply, IT Web reported.

Lawrence Kandaswami, Managing Director of digital firm SAP South Africa had said: “Smart Farming solutions will become the cornerstone of global food production over the next decade. By using cloud-based computing, big data, analytics, and IoT devices, and bringing together key industry players, we are able to deliver new innovations across the entire agricultural ecosystem to boost food production in a sustainable manner.”

Accepting developments in food technology will make a bold impact not just among the Brits, but the global population as well. The advancements have been adapted and improvements can be seen in different industries such as dairy farms, poultry production, fisheries, and even food manufacturing processes.

Softbank Investments Flows To Uber Competitors

Can Bold Innovator, Uber, Hold the Lead in Global Markets? What Do Softbank Investments Say?

Uber may be the darling of American investors pursuing a stake in the “sharing” economy and the new models of transportation. But, on the global stage the company is facing headwinds.

Rather than supporting Uber expansion into other regions, such as Southeast Asia and India, foreign banks are putting big money behind their rivals. SoftBank of Japan is in the process of raising $1.5 billion for “Grab” a Singapore-based rival to Uber. Bloomberg reports that SoftBank previously raised $750 million for Grab. The latest round of funding sends Grab valuation at more than $3 billion.

SoftBank is also making a move to fund the rideshare company Ola, based in India. The bank has raised $330 million in the latest round of funding. Ola is valued at between $3.5 and $5 billion, having faced a setback in their valuation due to Uber stepping up activity in India.

Uber may find it challenging to grow into new markets in Asia and the East, as local business models for rideshare grow and adapt to varying conditions. Already the company is facing challenges, with the wreck of one of their self-driving vehicles at the end of March causing their driverless car program to be grounded for three days, and lawsuits regarding driverless technology still unsettled. Clearly the Venture Capital markets see the potential for competition and are betting at least some of their money on Uber’s rivals.