McDonald's and L'Oreal tackle deforestation, The Body Shop filters air pollution at bus stops, GM source sustainable rubber, Unilever and Coca-Cola use 100% renewables
The Body Shop adds clean air filters to bus stop ads
The Body Shop has come up with an innovative ad campaign in select London bus shelters that the company says will deliver 95% cleaner air to people standing waiting for buses.
The new project, with media agency Maxus, uses technology from Airlabs that removes nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter, and will be incorporated into The Body Shop adverts at three central London air pollution hotspots: New Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road, and High Holborn.
The technology traps harmful particles (PM2.5) via a filtration system before gas pollutants, such as NO2, are absorbed, with cleaner air delivered to people in the immediate vicinity. According to The Body Shop, the clean air provided could fill more than 80 buses every day.
Elen MacAskill, The Body Shop UK marketing and corporate responsibility director, said: “While these air cleaning units have yet to be introduced on a wider scale, we’re making a start to help protect Londoners from air pollution exposure, as well as help raise awareness that this incredible technology is available.” She added: "We are calling on other businesses, transport operators, bus stop site owners and brands to follow this industry-leading approach. The technology can help reduce urban pollution exposure for thousands of people every day where nitrogen dioxide levels exceed the legal limit.”
McDonald’s, L’Oréal act on deforestation in supply chain
McDonald’s and L’Oréal are among the first major corporations that are leveraging their purchasing power to achieve deforestation-free commodity supply chains.
The multinationals are among eight companies to join the newly expanded supply chain platform CDP, the global not-for-profit that holds the most comprehensive set of corporate environmental data. They include McDonald’s Latin American franchise Arcos Dorados, Swiss fragrance company Firmenich, Brazilian meatpacker JBS, and American healthcare company Johnson & Johnson.
The companies are working with CDP to gather information from their key suppliers in order to measure and monitor use of forest-risk commodities and track progress against deforestation targets.
Commitments towards deforestation-free supply chains are increasing, with 400 members of the Consumer Goods Forum, representing $3.9tr in revenue, pledging to achieve zero net deforestation in supply chains by 2020.
Dexter Galvin, head of supply chain at CDP, said: “Ending deforestation will be fundamental to global efforts to prevent dangerous climate change. With such a large proportion of company revenues attached to commodities in their supply chain that are driving deforestation, this is now a critical business issue.”
This programme builds on the success of CDP’s existing supply chain work in climate change and water. Recently, UK construction firm Carillion was named as climate leader by CDP for the third year, after it revealed it has surpassed a goal to reduce its carbon footprint by a third against a 2011 baseline five years early. The firm also surged past a 20% reduction goal for electricity consumption in offices, with current reductions at 70%.
Carillion is also closing in on an international zero-waste to landfill status, having cut waste by 3.3% in 2016, as well as reducing water across all operations by 37% since 2011. Carillion’s previous sustainability report revealed that the firm had added an additional £33.8m to its overall profits thanks to an increased focus on sustainable business practices. As of 2016, this contribution has reached more than £36m.
General Motors to source sustainable natural rubber tyres
Car manufacturer General Motors has committed to source sustainable natural rubber in its tyres in a pioneering commitment that will help drive net-zero deforestation in the sector.
The US firm, producer of brands such as Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Vauxhall in 30 countries, vows to work with tyre suppliers, governments, rubber industry associations and NGOs to reduce supply-chain complexity. GM hopes the move will preserve and restore primary forests, improve yield and quality for natural rubber farmers, and mitigate risks associated with supply chain sourcing.
According to GM, recycling and remanufacturing has already added $1bn in revenue to the firm’s bottom line. GM has also pledged to source 100% renewable electricity by 2050, as well as to ensure 95% of 10,000 parts used throughout its vehicle portfolio are recyclable.
GM’s senior vice president of global purchasing and supply chain, Steve Kiefer, said: “Our supplier partners are an extension of our company. We want to encourage affordable, safer and cleaner options for our customers that drive value to both our organisation and the communities in which we work.”
See our sustainable rubber briefing for analysis on the environmental and human threats posed by rubber, and which companies are leading the search for green alternatives.
Unilever UK and Coca-Cola bottler go 100% renewable
Unilever UK and Coca-Cola European partners (CCEP) have both announced they are sourcing 100% renewable electricity.
Unilever, the consumer goods giant, says 15 of its UK sites are now being powered by a 23-turbine Scottish Highlands wind farm owned by Eneco UK. This adds to the five sites that the company recently announced are being powered by biomethane, meaning that all its UK and Ireland operations are being run using renewable power.
The move will make a further contribution to the company’s long-term goal to source energy across its entire business from renewable sources by 2030 and eliminate coal from its energy supply by 2020. Currently, 63% of its energy is generated from renewable sources.
Meanwhile CCEP, the bottler whose parent company is Coca-Cola, is another high-profile firm to underline its commitment to renewables by launching a new solar farm in Yorkshire. At the same time, it has announced it is now sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable energy.
The solar farm will save 3,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions at the CCEP factory in Wakefield, the largest drinks factory in Europe, equal to taking more than 1,700 cars off the road. The 5MW farm will support the production of CCEP’s brands such as Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite.
CCEP head of sustainability Nick Brown said: “At CCEP we are committed to minimising the impact of our operations, with a core goal to reduce the carbon footprint of the drink in the consumers’ hand by a third in time for 2020.”