Insights into the winners of our ‘New start-up of the year’, ‘Innovation of the year’, ‘Climate Action’ and Responsible business of the year’ awards

On Tuesday 9th October, 200 leading figures in global responsible business gathered at Ethical Corporation’s ninth Annual Responsible Business Awards ceremony. As part of our post-awards knowledge exchange I am sharing some insights into our winners and the impacts that they’re making.

New Start-Up of the Year: Ulula – Worker voices to mitigate social risk in the global supply chain

COMMITTED TO improving labour conditions in mining, manufacturing, and agribusiness, Ulula enables clients to source and process insights directly from workers across the globe. Ulula utilizes leading chatbot and AI-enabled worker voice technology, making it a scalable and cost-effective worker-focused supply chain tool.

Arisa Goldstone, director of business development at Ulula accepts the award

In the last year, Ulula grew revenue by five times and secured over five partnerships, including technology partners, audit firms and certification bodies such as EcoVadis, AsiaInspection, and the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Judges' feedback: “Ulula is an interesting start-up that is using AI as an award-winning force for good to identify human rights abuses across the supply chain. Judges were impressed by the innovative concept, the scalability factor as well as the scale of wide-ranging partnerships, customers and funding Ulula has achieved since its creation.”

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Innovation of the Year: LIXIL Corporation – LIXIL’s SATO product series

AN ESTIMATED 2.3 billion people – one out of every three in the world today – live without access to proper sanitation, of which approximately 900 million still defecate in the open on a daily basis.

Having to defecate outside into an open pit or over an inadequate pit latrine, exposes millions of people to odours and disease and brings a devastating human cost: 800 children under five years of age die every day from diarrheal diseases caused by a lack of clean water and unsanitary living conditions.

LIXIL has launched an excellent series of products that positively impact the lives of millions of people

LIXIL recognized that its expertise gave it the opportunity to develop products to improve the quality of life for people at the “base of the pyramid” and raise their sanitation standard. By doing so, it will help them grow the sanitation industry and market in developing countries, which is a business opportunity for LIXIL as well as contributing to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6: ensuring safe and affordable sanitation for all by 2030.

Given the immense size and complexity of ensuring safe sanitation is available to everyone who needs it, LIXIL set up a new department – Social Sanitation Initiatives (SSI) – to develop innovative sanitation solutions that meet the needs of people who don't currently have access to safe toilets.

Judges' feedback: “LIXIL has launched an excellent series of products and innovations that help tackle the global sanitation crisis and positively impact the lives of millions of people.”

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Climate Action: Kimberly-Clark Corporation – Kimberly-Clark Energy & Climate Programme

TO ADDRESS the challenge of climate change, Kimberly-Clark is pursuing a global energy and climate strategy to reduce its carbon footprint and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through energy conservation and the increased use of alternative energy, including renewables. Some of its commitments include:

• Expanded use of alternative energy with a $75 million investment to build a combined heat-and-power plant at its Mobile, Alabama, tissue mill
• Agreement to purchase approximately 1,000,000 megawatt hours per year of renewable electricity from two wind power projects in Texas and Oklahoma – equivalent to about one-third of the electricity needs of Kimberly-Clark North American manufacturing operations

These initiatives, among others, enabled Kimberly-Clark in 2017 to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 absolute GHG emissions by 18% over the 2005 baseline. The company is on track to achieve its 2022 goal of a 20% reduction in GHG emissions four years ahead of schedule.

Judges' feedback: “Kimberly-Clark has impressed judges by the multiplicity and coherence of climate initiatives coupled with robust science-based performance evaluation. Judges noted the Scope 3 emissions reporting, and its plan to address them, as an important factor setting it apart. It has also embraced important partnerships by working with WWF, CDP and WRI. Well done!”

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Responsible Business of the Year: DSM – Brighter Living for All

IN 2017, 62% of DSM’s sales came from products that have a better environmental (ECO+) and/ or social (People+) impact compared to mainstream solutions. DSM continues to be a positive voice, shaping discussions with organizations like the CEO Climate Ambassadors of the World Economic Forum, the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition and We Mean Business.
DSM seeks ambitious partnerships that align with its sustainable growth areas in nutrition, climate and energy, and circular and bio-based economy.

To underline its commitment to tackling climate change, DSM has linked the interest rate of 1B euro in revolving credit to its performance on the reduction of GHG emissions.

DSM has shown true ambition over a number of years to put sustainability at the heart of its strategy

All of DSM's operations, across six continents, are moving to 100% renewable purchased electricity, including solar, wind and hydroelectric. DSM is committed to sourcing 50% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2025. In 2018, it achieved 100% renewable electricity in the Netherlands and 50% renewable electricity in the US.

DSM’s purpose is to create brighter lives for people today and generations to come. Its mission is supported by its core value: sustainability.

Judges' feedback: “DSM has shown true ambition over a number of years to put sustainability at the heart of its strategy. The co-creation of new social and environmental measurement and performance standards, and transition to renewable energy (100% Netherlands, 50% US), is the ambition we require to meet the Social Development Goals ahead. Bravo!”

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To be involved in the 2019 Awards, simply visit here and leave your details. You'll be the first to learn of the new categories, criteria and key judging information

Kimberly-Clarke  Ulula  LIXIL  DMS  Responsible Business Awards 

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