20 May, 2019

Reduce your business’s carbon footprint by asking these two questions

FACC Forum on Sustainability and Innovation Panel
by Alli O'Connell, Marketing & Accounts Manager

In an attempt protect our planet, commodities, and livelihoods, the Paris Climate Agreement intends to maintain the increase in global temperature well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Leaders in sustainability like Danone, Gotham Greens, L’Oréal, Terracycle and Fairtrade America came together at the FACC Forum on Sustainability & Innovation to discuss how they are taking an active role in global climate action.

Two big questions sparked curiosity and thoughtful discussion on how we, as individuals and as leaders in business, can create a more sustainable world with our decisions. Consider these key questions and takeaways to establish your business as a leader in global climate action.

What do you know about your supply chain?

Your supply chains are on the front lines of climate change.

Lauren Wilson

Editor-in-Chief of Edible Manhattan

Gone are the days when a lack of transparency around supply chains was acceptable. According the Hartman’s Transparency Study, 88% of American consumers consider sustainability in their purchases. This shift in values demands that business leaders unpack the impact behind their supply chains to build a relevant and sustainable business.

Gotham Greens has created a highly local supply chain sourcing greenhouse grown vegetables to markets in New York and Chicago. The carbon footprint to transport food within two hours driving distance is drastically lower than many of Gotham Greens competitors, which ship vegetables that can be grown locally from across the country or hemisphere.

For Hans Theyer, CEO of Fairtrade America, sustainability starts and ends with the families behind the goods consumed. Fairtrade standards ensure that 1.66 million farmers around the world are paid a fair wage and work in safe conditions, all while utilizing environmental best practices like restricting the use of hazardous pesticides and GMO’s, which harm both farmers and environment.

How will you measure impact?

Selecting your key performance indicators for sustainability is not one size fits all. If you are looking for a starting place consider the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) as a guiding framework. More than 9,900 companies, like Danone, in the United Nations Global Compact utilize the SDG’s as a framework for their sustainability action plans, impact, or strategy.

Fairtrade America & FAIR. staff at the FACC Forum on Sustainability and Innovation

For L’Oréal, measuring their sustainability goals and progress was so important that they designed the Sustainable Product Optimization Tool (SPOT) to assess the environmental and social impacts of their products. L’Oréal has committed that 100% of their products will have an environmental or social improvement, measured by SPOT, by 2020.

Fab Scrap, leader in the textile waste reduction, measures the impact of their brand partners through carbon reduction. But they don’t stop there. Fab Scrap used design thinking to translate carbon reduction to the equivalent in trees planted and creates custom tweets and infographics for each of their 300 brand partners to reshare.

Danone, the largest global B Corp, uses their B Impact Assessment and Score to measure their social and environmental performance. The B Impact Assessment considers Dananoe’s progress in community and environmental categories, where they can can highlight progress on their sustainability goals, like achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Fairtrade supports 8,000+ companies in tracking their Fairtrade impact. Whether through highlighting their part of global impact, like contributing to $53M in global Fairtrade Premium to coffee cooperatives in just one year, or sharing farmer’s stories, like Rosemary’s, Fairtrade works alongside companies to support their measurements of success and impact.

As we work to connect the dots in building sustainable global supply chains, we’re reminded of the closing words shared by Marcos Salazar of Be Social Change, “Keep your curiosity sacred.”

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