Category Archives: Sustainable business

We still don’t know which businesses are the real environmental game changers

london city night - Ray Wewerka via FlickrThis post is by Julie Hill, former Green Alliance director (1992-97), Green Alliance associate and chair of the resources organisation WRAP

One of the early projects I led for Green Alliance, in 1990, was the book Ethics, environment and the company. Commissioned by the Institute for Business Ethics, it was written to provide a checklist of the practices that might be discerned in a company serious about its environmental performance.   At a time when the environment was barely on businesses leaders’ radar, the most significant measures concerned awareness and process. So the recommendations included conducting “a comprehensive assessment of environmental impacts”, setting targets, ensuring management commitment through a designated board member, and regular auditing and reporting. The hope was that widespread adoption of these processes would bring about a sea change in environmental performance. Read more

When it’s no longer business as usual, how should we work with business?

shaun blog small“We are facing an unprecedented global emergency… we are in the midst of a mass extinction of our own making.”

“Our house is on fire…. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”

“Winning slowly is the same as losing.”

“To pursue never-ending economic growth – or even to keep things ticking along as they are – is to gamble with the fate of humanity. We need nothing short of a transformation of the way we live our lives.”

Statements like these, from Extinction Rebellion, Greta Thunberg, Bill McKibben and Caroline Lucas, might once have been dismissed as scaremongering. Increasingly, as the evidence of climate and ecological breakdown piles up, they are being heard as the sober truth. Read more

How to make green tech work for blue collar workers across the country

red buttonGreen Alliance launched the new Tech Task Force earlier this month at an evening reception addressed by Claire Perry MP and the members of the Task Force: HVM Catapult, Innovate UK, Gambica, Schneider Electric and Ramboll. With it, we are setting out to make sure digital technologies help to close the north-south divide and make the UK a greener and more prosperous place for everyone.  That optimistic vision runs counter to recent headlines suggesting robots and artificial intelligence software will make us all obsolete.  Read more

What will the Clean Air Strategy really do for people and nature?

Apis_mellifera_-_Senecio_paludosus_-_KeilaThis post is by Jenny Hawley, senior policy officer at Plantlife.

Debate around the government’s Clean Air Strategy has been focused on whether it will cut the roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution from city traffic. But it is also supposed to take a long overdue look at other air quality issues. Read more

Why environmentalists should be excited by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

Factory platform in offshore wind farmUnder its new industrial strategy, the government has committed £4.7 billion for science and innovation until 2020 and has announced the creation of a new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). This will be modelled on the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA. For seasoned innovation thinkers, this is very good news. But what’s so exciting about DARPA? Read more

We need to find common ground on sustainable fisheries

fisheries-copyThis post is by Lyndsey Dodds, head of UK and EU marine policy at WWF.

Since the EU referendum, there has been much talk of the ‘sea of opportunity’ for fisheries but little detail on what it will look like in practice and how we can go further than the status quo, to become world leaders on sustainable fisheries management.

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Industrial strategy: where UK and US economic plans diverge

Fotolia_96263802_M.jpgTheresa May recently launched the centrepiece of her domestic agenda: the UK’s industrial strategy. After six months of commentary on the parallels between the phenomena that led to the Brexit vote and US election result, it is useful to reflect on the differences that are starting to emerge. A quick read of the green paper appears to show that May is charting a very different course on industrial strategy from the one now being advocated on the other side of the Atlantic. Significant differences are the approach to resource productivity and the attitude to growing low carbon markets. Read more

What the steel crisis can teach us about Britain’s new industrial strategy

Steelmaking workshopThis post is by Green Alliance’s Dustin Benton, head of energy and resources, and Jonny Hazell, senior policy adviser.

Forget the theory: the first test of Britain’s new industrial strategy will be how it handles the steel crisis. Steel used to be the sign of an advanced manufacturing nation, and it still provides the sort of skilled employment outside London that Theresa May has promised to protect. It’s at the heart of the debate about exporting carbon emissions and Brexit Britain’s industrial future. The world will inevitably draw lessons from how it is handled.

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