Report: BROOKINGS – How corporations are approaching sustainability and the Global Goals

On 8 Tuesday 2019 George Ingram, Mai Nguyen, and Milan Bala published the learnings of their study ‘Leveraging the business sector for a sustainable future’ finalised in May 2018 on the Brookings website. They studied 40 companies by desktop review and interviewed 14 of the sample for more details.

Key Take-Aways:

  • Most companies see their contribution to the SDGs in terms of corporate sustainability goals and practices.
  • However, while most companies refer to the SDGs in their publications in general, less than half track corporate and sustainability goals or activities against specific SDGs.
  • Companies in the Food, Beverage and Consumer Goods industry have the highest level of overall engagement with the SDGs.
  • The main challenge in engagement with the SDGs is the lack of awareness of the goals among stakeholders.
  • The drivers for companies to undertake sustainability are contextual and dependent on the nature of their business, the interests of their stakeholders, and the business environment.
    • There is a strong alignment between the drivers to take on corporate sustainability and engage with the SDGs.
    • All drivers can be categorized as business-case drivers or value-based drivers, although there are some overlapping features.
    • 84% of companies identify most strongly with business-case drivers. Some companies are driven both by business imperatives and value systems. Only a handful of companies identify purely with value-based drivers.
  • Embedding corporate sustainability in the business happens in three key arenas: strategic, operational and organizational integration

Top three goals that companies have demonstrated a commitment to:

  • SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth)
  • SDG 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption)
  • SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals)

Least attention to:

  • SDG 1 (No Poverty)
  • SDG 2 (Zero Hunger)
  • SDG 14 (Life Below Water)

Given the significant role of the business sector in employment creation, driving economic growth, and providing goods and services, SDG 8 and SDG 12 are a natural fit. Data collected from interviews and communication materials reflect that companies highly value partnerships (SDG 17) as part of implementing their corporate sustainability activities and contributing to the SDGs. Meanwhile, companies often view the bottom-ranked goals, particularly SDG 1, SDG 2, SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), and SDG 16 (Peace, Justive and Strong Insitutions), as areas where governments have more responsibility and where there is least potential for companies to create impact or find business opportunity.

 Companies researched (interviewed underlined)
  • Energy, Natural Resources & Chemicals (5 companies): Chevron (USA), Total SA (France), Centrica PLC (UK), Red Electrica Corp SA (Spain), Syngenta AG (Switzerland)
  • Financial Services (6 companies): JPMorgan Chase (USA), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Australia), Ant Financial (China), Westpac Banking Corp (Australia), UBS Group AG (Switzerland), Blackrock (USA)
  • Food, Beverage & Consumer Goods (10 companies): Land O’Lakes (USA), AB InBev (Belgium), Coca Cola (USA), Nestlé (Switzerland), Walmart (USA), Henkel AG & Co KGaA (Germany), LG Electronics Inc (South Korea), Mark & Spencer Group (UK), Industria de Diseño Textil SA (Inditex) (Spain), Mars (USA)
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences (6 companies): Johnson & Johnson (USA), Roche Holding AG (Switzerland), Koninkijke Philips NV (Philips) (Netherlands), Allergan plc (Ireland), Centene (USA), Novartis (Switzerland)
  • Industrials, Manufacturing & Construction (6 companies): Bechtel (USA), Grupo Argos SA/Colombia (Colombia), Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (Taiwan), Flowserve (USA), Volvo Car Group (Sweden), CH2M (USA)
  • Information Technology & Telecommunication (7 companies): Tata Sons (Tata Group) (India), Accenture (Ireland), IBM (USA), Nokia OYJ (Finland), Konica Minolta Inc (Japan), Apple (USA), SAS Institute Inc. (USA)

Read original article here.

 

🇺🇸 Apple introduces Daisy – an iPhone-recycling robot

Ahead of Earth Day, Apple has debuted a new robot named Daisy that can take apart iPhones in order to recover valuable materials inside, as reported by TechCrunch and The Verge (with video).

The robot is a successor to Liam, another recycling robot made by Apple that was revealed in 2016. In fact, Daisy was created with some of Liam’s old parts, making it a recycled robot that helps recycle iPhones. Daisy is capable of taking apart nine different versions of the iPhone, and it can disassemble up to 200 iPhones an hour. It also separates parts and removes certain components as it goes.

Along with Daisy, Apple has also announced a temporary program called GiveBack, where customers can turn in devices in store or through Apple.com to be recycled. For every device received from now until April 30th, Apple will make a donation to Conservation International. (Eligible devices will still receive an in-store or gift card credit.)

Link to original article

🌍 Global Distribution of Critical Minerals – Slideshow

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) published in 2017 the report “Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply” edited by Klaus J. Schulz , John H. DeYoung Jr. , Robert R. Seal II , and Dwight C. Bradley.

This comprehensive book presents resource and geologic information on the following 23 mineral commodities currently among those viewed as important to the national economy and national security of the United States: antimony (Sb), barite (barium, Ba), beryllium (Be), cobalt (Co), fluorite or fluorspar (fluorine, F), gallium (Ga), germanium (Ge), graphite (carbon, C), hafnium (Hf), indium (In), lithium (Li), manganese (Mn), niobium (Nb), platinum-group elements (PGE), rare-earth elements (REE), rhenium (Re), selenium (Se), tantalum (Ta), tellurium (Te), tin (Sn), titanium (Ti), vanadium (V), and zirconium (Zr).

Their research provides an enlightening overview of the occurrence of these critical minerals throughout the world and helps in understanding the geostrategic importance of some of them.

Link to website with extensive reports on all 23 minerals

 

The very recommendable North American online publisher visualcapitalist.com put it nicely in an insightful infographic.

Link to original

critical-minerals-usa

🇺🇸 Practitioner Guide to the Circular Economy

At the 2017 US Circular Economy Summit, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) officially launched its Practitioner Guide to the Circular Economy after a three-week beta testing period. This follows the launch of WBCSD’s CEO Guide to the Circular Economy at the World Circular Economy Forum in Helsinki. The Practitioner Guide, a great […]

via Circular Economy: the Practitioner’s Guide — fairsnape isite

🇺🇸 New battery leaching method closing in on 100% metals recovery

American Manganese Inc.’s proprietary hydrometallurgical process is able to extract almost 100% of lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt, and aluminium from rechargeable batteries. This sounds promising, given that the worldwide lithium-ion battery market alone is worth over US$16.5 million a year.

A recent testing programme conducted in collaboration with Kemetco Research has confirmed that all the commonly used rechargeable electric battery cathode materials can be leached using American Manganese Inc.’s special hydrometallurgical process.

‘The valuable metals can then be recovered by either discrete product or co-product precipitation, depending on which flowsheet is being used,’ comments Larry Reaugh, president and CEO of American Manganese Inc.

‘The test work is proceeding on schedule and on budget, and the results to-date are in line with our expectations,’ adds Norman Chow, president of Kemetco Research Inc. He expects the patent for this process will be submitted by November this year.

Source: http://www.recyclinginternational.com/recycling-news/10611/e-scrap-and-batteries/united-states/new-us-battery-leaching-method-closing-100-metals-recovery

For more information visit www.americanmanganeseinc.com

🇺🇸 MIT researchers develop new way to clear pollutants from water

Electrochemical method can remove even tiny amounts of contamination.

Source: MIT researchers develop new way to clear pollutants from water