Over a hundred sustainable business experts have appeared on the Innovation Forum podcast channel during 2022 in the weekly podcast, separate interviews and in recordings of live webinars.
Among the themes that emerged over the year was the continued growth and long-term potential of the voluntary carbon markets and how these can be used to develop sustainable agricultural supply chains, including regenerative agricultural practices. Focus on farmers, farm income and the role of business to help their suppliers to deliver their own income targets remained.
Regulatory change, particularly requiring companies to adopt a more due diligence approach to human rights and environmental issues – and the unintended consequences of doing so – was also something we covered extensively in 2022. In the apparel sector, as in plastics and packaging, discussion on how companies can plot a route to decarbonisation and net-zero emissions were popular with podcast listeners.
Here are links to some of the most popular piece of content of the year that help demonstrate these themes. Thank you for listening!
Why carbon offsetting must be more than just moving the deckchairs
Verified standards on emission reductions can give business the transparency and credibility they need to plot a route to achieving net-zero emissions in operations and supply chains. In this podcast
, David Antonioli, CEO of standard setting body Verra, talks about how standards must continually evolve to adapt to best practice – on biodiversity and social issues as well as emissions – and why carbon offsetting is only part of the solution for decarbonising the global economy.
Antonioli explains how carbon offsetting can be part of broader corporate emissions reduction programmes, but why offsetting alone cannot move the world economy to net-zero. He outlines the key characteristics of credible and robust verified emissions reduction credits, and why standard setters have to take a nimble approach to evolve as technology evolves.
What bold social and environmental regulation implementation looks like
Environment and human rights expert Etelle Higonnet, formerly senior advisor at the National Wildlife Federation, talks with Toby Webb about how environmental and human rights regulations
are changing worldwide, in particular around procurement and importation of commodities and products linked with high-risk production regions.
They discuss the pressing need for regulatory harmonisation, and how developing capacity in monitoring and enforcement can help get ahead of potential breaches, resolving them before they escalate.
Why companies must continue to source from ‘high-risk’ countries
Niels Wielaard, founder of Satelligence, talks about traceability-to-plantation innovation
in palm oil and cocoa supply chains. He explains why appreciating the complexity of the challenges is important and, crucially, why companies should not shift from sourcing from higher risk countries as a reaction to EU and other due diligence legislation. This could, he argues, simply shift problems to lower risk countries.
Wielaard talks about why financial institutions are ratcheting up how they expect companies to engage with their supply chains. He outlines the importance of accurate and up-to-date data as companies take a more due diligent approach to what are complex and challenging issues.
Due diligence regulation – the risk of smallholder exclusion
Assistant professor of environmental policy at ETH Zürich Rachael Garrett and Musim Mas’s director of sustainability Olivier Tichit talk about their collaboration engaging smallholder farmer communities
to deliver the data and traceability that palm oil buyers require. They discuss the importance of not divesting from higher risk sourcing regions and why there is still work to be done to ensure that due diligence regulation delivers the impacts intended.
They also discuss the evolving role of smallholder farmers in supplying the palm oil sector, and the risks that some farmers may be excluded from certain markets as buyers and brands demand ever-greater supply chain traceability.
Regenerative agriculture: do believe the hype?
, group sustainability lead for starches, sweetners and texturisers at Cargill
, and Andrew Voysey
, head of impact and carbon at Soil Capital
, speak about why both businesses and farmers
are increasingly interested in the shift towards regenerative agriculture.
They discuss how regen agri brings together the opportunities to deal with carbon emissions, as well as water use, soil health and biodiversity risks. What’s crucial, they argue, is the need for verified data that provides farmers and their customers with the evidence they are progressively cutting carbon emissions and other impacts. They also discuss the benefits of working together within “supply sheds” to enable farmers to have evidence of positive regenerative outcomes and to demonstrate the business case for regenerative farming. They also talked about the features of growth in the area.
Farmer focus: Cargill's collaboration for restoration in Brazil
, South America sustainability lead at Cargill
, talks about partnering with farmers in Brazil
to prevent land conversion and report degraded ecosystems, and develop the sustainable agricultural practices necessary for Cargill to become deforestation and conversion-free by 2030. Nogueira
outlines how farmer-driven programmes and collaboration benefit all stakeholders within food value chains, with environmental regularisation, restoration of degraded lands and protection of native vegetation.
Is a standardised approach to soil carbon measurement possible?
Through sequestration, soil plays a pivotal role in mitigating climate change. Improved agricultural practices that promote soil sequestration can help reverse climate change while improving the livelihoods of farmers. However, there is currently no commonly used business standard or approach for measuring carbon in soil. There are many emerging approaches, and more are on the way. So which current approaches can be used by companies today?
Discussing these issues in this hour-long webinar
are: Sophie Throup, head of agriculture, fisheries and sustainable sourcing at Morrisons; Ian McConnel, director of sustainability – international business unit at Tyson Foods; Peer Ederer, program and science director, Global Food and Agribusiness Network; and, David Fatscher, head of ESG at BSI.
The engagement, governance and integration pillars for net zero success
Krishna Manda, vice-president for corporate sustainability at textile sector fibre manufacturer Lenzing talks about how the company has established
its net-zero strategy and what such an effective net-zero strategy looks like. This includes the right board-level ownership and incentives, getting interim targets right, aligning incentives across the business and with suppliers, and avoiding tensions between short term targets and long-term goals.
Packaging decarbonisation: what are the incentives to drive success?
and Juliet Ermer
from the Carbon Trust
talk about decarbonisation in the packaging secto
r, and what is needed to enable recycled plastic content to compete with virgin. They discuss the prospects for a legally binding UN plastics treaty by 2024 and consider legislation on extended producer responsibility, pros and cons of chemical recycling and what good policy on consistency in packaging design can look like. They also discuss the significant challenges that remain preventing plastic packaging moving to truly circular reuse and recycling models.