EcoLogical Business/Markets

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The challenge: can smart investment make sustainable development a reality?

Since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, the international community has worked toward a shared vision of sustainable development. Now, with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations (UN) member states have committed their highest level of political will to ensuring that human well-being is advanced within the planet’s ecological boundaries. Yet if the […]

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Better cotton, better lives

Umul Baneen is a hard-working woman from Maqboolabad, a rural town in the heart of Punjab in Pakistan’s cotton-growing region. I had the pleasure to meet her and her husband, and hear their story as part of my work as coordinator for WWF’s Sustainable Cotton Initiative. This work aims to improve the lives and livelihoods […]

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Will the real New Beer Co please stand up?

Last year it was announced that Anheuser-Busch InBev (the world’s largest beer company) would purchase SABMiller (the second largest) for US$106 billion. The company that emerges from this takeover – once brands are sold off and regulatory commissions give the OK – will not only amount to the largest beverage company, but also the most […]

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Water crises: when risks become real

My country, Zambia, doesn’t make international news very often. But recently, from The New York Times, to Al Jazeera to Bloomberg, Zambia is in the headlines. Once the fastest growing economy in Africa, Zambia’s economic growth projections have now been halved. Businesses and communities are suffering, and the government has now reached out to the […]

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Consumer goods: slow road to sustainability

With 2.5 billion more people joining the consuming class in the next few decades, we must address the increasing demand for “soft commodities” – the raw materials that go into our food, personal care products, clothes, and even energy. A healthy planet requires sustainable production and consumption. Today, many soft commodities like palm oil, soy, […]

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Financing a sustainable forest future

Why should a bank in Europe care about the haze in Singapore or forest fires in Indonesia? First: credit risk. If a bank finances a plantation involved in open burning, the borrowing company can face fines and other penalties under Singapore’s Transboundary Haze Act. Similarly, banks can see a deterioration in their client’s credit profile […]

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Growing opportunities in Vietnam

The theme of this year’s Asia-Pacific Forestry Week is “Growing our Future,” and it focuses on the need to integrate forestry into the wider context of sustainable development. This is an issue that is especially relevant to Vietnam. Wood is one of our country’s most valuable resources. The livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people […]

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Forests: Unlikely Hero of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The theme this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos is the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which promises hyper-connectivity and technological breakthroughs. But will a faster, busier, more urban world simply sidestep the world’s wild places and natural systems? The answer: it must not. Nature, including forests, is more important to this revolution than the most […]

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Water in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Strange as it may appear, I cannot hide my excitement to read in the World Economic Forum’s 2016 global risk report the great emphasis on the risks posed by climate change. Quoting WEF, the top finding is “the potential for climate change to exacerbate water crises, with impacts including conflict and more forced migration, calling […]

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