Sustainability Roundup – May 2016

May 9, 2016 By

Explore our May 2016 sustainability and CSR roundup for the news and events that have caught our attention, and the topics that have been keeping us busy on the blog:

1. Tracking the Global Goals: Four Steps to Make Data Matter

This interesting article (The Guardian) takes a look at the improved role that data should play in tracking our new set of global SDG indicators. The development community currently spends an estimated $2.6bn collecting data on results indicators, such as immunisations and maternal mortality rates. With 230 new sustainable development goal (SDG) indicators to track over the next 15 years, the international community is ready to invest $1bn more every year in results data. But how can we make sure these investments pay off? → Read more

2. Weekly Compliance Digest – US Well Control Final Rule

This WCD on Enablon Insights takes a look at final well control regulations aiming to ensure safe and responsible offshore oil and gas development in the US. Requirements include more rigorous third party certifications on blowout preventers (BOPs) and criteria for safe drilling margins, arising from recommendations established after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. → Read more

3. Milestone in the battle against arsenic-and-fluoride-contaminated drinking water

Over 300 million people worldwide use groundwater contaminated with arsenic or fluoride as a source of drinking water. Now a research team at EAWAG (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) has developed a method whereby the risk of contamination in a given area can be estimated using geological, topographical and other environmental data without having to test samples from every single groundwater resource.  Read more

4. One-Two Punches Have Knocked Coal Cold

Following News that Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company had just declared bankruptcy, this quick read from Environmental Leader analyzes the meaning of this unprecedented event: ‘Odds are that this trend will continue, and even accelerate. That means coal developers will need to reinvent themselves to remain relevant while the regions that have long-depended on their fuel need to diversify, and quickly’.  Read more

5. A Changing China for A Changing Climate

With the international community having both agreed on the SDGs and the Paris Agreement this year, much of the success of the landmark climate deal in particular will depend on the role of key players like China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. What is China’s emissions profile today ? What steps does China need to take in order to achieve its INDC targets and what are the challenges to overcome?  Read more

6. Sustainability Disclosures: Keeping Pace with a Greening World

As reporting standards continue to evolve, corporate decision-makers can start to prepare for increased demands for ESG disclosures by 1) analyzing ESG impacts and  2) designing a plan that integrates ESG issues into the business model and reporting cycle. Read this article from Deloitte for a particularly insightful list of steps to enhance sustainability reporting and disclosures.  Read more

7. Bayer spinoff Covestro pitches chemicals for a circular economy

In September of this year, a newly independent version of the $12 billion Bayer materials business called Covestro was launched with a goal of positioning sustainability at the core of its 2,000-plus product offerings in industries including transportation, construction, electronics and textiles. A noteworthy effort in “an industry that has a legacy of damage to the environment,” as pointed out by Covestro Chief Sustainability Officer Richard Northcote.  Read more

8. 5 Ways Sustainability Helps Companies Act More Like Startups

This piece by Triple Pundit explores an interesting observation: Mid-to-large corporations, already offering developed and performant products and services, can benefit from generating the type of energy and momentum typical of startups to expand their sustainability program. So what traits does the article focus on? Innovation, cross-functionality, talent attraction and retention, and employee engagement.  Read more

9. Take Time to Code

Elaine Cohen, on her always insightful Blog, explores the roles of the ‘Code’, such as the Ethics Code or the Code of Behavior, in today’s companies (nothing to do with computer programming!). Elaine interviews Deborah Leipziger, author of ‘The Corporate Responsibility Code Book’, to answer deceivingly simple questions like ‘what makes a good code of conduct?’. → Read blog post

10. [Infographic] How Harmful are Chemicals?

For a quick and reliable reminder of why sound chemical management is critical for human health and the environment, take a look at this infographic from UNEP (the United Nations Environment Programme).  Go to source


As always, we’ll see you in a month for more sustainability and CSR updates. Remember that May 22 is the International Day for Biological Diversity, focusing on ‘Mainstreaming Biodiversity; sustaining People and Their Livelihoods’!

Categories: Sustainability


  1. Carolina Reply

    Thanks for putting together this roundup! There are few roundups about sustainability, so it’s good to find this one. I especially liked #8 – it’s so true that companies can benefit in many ways when they develop a sustainability program. I look forward to reading your future posts.

    • Adriana Salazar Reply

      Hi Carolina, thanks for visiting the blog and we’re glad you enjoyed May’s Roundup!(Article #8 does indeed make some great points)

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