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News >> Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

The Guardian reports that retailer Selfridges will remove all single-use plastic water bottles from its food halls and restaurants, as part of its Project Ocean campaign and joint partnership with the Zoological Society of London and the Marine Reserves Coalition. According to Selfridges, this campaign will remove approximately 400,000 bottles per year.

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Inditex has announced that it has signed an annual grant that will allow non-profit organization Every Mother Counts (EMC) to expand its portfolio of grants "to bring essential maternal healthcare to mothers-in-need in the United States and around the world". EMC is co-founded by Christy Turlington Burns and Erin Thornton.

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The Walmart Foundation (Walmart) has announced that it will provide US$15.5 million in grants to non-profit organisations, to help provide meals and nutritional information to low-income children and their families throughout summer and the school year.

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Apple has announced that it has expanded its renewable energy and environment protection initiatives in China to include a new project with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which "aims to protect as much as 1 million acres of responsibly managed working forests which provide fiber for pulp, paper and wood products".

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McDonald's Corporation (McDonald's) has made available its Corporation Commitment on Deforestation (21 April 2015) and Supporting Addendum (23 April 2015), which sets out its commitment to removing deforestation from its global supply chains. The corporate commitment states that McDonald's will focus initially on its food and packaging supply chains, and will prioritize beef, poultry, fiber based packaging, palm oil and coffee. According to McDonald's, it will engage with stakeholders to "identify and protect [h]igh [c]onservation [v]alue areas and [h]igh [c]arbon [s]tock forest areas within [its] supply chains and work with suppliers, governments, producers and other corporate and non-governmental organization partners to achieve this commitment".

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Wells Fargo has announced that it has selected four clean technology startup companies for its US$10 million, five year Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) program (further information), which is funded by Wells Fargo and co-administered by the US Department of Energy's national renewable energy laboratory (NREL). The program will provide the startup companies with a combination of up to US$250,000 each, access to NREL's research facility and mentorship from Wells Fargo's financial and technical experts. NREL innovation and entrepreneurship centre director Richard Adams said that "[t]he IN2 program serves as a model for private and public sector collaboration working together for one common goal".

According to Wells Fargo, the IN2 program "was developed to advance the commercialization of new sustainable technologies by validating them in the [NREL's research facility] and then piloting them in select Wells Fargo locations".
Wells Fargo's media release (9 April 2015)
(Source: Wells Fargo; NREL)

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The BMW Group has announced that it will partner with German logistics company the SCHERM Group to invest "a six-figure amount" in a pilot project, beginning in mid-2015, to "deploy a 40-ton pure-electric truck in [Munich] ... and become the first automobile manufacturer in Germany to use an electric truck of this size to transport materials on public roads".

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The United Kingdom Cabinet Office (CO) and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have jointly announced the release by the CO and national social enterprise organisation Social Enterprise UK of research showing that British consumers are "concerned about where and how they buy products and services".

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United States-based telecommunications company Verizon has announced that it will make a further investment this year of almost US$40 million on solar power. According to Verizon, the investment will approximately triple the business's current solar energy production of 5.4 megawatts per year.

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Nestlé has announced that it has signed a partnership agreement with non-government organisation World Animal Protection, under which "the hundreds of thousands of farms that supply Nestlé with its dairy, meat, poultry and eggs will have to comply with tighter animal welfare standards".

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