Why my OBE shows that the greatest sustainability challenges lie ahead, not behind us

On Thursday, June 14th, I will be with my closest family at Buckingham Palace proudly receiving my OBE. For those outside the UK, this may not mean much (unless you’ve been watching “The Crown”), but the award is a public recognition of doing something useful — in my case, for services to sustainability.Read more

Systems thinking: Unlocking the Sustainable Development Goals

Twelve months in, and there’s been some good progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from governments, NGOs and businesses alike: looking at what’s material, making commitments, testing what’s possible and confirming shared roles in delivering these ambitions. But there’s a missing piece in all this activity, and it’s the glue that holds it all together: systems thinking.Read more

6 ways Unilever has achieved success through sustainability - and how your business can too

A year ago this week, Unilever launched its Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), one of the most ambitious strategies that a global company has ever embarked on. Pioneering a bold new business model, the company pledged to double in size at the same time as halving its environmental footprint, setting out to achieve a series of concrete targets by 2020.Read more

The changing role of the designer in the circular economy

Late last year the World Business Council for Sustainable Development released a Practitioners Guide to the Circular Economy highlighting design as the stage with the most opportunity for circular thinking - rather than procurement, manufacturing, use, disposal, etc.Read more

In defence of (a bit of) doom and gloom

As Forum’s resident doomslinger, the recent #ClimateOptimism campaign inevitably provoked a defensive reaction from me. Especially as it arrived hot-on-the-heels of another event that challenged my pessimistic foundations.Read more

Characteristics of a sustainable business model

Over the last year a new term has been rising up – the sustainable business model. So far it has been used to signal the need to go beyond innovating products or services, and change the fundamentals of how a business makes money. At Forum for the Future we are trying to work through the detail of what makes a sustainable business model so more and more companies can act.Read more

5 things we learned on regenerative architecture and design in India

On the 1st November Forum collaborated with our long-time partner Interface to gather some of the best architects and designers together in Mumbai. We had an exciting topic to discuss: regenerative, net positive design in the built environment; spaces that quite literally rejuvenate, revitalise and revive the environment around them and the people within them.Read more

Net Positive: how a new frame on sustainability can drive the outcomes we need

We should celebrate this progress; but in looking to the future, are these reduction goals enough? It is estimated, for example, that half of the world’s plastic packaging will end up in the ocean or landfills even if we get to 100% consumer recycling rates. And we are still projected to miss the urgent and critical goal to limit a global temperature rise to 1.5°C, despite current climate strategies.Read more

7 questions that will shape the future of sustainability

It’s a challenge for everyone: Where should I focus my effort? What’s worth trying now, and what do I need to prepare for? To answer these questions, you need to be scanning what’s changing in the world.Read more

Sustainability demands disruption

At a recent meeting of our Sustainable Business Models Group, Mike Barry – Head of Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer – said: “Sustainability demands disruption. It demands us to radically rethink our business models. Not just how we sell stuff in the future but how we create value”.Read more

What is a sustainable business model? A seven-point plan

Sustainable business models are the next big thing for organisations. Why? For the simple reason that business as usual won’t allow us to meet the huge environmental and social challenges we currently face.Read more