Decent Work in International Supply Chains

Decent Work in International Supply Chains

21 August 2015

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment commissioned Nyenrode Business Universiteit and consultancy firm CREM to conduct a research project concerning the impacts of global supply chains on the compliance with the 'decent work' norms defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). These ILO norms have been incorporated in various international treaties and statements, and agreed upon by many countries around the world.

The research team examined regulatory practices in 20 countries and corporate practices in 5 sectors in order to detect innovative instruments employed to improve decent work via global supply chains. (more…)
Recycling Plastic Waste from the Water

Recycling Plastic Waste from the Water

12 June 2015
Waterproof Media is a young company that is looking for innovative solutions to make the world a bit of a better place. One thing they are looking at is new applications for waste plastic found in the water. The company asked the Natural Capital Help Desk to figure out the amount and composition of waste plastic along the coast and in inland waters. They also wanted to know about the current processing practices and recycling initiatives in this area. (more…)
Scan your impact on Natural Capital

Scan your impact on Natural Capital

13 March 2015

Not all companies are aware of the importance of natural capital for business operations: all of world’s natural resources, such as geological resources, soil, air, water and biodiversity. Companies depend on natural capital to various degrees; the way a company deals with it could involve risks and opportunities.

Working with Royal HaskoningDHV, CREM has developed an online Natural Capital Quick Scan for companies that operate on national and international markets. (more…)
Green washing or honest advertising?

Green washing or honest advertising?

4 February 2015

More and more labels announcing environmental benefits, such as “100% organic” or “Good for the environment”, adorn consumer products. With these labels the producer suggests that this product is more environmentally friendly than other similar products. But what if it was legally mandated that all such products must be 100% biodegradable? Would it still be allowed to make these self-proclaimed ‘environmental claims’?

There are existing regulations for the use of labels and claims for some products, like the energy labels on fridges, washing machines and lights. For other products, where there is no existing regulation, ensuring the truth of these environmental claims is the responsibility of the Dutch and EU advertising commissions. (more…)
10 Tips for Communication about Sustainable Fashion

10 Tips for Communication about Sustainable Fashion

9 December 2014
The conference ‘Groen is de rode draad’ (‘Green is the common theme’) took place in October 2014. The conference, which covered transparency in the fashion and textile industry, was organized by Dutch textile industry associations MODINT and VGT. During a breakout session, three experts shared their understanding of communication and sustainability in the sector. The conclusion from the audience was: if you do business sustainably, you also need to communicate about it (92% agreed). (more…)
CSR in Egypt

CSR in Egypt

25 October 2014
On the 14th of October in Cairo, the conference ‘CSR in Egypt: Building on Experiences in the Netherlands’ was held. The central question was what Egypt can learn from the Dutch approach in order to stimulate companies in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and to see what role the government can play. The conference was organized by the Dutch Embassy, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Egyptian Ministry of Trade, Industry and SMEs. (more…)
Smallholder Farmers Closer to Certification

Smallholder Farmers Closer to Certification

5 September 2014

The current market is increasingly asking for certification as a guaranty for sustainability. Smallholder farmers are also confronted with this trend. However, smallholder farmers often lack the right skills and motivation to keep records of their input use and other agricultural data. These data are needed to demonstrate compliance with the respective certification standard.

In order to give this group a hand, CREM, on behalf of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), has developed a handbook for smallholder farmers who would like to be certified according to the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) standard. (more…)
Overtime in Africa Floriculture

Overtime in Africa Floriculture

1 September 2014

Long working hours with lots of overtime are a common feature in the floriculture industry in East Africa. Regular excessively long workdays can be dangerous for workers’ health and have a negative effect on their productivity. A healthy balance between regular work times and overtime is therefore very important.

MPS – the administrator and developer of floriculture standards in the area of sustainability – has included a maximum amount of overtime in its SociallyQualified (SQ) Standard. This overtime must also be voluntary and not structural. (more…)
Sustainable Hospitality Now More Visible

Sustainable Hospitality Now More Visible

12 August 2014

Restaurant owners who have filled out theirestablishment’s sustainability profile on the online restaurant guide IENS.nl, can also now showcase their sustainability story on www.duurzamereten.nl, a website about making food more sustainable. The Dutch trade association for the hotel and catering industry (KHN), IENS.nl and CREM worked together to couple the sustainability profile on IENS.nl to one on duurzamereten.nl.

Restaurant owners are thus encouraged to be transparent about their sustainability activities. At the same time, the consumer gets more insight into restaurants’ sustainability initiatives. (more…)

Cacoa Production in the shade

Cacoa Production in the shade

26 May 2014

During the yearly meeting of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) in Basel, Switzerland, CREM gave a presentation about shade-grown cocoa, its relationship with biodiversity and ecosystem services and payment for these services.

Shade trees provide ecosystem services

Cocoa produces best under shade trees, which is where you find the natural habitat of the cocoa tree. Cocoa trees in such a system (with 40% shade) benefit from diverse ecosystem services: control of sicknesses and pests, better water management and maintenance of soil fertility. Shade trees provide products such as wood, nuts and fruits, which give the farmer additional income. (more…)

Dos and Don’ts of Communication about Sustainable Fashion in the Store

Dos and Don’ts of Communication about Sustainable Fashion in the Store

9 May 2014
How can clothing stores lead consumers to make a sustainable choice? More demand for sustainable fashion can stimulate producers to invest more in sustainable production. CREM and some fashion companies went looking for answers. In assignment from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, they researched communication strategies for conveying the sustainable aspects of clothing in the store. (more…)
The Mobile Fish, From Boat to Plate

The Mobile Fish, From Boat to Plate

28 April 2014
An app about fish, the fishery and cooking with fish. The Vissersbond (Fishery Union) has developed an app called VIS! (fish in Dutch) that can be downloaded in the app stores. CREM did research for the Vissersbond about how the app could better meet consumers’ needs and how consumers could be persuaded to download the app to their smartphones and tablets. The results of this research and other new ideas were brought together in a communication and strategy plan. (more…)
Locally in Action for Biodiversity

Locally in Action for Biodiversity

5 January 2014
‘Building a new sustainable neighbourhood on the outskirts of Sneek, together’. This is the philosophy behind Harixmaland. The city of Sneek would like to give collective and sustainable initiatives in this area a chance. A Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) is the way to put together ideas from a collective vision for the future and bring them to action. The Sneek Association for Urban Agriculture (Stichting Stadslandbouw Sneek) invited CREM to lead a BAP session. Around 50 participants came together on the evening of 31 October to brainstorm about the biodiversity-rich area. Among the participants were current and future users of the area, business people and employees from care, educational and health organizations. Local government employees were present as observers. (more…)
South African Certified Biomass Challenge

South African Certified Biomass Challenge

4 January 2014

The project Moving South Africa forward to certified sustainable energy was started out in 2009. The project was managed by the National Development Agency and Tsebo Consulting in South Africa and supported in particular by Gwynne Foster (South Africa), Brinkmann Consultancy (the Netherlands) and CREM.

During the project, small producers were supported in the production of certified biomass and the creation of local employment options. The crops, soy and sunflowers, were cultivated on degraded land. Maize was cultivated in addition to the biomass in order to increase food production in the region. (more…)
The Square of the Future

The Square of the Future

27 December 2013
On the afternoon of Monday, the 9th of December, the conference, ‘The Square of the Future’, took place in Amsterdam. The program was based on the knowledge and experience acquired through the project, Sustainable Squares, carried out bySOMO, CREM and Humanrights@work’s Liesbeth Unger. Around thirty architects, advisors, involved citizens and local government employees gathered for the meeting in the Pakhuis Willem de Zwijger.

Participation of residents and businesses

(more…)