There are currently various programs to help companies work smarter and more efficiently with natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystems (otherwise known as natural capital). In addition to the Natural Capital Help Desk, Platform BEE (Biodiversity, Ecosystem and the Economy) has started a program called ‘Natural Captains’ for leaders in the area.
The financial sector realizes that sustainability is important for the long-term success of businesses. Financial institutions such as banks, pension funds and insurers are making more demands on how businesses conduct themselves in the ESG (environmental, social and governance) sectors. They do this in order to better estimate the financial risks of investments, but moral and sustainability considerations also play a role.In the Netherlands, the ASN Bank and Triodos are the known leaders in the field.
Financial sector on our home turf(more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)