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…)
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…)
Participation of residents and businesses(more…)
Smallholders are responsible for a large proportion of all palm oil production. These are mostly family businesses that have one to a few hectares of land. In Indonesia, 30-40% of the palm oil is produced by one million smallholders. The certification of smallholders for sustainable palm oil production has specific sustainability issues associated with it.
There are inequalities between smallholders and palm oil factories in the areas of land rights and contractual dependence relationships. (more…)