Plastics & Circularity: ‘Future of Packaging’ in The Times

New writing…. Pleased to say I have had another couple of articles published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on the Future of Packaging.

Ocean plastic is not a new problem, however it took David Attenborough and Blue Planet II to turn the tide of public opinion. My opening article investigates how prime-time endorsement of the core sustainability message proved a public gamechanger, but there is still a long way to go before we reach peak plastic in our waste streams. From high-street retail and global brands, to entrepreneurial start-ups and consumer activism, I am sharing smart insights of key influencers and seeking out sustainable solutions to the problems of a packaging sector under intense pressure. Issues are complex and commercial realities a challenge, but the question remains:

‘What next after Blue Planet?’

The first step towards fixing something is often to admit it is actually broken. Well, the plastics system is broken. So, since the problem is big, the fix must be even bigger, right? My second piece for the report explores how society must move away from the ‘take, make, dispose’ mindset that has long-informed linear consumption patterns and business models, towards a win-win scenario that simultaneously keeps plastics in the economy, but out of the environment. This discussion of proposals and prospects for the New Plastics Economy and UK Plastics Pact includes interviews with project leads at both the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WRAP UK:

‘UK Plastics Pact is central to forming a circular economy’

The full 24-page Future of Packaging report is available to view/download here.

Sustainability win-win: ‘Future of Procurement’ in The Times

New writing…. Pleased to say I have had another article published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on the Future of Procurement.

Reconciling best-value procurement and sustainability need not be a problem, since the two carry the promise of a real win-win.  The potential synergy is clear, at least in principle. In practice, however, is where the challenge starts. Exploring how best to track and target supply-chain performance, my article takes us beyond the old backside-covering box-ticking and bare-minimum compliance of yesteryear, into the brave new world of holistic and proactive procurement, that is smart, balanced and sustainable. It is not easy, especially in an industry like construction, notorious for its aggressive contracting model and adversarial business culture. However, times are changing and so too is the sector, albeit slowly. The future of procurement will be different, and better:

‘How sustainability can build value in construction’.

The full 20-page Future of Procurement report is available to view/download here.

Susty cause and effect: ‘Asset Management’ in The Times

New writing…. Pleased to say I have had another article published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on Asset Management.

Good or bad, asset management has an effect on the environment and is also affected by it. The impacts and implications are inescapable – the risk is real. So too is the opportunity real, however. There are clear potential gains and benefits to come from business and industry adopting a more systemic approach to environmental issues. From climate change and ESG, via circular economy and whole-life logic, to locking-in carbon, my article looks at the drivers of change in the asset management field and the trends shaping its sustainability, now and in the future:

‘Integrating Asset Management and Sustainability’.

The full 16-page Asset Management report is available to view/download here.

Radical change: ‘Industry 4.0’ & ‘Future of Energy’ in The Times

New writing… Pleased to say I have had another couple of pieces published in The Times newspaper this week, as part of special Raconteur reports on Industry 4.0 (Wednesday 7th March) and the Future of Water (Thursday 8th).

In Industry 4.0, my article on sustainability questions whether incrementalism is no longer enough to deliver the ambitious global change required for alignment with the SDGs. It discusses how the technological advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution might be successfully embraced to achieve transformational shift:

‘It’s time for sustainability to get radical’.

My second piece provides the overview intro to the Future of Energy report and looks at the Water-Energy-Food nexus. It explores how, in the tangled relationship with water resources and food production, energy efficiency is saving livelihoods and lives, in communities from Africa to Afghanistan:

‘Life-and-death struggle for energy efficiency’.

The full 16-page Industry 4.0 report is available to view/download here.

The full 16-page Future of Energy report is available to view/download here.

No Plan B: ‘Supply Chain Strategies’ in The Times

New writing... Pleased to say I have had another article published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on Supply Chain Strategies.

High street giant Marks & Spencer is leading the charge against abuses in the global supply chain with a long-term commitment to sustainability. With 35,000 different product lines and 32M customers, it is a big task. In this piece I look at the challenges and achievements of pursuing with purpose a strategic and systemic approach over the course of a decade since the launch of its flagship programme Plan A. In particular, the article also discusses the ongoing battle against the criminal elements involved in modern slavery and the need to collaborate widely in a bid to tackle this scourge of the supply chain. You can read the full story here (with no paywall), on:

‘The need for a sustainable global supply chain’.

The full 16-page Supply Chain Strategies report is available to view/download here.

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