The Data Opportunity: Takeaways from the 2019 Responsible Investment Forum

March 18, 2019 | News

Anthesis Executive Director Don Reed recently attended the 2019 Private Equity International Responsible Investment Forum, where he was a speaker in a session entitled “ESG Data and Reporting: Making it Meaningful”. Here he shares his takeaways on the key themes of the event and his recommendations for taking action.

While one can’t quite say that the next horizon for Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) in private equity (PE) is “all about the data,” it’s pretty close.  That was evident at the recent Private Equity International Responsible Investment Forum, the watering hole for private equity asset owners and managers focused on ESG.  Participants at the event struck a number of themes and most of them hinged on more ESG data that builds trust and yields insight on how to improve risk-adjusted returns.

The key themes from the event:

  • ESG in private equity is transitioning from anecdotal ESG to evidence-driven ESG. Most of the communications PE firms provide their investors emphasize case studies of the best stories about their best portfolio companies. While this helps, it is not the backbone of ESG action and communication. Investors increasingly expect data about ESG performance and value creation at the portfolio and portfolio company levels.
  • Asset owners are acting to systematically evaluate private equity firms based on data about their ESG integration. Asset owners and funds of funds (Limited Partners or LPs) have careful processes for evaluating potential and existing PE firms (General Partners or GPs).  Some LPs ask about ESG, but it’s been unclear what they did with the information and if it had bearing on the investment decision.  Most of the new and more data-intensive evaluations are still in the early stages, but the pattern is clear.  These frameworks and data will enable greater integration of ESG into the private equity asset manager selection process.  While still emerging and lacking standards for evaluating ESG integration, the transition from light evaluations of ESG integration to big LPs using their own processes is afoot.
  • Asset owners seek to express ESG impacts in terms of the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs are the new lingua franca of ESG, but data about how portfolio companies contribute to the achievement of the SDGs is lacking at every level. While there is mapping from conventional ESG metrics to the SDGs, there are many SDG Challenges yet to be addressed.

Is “data driven ESG” a set of buzzwords or the next horizon?

In the context of how most big companies are expressing their sustainability impacts in terms of performance data and pushing to outcome data, it’s pretty clear that ESG data isn’t faddish. Conference attendees expressed a range of points of view:

  • One big LP with a new and extensive process for evaluating private equity ESG integration said to GPs, “You have the ability to really dictate everything from A to Z, have complete transparency and insight into data that we can’t even get into public companies; you have the ability to influence outcomes.”
  • While this is true, it ignores two key points about our current reality:
    • Portfolio companies large and small, public and private struggle to gather and aggregate ESG data that builds trust and gain insight from it about how to manage for greater value and ESG performance.
    • Many GPs and LPs aren’t set up to receive such data much less apply it to their respective investment decisions. One LP said outright, “I don’t have any way to take more data on board.”

3 Recommendations for Harnessing The Data Opportunity

It seems we’re in the awkward adolescence of ESG data and integration.  So what do you do with the data opportunity? Here’s our three recommendations:

  1. Start by being clear what you think is the right destination. Decide what ESG data would be fit for your investment purposes.
  2. Understand where the “data owners” are in their journey towards having the right data that builds trust. Know that many portfolio companies may not already have the data you want, but you can get them started on their own journey.
  3. Develop a plan that takes you from where you are today to that desired destination.

Don Reed
Executive Director, North America
An Executive Director in the Anthesis Group’s North American business, Don has 18+ years of experience helping operating companies, asset managers, and financial institutions develop and implement sustainability strategies that create business value by growing revenue, enhancing brands, improving operating efficiency, and managing risks.  

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Anthesis Group Welcomes Technical Manager as New Analytics Practice Leader for Science Based Targets

March 13, 2019 | News

Anthesis Group further strengthens its leadership in the areas of Science Based Targets and leveraging data analytics in corporate sustainability with the appointment of Stephen Russell as Associate Director & Analytics Practice Leader for North America. 

Stephen joins Anthesis after more than 11 years with World Resources Institute where he served as Manager of Advisory Services, leading consulting projects at Global 500 firms including PepsiCo, MGM, Inter-Ikea and Ikea Group, and Tyson Foods to design and implement climate change mitigation programs. Most recently, Stephen was Technical Manager for the Science Based Targets Initiative, spearheading innovative approaches for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions management, now used by hundreds of companies worldwide.

Stephen’s client experience spans Global 500 companies, governments, and multi-lateral organizations. He has led industry initiatives to create GHG accounting standards under the GHG Protocol brand and partnered with governments in multiple countries to establish corporate GHG reporting programs. Stephen led a federal taskforce to create GHG reporting guidance that is now used by the entire Federal Government under Executive Order 13693 signed by President Obama.

“I look forward to working with the team to grow Anthesis’s leadership position and meeting the sustainability needs of its clients.”

On his appointment, Stephen says: “I’m delighted to join Anthesis, which operates at the cutting edge in the sustainability consulting market. No other firm offers the combination of deep subjec­­t matter expertise, global reach, and analytical sophistication. I look forward to working with the team to grow Anthesis’s leadership position and meeting the sustainability needs of its clients.”

On Stephen’s appointment, Chris Jones, Anthesis Group President and Managing Director says: “Stephen is well known for his leadership on the development of industry protocols and tools for Science Based Targets and we are proud he’s chosen to join our team. With Stephen as Analytics Team Leader we solidify our role as industry-leading providers of SBT and GHG offerings in corporate sustainability.”

Kirsten Doddy
Global Head of Marketing and Communications

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Anthesis waste tracking system wins development funding from GovTech Catalyst Challenge

February 19, 2019 | News

Anthesis Group Joins Forces with Spanish Sustainability Leader Lavola

February 18, 2019 | News
Toni Mansilla, Stuart McLachlan, Pere Pous under Lavola logo

Collective offering forms sustainability powerhouse of more than 450 experts across 14 countries

Anthesis Group, the global sustainability services and solutions provider, today announced a merger with the 200-employee multi-disciplinary sustainability agency Lavola. An important step in Anthesis Group’s strategy to increase its global footprint, the agreement introduces Anthesis Group into Spain, Andorra and Colombia, while providing Lavola with the opportunities and outreach associated with being part of Anthesis’s international network.

Headquartered in Barcelona and established in 1981 by Founder and President Pere Pous, Lavola is one of the largest independent sustainability agencies in Spain, delivering more than 1,000 projects for its 400+ public and private sector clients, including top multinational corporations and regional bodies. The consultancy offers a wide range of services focused on social responsibility, climate change, efficient energy use, urban and regional sustainable development, communication and education for sustainability. All Lavola’s 200 sustainability experts based in Barcelona, Madrid, Manlleu, Bogota and Andorra will join Anthesis Group, with the combined business operating as one consultancy. Aligned to Anthesis Group’s position as a trusted advisor and delivery partner, Lavola also supports its clients with a blend of consultation and sustainability-focused software tools.

“Anthesis is well set to become the world’s leading sustainability specialist and this is clearly an important milestone on the Anthesis journey.”

As the third M&A announcement for Anthesis this year, succeeding the acquisition of GoodBrand and the MADE-BY assets, this announcement further supports Anthesis Group’s strong growth ambitions for the next phase of its development. Having now grown to more than 450 experts across 14 countries in five years and continuing to achieve annual organic sales growth in excess of 25 per cent, 2019 ambitions will see the company integrate more industry talent, expand their services and geographic reach.

Commenting on the merger, Stuart McLachlan, Anthesis Group’s CEO said, “Anthesis is well set to become the world’s leading sustainability specialist and this is clearly an important milestone on the Anthesis journey. We are excited to have found Lavola, a firm that reflects so many of the values and specialisms of Anthesis, based in a market that is increasingly progressive and important in Europe and South America. We see many opportunities to travel Lavola’s expertise to our clients and markets around the world, and to further strengthen their position in their domestic and international markets. We are delighted that Lavola have chosen to join us and we are thrilled to welcome our new colleagues to the Anthesis Group.”

Pere Pous, Founder and President of Lavola added “Through this merger Lavola strengthens its portfolio of services while also being able to respond to international projects with greater magnitude. The combined group will provide clients with heightened expertise, tools, methodologies, knowledge and innovation, while enabling Lavola to access an international market. Our colleagues will also benefit from the merger with the new career opportunities available to them through access to global projects.”

This is the 13th acquisition for Anthesis Group since it was established in 2013. Other acquisitions included Best Foot Forward, UMR GmbH, Caleb Management Services, SecondNature, M4C, LRS Consultancy (who also acquired Urban Mines), TEP ME, Mosaic Sustainability, Enveco SE, Sustain, MADE-BY (IP assets acquisition), and GoodBrand.

Financial terms of the deal were not announced.

Kirsten Doddy
Global Head of Marketing and Communications

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Policy ‘Calculator’ Will Help England’s Councils Estimate Impact of Resources & Waste Strategy

February 13, 2019 | News

A new tool is being developed to help local authorities in England understand and quantify the impact of emerging waste policy upon recycling and waste management services.

The Resources & Waste Policy Impact Calculator is being developed by Anthesis Group, the sustainability services and solutions provider, and SUEZ, together with support from LARAC, Project Integra and the Kent Resource Partnership.

The policy impact calculator, which will be made available to download free of charge, will provide a user-friendly interface to help local authorities estimate the potential financial and operational implications of the different Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) scenarios, and full net cost recovery Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) proposals, on their individual services.

A major shake-up of producer responsibility and recycling and waste collection systems has been proposed by Government as part of its recent Resources & Waste Strategy, although Defra left much of the detail of these policies to various consultation documents due to be published imminently.

However, it is understood by many in the industry that the deadline for responses to the consultation documents, once published, could be halved from the standard 12 weeks to just six weeks, as a result of other parliamentary pressures – making the policy impact calculator all the more vital to expedite informed responses.

It is anticipated that the calculator will be made available within three weeks of the publication of the consultation documents, which will allow time for the model to be adjusted for the specific details in the documents.

What the calculator will produce

By inputting basic service data unique to each local authority, or by using the default information embedded within the tool, the calculator will produce a number of bespoke indicative outputs for each authority which include, for example:

  • The potential volume of material removed from kerbside collection services by DRS and the subsequent financial and operational impacts
  • Estimates of the likely tonnages of EPR-obligated materials in household streams
  • The level of financial support, which might come from additional EPR funding, that each authority may receive towards the costs of collection
  • The gap between current performance and likely future targets

The models, data and underlying assumptions used to generate these figures will be clearly explained within the policy impact calculator.

LARAC will notify its members as soon as the calculator is live and SUEZ and Anthesis will promote it to other local authorities through appropriate networks.

What the partners said

Technical Development Director at SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, Stuart Hayward-Higham, said:With such a radical potential policy shake-up, there is significant uncertainty over the impact of various different scenarios and models for deposit return and extended producer responsibility respectively. Confusion around the potential impacts of these major policy instruments may make it difficult for councils to make an informed response to these vital consultations, particularly given the condensed timescales, which is why we have backed Anthesis in developing this useful tool and contributed our own data to help inform the discussion.”

Beth Simpson, Principal Consultant at Anthesis said: “Accurately assessing the potential impacts around future policy is a crucial undertaking for local authorities. With major reforms now a near-term prospect off the back of the government consultations, it’s vital that authorities respond in an informed, constructive manner, with the evidence to support their views. It’s been fantastic to work with the partners and create a highly useful impact assessment tool to support authorities as they navigate their way through potential large changes to their operations.”

Lee Marshall, CEO LARAC said: “LARAC was keen that members responded to the consultations on DRS and EPR and this tool will be key for them to submit responses with good evidence on the impact on local authorities of a DRS.”

Vicky Beechey from Project Integra said: “Project Integra is pleased to have had the opportunity to support the development of this calculator.  We believe it will assist the Partnership to more comprehensively identify and understand the implications of the proposed EPR and DRS systems on waste management in Hampshire.  We will be using the calculator to support our responses to the upcoming consultations and hope that other Local Authorities will take advantage of this work to do the same.”

Paldeep Bhatti from Kent Resource Partnership said: “The role of extended producer responsibility and possible introduction of a deposit return scheme are likely to have fundamental impacts to the 13 Kent councils’ operations and finances. The policy impact calculator will help us understand these impacts, as well as provide the latest data for us to reflect in our upcoming consultation responses to Defra.”

Simone Aplin
Technical Director, UK

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Positive Fashion: What the Circular Solution Looks Like in the Fashion Industry

February 8, 2019 | News

As beautiful garments aplenty make their way down the big four fashion catwalks this month, it’s a little too easy to act on impulse. It’s natural to start creating mental lists of the designs that will be relevant for your brand, and of course your own wardrobe, next season. It’s certainly a time when everything is a want-to-have rather than a need-to-have.

Throughout 2018 and continuing into this year, there has been much in the news around fashion’s negative impacts: from the overall effect on the environment and planet, to the people who work in supply chains and make our clothes. The UK in particular is in the middle of an investigation by the Environmental Audit Committee into fast fashion with many questions being asked of retailers.

With all this negativity, how can brands find the positive?

How can brands start to create positive impacts? Next season we see this as the key trend to embrace.

Three pillars to positive fashion

The British Fashion Council has identified three strategic pillars for positive fashion, an initiative to celebrate best practice and encourage future business decisions to create positive change within the industry. The three pillars are:

  • Sustainability – including energy and water efficiency, sustainable chemical use, recycling and managing waste
  • Equality and diversity – including decent working conditions, fair trade for producers and workers, ethical sourcing and supply chain management
  • Craftsmanship and community – including the support of traditional skills

One of the key words on everyone’s lips in the fashion industry that ties many aspects of positive fashion together is circularity.

But is this just a trendy buzzword or can it actually instigate constructive change?

In the fashion world, circularity, sometimes known as creating a circular economy, means considering the whole of your business to ensure that each part works together within the bounds of the system to reduce and eliminate wasteful practices and create timeless items that last, are used, and reused before returning to the system to be remade again into something else.

It’s about fully utilising materials and resources over the long-term period.

Fashion impacts and the circular solution

Our infographic below shows how we visualise what the circular solution looks like in the fashion world.

circular fashion - negative environmental social impacts and the circular solution infographic

energy efficient lighting system

How to turn negative impacts into positive actions

Negative 1 – Environmental impacts

The traditional linear take, make, dispose model of fashion businesses is still causing substantial environmental impacts. The industry is currently causing 20% of global wastewater and 10% of all carbon emissions – shockingly, this is more than the emissions totalled from all international flights and shipping combined.

Where clothes are made in developing countries, around 90% of wastewater, which contain many toxic substances such as lead and mercury, is discharged directly into rivers without treatment. When it comes to dying clothes the right colour, much of the dye also gets lost into the waterways – around 200,000 tonnes annually – contaminating the water in which it flows.

→ Positive action 1 – Improve the efficiency and transparency of your operations

Reducing the amount of carbon your business emits is entirely possible by adopting efficiency and renewable energy measures. Energy efficiency and energy management techniques, as simple as installing building fabric insulation or upgrading lighting systems throughout your own buildings and operations, can greatly reduce your carbon footprint. Not only that, it will save you money – a 20% cut in energy costs have been shown to represent the same bottom line benefit as a 5% increase in sales.

Transparency within clothing supply chains is a big topic for consumers and investors. To decrease the amount of wastewater being produced, textiles need to be produced in factories that not only adhere to standards but improve upon them, and in places with stricter environmental regulations and the infrastructure to cope, or make use of new, innovative techniques, resources and fibres.

Organic Cotton Bole

Negative 2 – Excessive waste and product impact

Over the last 20 years the amount of clothing bought by consumers across the globe has increased around 400%. With so much clothing being produced, many of it is lying unused and unloved in people’s wardrobes or being discarded after a couple of wears.

Resources aren’t just wasted by consumers. Within the fashion industry, around 92 million tonnes of textile waste is produced each year – that’s the daily equivalent of over 252,000 tonnes or 21,000 truckloads of waste making its way to landfill every single day.

Of all the clothing fibres used, the most common is polyester. Per year, 70 million barrels of oil are required to create sufficient amounts of polyester, which then takes over 200 years to decompose when it’s no longer in use. Furthermore, when washed polyester can shed microfibres that make their way to the world’s oceans where they accumulate and are consumed by marine life and also by humans!

Reducing the amount of carbon your business emits is entirely possible by adopting efficiency and renewable energy measures. Energy efficiency and energy management techniques, as simple as installing building fabric insulation or upgrading lighting systems throughout your own buildings and operations, can greatly reduce your carbon footprint. Not only that, it will save you money – a 20% cut in energy costs have been shown to represent the same bottom line benefit as a 5% increase in sales.

Transparency within clothing supply chains is a big topic for consumers and investors. To decrease the amount of wastewater being produced, textiles need to be produced in factories that not only adhere to standards but improve upon them, and in places with stricter environmental regulations and the infrastructure to cope, or make use of new, innovative techniques, resources and fibres.

→ Positive action 2 – Increased circularity and better lifecycle design

Making the correct fibre choice is not an easy road to navigate. Whatever fibre is used, it still needs to be made or grown – which inevitably uses water and chemicals to varying degrees – to be manufactured into a product, sewn, dyed, finished and transported, again with varying environmental impacts.

Considering the full lifecycle of a product during the design phase is a crucial step when it comes to making the right choices around limiting waste and increasing efficiency. This will allow you to establish, for example, what impacts a certain fibre choice will have on your operations and the environment, allow you to see what chemicals will need to be used during the manufacturing process and allow to plan for the end of product life – will the consumer be able to take old garments back to the store to be dealt with appropriately and potentially used again in another life?

The lifecycle design approach will also enable you to improve the quality and durability of your products through advanced product testing, meaning they’ll last longer and cause less environmental damage. Importantly, by planning for each phase of the lifecycle your business is going to be able to reduce the waste it produces.

higg index

Negative 3 – Humans rights and workers conditions

Garment factory workers are some of the poorest paid in the world. With an 80% women-strong workforce, the daily rate can be as low as US$1-3 or £1-2 a day – far below standards in any country. On such wages in Bangladesh, around 10,000 workers will earn the same in a year as just one corporate CEO.

→ Positive action 3 – Improved social impacts

It’s key to assess your supply chain to identify environmental and social risks, such as poor labour practices and working conditions. Improving the transparency of your supply chains will go a long way in improving the livelihoods of the people and workers that fashion businesses rely on to create their products. Actions such as paying workers digitally and using technology to drive transparency are recommended.

The Higg Index – developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition – is a suite of tools that enables brands, retailers, and facilities of all sizes to accurately measure environmental and social/labour impacts across the supply chain. It’s anticipated that such tools will encourage suppliers to report on their practices and make improvements over time, leading to better working conditions, factory practices and reducing social risk overall.

Our work within the circular lifecycle

The sustainable apparel and textiles team at Anthesis have worked on projects that span this circle, from projects like ECAP which help brands to quantify and understand their impacts, to working with design teams to tackle the 80% of a garment’s emissions that they are responsible for.

We help them understand the fibres they source, and how to design a durable, beautiful product, helping them improve through workshops, bespoke guides and toolkits for their teams to help broaden their knowledge and make more positive choices.

We’ve worked in supply chains, helping brands understand firstly where they are sourcing from and the impacts that sourcing has on people, communities and the environment so they can make changes, such as improving livelihoods and factory standards, as well as improving on the ground efficiencies.

We’ve worked with brands internally, helping them look at their business operations and logistics to make best use of precious resources, eliminating waste where they can and considering where their trash might be another’s treasure, and helping them to close that loop.

The next thing to tackle is the role of the consumer – and that’s something for all brands to consider.  How can we all work together to ensure that customers understand the issues we are facing and can make informed choice about the products they choose to put in their wardrobes?

Holly browne

About the author

Holly Browne is an experienced sustainability, circular fashion and supplier compliance professional. She’s previously worked on the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan, a UK commitment engaging with 60% of the UK Clothing sector to reduce the carbon, waste and water footprints of clothing they supply or receive in the UK by 15%.

Holly Browne is a Principal Consultant in Sustainable Apparel at Anthesis.

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Anthesis Cements Impact and Innovation Capabilities Through GoodBrand Acquisition

February 5, 2019 | News
Goodbrand logo

Addition of B Corp responds to growing C-Suite demand for integrated business and sustainability strategy offer.

Anthesis Group, the global sustainability and solutions provider, today announced the acquisition of impact-led innovation consultancy GoodBrand. An important addition to Anthesis’ growth plans, GoodBrand is an established advisor to leading brands, including Unilever, Danone and Nestlé, helping them unlock opportunities for growth through impact strategies.

“With the calibre of expertise, common values and services that unite perfectly with ours, I’m pleased to welcome GoodBrand to Anthesis.”

GoodBrand, a B Corp, was founded in 1998 on the belief that a leading sustainability strategy could be a source of strategic advantage. Since then, it has supported its clients by integrating sustainability insights and a bias for impact into innovation and strategy. Notable examples include Nespresso’s AAA Sustainability Quality™ Programme and Positive Cup strategy, Danone Nutricia’s Early Years Nutrition Partnership, and Unilever’s Sunlight Water Centres, part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.

This strategic acquisition further supports Anthesis Group’s strong growth ambitions for the next phase of its development, which is expanding the breadth of sustainability and technology offerings available to its clients. Having grown to 250 experts across 11 countries in five years and continuing to achieve annual sales growth in excess of 25 per cent, 2019 ambitions will see the company integrate more industry talent and consultancies, expanding services and geographic reach.

Commenting on the acquisition, Stuart McLachlan, Anthesis Group’s CEO said, “For more than two decades GoodBrand has been at the forefront of impact-focused commercial strategies that have been instrumental in helping to evolve thinking on the relationship between business growth and sustainability. While awareness of the social and environmental issues that the world faces are becoming more mainstream, many organisations still find it difficult to realise their greater ambition of making an impact at scale. With the calibre of expertise, common values and services that unite perfectly with ours, I’m pleased to welcome GoodBrand to Anthesis. It will strengthen our offering and further enable us to answer these complex, but vital questions for our clients. We expect to see continued significant M&A activity as the professional services sector galvanises and mobilises in response to growing organisational needs for sustainability integration.”

The Founder and Chairman of GoodBrand, Dean Sanders, added “From inception our mission has been to scale positive impact by working with progressive leaders responsible for some of the world’s biggest brands and businesses. Clients increasingly require an integrated service offer, in multiple geographies and in multiple service disciplines. By joining Anthesis Group, with its global network and deep expertise across a wide range of sustainability areas, we are taking an important step forward in servicing our clients’ needs and achieving our mission to scale impact. We have been impressed by the ambition and focus of Anthesis in delivering sustainable solutions and found common ground in our shared values and ways of working.”

This is the 12th acquisition for Anthesis Group since it was established in 2013. Other acquisitions included Best Foot Forward, UMR GmbH, Caleb Management Services, Second Nature, M4C, LRS Consultancy (who also acquired Urban Mines), TEP ME, Mosaic Sustainability, Enveco SE, Sustain and MADE-BY (IP assets acquisition).

 

About GoodBrand:

GoodBrand is a sustainability strategy and innovation consultancy. The company works with a wide range of businesses and brands to develop frontier strategies that integrate social and environmental impact into business strategy. In 2018, GoodBrand was recognised in the B Corp ‘Best for the World’ and ‘Global Changemaker’ shortlists.

 

Kirsten Doddy
Global Head of Marketing and Communications

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Vote for our Legends of Waste – 2019 Resource Hot 100

January 16, 2019 | News

Anthesis Group Acquires Key Assets from Renowned Sustainable Apparel Advisor MADE-BY

January 10, 2019 | News
made-by logo

Anthesis Group, the global sustainability and solutions provider, today announced the acquisition of key assets from MADE-BY, the renowned European sustainable apparel advisor.

This strategic acquisition supports Anthesis’ ambition to be the most trusted advisory and sustainability delivery partner to the apparel sector whilst continuing its growth in continental Europe.

Established in 2004, MADE-BY’s mission was to make sustainable fashion common practice. Prior to commencing insolvency processes in October 2018, MADE-BY had operations in the UK, Holland, Italy and Germany, and supported leading fashion brands including Ted Baker, Primark, ASOS and G-Star to implement good environmental and social standards that could be maintained within a commercial environment. Its proprietary benchmark tools, which Anthesis clients will now benefit from, include sustainability progress analysis tool MODE Tracker™ and the Environmental Benchmark for Fibres.

“By unifying our established team of apparel experts with the strengths of MADE-BY, we are stronger positioned to provide our clients with the guidance and tools required to address both the social and environmental impact of disposable fast fashion and the wider challenges of steering the clothing industry to a sustainable future.”

Anthesis Group CEO Stuart McLachlan commented on the acquisition: “MADE-BY was recognised as the leading influencer in sustainable fashion, steering global retailers to make better sustainable and social decisions. By unifying our established team of apparel experts with the strengths of MADE-BY, we are stronger positioned to provide our clients with the guidance and tools required to address both the social and environmental impact of disposable fast fashion and the wider challenges of steering the clothing industry to a sustainable future.”

As further confirmation of its commitment to this sector, Anthesis has made two strategic hires. With more than 20 years of apparel and sustainability expertise between them, Holly Browne and Ria Kearney are the latest senior hires to join the expanding business of more than 250 experts.

Holly Browne was previously the Head of Sustainable Product and Story at MADE-BY where she oversaw the UK and US Markets. As part of her role she worked on the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan, a UK commitment engaging with 60% of the UK Clothing sector to reduce the carbon, waste and water footprints of clothing they supply or receive in the UK by 15%. Holly also held positions in sustainability and compliance at LVMH and Ted Baker.

Named as one of Management Today’s 35 Women Under 35 in 2017 and having held previous sustainability roles at Primark and Tata Global Beverages, Ria Kearney was most recently the Head of Sustainable Design & Partnerships at MADE-BY. As part of this role Ria led MADE-BY’s involvement in the European Clothing Action Plan, an EU-funded scheme that encourages apparel companies to adopt a ‘circular economy’ approach. Some of the other associations and industry authorities that MADE-BY was involved with included The Alliance for Responsible Denim, the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textiles.

“We warmly welcome Holly and Ria to Anthesis. Both are very well-regarded professionals and trailblazers in the apparel sector. They’ll add further depth to our apparel leadership team, namely Susan Harris in the UK and Honor Cowen in North America, and further complement our world-leading expertise in circular economy, resource management and materials selection advisory,” continued Stuart McLachlan.

Clients globally will see benefits from this announcement through access to additional expertise and tools, including members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), the leading global industry alliance for sustainable production. Anthesis continues to provide adoption and advanced analytics services relating to the SAC’s Higg Index, a suite of tools that enables brands, retailers, and facilities of all sizes — at every stage in their sustainability journey — to accurately measure environmental and social labor impacts across the supply chain.

This is the 11th acquisition for Anthesis Group since it was established in 2013.

Kirsten Doddy
Global Head of Marketing and Communications

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Key Findings from the UK’s Landmark Resources & Waste Strategy

December 19, 2018 | News

It feels like the UK is in the midst of an unparalleled environmental shift. A shift that is gathering momentum and as it travels down the pathway towards positive change. We’re seeing more environmental consultations, more calls for evidence and potential policies in play than at any other time in recent history.

The highly anticipated Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS), launched on 18th December 2018, is the latest environmentally-focussed announcement from central UK government. The RWS aims to put the UK at the forefront of positive environmental change. For industry and business, it presents growth opportunity and a chance for organisations to either get in front or fall behind. For individuals, it’s an opportunity to look after our natural environment and to secure a better, healthier future.

The RWS announcement comes at a time of historic change on a global front. This month we witnessed the signing of the Katowice Climate Package during the COP24 meeting in Poland – a major development in the mission to avert catastrophic climate change. Almost 200 countries signed the pact aimed at instigating action towards the goals set forth in the 2015 Paris Agreement. It sets forward and strong and encouraging message that government, business and consumers are aligned.

What Is the Resource and Waste Strategy?

The Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS) has been developed by Defra with the aim of tackling long-standing issues, such as waste crime, inconsistent recycling collection systems, plastic pollution and packaging. A main objective is to maximise the value we get from our resources while minimising the negative impacts of waste materials, in doing so creating a more circular economy.

Earlier this year the UK government announced its 25 Year Environmental Plan to deliver a ‘Green Brexit’ and set the tone towards protecting and improving the environment by showing leadership on conservation, climate change, land use and other areas. It also set out some specific targets to address the UK’s resources and waste issues, including:

  • Eliminating avoidable waste of all kinds by 2050
  • Phasing out all avoidable plastic waste by 2030
  • Prevent food waste going to landfill by 2030
  • New targets for waste and recycling
  • Reforming the Packaging Waste Recovery Note (PRN) system

The RWS sets out how Defra aims to achieve these targets as well as establishing other policy measures, targets and metrics. The purpose of these policies is to create a more sustainable model of future production and consumption, which is aligned with, if not goes beyond, the EU’s Circular Economy Package ambitions. It’s important to note that there are more consultations to follow, including consultations on a Deposit Return Scheme and extender producer responsibility for packaging expected in early January 2019.

Why Is the RWS Strategy Important?

The new strategy is a great opportunity for the UK to make an environmental step change and journey towards a circular economy. As Environment minister Michael Gove said, “We can move away from being a throwaway society to one that looks at waste as a valuable resource.”

The latest government waste data for England shows recycling rates are stagnating, with household recycling settled around the 44% mark for the last seven years – such non-progress with recycling has been described as being in the ‘doldrums’ by senior waste industry figures. It’s hoped the RWS will provide a much needed boost to the country’s recycling rates, with a further aim of seeing less of the UK’s waste being exported abroad.

The policy measures and targets outlined in the RWS will have far-reaching impacts for the materials supply chain, including producers, local authorities, the waste industry, material reprocessors and UK consumers.

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What Are the Key Takeaways?

The strategy wants to deal with waste and resources at the source through measures involving sustainable production, designing for recyclability, extended producer responsibility reforms and clear, consistent labelling to help consumers take more considered actions. As expected, the priority waste streams in the RWS are plastics and food waste.

Below is an overview of the key points of the strategy.

Sustainable production

  • Ensure that producers pay the full net costs of managing packaging waste at end of life.
  • Stimulate demand for recycled plastic by introducing a tax on plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled plastic.
  • Set minimum requirements through eco-design to encourage resource efficient product design.
  • Manage chemicals sustainably and address barriers to reuse and recycling posed by their use, through a Chemicals Strategy.

Helping consumers take more considered actions

  • Provide consumers with better information on the sustainability of their purchases through Ecolabels and incentivise to purchase sustainably.
  • Ban plastic products where there is a clear case for it and alternatives exist.
  • Address barriers to reuse and support consumer campaigns to promote reusable alternatives
  • Encourage appropriate disposal of used products through a Deposit Return Scheme, subject to consultation.

Resource recovery and waste management

  • Improve recycling rates by ensuring a consistent set of dry recyclable materials is collected from all households and businesses. The core set of materials is subject to consultation.
  • A separate weekly food waste collection for every household and appropriate businesses, subject to consultation.
  • Drive greater efficiency of Energy from Waste (EfW) plants and helping industry make the right decisions over infrastructure investment.
  • Address information barriers to the use of secondary materials so that useful material can flow to necessary businesses.

Tackling waste crime

  • Improve the transport, management and description of waste along the resource chain. Also ensure that waste is only dealt with by properly regulated companies.
  • Mandate the digital recording of waste movements to ensure it isn’t illegal dumped, descriptions changed or transferred. Subject to consultation.
  • Toughen penalties for waste criminals.
  • Increase awareness of waste regulations and publicise positive work of enforcement bodies as they tackle waste crime.

Cutting down on food waste

  • More effectively redistribute food to those who need it most before it can go to waste.
  • Consult on annual reporting of food surplus and waste by food businesses.
  • Consult on legal powers to introduce food waste targets and surplus food redistribution obligations.
  • Support cross sector collaboration through the Courtauld 2025 agreement.

Global Britain: international leadership

  • Promote the goals of our Resources and Waste Strategy internationally.
  • Drive international political commitments through the ground-breaking Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance.
  • Support developing nations to tackle pollution and reduce plastic waste, including through UK aid.
  • Improve the quality of plastics exported for recycling through the Basel and Stockholm Conventions.

Research and innovation

  • Support further investment and innovation in resource efficiency, working with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
  • Launch a call for evidence on the development of standards for bio-based and biodegradable plastics.
  • Support further investment in resource efficient technologies, including through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
  • Encourage innovative waste treatment technologies that create transport fuels through the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO).

Measuring progress: data, monitoring and evaluation

  • Develop a shared vision and bold new approach to data on resources and waste.
  • Move away from weight-based towards impact-based targets and reporting, focusing initially on carbon and natural capital accounting.
  • Maintain the coverage and quality of local authority-collected waste and improve data collection to meet future needs.
  • Work with tech firms to develop innovative digital solutions for tracking waste, and consult on options to mandate the digital recording of waste movement data.

 

What Are the Next Steps for Businesses?

If you want to understand the impact of this strategy on your business, we have a team of experts that can talk to all key areas covered in the strategy. These include extended producer responsibility, deposit return schemes, food waste, plastics, the chemical agenda, monitoring and performance matrix, waste infrastructure and consumer behaviour changes.

We have already supported clients develop evidence-based responses to government consultations on deposit return schemes and the management of single-use plastics. Our team of experts have an international view, that can help inform the debate in the UK, understand the complexities and inter-connectivity of the issues covered in the strategy. We also have economic and financial modellers to assess the financial implications of the strategy’s initiatives.

Please contact Beth Simpson on the form below to discuss any of the topics above in further detail. 

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