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First results of One Planet Thinking pilot presented at Springtij forum

2 October 2018

How do you know that the good you are doing for the planet is good enough? On 28 September at the Springtij Forum on the Dutch island of Terschelling, IUCN NL hosted and convened a session named ‘From one planet thinking to one planet acting’. Participants learnt about how Alpro, a dairy-based drink producer part of the Danone group, is implementing One Planet Thinking in its supply chain.

One Planet Thinking is a joint initiative of WWF NL and IUCN NL. One Planet Thinking supports companies to make their impacts and dependencies visible and assists them to create a pathway towards respecting the ecological boundaries of our planet, moving beyond competition and relative improvements.

Interactive workshop

More than 40 people representing the business sector, the public sector, NGOs, and knowledge institutes gathered to listen, learn and share their own insights in an interactive workshop setting in which three key challenges – ethical, stakeholder engagement and tools - that arose from the Alpro pilot were further discussed and analyzed.

Alpro is piloting approaches to define sustainability targets in line with the capacity of the planet. In this pilot WWF NL works together with IUCN NL, Metabolic, the Context-Based Water Targets initiative, and the Wageningen University to integrate and further develop existing methodologies to produce a set of One Planet Thinking targets and actions (interventions) for Alpro. The work focuses on land use, water use, nitrogen emissions, and biodiversity, as Alpro had previously worked with One Planet Thinking to develop targets for carbon emissions.

Edgar van de Brug from Ecofys Navigant presented early results on greenhouse gas mitigation, part of the WWF climate savers program. Eva Gladek from Metabolic presented ongoing work and dilemmas from the pilot project, including developments on how to contextualize impact assessment to the landscape of operations and how to overcome challenges with data availability.

Key dilemmas

After the plenary introduction three working groups discussed key dilemmas from the experience with Alpro. The first group looked at the ethical dilemmas of allocation: how do you set a target that is socially fair? Martin Lok, of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, “The needs and the efficiency should to be taken into consideration, but also historical impacts, to develop fair targets.” The second group dived deeper in the tool development and spoke about how to create scale without losing impact. Dirk Bijl de Vroe of Stedin: “Tools should be kept simple, but should also give robust and actionable outputs for companies. We need to be pragmatic in the precision of data analysis and target setting”.

The last group tackled the issues of stakeholder engagement and came to the conclusion that organizations are about people. ‘Rather than the balance sheet, we need to come to the mind and especially the heart of the people for them to change’ said Sander Dekker of Van Oord. He continued “Only if you can get to the intrinsic motivation and personal drivers of colleagues at different departments, you can get them onboard to make a sustainable business case which creates value”.

Call to action

“We need more companies like Alpro who dare to take the next step into the void and are ready to set targets in line with planetary boundaries, as we only have one shared planet” says Romie Goedicke of IUCN NL in her closing remarks.

Interested to know more?

Contact our expert Romie Goedicke


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