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Flagship blog - eng

Friday Flavours #9

The experts on our team regularly bring you a selection of recommendations and insights related to environmental and social responsibility. Whether it's an enticing book, an intriguing article, a project supporting a great cause or a helpful tool, we'll share our thoughts on why this particular piece spoke to us and why we think this particular topic is important.

Let us know what you think about our recommendations and insights, or whether you’d like to share some of your own tips with us - we’d love to hear from you.


If you enjoy the calming sounds of nature, here's some good news: your listening pleasure now supports a great cause. Thanks to the Museum for the United Nations – UN Live's Sounds Right initiative, nature has officially joined Spotify as an artist. Every stream of waves crashing, rain falling, or birds chirping contributes royalties to conservation efforts. On the 'Feat. NATURE' playlist you can discover tracks where artists like David Bowie and London Grammar blend their music with these natural sounds. It's a win-win: you relax with the sounds you love and help protect the planet at the same time. So next time you hit play, remember—every listen makes a difference!


For anyone who wonders why the world isn’t making enough progress towards its climate and sustainable development goals despite all seeming efforts, I recommend reading The Value of a Whale by Adrienne Buller. Her book questions the effectiveness of the prevailing approach to sustainability, namely “green capitalism”, in addressing the world’s social and environmental problems. It explores evidence showing that market-driven approaches to tackling climate change including carbon offsetting, carbon pricing, “nature-based solutions” and ESG funds, not only don’t achieve their purported sustainability goals, but also create their own, sometimes worse, externalities and are, essentially, too little too late. Putting a price on nature (when nature is defined too simplistically) can lead to the unfortunate consequence of incentivizing behavior that actually is at odds with sustainability, such as offsetting projects that displace indigenous communities or replace biodiverse forest with monoculture tree plantations. The book’s central argument is that we need more science-based policy and regulation, rather than market-based mechanisms, to rapidly address climate change in the short time we have left before planetary boundaries are irreversibly crossed. As a “sustainability professional”, I am still processing what this implies for the work that we do. In theory, by helping companies comply with regulations in the framework of the EU’s Green Deal we are furthering the mission of policy-driven sustainability. I am simultaneously concerned that the regulations are still ultimately relying too heavily on market mechanisms to work out the problem, and are too watered down and weak to achieve their objectives. This begs the question: how can we do more? It’s food for thought.


For a long time I was looking for a podcast that really got to the point in terms of sustainability and its practical implementation in companies. The State of Sustainability is a podcast for sustainability professionals by sustainability professionals. It provides an indepth insight into topics and offers interesting perspectives on dealing with different situations that companies often encounter when implementing their sustainability strategies. It offers great tips on, for example, how to set up internal governance of the strategy, how to approach data collection in the company as well as in the supply chain, or how to effectively prioritize activities, all using examples of companies that have already dealt with something similar. The podcast is hosted by the team from consultancy Altruistiq and their CEO Saif Hameed contributes with an admirable amount of his own experience. If you're looking for a sustainability podcast that will provide great factual and expert tips, State of Sustainability is definitely a good choice.


Writing an ESG report can be quite a daunting task, especially if it's your first time. That's why I was thrilled to discover, a website that currently has over 120 ESG reports. It's a treasure trove of inspiration, allowing you to benchmark against competitors and gain valuable insights from industry peers. And the best part? It's absolutely free! If you're already publishing ESG reports, consider sharing them on this platform to contribute to the collective knowledge base.


The Bike to Work challenge, which has been supporting more sustainable urban transport across the Czech Republic for 14 years, has seen the involvement of 52 cities, 2,500 companies, and over 25,000 participants last year. This allows the organizing body, AutoMat, to collect crucial data on travel habits and subsequently advocate for the development of safe infrastructure where it's needed most. This May, our team at Flasghip Impact is joining in! We walk or ride shared bikes for commuting to the office, taking children to kindergarten, or even shopping. If you haven't joined yet, you can sign up every year for either May, September or January challenge. Join us and help improve the environment of our cities.


For those interested in sustainability and especially the conflicts between cultural aspects of sustainability and modern views, I recommend the film The Islands and the Whales. The documentary offers a unique look at the issue of whaling. It discusses how difficult it can be to try to change culturally traditional approaches to life despite scientific arguments and findings. It also offers a rather unique perspective on how different traditions can look from the outside and within the communities that practice them.


The ideal for many people and cities, unfortunately, still tends to be the closely cropped English lawn. Due to climate change, we are once again facing droughts and extreme heat this summer, during which the lawns transform into rusty, hard and dry patches full of dust. Some cities (for example Prague, Brno, Kladno, and Jaroměř), are converting grassy areas into flowering meadows. These meadows not only retain water well and are drought-resistant, but they also cool their surroundings by several degrees, creating a pleasant oasis in the midst of the urban heat island. Moreover, they provide a home for a variety of insects, butterflies, and small animals. Why not try something different this year and instead of the dull lawn, plant a meadow? It would certainly stand out, even on company premises. P.S.: There are also so-called 'meadow facades' or vertical meadows, which can save companies money on air conditioning and water.


A few years ago, I stumbled upon the Akshar Foundation, an educational institution that left a profound impact on me with its steadfast dedication to sustainability, purposeful action, and societal betterment. The Akshar Foundation School is not just a place for textbook learning, but a platform for students to effect real change. Students contribute plastic waste from their homes as a form of weekly tuition and the school operates a solar power plant, a recycling centre, an animal shelter, and offers vocational training in fields like carpentry, gardening, and animal care. Isn’t that remarkable? The foundation exemplifies how educational institutions can make a significant difference in the world by instilling in students a sense of social and environmental responsibility in a genuine and impactful manner.
Friday Flavours