M&S and WWF-UK landscapes event

WWF

In October 2017, 3Keel facilitated a one-day workshop on Landscape Approaches for WWF-UK and M&S. The workshop allowed participants to explore the concept of landscapes, and engage with practical approaches to embedding landscape-scale solutions in corporate strategy.

Scaling-up initiatives to create an effective and cohesive sustainability strategy is one of the greatest challenges facing businesses right now. Current approaches such as certification can be impactful at a local scale, however progress is slow occurring ‘one producer at a time’. In order to see a real transformation in the way food is sourced, to avoid deforestation, habitat losses and unsustainable practices, change needs to occur across a wider scale.

Landscape approaches involve collaborative action from multiple stakeholders to achieve social, economic and environmental objectives at a scale beyond the level of individual farms and plantations. Working at a landscape level must take into consideration the ways in which different stakeholders depend on the landscape, including agricultural production, biodiversity protection and livelihoods, to ensure the best possible outcomes for all parties.

Landscape approaches have been commonplace in conservation and development organisations for many years, and are now starting to enter business thinking. The holistic attitude could enable businesses to scale up their sustainability efforts more effectively; as policies delivering more sustainable forest management, productive agriculture, improved livelihoods and reduced emissions cover entire regions rather than single producers.

3Keel worked with WWF and M&S to facilitate a Landscape Approaches event, planning the content for the workshop and breakout groups, and ensuring proper time-keeping and logistical support. 3Keel wrote up the findings of the workshop in a report covering key discussion points, questions and future ambitions. Download the report below.

The workshop allowed participants to gain a deeper understanding of what ‘landscape approaches’ means in theory and in practice, particularly exploring ways in which businesses can become more engaged in landscape-scale activities, as well as the opportunities and constraints retailers may face. Participants were able to share ideas and build new partnerships, fostering cross-sector collaboration. Ultimately the success of the landscape agenda will depend on these partnerships to support its development and implementation.

Next steps will include building a ‘Landscapes Network’, bringing together interested representatives from business, NGOs, academia and the public sector, to provide a forum for continued learning and knowledge exchange. A number of participants expressed interest in the ‘Landscapes Network’ concept, and 3Keel are excited to support this initiative as landscape approaches become the new way of doing sustainable business. 

Project lead

Richard Sheane