Top Stories

June 28, 2012

What do we think? In our latest blog, Rosie Helson tells the story of the sustainable Freitag bag.


Major firms urge removal of 1.4 billion EU carbon permits

Major companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and commodities giant Bunge have written to top EU officials calling for the urgent withdrawal of 1.4 billion carbon permits in order to support the flagging carbon market and generate green investment. A huge surplus of the permits has depressed their price, making it cheaper to pollute and cutting the incentive to invest in low-carbon technology. Natural gas producers have also said the carbon price is so low it has made burning carbon-intensive coal more economic than lower-carbon gas. The letter also urges the EU to use auction revenues from the emissions trading scheme (ETS) to fund “low-carbon innovation and the transition to a green economy.” (Reuters)

Norway pledges $141 million for Africa clean energy

Norway is to provide 850 million Norwegian crowns ($141 million) to fund clean energy projects and unlock private sector investment in Ethiopia, Kenya and Liberia, the country's government said on Monday. The African countries will get the cash as part of the Norway-led Energy+ Partnership, which aims to give the world's poorest countries access to energy and encourage a new market-based system to limit emissions from global energy generation. "Part of the motivation for this funding is to develop pilot projects that could be eligible for future new market mechanisms and attract sufficient investment from the carbon market by 2015," said Hans Olav Ibrekk, a policy director with Norway's foreign ministry. (Reuters Africa)

UK food industry pledges to cut waste

A new voluntary agreement on food and packaging waste has been unveiled for the UK foodservice sector. 69 companies, including Domino’s Pizza, pub retailer Greene King and Greggs bakers, have signed up to the ‘Hospitality and Foodservice Agreement’, launched by the government-backed waste campaign group WRAP. The agreement, which draws on the success of WRAP’s ‘Courtauld Commitment’ for the retail sector, aims to cut food and packaging waste by 5% and increase the amount of waste that is recycled, reused or composted from 48% to 70% by 2015. With 15% of the sector already signed up, WRAP estimates that the agreement could save over £45 million and cut carbon by 342,000 tonnes. (Edie)

IKEA approaches 100% renewable energy in Sweden

Swedish retailer IKEA is investing in a major new wind farm in Sweden, adding 30 new turbines to the nine which it already owns in the country. The new Glötesvålen wind farm, to be completed by 2015, will produce a total of 220 GWh per year, equivalent to the annual electricity needs of 48,000 homes. “At IKEA, we want to take a leading role in the transition to a low-carbon society by only using 100% renewable energy in our global operations. By only using wind power in Sweden, it is an exciting and important step toward reaching that goal,” said Steve Howard, IKEA’s Chief Sustainability Officer. (CSR Wire)

Policy & Research

G20 releases policy note on inclusive business

The G20 has released its Policy Note on the Business Environment for Inclusive Business Models, including extensive case studies from the ‘G20 Challenge’, which this month honoured 15 innovators in inclusive business including mobile phone company Millicom and Guatemalan start-up Ecofiltro. The note summarises how public policy can support business models that include people at the base of the pyramid as producers, suppliers and customers. (G20 Challenge)