Top Stories

October 23, 2012

Policy & Research

Newsweek Green Rankings show strong performance from companies in emerging economies

Santander Brasil, Indian IT firm Wipro, Brazilian financial company Bradesco and US-based IBM topped this year’s Newsweek Green Rankings for global companies, an annual environmental ranking of the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the world. Companies are ranked by their overall green score, determined from three components: an environmental impact score, an environmental management score and a disclosure score. The UK’s BP came 6th in the World ranking, with a green score of 82.7, Marks and Spencer came 10th overall, with an environmental management score of 92. The Singapore food company Wilmar, Coal India and agribusiness giant Monsanto took the bottom spots in the list. (Environmental Leader)



Countries pledge to double biodiversity funding by 2015

Around 70 environment ministers approved the decision to double the financial support for biodiversity programmes at a UN meeting in Hyderabad, India, late last week. The money should allow more countries to put in place concrete plans to protect wildlife and the natural environment and meet the 2020 targets set at the previous talks in Nagoya, Japan in 2010. This news is likely to be welcomed both by campaigners and businesses whose operations rely on ecosystem services, such as water purification, pollination of crops and climate regulation, which the UN estimates currently contribute between $2trillion and $5trillion a year to the global economy. (Business Green)

Ikea launches major push for greener living

The world’s largest furniture retailer, Ikea, today announced plans to switch to renewable energy by 2020 and to grow more trees than it uses. The Swedish-based group also said on Tuesday that it would also encourage sales of energy-efficient products including induction cookers and LED light bulbs. Under the “People & Planet Positive” strategy, Ikea will invest 1.5bn euros ($1.95bn) from 2009-15 in solar and wind power to produce at least 70 percent of the group’s energy. By 2020 it will produce as much renewable energy as it consumes. "This will be a great driver of innovation," said Mikael Ohlsson, Ikea’s chief executive. (Financial Times*, Reuters)



UK Poll confirms public support for renewables

A YouGov survey of over 1,700 adults in the UK reveals that 72 percent of respondents think the UK should be looking to use more solar power, while 55 percent think it should be trying to use more wind power. The high levels of support for solar power are consistent across all age groups, voting intentions and regions. In contrast, just 17 percent of people want to see more coal or more gas-fired power plants, while 43 and 36 percent respectively want to see less. These results will provide a boost to those ministers currently opposing the chancellor’s plans for a new “dash for gas”. (Business Green)

*Requires Subscription