Top Stories

April 17, 2013

Policy & Research

China and Australia agree on carbon trading partnership

China and Australia have confirmed their plans to work together to develop their respective carbon trading platforms. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week used a trip to Beijing to confirm that the two countries have agreed to work closer together to accelerate investment in clean technologies and will also launch a new carbon trading experts group to support the development of their respective emissions trading plans. "We've committed ourselves to work together on the shared challenge of carbon pollution and climate change through a carbon-trading experts group," she told reporters. (Business Green)

EU Parliament rejects carbon market ‘back-loading’ plan

The European Parliament has voted against a 'back-loading' of carbon emissions allowances under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The European Commission proposed to freeze 900 million allowances from the market over the next two years in a plan to push up the price of carbon and make low carbon investments more attractive. Although the decision was close, the proposal received 334 votes against to 315 with more than 60 abstentions and will now receive further consideration from the Parliament's environment committee. Yesterday’s vote was an unwelcome decision for many in the green building industry. (Edie)

Supply Chain

Heineken aims to increase local sourcing

Global brewer Heineken says it wants to “considerably” increase the amount of raw materials such as barley it buys from local suppliers in several emerging markets. In its Sustainability Report 2012  published this week, the company, which owns the Heineken, Amstel and Birra Moretti brands, identified sourcing as one of its four main sustainability challenges. Citing climate change and a rising global population as increasing the demand for raw materials, it said local sourcing will become increasingly important for brewers.  Increasing the amount of raw materials sourced locally will enable the company to reduce both the distribution cost and the carbon footprint associated with them. (Supply Management)

Inclusive Business

Business Call to Action announces new responsible initiative

Three companies have made new commitments to help thousands of low-income people in rural India improve their livelihoods, health and environment through the Business Call to Action (BCtA), an anti-poverty initiative backed by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Three innovative companies— Aravind Eye Care Systems, Waste Capital Partners, Shree Kamdhenu Electronics —are working through the BCtA platform to generate new opportunities by providing key supply and distribution channels in their respective regions of India. “By thinking differently about how to meet basic needs, companies are realising the added value of incorporating in the value chain under-served populations who could ultimately become key stakeholders in alleviating poverty,” BCtA Programme Manager, Sahba Sobhani, said. (CSR Wire)


Unilever sales increase while GHG emissions decrease

Unilever has announced that since 2008 it has reduced greenhouse gas emissions in its manufacturing and logistics operations by more than a million tonnes while also increasing sales by more than a quarter. The milestone comes as part of the company’s Sustainable Living Plan, a 10-year initiative aimed at reducing environmental impact, improving health and well-being and promoting responsible supply chains. Much of the emissions reductions Unilever achieved came from improving manufacturing activities while also making logistic operations more efficient. Unilever says it plans to reduce overall energy use by improving the eco-efficiency of everything it does in its factories, offices and other operations. (Sustainable Brands)