Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing

 

Posted in: Circular Economy, Consumers, Daily Media Briefing, Sustainable Investment, Technology & Innovation

Top Stories

January 30, 2015

Responsible Investment

Shell bows to shareholder demands on climate change

Royal Dutch Shell has bowed to pressure from activist shareholders by backing a resolution on climate change – on the same day it said it would press ahead with plans to drill in the Arctic. The resolution, filed by 150 investors who control hundreds of billions of pounds, requires the oil major to test whether its business model is compatible with the pledge by the world’s nations to limit global warming to 2°C. “This is a turning point and demonstrates the power of activist strategies to deal with climate change,” said Catherine Howarth, chief executive of ShareAction, which helped coordinate the resolution. Shell’s action puts pressure on BP, which the shareholders have also targeted ahead. Andrew Logan, of sustainable investment group Ceres, said the move was “interesting” in light of Shell’s Arctic plans: “Investors will be watching closely to see how the company explains that decision in light of the concerns raised in the shareholder proposal that Shell itself now says it supports,” he said.  (Financial Times*; The Guardian)

Consumers

Millennials up pressure on brands for sustainable packaging

Millennials have higher expectations for sustainable product packaging than their older counterparts, according to a new study by Finnish packaging solutions company Stora Enso. According to the report, 59 percent of Millennials believe that it’s important for packaging to be sustainable throughout the supply chain, including disposal. The report also details which materials Millennials consider most sustainable. Fiber-based packaging came out on top as the most sustainable material, compared to plastics, glass and metal. This proof of growing consumer demand for sustainable packaging follows on from a report from last year that predicted a combination of consumer demand, government legislation and technology advances will boost the sustainable packaging market to $244 billion by 2018.  (Sustainable Brands)

Climate Change

Freight emissions set to skyrocket as trade routes widen, study finds

Emissions from freight are set to increase so fast that the logistics industry will pump out more CO2 than passenger traffic by 2050, according to an OECD sector body. The International Transport Forum (ITF) forecasts that freight transport emissions will grow 286 percent on average by the middle of the century as changing trade patterns ensure larger volumes of goods travel even longer distances. A number of logistics companies are already taking steps to tackle emissions growth as freight movement expands. Deutsche Post DHL, for example, aims to generate 30 per cent less CO2 for every delivery and square metre of warehouse space used by 2020. Meanwhile, UPS last year committed to cutting transport emissions 20 per cent by the end of the decade. (BusinessGreen)

Circular Economy

Study projects creation of more than 200,000 UK jobs as circular economy grows

The continued development of resource-efficient business activity, such as recycling, reuse and remanufacturing, could create demand for over 200,000 new jobs across Britain between now and 2030, according to a new study by Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and UK charity and environmental think tank Green Alliance. Significantly, the report says that regions where unemployment is higher, such as the North East and West Midlands could see the greatest impact in job creation, especially among low- to mid-skilled occupations where job losses are projected for the future. “We’ve long been talking about the benefits of the resource-efficiency agenda, working with businesses and turning ideas into action. But this report is the first of its kind that pinpoints exactly who, what and where could benefit from the implementation of the circular economy,” said WRAP CEO Liz Goodwin. (Sustainable Brands)

Technology and Innovation

GE and Statoil to collaborate in pursuit of cleaner oil and gas

Two of the world’s largest engineering firms, GE and Statoil, have this week announced a major new partnership designed to accelerate the development of clean technologies for the oil and gas industry. The new technology development programme will focus on addressing some of the fossil fuel industry’s most intractable environment challenges, including flaring, carbon and methane emissions, and water usage. The companies said the partnership would initially see them co-operate on a number of research projects, including work to capture gas that is currently flared, replace water used for fracturing operations with liquefied CO2, and optimise gas compressors to improve fuel efficiency. “In order to respond to the growing energy demands of the world, continued investments in technology and innovation are critical to helping develop long-term, low-cost and more efficient energy solutions,” said Jeff Immelt, chairman and chief executive of GE, in a statement. (BusinessGreen)

Image source: Container ship loading by Stan Shebs  / CC BY-SA 3.0

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