Top Stories

May 07, 2015


Sustainability reporting giants publish online framework map

The biggest names in corporate sustainability reporting – CDP, the Global Reporting Initiative, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, IASB, ISO, SASB and the International Integrated Reporting Council – have published a landscape map that provides a snapshot comparison of their frameworks, standards and related requirements through the lens of integrated reporting. Last year, the eight organisations launched the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, an initiative designed to respond to market calls for greater coherence, consistency and comparability between frameworks, standards and related requirements. To address confusions over how these could be used together, the Dialogue has developed the online map. Chair of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, Huguette Labelle, says the map is just the first product of the Dialogue and discussions are already underway about how to provide greater clarity to the market. She says concepts including materiality and value creation are two examples of future focus areas. (Environmental Leader)

Responsible Investment

Bank of America turns back on coal mining industry in bid to tackle climate change

Bank of America (BoA) has confirmed plans to phase out investments in coal mining companies in a bid to aid the transition to a low carbon economy. A new policy statement released yesterday at BoA’s annual shareholder meeting confirmed the new policy, following years of campaigning from environmental groups. BoA stated that as one of the world’s largest financial institutions, it “has a responsibility to help mitigate climate change by leveraging our scale and resources to accelerate the transition from high-carbon to low-carbon sources of energy”. The news emerged as a new report from the Rainforest Action Network showed that coal power and mining are still receiving billions from leading financial institutions despite climate experts warning that continued use of coal is likely to fuel dangerous climate change. (Business Green; Reuters)


Standard Chartered vows to review role in Australian coal mine project

The chairman of Standard Chartered has said the bank will review its involvement in a controversial Australian coal mine that critics say threatens the Great Barrier Reef and will blow a hole in the global carbon budget. The bank has been advising the Indian conglomerate Adani on building the Carmichael mine and expanding a port on Abbot Point on the Great Barrier Reef. While attending the bank’s annual general meeting in London, chairman Sir John Peace said: “We will go no further with this project until we are fully satisfied with all the environmental aspects.” But Peace declined to answer questions on Standard Chartered’s ties with Adani. A Greenpeace representative said it was clear the bank was not ready to answer questions, but welcomed its readiness to look again at the project. (Guardian)


EU votes to fix carbon market in 2019

EU law makers have voted to start fixing the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) in 2019, two years ahead of schedule. The changes, which have been welcomed by the renewables industry, mean that millions of carbon allowances will be held back, in order to combat the current oversupply. The EU-ETS covers over 11,000 factories, power stations and other installations. It is expected that in 2020, emissions from sectors covered by the ETS will be 21% lower than in 2005. The changes have generally been well accepted by low-carbon industries but some have argued that the reforms could have been more ambitious. Ivan Pineda, director of public affairs at the European Wind Energy Association, described the announcement as “pleasing”, but added that “a much more comprehensive reform is needed in order for this instrument to provide a meaningful signal to investors”. (Blue & Green Tomorrow)


European carmakers seek delay to tougher emissions testing

European carmakers are lobbying for a three year delay to new rules that would reduce the fuel-saving claims they can make for their vehicles. The European Commission wants to tighten vehicle testing to close loopholes, such as driving on an unrealistically smooth surface and taping up car doors and windows, by September 2017. But a position paper from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) — whose members include BMW, Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler — says that it “cannot envisage vehicle testing beginning before 1 January 2020” and that a further year’s delay might be needed because of the time required for all manufacturers to have newly-registered vehicles tested. The industry has already won a concession after Germany, home to Europe’s biggest carmakers, led a campaign to delay by a year the Commission proposal to introduce an emissions limit of 95 grammes of carbon dioxide per kilometre from 2020. (Reuters)

Image source: Coal mine Wyoming by Unknown / CC by 2.0