Top Stories

November 18, 2015

Community Investment

LBG member companies contributed $3.6 billion to communities in 2015

New data shows than 173 global companies collectively invested $3.6 billion in community activities and projects around the world in 2014/15 – changing lives for the better. Community Investment for a Changing World, the latest annual review from measurement network LBG, contains data and insights into how companies around the world are changing lives, building the capacity and profiles of non-profits and making their companies great places to work, all through corporate community contributions and investments. In 2014/2015, 93 million people directly benefited from the contributions of companies in the LBG network, while 260,000 non-profit organisations have been supported through one-off donations or long-term partnerships. Jon Lloyd, Head of LBG, said: “The LBG Annual Review shows that measurement matters. The quantity – the scale of contributions – is impressive. But it’s also about quality – we measure what these investments achieve”. LBG’s measurement framework is the global standard for measuring corporate community investment. (Blue & Green Tomorrow)

Climate Change

British Airways and Lufthansa carbon emissions in spotlight

British Airways (BA) and Lufthansa have been identified as among the least fuel-efficient airlines flying on transatlantic routes, according to research by the group that helped expose the Volkswagen emissions scandal. The two carriers, alongside Scandinavian airline SAS, were at the bottom of a table ranking the top 20 transatlantic airlines in 2014 for their carbon footprint compiled by the International Council on Clean Transportation, the independent environmental research group. Norwegian Air Shuttle, Air Berlin and Aer Lingus were found to be the most fuel-efficient airlines flying popular transatlantic routes. According to the report, BA burnt 51 percent more fuel on average per passenger kilometre than Norwegian Air Shuttle. The research comes just weeks before world leaders are due to meet in Paris to agree binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Government representatives at the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the UN agency that sets aviation industry standards, are due to put forward a global plan to reduce carbon emissions next year, with a goal to cut them in half by 2050. (FT)*


Paris climate summit march in doubt after talks deadlock

Talks between the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, and campaigners over the fate of a huge march before the forthcoming Paris climate summit have ended without agreement. In the wake of attacks in Paris last Friday, the French government proposed scaling down the protest from a march on 29 November – which organisers had hoped would draw hundreds of thousands of people – to a stationary rally. The crucial UN climate conference, which has been in planning since 2011, will go ahead with heightened security, President François Hollande has said. But French security forces are understood to favour a blanket ban on public demonstrations around it. Campaigners argue that suspending civil society norms would play into the terrorists’ agenda. “We can think of few better responses to violence and terror than this movement’s push for peace and hope. No matter the final plans for the march in Paris, we urge people join other global climate marches around the world to show their solidarity and support,” said Alice Jay, of campaign group Avaaz. (Guardian)

Sustainable Consumption

More than half of UK’s family restaurant chains serving unsustainable seafood

More than half of the UK’s biggest restaurant chains are using seafood from overfished areas of the sea or failing to be transparent about the origins of their fish and shellfish, according to a new survey by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and online restaurant guide Fisk2fork. Sea bass, whitebait, cod and king prawns are among the types of seafood served up by the restaurants from fisheries rated “avoid” by MCS or for which the source is unclear. Popular family diners Ask, Harvester, Wagamama, Cafe Rouge, Chiquito and Frankie & Benny’s all attracted the lowest sustainability ratings, while Bella Italia came bottom overall. But high street chains Yo! Sushi and Pret A Manger were hailed as the most sustainable, following “highly responsible” approaches to buying seafood. Sam Fanshawe, MCS chief executive, said “MCS advice on seafood sustainability has already influenced major supermarkets to adopt sustainable sourcing policies and the restaurant sector needs to follow suit. We’re very encouraged that major high street chains like Pret A Manger and Yo! Sushi are leading the way.” (Guardian)


UK energy policy shift will “downgrade” climate change priority

The UK energy secretary, Amber Rudd, is to “reset” Britain’s energy policy in a direction that downgrades tackling climate change from its highest priorities but commits to closing all traditional coal-fired plants by 2025. In her biggest speech yet, Rudd will say her aim is a “consumer-led, competition-focused energy system that has energy security at the heart of it”. “One of the greatest and most cost-effective contributions we can make to emission reductions in electricity is by replacing coal-fired power stations with gas,” Rudd will say. To reach this goal, the UK will have to put a huge effort into getting enough gas-fired power stations built to meet demand.  She will acknowledge that both gas and nuclear will need government subsidy to get built, but will argue they are the most secure energy sources for the future. Rudd’s critics are likely to call the government’s focus on gas and nuclear power short-sighted when she has cut so many subsidies for renewables and energy efficiency schemes. (Guardian)

Image Source: Lufthansa Airbus A380at Stuttgart Airport by Lasse Fuss / CC BY SA 3.0

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