Top Stories

February 22, 2016


GRI launches GOLD community for sustainability reporters

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has launched a new membership programme for companies using the GRI Framework in their sustainability reports. The new GRI GOLD Community consists of a range of companies and organisations that are all striving to use transparency as a catalyst for change in a sustainable future. More than 550 organisations from 69 countries have already signed up, including PepsiCo, Suncor, the European Investment Bank and Belgian chemical company Solvay. GRI aims to map out the future of sustainability through its Sustainability and Reporting 2025 project – with GOLD members playing their part. The Community will be given exclusive benefits to help drive this sustainability shift, along with access to roundtable series for networking and collaborations. (edie)


Malaysia to reward corporate GHG reporting with tax breaks

The Malaysian Finance Ministry has approved tax incentives for companies participating in the MYCarbon programme for 2015 and 2016. The National Corporate Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Programme for Malaysia, known as MYCarbon, was launched in 2013. Corporate entities will now be eligible to deduct the expenses incurred in preparing and verifying their greenhouse gas inventories, ranging from RM 30,000 (US $7,000) to RM 200,000 (USD 48,000). The tax incentive is based on three reporting classes – platinum, gold and silver – based on consultancy, in-house reporting and third party verification. Only 24 companies participated in the MYCarbon programme last year. Malaysia will continue to provide support and training to organisations who join the programme in the coming years. (The Malaysian Insider)


MillerCoors announces zero waste to landfill status after behaviour change drive

America’s second-largest brewer, MillerCoors, has achieved landfill-free operations at all of its major breweries across the US, thanks to an enhanced focus on employee engagement and behaviour change. The company confirmed that Fort Worth Brewery in Texas was the final of its seven breweries across the US to send zero waste to landfill, having reduced waste by 66 percent in the space of a year. The site established a ‘Sustainability Employee Council’ to lead education initiatives, change employee behaviours and make recycling easier throughout the facility. MillerCoors’ journey to landfill-free operations began in 2009 when the company set a goal to reduce brewery waste by 15 percent. (edie)


Hamburg bans coffee pods from state-run buildings

The German city of Hamburg has banned coffee pods and other disposable products from its council buildings as part of a drive to reduce environmental waste. Announced as part of a 150-page “Guide to Green Procurement”, the ban includes bottled water and beer, chlorine-based cleaning products, air freshener, plastic plates and cutlery. A council spokesperson said that disposable coffee pods such as those made by Nespresso and Keurig Green Mountain could not be recycled easily: “It’s 6g of coffee in 3g of packaging. We in Hamburg thought that these shouldn’t be bought with taxpayers’ money.” Nespresso has in place the capacity to recycle over 80 percent of used capsules, with 14,000 dedicated capsule collection points in 31 countries, and it is aiming to increase this to 100 percent by 2020. A company spokesperson added that portioned coffee was a method to reduce water and coffee waste, and reduced the carbon footprint per cup. (BBC, Independent)


Report: Diesel cars may be worse than petrol for GHG emissions

Diesel engines may be doing nothing to slow global warming despite being the backbone of Europe’s policy to reduce car emissions, a new report claims. Tailpipe emissions of sooty ‘black carbon’ could be as much as 25-50 percent higher than the EU estimates for cars made before 2005, says the paper by Professor Erckard Helmers of Triers University. However, the finding was questioned by the car industry and other experts. Brussels has used tax perks to favour diesel over petrol since the 1990s. The Liberal MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy said that it was time to stop taxing diesel and petrol so differently. “I don’t see why we should stimulate diesel through tax incentives in such a way,” he said. “There are very good reasons to stimulate renewable electric cars or hybrids, but diesel is generally not seen as the cleanest way to drive your car.” (Guardian)


Image source: Assorted Nespresso capsules by Joe Shlabotnik / CC BY 2.0