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February 23, 2017



France adopts corporate duty of care law

The French Parliament yesterday adopted a long-awaited law establishing a duty of care obligation for parent and subcontracting companies. Friends of the Earth International welcomes this law which marks a historic step towards improving legislation to oblige corporate respect for human rights and the environment. The hope is it will now pave the way for similar binding regulation in other countries and at the UN, where negotiations on an international treaty have already begun. Companies covered by the new law (it only applies to the largest French companies) have to assess and address adverse impacts on people and the planet under annual public vigilance plans. This includes impacts linked to their own activities, those of companies under their control, and those of suppliers and subcontractors, with whom they have an established commercial relationship. When companies default on these obligations, the law empowers victims and other concerned parties to bring the issue before a judge. (Friends of The Earth international)


New California Bill Targets 100 Percent Renewable Energy By 2045

This week California Senate leader Kevin De Leon introduced a bill that would require utilities to procure 100 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2045. California’s current renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requires that utilities procure 33 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2020. De Leon’s bill would bump that up to 50 percent by 2025. Such a lofty target would likely not be a problem for the state’s three biggest utilities,  which served 27.6 percent of their retail electricity sales with renewable power in 2015. Each of the three utilities is under contract to procure over 40 percent electricity from renewables within four years.   “Our commitment to balancing quality of life and economic growth is a primary reason why California remains a magnet for immigrants from all over the world and will continue to be America’s capital of technological innovation,” De Leon said. (Triple Pundit)


Heineken toasts CO2 cuts and profit boost in first joint sustainability and finance report

Dutch beer giant Heineken has announced a rise in net profits of €2,098m while remaining on track to meet its climate targets, according to its first hybrid sustainability and financial annual report. Under the firm’s ‘Brewing a Better World’ environmental strategy, Heineken has promised to cut emissions to 6.4kg per hl – a 40 per cent by 2020. In absolute terms, emissions are down five per cent against a 2008 baseline, despite the business having grown 52 per cent over the nine-year period, Heineken added. The firm is also on track to halve emissions from its fridges, with ongoing  46 per cent cut in fridge emissions compared to 2008. However the report did identify some areas where there is “more to do” if Heineken is to meet its 2020 commitments. For example, it has a goal of delivering 60 per cent of its agricultural raw materials in Africa via local sourcing within the continent. (Business Green)

Ecotourism launches new accelerator program to scale sustainable tourism

Travel platform is making moves to drive the tourism industry towards a more sustainable model with the launch of a new accelerator program, Booster. The accelerator is an extension of the company’s Cares program, an internal company initiative where employees partner with local NGOs on sustainable tourism initiatives that help improve destinations worldwide, and was created to support start-ups dedicated to sustainable tourism in the following areas: protecting the environment, preserving cultural heritage and/or promoting inclusive growth in tourism that supports and develops local economies and communities. The booster program has been co-designed with partner organization Impact Hub and will consist of a series of workshops, lectures and coaching sessions with industry experts, as well as the opportunity to pitch for grants from’s fund. (Sustainable Brands)


Dell delivers tech industry’s first ocean plastic packaging

Computer firm Dell has converted waste plastic found on beaches and in waterways into new packaging for one of its laptop products. Unveiled on Wednesday (22 February) at the World Ocean Summit, the packaging will act as a tray, which will prevent 16,000 pounds of plastic from entering into oceans in 2017. The packaging will be used from April 30 and will be fitted with information about plastic waste to raise global awareness of the issue. The information provided has been sourced from Dell’s work with its “social good advocate” and actor Adrian Grenier and the Lonely Whale Foundation non-profit. In total, Dell designs its packaging to be more than 93% recyclable by weight. The new trays will consist of 25% ocean waste and 75% HDPE plastics to enhance the recyclability of the products. Alongside this innovation, Dell has also included post-consumer recycled plastics in its desktops since 2008. (Edie)

Image source: Wakatobi National Park, Southeast Sulawesi at WikipediaCC BY 2.0