Top Stories

June 15, 2017

Responsible Investment

Apple raises $1bn through ‘green bond’ in environmental push

Apple has raised $1bn in debt in a “green bond” to fund environmentally focused initiatives, weeks after the company’s chief executive criticised President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate pact. The 10-year bond, which will pay investors a coupon of 3 per cent and yield 82 basis points over comparable US Treasuries, has earmarked projects that meet “three environmental priorities where [Apple believes it] can make the most environmentally positive impact”, the California-based tech group said in a filing with US Securities and Exchange Commission. The broad initiatives for which Apple will be using the proceeds are to reduce its impact on climate change by using renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency; using greener materials to make products; and conserving resources. In 2016, Apple issued the largest green bond at $12bn. (Financial Times*)


Global carbon emissions flat for third straight year, BP study shows

Global carbon emissions remained flat for the third consecutive year, according to a BP study, which shows the fuel mix shifting away from coal towards low-carbon sources and energy efficiency. The annual report found that renewables were the fastest growing energy source in 2016, accounting for almost a third of the increase, despite having a share of just 4%. China’s solar and wind revolution means the country has displaced the US as the largest renewables producer. Growth in energy consumption was driven by China and India, which together account for around half of the rise in global demand. Coal consumption fell by 1.7%, representing a second consecutive year of decline, with the largest reductions in the US and China. The report showed that oil remained the world’s leading fuel, accounting for a third of global energy consumption. But slowing demand meant that global oil production witnessed its slowest growth since 2013. (Edie*)


Kimberly-Clark and WWF Launch Branding Partnership to Halt Deforestation

The personal care company Kimberly-Clark and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced a campaign designed to raise consumer awareness about the benefits of sustainable forestry and risks of deforestation. The launch of this initiative caps an eight-year relationship between Kimberly-Clark and one of the world’s largest conservation organizations. Beginning this month, retailers and consumers will see the famous WWF panda logo on many of its brands included Scott and Kleenex, which have already been certified to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. As part of the alignment with WWF, Kimberly-Clark has promised to commit $4 million in order to further the NGO’s global efforts to ensure Zero Net Deforestation and Forest Degradation as standard practice for the world’s forests by 2020. (Triple Pundit)

Supply Chain

Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil reports surge in new members

The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has this week revealed that efforts to ensure palm oil companies are adhering to environmental best practices have extended their reach in the past year, with the group’s membership base swelling by around 10 per cent. The not-for-profit group said it had added almost 300 members in the past year, taking its total membership base to over 3,400 companies across the palm oil supply chain. New figures released at the RSPO’s annual summit in London this week also revealed that almost 67 per cent of members submitted their annual communication on their progress on certified sustainable palm oil (ACOP). The update came as the group also announced a new partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to promote business practices on children’s rights and workers welfare in the palm oil sector. In addition, RSPO unveiled a new interactive mapping service which has been developed with the World Resource Institute and provides detailed satellite mapping information on RSPO members’ certified mills, land concessions, overlaid with information on tree cover, topography and any fire alerts. (Business Green)

Corporate Reputation

Dove, Google, WWF Secure Top Spots on 2017 World Value Index

The results of enso’s 2017 World Value Index are in and brands such as Amazon, Goodwill, Google, World Wildlife Fund and Dove came out on top. The mission-driven creative company’s annual report benchmarks 150 organizations by measuring and ranking each brand’s overall World Value, as perceived by consumers. The report’s findings are based on a survey of a nationally representative sample of 3,000 people, across 19 audience demographics and psychographics. Of the survey questions, trust, personal values and cultural political influences were considered while polling people’s perceptions of all brands. This year’s Index revealed that age, gender, income, political leanings and global outlook appeared to highly influence brand mission perception and support. Twitter and Starbucks, for example, ranked high with millennials who are active on social media and like to take action on issues important to them. Non-profits performed significantly better this year, with Goodwill and Girl Scouts of the USA and Save the Children securing three of the top spots, beating out Amazon, Google and Microsoft. The World Value Index attributes this to widespread distrust of business despite a general belief in the ability of businesses to drive positive impacts. (Sustainable Brands)

*Requires subscription

Image Source: Sulfur Dioxide Emission by BrockenInaGlory at WikimediaCC 3.0