Top Stories

July 12, 2017


Responsible Investment

Eleven leading banks announce plans to pilot FSB climate risk guidelines

Eleven banks representing more than $7tr in capital have announced plans to put new international climate risk disclosure guidelines into practice. The group, which includes ANZ, Barclays, Citi, Royal Bank of Canada, Santander and UBS, plan to adopt key elements of the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Risk (TCFD) guidelines to boost transparency around climate risks in the financial sector. They will work in partnership with the UN Environment Finance Initiative to develop new analytical tools and indicators to help implement the voluntary guidelines, which were presented to G20 leaders last week. The guidelines were designed for use by companies across all sectors, with the aim of boosting climate-friendly investments and preparing the financial system for climate change impacts on investment patterns and business models. The move is also a signal to customers to expect heightened scrutiny of their climate-related risks. (Business Green)


New standard launched to certify business commitments to SDGs

A new standard was launched to quantify, certify and maximise the business contributions to the development of climate change mitigation and other key targets listed by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Gold Standard – the climate standard and certification body established by WWF in 2003 – has added to its carbon credits scheme to account for certified SDGs impacts. All projects certified under the Gold Standard for the Global Goals will have to contribute to at least three SDGs, with the Climate Action goal being a mandatory requirement. The standard is available to corporates, impact investors and government bodies and is designed to stop cases of greenwashing in the private sector. Gold Standard will now partner with the UNFCCC Secretariat – the body charged with delivering the aims of the Paris Agreement – to develop a range of methodologies, tools and best practice guidance for companies to assess and align their impacts with the SDGs. Research has suggested that placing the Goals at the heart of global strategies could unlock $12trn worldwide. (edie)*


Sainsbury’s look to packaging to unpack a sustainable future

UK grocer Sainsbury’s is waging war on food waste with a new “smart” packaging label on its own-brand ham that signals when the product is about to expire. The label works by changing colour from yellow to purple after the package has been open, indicating the freshness and the edibility of the product. If successful, the packaging could be expanded to other products. The move builds on the retailer’s £10 million ‘Waste Less, Save More’ initiative, a five-year strategy which seeks to reduce household food waste across the UK. The UK has long been the worst performing European country in terms of food waste, with approximately £17 billion of food going to waste each year. With its new label, Sainsbury’s is hoping to reduce the amount of ham wasted in the U.K. — currently 1.9 million slices per day. (Sustainable Brands)

Social Entrepreneurship

Social impact drives young entrepreneurs

A new survey shows that Australia’s millennial entrepreneurs are more likely to go into business with the aim of helping their community than their older counterparts. The HSBC survey of 4000 entrepreneurs in 11 countries has found more than a third of Australian entrepreneurs aged in their 20s are motivated by the desire to have a positive community impact, while just 11% of entrepreneurs in their 50s have the same idea. According to the findings, entrepreneurs in their 50s were more likely to be motivated by increasing their own wealth with more than half citing wealth creation among their goals compared to about one in three millennials. The younger group was also more interested in educating and inspiring others, with about half saying they invested significant effort in doing so, compared to 28% of the older group. (


The Body Shop progresses on renewables, traceability, fossil-fuel-free packaging

A year after launching its ambitious ‘Enrich, Not Exploit’ CSR strategy, The Body Shop has released its 2016 sustainability report, highlighting the progress it has made on its packaging, renewable energy and supply chain footprint goals. Instead of a traditional report, the strategy update has been released as a series of 16 YouTube videos, which are easily accessible to suppliers, shareholders and consumers alike. They highlight significant achievements, with 58% of packaging now being sourced from non-fossil fuel derived materials and all clear plastic bottles now made with 25% recycled materials. Progress was made on clean energy goals as well as on product traceability and transparency, as The Body Shop became one of the first beauty brands in the UK to publish information about its products ingredients, in addition to their biodegradability and water footprint. (Sustainable Brands)


Image Source: The Global Goals by Reedz Malik at Flickr. CC 2.0