Top Stories

June 04, 2018

Sustainable Finance

Britain should force companies to report climate risk exposure: lawmakers

Britain should force large companies and assets owners such as pension funds to report their exposure to climate risks by 2022 at the latest, a cross-party group of lawmakers said in a report by the Environment Audit Committee published on Monday. Concerns in the investment community that assets are being mispriced because climate risk is not being factored into financial reporting have prompted demand for more transparent climate-related financial information. Think-tank Climate Tracker has warned that trillions of dollars are at risk globally due to so-called stranded assets, which include oil and gas reserves, that cannot be burnt if global climate targets are to be met. The report said the government has encouraged publicly listed companies to report climate risk but said a voluntary approach is ineffective. “The government should make climate risk reporting mandatory on a ‘comply or explain’ basis by 2022,” the report said. (Reuters)

Report – Investing in a just transition: Why investors need to integrate a social dimension into their climate strategies

Last week saw the publication of the first output of the Investing in a Just Transition project, co-designed by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the Initiative for Responsible Investment. The discussion paper explores why investors should contribute to the ‘just transition’ as the world’s economy decarbonises, and how they can do so. The report identifies that a zero-carbon economy needs careful management so that the transition is not just environmentally effective and economically efficient, but also socially inclusive. It proposes four different areas for the for investors to take action: investment strategy, investment engagement, capital allocation and policy dialogue. “By including the just transition in their climate strategies, investors can not only tackle the challenge of ‘stranded assets’ but also of ‘stranded workers’ and ‘stranded communities’” The purpose of this initial paper is to offer emerging insights and seek readers’ inputs and feedback for the project’s next phase. (LSE)

Corporate Reputation

Survey: Power companies less trusted by consumers than banks and telecoms

A deep and widespread lack of consumer faith in Australia’s electricity industry is creating a major barrier to the uptake of smart energy technology, a new study has revealed. A survey commissioned by global smart meter maker Landis+Gyr, and conducted by Essential Research, found that more than two-thirds of consumers had either ‘no trust’, or ‘not much trust’ in power companies. The finding, which included 32 per cent of respondents who “had no trust at all,” puts power companies behind the media, banking, mining and telecoms, in terms of public standing. This lack of trust, compounded by a lack of knowledge, comes at a time for the industry where the collection of consumer data through smart meters will be crucial to the efficient management of the grid. The report also found while technology had made significant advances, there was a growing gap between what consumers could do to reduce their bills and energy footprint, and what they were actually doing. “Bridging that gap emerges as a critical challenge to the ability of the national energy market to manage prices, supply and sustainability,” the report said. (One Step Off the Grid)


Pilot whale dies after swallowing 17 pounds of plastic waste

A pilot whale died last week in southern Thailand after eating more than 80 plastic bags and other debris, Agence France-Presse reports. The distressed whale was found last Monday a canal in southern Thailand near the border with Malaysia, according to officials from Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. A veterinary team rescued the whale and attempted to “stabilize its illness,” according to AFP, but it died Friday after vomiting five plastic bags. An autopsy exhumed 8 kg (more than 17 lb) of additional plastic rubbish from the whale’s stomach, the department said in a Facebook post. Thailand is one of the largest consumers of plastic bags, which are believed to kill hundreds of marine creatures off its coasts every year. In May, the Thai government said it was considering a introducing a tax on disposable plastic shopping bags or introducing biodegradable alternatives to cut down on plastic waste. (Time)


Nestlé, Coca-Cola among 60 orgs stepping up to address pressures on UK water

Over 60 organizations including businesses such as Nestlé, Coca -Cola and M&S have signed a Catchment Management Declaration agreeing to step up action to address the increasing pressures to UK water through improved catchment management. The declaration was created by a cross sector of companies with support of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)The Rivers Trust and Business in the Community to gather commitment to and action for a multi-sector approach to catchment management. Other signatories including several of the UK’s largest water companies, such as Anglian WaterThames Water and Yorkshire Water, as well as supermarket chains AsdaSainsbury’s and Waitrose. “It is vital that we understand the availability of water for all of us to use is impacted by the quality of the water in our landscape,” said Peter Simpson, Chief Executive of Anglian Water. (Sustainable Brands)


Image source: Dry Riverbed by Shever on Flikr. CC BY 2.0