- Burberry stops burning unsold goods and using real fur
- Governments ‘not ready’ for Poland climate change talks, says Fiji Prime Minister
- Qatar law change hailed as milestone for migrant workers in World Cup run-up
- Third of sophisticated investors plan to increase ESG exposure
- World’s largest offshore windfarm opens off Cumbrian coast
Take part in our 2018 SDGs survey to share your views on how you think businesses have progressed. Survey closes this Friday.
British luxury goods maker Burberry has announced that it will stop the practice of burning unsold goods, with immediate effect. The fashion label also said it would stop using real fur in its products and would phase out existing fur items. An earnings report in July 2018 revealed that Burberry destroyed unsold clothes, accessories and perfume worth £28.6 million in 2017 to protect its brand. The news had led to an angry response from environmental campaigners. At the time, the retailer said that 2017 had been unusual as it had to destroy £10 million worth of old perfume products after signing a new deal with US firm Coty. Burberry said it already reused, repaired, donated or recycled unsold products, but it would continue to increase these efforts. The company has also started a partnership with sustainable luxury company Elvis & Kresse that will see 120 tonnes of leather off-cuts transformed into new products over the next five years. (BBC)
Climate Change / Policy
Governments are unprepared for a crucial climate change meeting in Poland later this year aimed at ensuring the full implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement, Fiji Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama said at the opening of climate talks in Bangkok on 4th September. The talks in the Thai capital come ahead of a gathering in Katowice, Poland in December, when government ministers will meet to agree rules for the 2015 Paris climate accord. Bainimarama, who is also president of the COP23 or 23rd annual Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said in an opening statement “in three months’ time we will be in Katowice, and frankly, we are not ready.” After failing to make enough progress in Bonn in May, the Bangkok summit is seen as a last shot before Katowice. (Reuters)
Employees / Human Rights
A law change that will allow the majority of migrant workers to leave Qatar without permission from their employers has been heralded by campaigners as a landmark in the battle against labour abuses in the build-up to the next World Cup. Qatar has faced international scrutiny over the working conditions facing hundreds of thousands of migrants toiling on construction sites in the prelude to the 2022 tournament. But Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, said the changes would “take the heart out of the kafala system”, a notorious form of sponsorship that binds workers to their employer. Under the new law, employers will no longer have the power to deny exit permits to most of their workers, though they will retain this right for 5% of their workforce. (Guardian)
A survey of 1,200 UK investors with assets of around £100,000 (€111,148) found that 30 per cent of them plan to increase their exposure to sustainable investments over the next 24 months. The findings, from green start-up investor Sustainable Ventures, also show that just 7% of “sophisticated” investors plan to decrease their exposure to environmentally-friendly investments over the next two years. The survey follows the publication of the Schroders Institutional Investor Survey 2018, which found that institutional investors who focus more on sustainability are more confident in achieving return targets than those who do not. The survey also found that 31% of investors wish there were more investment opportunities in companies that are truly sustainable, and would prefer to invest in those whose products and services are designed to reduce a negative impact on the environment rather than companies which don’t have this purpose but which have strong sustainable credentials. (Funds Europe)
The world’s biggest offshore windfarm has officially opened in the Irish Sea, amid warnings that Brexit could increase costs for future projects. Walney Extension, off the Cumbrian coast, spans an area the size of 20,000 football pitches and has a capacity of 659 megawatts, enough to power the equivalent of 590,000 homes. The project is a sign of how dramatically wind technology has progressed in the past five years since the previous biggest, the London Array, was finished. The new windfarm uses less than half the number of turbines but is more powerful. Matthew Wright, the UK managing director of Danish energy firm Ørsted, the project’s developer, said: “It’s another benchmark in terms of the scale. This – bigger turbines, with fewer positions and a bit further out – is really the shape of projects going forward.” The energy minister Claire Perry said the scheme would help the UK to consolidate its leadership and create thousands of high-quality jobs. (Edie)
2018 edie Responsible Retail Conference
The edie Responsible Retail Conference (20th September, London) offers inspiration and practical tools for retailers and their stakeholders, helping them to realise the potential of environmentally and socially-conscious business models.
This CPD-certified conference offers you the chance to:
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- Find out how to engage employees on the SDGs and move commitments to action
- Sustainability leaders contributing to this event include: Selfridges; Wilko; IKEA; The Body Shop; Ocado; Kingfisher and more.
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