Top Stories

September 11, 2018

Climate Change

Google launches new online data tool to help cities lower emissions

The Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) tool has been created in partnership with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, an international alliance of almost 10,000 local governments and city representatives that have committed to combatting climate change. The tool offers free datasets across building emissions, transportation emissions, energy offset potential and 20-year climate projections to enable city planners to explore new measures to set meaningful emission reduction targets. “With EIE, data sets that once required onsite measurements and many months to compile can now be assessed virtually, reducing cost and time investment,” said Rebecca Moore, Google Earth’s director of engineering. The EIE analyses datasets from Google Maps to enable cities to create carbon baselines, set mitigation goals and identify reduction opportunities. The data can also outline opportunities for specific investments in solar installations, public and low-emissions transport and projects that reduce vehicle traffic. (Edie)


Disney invests in employees’ futures with unprecedented education program

Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger has announced an initial $50 million investment in a new and ongoing education initiative aimed specifically at The Walt Disney Company’s hourly workforce. The launch of Disney Aspire, a ground breaking education program for more than 80,000 hourly Cast Members and employees of The Walt Disney Company in the U.S., will cover 100 percent of tuition upfront and reimburse the costs of tuition and required books and fees. Disney Aspire is designed for working adults and offers Cast Members and employees maximum choice and flexibility with their studies, regardless of whether the program and classes they choose are tied to their current role at Disney. Disney has partnered with Guild Education, to create an educational platform and a network of schools that will offer a wide array of disciplines and diplomas—including college and master’s degrees, high school equivalency, English-language learning, vocational training and more. (CSRwire)

Climate Change

WWF report reveals inadequate disclosures on management of climate risks among ASEAN banks

A new World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) report finds that Asean’s (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) biggest banks are increasingly aware of the impact their businesses have on the environment and society, but are slow to act on the huge potential they hold in addressing climate change and financing sustainable food, energy and infrastructure systems in the region. The report found that Asean banks were not disclosing how they managed climate risks in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Of the 34 banks assessed in six Southeast nations only four disclosed that senior managers have oversight of climate change risks and opportunities, a key recommendation of the TCFD. Meanwhile, none of the banks disclosed whether they had reviewed their portfolio exposure to climate risks. They had also not disclosed their portfolio alignment with the Paris Climate Change Agreement or Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). (Inquirer)


World’s first ocean clean-up system launched in San Francisco

A supply ship has set sail in San Francisco in an attempt to clean up 50 percent of the 80,000 tonnes of plastic located in the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch within five years. The boat, which departed on September 8th 2018, is now on its way to a test stop, for a 2-week trial before continuing its journey toward the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, 1,200 nautical miles offshore. The Ocean Cleanup, developed by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat, is working with Maersk to complete this journey. Mr Slat, said: “The main mission is to show that it works, and hopefully then in a few months from now, the first plastics will arrive back into port, which means that it becomes proven technology.” Once the plastic has been collected from the ocean it will be brought back for recycling and then sold, the profits will then fund future Ocean Cleanup projects. (ClimateAction)

Consumers / Environment

Plastic waste set to beat price as UK shoppers’ top concern

The number one issue for British shoppers in the next decade will be to reduce packaging and use more recyclable materials, according to new research. For perhaps the first time, the public puts environmental considerations around plastic waste above the price of goods when shopping. The research, carried out by ThoughtWorks, found that 62% of the 2,000 people surveyed were concerned with the need to reduce plastic packaging and use materials which were recyclable, while 57% said price would be a main driver for their purchases in the next 10 years. Food waste and where food comes from were also strong reasons to drive purchases, with 48% and 36% of those surveyed saying these issues affected their decision-making on what to buy and where to buy it from. (Guardian)


Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business West Summit

12-14 November | San Diego, USA

Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business West Summit will bring together 400+ CEOs and heads of business to share ideas on how to navigate the issues facing digital-first business. This will be a must-attend event for businesses tackling ethics and responsibility in a digitalised world.

ForgeRock, Barrick Gold, Cylance, DigiCert, Human API, Blitzmetrics are just a few of the companies sending C-Suite executives to help share ideas and shape the future of ethics in digital business.

Register here quoting CC200 to receive £200 off your ticket.


Image source: walt disney world. by Diana Kelly on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.