Top Stories

September 21, 2018

Climate Change / Energy

Exxon, Chevron first US companies to join Oil and Gas Climate Alliance

ExxonMobil, Chevron and Occidental Petroleum have joined a global group of oil giants aiming to limit their climate impact. According to the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), its three new members recognise and support the Paris Agreement goal of keeping the global temperature increase below 2C. As a first step, they will be contributing $100 million to the group’s climate fund. The OGCI comprises thirteen oil and gas companies and aims to minimise the impacts of greenhouse gases through investments and research into green technology. The group funds research into cutting emissions related to the production of fossil fuels. It advocates for carbon capture mechanisms and more efficient transport engines as ways to decrease emissions. The existing members are BP, CNPC, Eni, Equinor, Pemex, Petrobras, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell and Total. Exxon and Chevron are the first US members of the OGCI. (ClimateChangeNews)


Research shows that more companies should treat diversity as part of business strategy

Research conducted for the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) by the University of Exeter Business School shows that only 15% of FTSE100 companies fully complied with the UK Corporate Governance Code’s provision on diversity reporting by describing their policy on diversity, the process for board appointments, their objectives for implementing the policy, and progress on achieving them. The FRC’s analysis shows that FTSE 350 companies’ approaches to diversity are wide ranging.  While some do demonstrate a deeper understanding of diversity as an issue of strategic importance, the great majority appear to treat reporting as a compliance exercise, suggesting a lack of commitment. The revised UK Corporate Governance Code, which takes effect from 1 January 2019, require improved reporting on diversity. It calls on boards to include in their annual reports a description from their nomination committee of how they have applied the company’s diversity policy including how this links to progress on achieving company objectives. Findings of the research show that many companies need to develop a clearer strategy to drive greater diversity at senior management level. (Financial Reporting Council)


2018 SDG Pioneers announced

The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) has announced the 2018 SDG Pioneers ahead of Global Goals week. Each year the UNGC identifies a group of Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) Pioneers, people who are turning Global Goals into local business, to shine a spotlight on individuals who champion sustainability and are mobilizing companies to be a force for good. Among this years SDG Pioneers is Ms. Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer at City Developments Limited (CDL), as one of the 2018 SDG Pioneers for Green Infrastructure and a Low-Carbon Economy. Ms. An is the first individual from Singapore and one of the first two Southeast Asian women to receive this recognition. Esther has embedded the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into CDL’s sustainability strategy and business. Last year, she created the CDL Future Value 2030 sustainability blueprint, an action plan that aligns the company’s long-term ESG goals and targets with ten relevant Global Goals. (UNGlobalCompact)


Circulate Capital Incubator Network to accelerate ocean plastic solutions in Asia

Circulate Capital, the impact-focused investment management firm; and SecondMuse, a global business accelerator focused on building resilient economies, have announced the launch of The Incubator Network. The Network is a new initiative to accelerate solutions to ocean plastic waste by partnering with existing incubators to build ecosystems of waste management and recycling innovators. The two organizations developed The Incubator Network in partnership with Ocean Conservancy, a leading ocean protection non-profit and founding member of the Closed Loop Ocean initiative, and is supported by a new grant from the U.S. State Department. The Incubator Network’s first collaborative project, the Ocean Plastic Prevention Accelerator, is also supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Circulate anticipates unlocking more than $20 million in funding for The Incubator Network from foundations, corporations, and development agencies. (Sustainable Brands)

Supply Chain / Sustainable Agriculture

Primark expands Sustainable Cotton programme to Pakistan

Primark has announced it is expanding a sustainable cotton sourcing programme to key suppliers in Pakistan, after more than 4.4 million pairs of pyjamas made with the cotton were sold by the retailer in the UK over the last 12 months. Primark’s Sustainable Cotton programme was originally launched in Northern India in 2013. With more than 6,000 independent cotton farmers enrolled in the programme in India, Primark is extending the initiative to farmers in Pakistan. Primark is working with CottonConnect – agricultural experts that also worked with the retailer to assist Indian farmers – and local NGO REEDS (the Rural Education and Economic Development Society), to introduce the programme into Pakistan. Primark has enrolled 20,000 farmers from the country onto the sourcing programme. By 2022, Primark envisions that more than 30,000 farmers across Pakistan and India will be trained in sustainable farming methods. (Edie)


Image source: Cotton Harvest by Kimberly Vardeman on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.