Top Stories

September 25, 2018


RE100 members outperforming peers on key financial indicators

Companies committed to sourcing 100 percent renewable electricity through the RE100 initiative are outperforming their peers in relation to net profit margins and earnings before tax, a new report from The Climate Group has found. Sampling data from 3,500 companies, the report found that RE100 members are performing better than non-members across the two key financial indicators. The difference in performance ranges from 0.3 percent to 7.7 percent across both net profit margins and earnings before interests and taxes (EBIT). According to the report, produced in partnership with Capgemini Invent, RE100 members are “re-writing the rulebook of renewable electricity sourcing”. The difference in performance is most prominent across the IT, telecoms, construction and real estate sectors. The RE100 consists of 152 companies pledged to the initiative, representing more than $3.8 trillion in revenue and is creating demand for more than 184TWh of renewable energy annually. (ClimateGroup; Edie)


The World Benchmarking Alliance launches to rank businesses on SDGs

A global multi-stakeholder initiative has been formally launched to measure and incentivise business efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) was unveiled in New York this week (24 September) by global investor Aviva, not-profit Index Initiative and the UN Foundation. It will deliver publicly available data that ranks a company’s performance on their contributions to achieving the Global Goals. The group will assess the progress of 2,000 companies against a range of corporate benchmarks by 2023, with the first indicators, due to be published in 2020, set to address food and agriculture, climate and energy, digital inclusion and gender equality. The WBA is funded by Aviva and the Governments of the Netherlands, UK and Denmark. Aviva’s group chief executive Mark Wilson claimed the initiative will help to promote competition among companies in their race to deliver against the SDGs. (Edie)

Policy / Technology

European tech companies call on EU to toughen regulations

Spotify, Deezer and a host of other European tech companies are pushing EU governments to toughen up draft laws designed to stamp out alleged unfair business practices of US internet giants such as Google, Apple and Amazon. In a joint letter to EU governments, creative industry leaders, including publishers and game developers, call on lawmakers to “seize the opportunity” to rewrite draft legislation designed to rebalance the relationship between apps and vendors that are increasingly reliant on platforms for their services. The companies say planned new regulations, drawn up earlier this year by the European Commission, do not go far enough to address the “serious harm” and “abuse of privilege” carried out by platforms when they impose unfair conditions on small businesses. The letter accused US giants such as Google of becoming “gatekeepers to the digital economy” by using their dominant position to impose unfair terms on game developers and app makers. (Financial Times*)

Technology & Innovation

JPMorgan widens blockchain payments to more than 75 banks

More than 75 of the world’s biggest banks are turning to the blockchain to fight the threat of new payments rivals in what will be the regulated banking industry’s largest application of the distributed ledger technology underpinning cryptocurrencies. More than 70 additional banks, including Société Générale and Santander, are joining the Interbank Information Network (IIN) which JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Canada and ANZ have been trialling for 11 months to see if blockchain technology can speed up payments that have errors or require additional compliance checks. The idea is that a mutually-accessible ledger across banks would allow them to quickly resolve issues such as compliance checks, faulty addresses or missing data, which can lead to payments being held up for weeks. The banks expect to put about 14,500 US dollar-denominated payments a day through the enlarged network. (FinancialTimes*)

Climate Change

Heathrow Airport launches peatland restoration project to offset emissions

One of the busiest airport in the world, Heathrow Airport (London, UK), has teamed up with Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Defra, on its first ever restoration project at Little Woolden Moss, near Manchester. The Peak bog area, which has been subjected to peak extraction for more than 15 years, will have over 70 hectares restored through a £94,000 investment. Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “We are very excited to announce our partnership with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, and explore how UK peatlands can be used as a carbon offsetting tool. Climate change is the greatest challenge our generation is facing and while this is just the first of many projects, we hope it will be a model for the aviation industry to follow.” According to Defra indicators, the restoration project could generate carbon savings of more than 22,000 tonnes over the next 30 years – equivalent to almost 64,000 passenger journeys from Heathrow to New York. (Edie)

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