Top Stories

February 18, 2019

Campaigns & Activism

Climate strike: Schoolchildren protest over climate change

Pupils from around the UK went “on strike” on Friday as part of a global campaign for action on climate change. Students around the country walked out of schools to call on the government to take active steps to tackle the problem. Organisers Youth Strike 4 Climate said protests took place in more than 60 towns and cities, with an estimated 15,000 taking part. Declaration of a climate emergency by the government and inclusion of the ecological crisis within the national curriculum were some of the demands of the UK Student Climate Network, the group that helped coordinate the protests. The action was part of a much wider global movement, known as Schools 4 Climate Action. It began with 15-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg skipping class to sit outside government buildings in September, accusing her country of not following the Paris Climate Agreement. Since then, tens of thousands of children across Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Australia have been inspired to hold their own demonstrations. (BBC)

Extinction Rebellion calls for British Fashion Council to declare climate emergency

Protesters from the environmental action group Extinction Rebellion disrupted the third day of London fashion week, forming human blockades on roads around event venues to highlight the throwaway culture in UK’s clothing market and to urge the British Fashion Council to declare a climate emergency. Groups made up of demonstrators wearing black to mourn those whose lives have been devastated by environmental destruction caused traffic standstills for seven-minute intervals, unfurling banners saying “Rebel for life” and holding placards inscribed “Climate change = mass murder”. Models and protesters mingled outside the main venue at 180 Strand in central London throughout Sunday, while leaflets were passed to motorists and bystanders warning of the catastrophic consequences of unsustainable growth and inaction over climate change. Clare Farrell, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, said: “While the fashion industry is not responsible for the unsustainable system it exists within, it is a key driver of global trends and a significant source of ecological devastation.” (Guardian)

Social Investment

Lyft donates $700,000 to improve transportation services in Oakland

Taxi driving company Lyft has announced that they will be donating $700,000 to Oakland’s low-income neighbourhoods to improve the notoriously terrible transportation services. Lyft’s donation will contribute to building and designing a bike lending library and bike sharing stations. The money will also subsidize local transport passes and Lyft rides for residents that qualify as low-income residents. Many have speculated that Lyft donated this money after they challenged and defeated a proposed tax that charged people $0.50 per taxi ride. This tax was projected to rake in $2.5 million a year and therefore many feel that Lyft’s donation will have very limited impact in comparison. The money that would’ve been raised by the tax would have been used to improve transportation services. Lobbying disclosure records show that Lyft and Uber lobbyists held meeting with the local council in 2018 to discuss the tax, according to city records. The proposed tax was defeated last July in a city council committee. (TechRound)

Supply chain

Clif Bar Agriculture fund to help organic farmers weather economic challenges

American organic foods and drinks producer Clif Bar & Company launched a new investment fund to help increase the economic resilience of organic farmers in its supply chain. The Clif Ag Fund’s initial investment is into a $10 million program that could provide up to 80 organic farms with long-term energy cost savings from hosting on-farm wind turbines. The wind energy program is a partnership between Clif Bar, two of its major ingredient suppliers and United Wind. The suppliers, Grain Millers and PURIS, bring the project a large network of organic oat and pea farmers, many facing high and steadily rising energy costs from their use of non-renewable energy sources such as coal and natural gas. The new program will focus on farms in windy Midwestern states such as Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Over time, the Clif Ag Fund will pursue a variety of investments on behalf of organic farmers in its supply chain, ranging from new technologies to infrastructure development. (Sustainable Brands)

Responsible Investment

Pension dashboard should display social and environmental impact information, says UK taskforce

Information about investments’ impact on society and the environment should be included in UK pension dashboards, a government-commissioned impact investing group has said. The Implementation Taskforce for social impact investing said the government could encourage engagement with their retirement savings – one of the intentions behind the dashboard – by telling consumers about aspects of their investments “to which they can easily relate and about which they care”. The suggestion was made by an independent advisory group charged with following up on recommendations for “growing a culture of social impact investing” in the UK. In its response to the government’s consultation on the pension dashboards – which aim to collate individuals’ pension data in one place – the taskforce said there was a growing body of evidence showing that savers cared about the impact their money had on society and the environment. Supporters of the impact investing implementation taskforce include NEST Corporation, the government-initiated auto-enrolment provider, and the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association. (IPE)

External Event

Responsible Business Forum on Food & Agriculture
26 – 27th March 2019, Bangkok, Thailand

The 6th Responsible Business Forum on Food & Agriculture, to be held in Bangkok, will convene over 400 food, agriculture and nutrition decision makers from companies, governments, financial institutions and NGOs. Delegates will share their knowledge and ideas, and partake in focused working groups to cultivate innovative solutions.

Register now at and enjoy a member’s discount with this code: CORCRBFTH19D

Image source: nie mamy czasu! by Greenpeace Polska on FlickrCC BY-ND 2.0.