Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing

 

Posted in: Circular Economy, Climate Change, Daily Media Briefing, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Investment

Top Stories

February 19, 2019

Indices & Rankings

Clean200: Green corporates resilient amid market jitters, rankings show

The world’s greenest major companies continue to deliver strong returns against stock market averages, according to the latest Carbon Clean200 rankings. The Clean200 list, which was first launched by research firm Corporate Knights and non-profit As You Sow in July 2016, ranks 200 publicly-listed companies according to the amount of absolute revenue they earned from low carbon products and services. Published today, the latest twice-yearly update awards Google-parent firm Alphabet the top spot, just ahead of engineering giant Siemens and auto manufacturer Toyota. The new edition of the rankings show that since 2016, Clean200 firms have enjoyed an average 1.29 percent growth in value, outperforming the S&P Global 1200 energy index at -2.49 percent. A number of additional sectors have been included in the expanded rankings this year including banking, real estate, forestry, responsible mining, food and apparel, transport, and ICT firms. Other companies in the Clean200 top 10 include Cisco Systems, HP, Taiwan Semiconductor, Abb Ltd-Reg, Ericsson, Unilever, and Banco Do Brasil S.A. (Business Green)*

Gender

Australian sports sign up to gender pay equality scheme

Australia’s top sports federations have pledged to achieve gender equality in pay for athletes and administrators as part of a blueprint issued by a local advocacy group. The CEOs of Cricket Australia, the National Rugby League and Football Federation Australia among others, have signed up to the “Pathway to Pay Equality” report by the Male Champions of Change Institute (MCC), which details a milestone-based approach to achieving pay equity between male and female athletes. Having largely neglected women’s sport for decades, a number of Australia’s major federations have made significant investments in recent years with initiatives opening up more full-time careers in women’s sport, while hiking salaries from a low base. The MCC said it had identified a 27 percent overall gender pay gap in corporate and administration roles in Australian sport, which was based on data provided to the Australian government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency. That compared to the national average gender pay gap of 21.3 percent across all industries. (Reuters)

Responsible Investment

‘Increasing maturity’: PwC poll highlights growth of ESG and sustainable investing in private equity

ESG issues and sustainable development ambitions are becoming increasingly important priorities for private equity investors, according to the results of a global PwC survey which points to signs of “increasing maturity” in the responsible investment sector. The consultancy’s annual Private Equity Responsible Investment Survey published today draws on the views of 162 respondents from 35 countries and territories, including 145 private equity houses. It found almost 81 percent of respondents are currently reporting ESG matters to their boards at least once a year, while just over a third are reporting on ESG even more frequently. Moreover, 91 percent of investors said they now had an ESG or sustainable development policy in place or in development, an increase from 80 percent five years ago. Two-thirds of respondents also said they have identified and prioritised SDGs that are relevant to their investments while 43 percent said they have a proactive approach to monitoring and reporting portfolio company performance against the SDGs, compared to just 16 percent in 2016, PwC said. (Business Green)*

Circular Economy

Tax fashion brands to fund circular economy for garments, UK MPs urge

A group of MPs is calling on the UK Government to introduce policies which would see fashion brands pay a producer responsibility charge for every garment they produce, in addition to lower rates of tax for companies minimising the environmental footprint of their products. The call to action, published in a report from the Environmental Audit Committee today, comes after the cross-party group of MPs conducted the nation’s first full-scale inquiry into the environmental and social impacts of the fashion sector. Corporates to have taken part include Stella McCartney, Marks and Spencer, ASOS and Boohoo, while evidence has also been given by SMEs and activists. If fashion brands were made to pay a 1p extended producer responsibility (EPR) charge for every item they made, the report claims that £35 million could be raised every year to pay for better garment recycling facilities, helping to recapture the £140 million of value that is currently lost to the system annually. The report urges ministers to introduce mandatory environmental targets – covering waste, carbon and water – for fashion companies with an annual turnover of more than £36 million. (Edie)

Climate Change

Sharp rise in methane levels threatens world climate targets

In a paper published this month by the American Geophysical Union, researchers say sharp rises in levels of methane have strengthened over the past four years. Urgent action is now required to halt further increases in methane in the atmosphere, to avoid triggering enhanced global warming and temperature rises well beyond 2°C. Dramatic rises in atmospheric methane are threatening to derail plans to hold global temperature rises to 2°C, scientists have warned. Studies suggest these increases are more likely to be mainly biological in origin. However, the exact cause remains unclear. Some researchers believe the spread of intense farming in Africa may be involved, in particular in tropical regions where conditions are becoming warmer and wetter because of climate change. Rising numbers of cattle – as well as wetter and warmer swamps – are producing increasing amounts of methane. However, scientists warn that there could be other factors at work. For instance, natural chemicals in the atmosphere – which help to break down methane – may be changing because of temperature rises, causing it to lose its ability to deal with the gas. (Guardian)

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