Top Stories

March 04, 2019

Supply chain/Environment

Swiss Post and Austrian Post pledge to fully electrify fleets by 2030

National post firms Swiss Post and Austrian Post have committed to switching 100 percent of their respective fleets with fully-electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030, after joining the EV100 initiative. Led by non-profit The Climate Group, the EV100 initiative aims to “make electrified transport the new normal” within the next decade by supporting businesses. Portuguese energy company EDP and New Zealand’s largest power firm Meridian Energy have also joined the initiative, with the four companies set to collectively switch 22,000 petrol and diesel vehicles for electric alternatives within the next 11 years. The additions to the EV100 initiative come shortly after The Climate Group published its first annual progress report on the scheme, which revealed that it had spurred the adoption of 10,000 low-carbon vehicles to date. As of February, the 31 companies taking part in the EV100, which includes BT, Ikea and Unilever, had collectively pledged to electrify more than 145,000 vehicles by 2030, the report claimed. (Edie)

Read more: ‘ecommerce pollution solutions: from truck platooning to smart lockers’



Global bodies seek better corporate reporting guidelines for SDGs

Leading corporate reporting bodies are working together to develop better company reporting guidelines to demonstrate the financial benefits of progress towards the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. In a position paper published last week, organisations such as CDP and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board set out their joint plan to provide companies with improved frameworks to help measure progress towards all 17 of the SDGs. By working together through the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, an initiative set up in 2014 by the International Integrated Reporting Council, the organisations said they aimed to boost business understanding of the links between the goals, financial performance, and risk management. The Dialogue, which came in response to market calls for greater consistency between corporate reporting frameworks and standards, includes CDP, Climate Disclosure Standards Board, the Global Reporting Initiative, the International Integrated Reporting Council, the International Organization for Standardization, and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. (Business Green)*

Campaigns & Activism

German students walk out of school in climate change protest

Thousands of students in the German port city of Hamburg marched out of school on Friday led by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg to call for more action on climate change. The protest is part of the global movement “School Strike 4 Climate” or “Fridays For Future” launched last August when Thunberg began protesting outside the Swedish parliament on school days. About 3,000 students marched through the streets of the port city chanting: “We are here, we are loud, because you are stealing our future.” The Hamburg demonstrators demanded an end to coal-fired energy. While Germany is planning to phase out coal by 2038 and has imposed higher emission standards on cars, higher costs for cleaner vehicles and power are concerns for the government and the industry. Last month, 16-year-old Thunberg joined protests in Belgium, where she won a European Union pledge to spend billions of euros combating climate change during the next decade. (Reuters)

Corporate Reputation

Vale’s CEO, other executives, to step down after Brazil dam burst

Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA Chief Executive Fabio Schvartsman and several other senior executives resigned on Saturday in what the company described as a temporary move, after one of its mining dams burst in January, killing hundreds. Vale said Schvartsman offered his resignation, which the board “immediately accepted” after state and federal prosecutors recommended their removal late on Friday. The move comes slightly over a month after a tailings dam broke at Vale’s Corrego do Feijao mine in the interior Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, killing over 300 people and releasing massive amounts of toxic sludge. The resignations came after documents emerged in recent weeks showing that Vale knew it had an elevated risk of rupture and that inspectors felt they were under pressure to certify the structure as safe. Earlier this week, newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported that a Vale manager had told executives the integrity of the structure had worsened, though the company vigorously denied the report. (Reuters)

Biodiversity/Climate Change

The world is losing fish to eat as oceans warm, study finds

Fish populations are declining as oceans warm, putting a key source of food and income at risk for millions of people around the world, according to new research published in the journal Science last week. The study found that the amount of seafood that humans could sustainably harvest from a wide range of species shrank by 4.1 percent from 1930 to 2010, a casualty of human-caused climate change. “That 4 percent decline sounds small, but it’s 1.4 million metric tons of fish from 1930 to 2010,” said Chris Free, the lead author of the study. Scientists have warned that global warming will put pressure on the world’s food supplies in coming decades. But the new findings which separate the effects of warming waters from other factors, like overfishing, suggest that climate change is already having a serious impact on seafood. Some regions have been particularly hard-hit as the oceans have warmed. In the northeast Atlantic Ocean and the Sea of Japan, fish populations declined by as much as 35 percent over the period of the study. “And that region is home to some of the largest growing human populations and populations that are highly dependent on seafood,” said Dr. Free. (New York Times)

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Image source: Electric Fast EV Chargers Rest stop by Earth And Main on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0