Top Stories

October 27, 2020

Climate Change 

BP leads energy companies preparing two major UK carbon capture projects

British multinational oil and gas company BP is to lead an alliance of energy companies in siphoning off the carbon dioxide emissions from factories under new plans which will see almost half the UK’s industrial emissions stored beneath the North Sea from 2026. BP is leading a partnership including Italy’s state oil company Eni, Norway’s Equinor, National Grid, Royal Dutch Shell and French energy company Total in a plan to transport 17m tonnes of carbon dioxide every year from two separate carbon capture projects based in Teesside and Humber. The alliance will operate the pipes and storage facility needed to transport the emissions from both industrial zones and dispose of almost 50% of the UK’s industrial emissions in salt caverns beneath the North Sea seabed. (The Guardian) 


WBCSD launches net-zero criteria for new and existing business members

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has launched new criteria to ensure its members align to science-based and net-zero targets to reduce emissions by 2050. The 200 current businesses members of the WBCSD, which include some of the world’s largest emitters like Shell, BP and Volkswagen, were able to join as part of an “open membership”, accepted on plans to improve on sustainability, rather than historic action. Existing and potential new members will now have to comply with the criteria, which also includes reporting in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Additionally, businesses will need to declare support for the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and support inclusion, equality and diversity and to eliminate discrimination. (Edie) 

Natural Capital 

Forestry finance market could soar to $800bn as net-zero goals multiply, says PRI

Corporate demand for carbon removal and offsetting will establish forests as a major new asset class that could generate $800bn annually for investors by 2050, according to research from the UN‘s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The forest finance market is set to become a trillion-dollar market over the coming decades as a growing number of corporates invest in afforestation and reforestation projects to help them meet netzero goals. Major forest-related climate commitments from some of the world’s largest companies including Apple, Microsoft and Amazon highlight how corporate netzero agendas are already turbocharging demand for carbon credits from nature-based climate solutions. The report also estimates that direct air carbon capture, use and storage and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage technologies could generate a further $625bn by 2050. (Business Green) 

Inclusive Business 

Disabled workers could face Covid jobs crisis

Welfare charity Leonard Cheshire has revealed “stark” findings that disabled people face a job crisis due to the pandemic. The charity surveyed 1,171 working age disabled people and 502 employers, with findings showing that a fifth of employers said they were less likely to hire a disabled candidate because of the pandemic, with two-fifths of hiring managers citing “being able to support” disabled people properly during the coronavirus pandemic as a barrier. Over half of disabled 18-24 year olds surveyed by the charity said they felt that the pandemic had affected their ability to work and hit their future earnings potential. The charity is calling on the government to extend the furlough scheme for working people who are shielding and to make statutory sick pay available from the first day of employment. (BBC) 

Supply Chain 

AB InBev pilots blockchain to boost transparency and traceability

The world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has partnered with tech giant Fujitsu and Belgian blockchain platform firm SettleMint to help track and trace barley throughout its supply chain in France and Belgium. Supply chain workers will be required to scan a code on the materials. This creates a tamper-proof digital audit trail, which enables AB InBev to ensure suppliers are keeping to environmental and human rights agreements, and to track whether any parts of the supply chain are facing challenges that it can remedy. Consumers will be able to access the information stored using the blockchain platform by scanning on-pack QR codes. AB InBev works directly with around 60% of its global network of farmers; the idea is that the blockchain could boost visibility on the remaining 40%. (Edie)