Top Stories

December 14, 2020


FTSE giants fail to disclose their carbon footprint

BP, Glencore and Rolls-Royce are among eight FTSE 100 companies who have refused to comply with investor demands to disclose their carbon dioxide emissions. Companies are coming under increasing pressure from shareholders, campaigners and governments to report climate data, and show how they intend to reduce emissions to help tackle the climate crisis. Ninety-two of the UK’s blue-chip companies have so far provided data to CDP, the non-governmental group that requests data on behalf of investors. Some of the companies who have not complied with the CDP request have disclosed some data and ambitions to reduce emissions, but not in a way that easily allows scrutiny. (The Guardian) 

Climate Change 

Unilever to put its climate change plans to a shareholder vote 

Consumer goods giant Unilever will put its plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions to a shareholder vote, it said on Monday, becoming the first blue-chip company to give investors a say on its climate strategy. Shareholders will vote at the company’s annual general meeting on May 5 on measures including plans to cut emissions from its operations to net zero by 2030 and to halve the environmental impact of its products. Larger rival Procter & Gamble faced a revolt in October over its climate change efforts when shareholders voted for a proposal to make the company more transparent about how it sourced palm oil and was reducing deforestation. (Reuters) 


Bags and packaging biggest marine life killers, study finds

Plastic bags and flexible packaging are the deadliest plastic items in the ocean, killing wildlife including whales, dolphins, turtles and seabirds around the globe, according to a review of hundreds of scientific articles. The review, by the Australian government’s science agency, CSIRO, found ingesting plastic was responsible for killing animals across 80 different species. The aim of the study was to understand what kinds of animals were at most risk from the different kinds of debris – mostly plastic – that is in the ocean. In August, a report by the international police organisation Interpol found a rise in the illegal trade of plastic waste since 2018, saying law enforcement around the globe needed to work together to stop illegal movement and dumping of plastic waste (The Guardian) 


Axa boss proposes new climate alliance for insurance

The chief executive of French insurance giant Axa has called for the creation of a ‘net zero underwriting alliance’ that would see member companies from across the insurance sector align their business activities with the 1.5C warming pathway required under the Paris Agreement. Setting out the idea during the Climate Action Summit hosted by the UK, France, Italy, Chile, and UN on Saturday, Axa CEO Thomas Buberl said the coalition should be launched ahead of the COP26 Climate Summit that is set to be held next autumn in Glasgow. Insurance companies have faced growing calls to pay closer heed to climate risk and end their support for fossil fuel projects, with history showing that insurers have the power to accelerate a rapid shift away from damaging projects by refusing to cover certain risks. (Business Green) 

Corporate Reputation 

Emails raise fresh questions about mining group’s Kazakh ties

Fresh evidence has emerged indicating staff at a London-listed mining company made personal holiday arrangements for the rulers of Kazakhstan, where it owns lucrative copper rights. Back in 2011 Kazakhmys organised for the family of Kazakhstan’s then prime minister Karim Massimov to fly to France by private jet, visit Disneyland Paris and stay at the George V hotel, triggering scrutiny under the UK’s anti-bribery law. Now a newly seen email exchange reveals that two years later the same Kazakh official sent instructions to the company’s boss regarding a trip to London. The emails raise new questions about whether the company — which has since been renamed Kaz Minerals — broke UK anti-corruption laws come as its billionaire founder, Vladimir Kim, leads a £3bn bid to take it private again 15 years after its London listing. (Financial Times*) 

*Subscription required