Top Stories

January 08, 2021


CEOs and business groups condemn US Capitol Hill riot  

Business groups and leaders of large corporations condemned the violence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday that disrupted efforts to certify the election of US President-elect Joseph Biden. Hours after the attempted coup by supporters of President Trump, the Business Roundtable, a group of chief executives from some of the nation’s largest companies, called on the president and officials to “put an end to the chaos and facilitate the peaceful transition of power.” The National Association of Manufacturers, one of the country’s largest lobbying groups, suggested that Vice President Mike Pence should consider invoking a provision of the 25th Amendment allowing members of the president’s cabinet to temporarily remove him from power. Prominent CEOs in US tech, including Apple, Alphabet and Google and IBM, also condemned the demonstrators’ actions. (New York Times; CEO Today Magazine) 


China prepares to launch its first emissions trading scheme  

In a step towards realising its aim of carbon neutrality by 2060, the Chinese Government is drawing up plans for an emissions trading system (ETS). This week it passed legislation allowing provincial governments to develop legally binding emissions caps for large power businesses. China is starting with the power sector as it is the highest-emitting sector in the country, accounting for around one-third of national annual emissions. Around 60% of power generation in China is attributable to coal. Under the new rules, large and high-emitting businesses in the power sector can start trading emissions with each other from 1 February. Some 2,200 firms will be covered by the new system, which currently each emit at least 26,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually. (Edie) 


M&S backs call to stop forced labour in China's Xinjiang 

British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has become one of the first major brands to back a drive to stop forced labour in cotton and garment sourcing from China’s Xinjiang region. M&S signed a call to action by The Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region consisting of more than 300 civil society groups to cut ties with suppliers in China that profit from the forced labour of the ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims. The United Nations estimates China has detained at least 1 million Uighurs and other minorities in camps in Xinjiang, where many of them are said to be put to work in textile factories. Anti-slavery organisations welcomed the announcement by M&S and urged other global retailers to follow suit. (Reuters) 


Air Protein raises $32 million to spur commercialisation of lab-made meat 

Air Protein, a pioneer in producing meat made in labs from elements in the air, has successfully raised $32 million through its latest round of fundraising, the California-based company announced yesterday. The new funding will be used to launch an innovation lab to accelerate product development and commercialisation. Air Protein uses a unique technology to produce protein in sustainable, vertical "farms" that it claims can be built virtually anywhere on the planet. Advocates argue that such technology could help meet the challenge of feeding a growing global population while slashing agriculture's currently extremely high emissions. The latest funding round was led by ADM Ventures, Barclays, and GV, the investment arm formerly known as Google Ventures. (Business Green) 


Circular economy businesses outperform those linear economy businesses, says survey 

Companies using circular economy models like refill, resale and repair, generate an average 32% more revenue than their traditional competitors, new market research by consultancy Kearney has found. The global survey of 150 companies spanned consumer-facing and B2B retail sectors, and included 51 circular economy “leaders” – those with core business models that are non-linear, or have recently significantly expanded offerings in this space. As well as generating higher revenues, circular economy companies which had recently switched to circular products and models reported an improvement of at least 6% in their overall business activities. This was predominantly attributed to the growing consumer demand for sustainable products and services. Green groups have repeatedly warned that linear business models come with long-term risks in terms of climate change, biodiversity loss and resource scarcity. (Edie  


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Wednesday, 27th January and 3rd February

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