Top Stories

February 08, 2021



Carrefour signs onto Brazil’s plan to protect the Amazon

Brazil’s environment minister has reached an agreement with the local unit of French retail group Carrefour to sponsor a proportion of the Amazon rainforest. Carrefour pledged to invest $744,000 per year in the preservation of 75,000 hectares of rainforest. The agreement is the first in the government’s “Adopt-a-Park” program, where companies, investment funds, or even individuals can sponsor the preservation of a plot of the forest for about 10 euros per hectare. Around 15% of the Amazon, or 63 million hectares, is available for sponsorship.  Another five companies are in talks with the government for similar sponsorships. The investment of the six sponsors would equal half the financial support the Brazilian government commits each year to the protection of those areas. (Bloomberg)


Corporate clean energy buying grew 18% in 2020

Corporations globally purchased a record of 23.7GW of clean energy in 2020, an 18% increase from 20.1GW in 2019 and up from 13.6GW in 2018, according to research published by BloombergNEF (BNEF). Clean energy contracts were signed by more than 130 companies in sectors ranging from oil and gas to big tech. Online retail giant Amazon was the leading buyer of clean energy in 2020, announcing 35 separate clean energy purchases, totalling 5.1GW. The US was again the largest market, but the APAC and EMEA regions saw record surges in the volumes of clean energy purchases. The overall increase happened despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, a global recession and uncertainty about US energy policy ahead of the presidential election. (Bloomberg NEF)


Energy networks and Ofgem earmark £300m for green grid projects

Britain's energy networks are seeking initiatives to decarbonise the electricity grid, offering up to £300 million in funding as part of a green recovery drive in partnership with Ofgem and the UK government. The Energy Networks Association (ENA) is launching a six-week call for local authorities, developers, and other parties to state their case for funding to boost grid capacity in their area, and enhance the rollout of renewables, battery storage, electric vehicles, heat-pumps and other technologies aligned with the UK government’s plan to become net-zero. The ENA will prioritise projects primed to get underway quickly, such as those with planning permission or third-party funding confirmed. Projects with a longer gestation period would be more suitable for Ofgem's £40 billion green RIIO2 price control plan. (Business Green)


Firmenich targets 'carbon-positive' operations by 2030

The world's largest perfume and flavour company, Firmenich, has committed to reducing, sequestering and offsetting more carbon than it emits by 2030. Its new ESG Ambitions set out a commitment to reach carbon-neutral operations by 2025 and achieve “carbon positivity” by 2030. This includes is setting a science-based target to lower  Scope 3emissions by one-fifth by 2030. Following a switch to 100% renewable electricity, through the Climate Group’s RE100 initiative, the company will focus on improving efficiency and decarbonising heating, cooling, refrigeration. It also aims to become “water neutral” in all water-stressed areas, to recycle or reuse 100% of its plastic waste and to achieve 99% biodegradable ingredients across the fragrance portfolio by 2030. Additionally, Firmenich is aiming for people with disabilities to represent 10% of its workforce by 2030. (Edie)


Mainetti signs The Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Global Commitment

Global retail solutions provider Mainetti, the world’s largest producer of hangers, has joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to accelerate the global transition to a circular economy. The company has signed ‘The Global Commitment’, in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme, which sets ambitious targets to change how plastic is produced, used and reused. Mainetti has agreed to convert 60%of its hanger production by tonnage to recycled materials by 2025, to achieve a minimum of 75% renewable energy use by 2025 and to eliminate the purchase of all single-use plastic water bottles. Mainetti has also joined the Foundation's Network, working alongside other businesses, innovators, cities and governments, to accelerate the adoption of circular economy practices and processes that maximise the use of resources   (PRNewswire)

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2021 Actions for Business