Top Stories

February 09, 2021


Poor environmental disclosure to add $120 billion to supply chain costs

Businesses could face up to $120 billion in additional costs across their supply chains from the impacts of climate and environmental breakdown in the next five years, warns research from disclosure agency CDP. The report found financial risks linked to the climate crisis, deforestation and water scarcity that could be placed onto end-user businesses who fail to get suppliers to disclose environmental data and act on the findings. Sectors predicted to face highest costs include: manufacturing ($64 billion), food and agriculture ($17 billion) and power generation ($11 billion). The number of suppliers disclosing data and of corporate purchasers requesting disclosure through CDP grew by 16% and 24% respectively in 2020. However, only 37% of suppliers are engaging with their own suppliers to cut emissions, leaving the $120 billion at risk. (Edie)


Facebook bans misinformation about all vaccines after years of controversy

Social media giant Facebook will remove posts with false claims about all vaccines in user-generated posts and paid advertisements, as part of its policy on Covid-19-related misinformation. Examples of posts that have been banned by the company include claims that: Covid-19 is synthetic, vaccines being ineffective at preventing the disease, or the disease being safer than the vaccine. Falsehoods concerning vaccines in general, such as the suggestion that vaccines cause autism, have also been banned. Groups where users repeatedly share banned content will be shut down. The move comes after Facebook was criticised for its handling of Covid-19 misinformation, and after groups on Facebook have created echo chambers of misinformation that fueled the rise of anti-vaccine communities and rhetoric. Facebook-owned photo sharing app Instagram will also face the same restrictions. (The Guardian)


Amazon teams up with Shell and Eneco for major offshore wind project

The online retail giant Amazon has signed an agreement with the ‘Crosswind Consortium’, a joint venture between Dutch energy firms Shell and Eneco, for a new 759MW offshore wind farm in the Netherlands due to begin operating in 2023. Under the agreement, Amazon will purchase 380MW of the generation capacity and will use the generated electricity to power offices, warehouses, data centres and other operations across Europe. Crosswind Consortium has proposed a variety of technological innovations for the wind farm that could be implemented at full scale in the future. This includes a floating solar park, short-term battery storage, optimally tuned turbines, and ‘green hydrogen’ made by electrolysis as a further storage technique. The wind farm will be the largest renewable energy project in Amazon’s global portfolio. (Edie)


Ikea foundation bets $250 million on green investment fund

Imas, a foundation backed by Swedish furniture retail giant Ikea, has committed $250 million to seed a sustainable equity fund designed by Osmosis, a specialist investment boutique. The Osmosis fund aims to outperform the market capitalisation-weighted MSCI ‘World index’ by investing in companies that score well environmentally. Around 170 constituents of the total 1,430 included in the MSCI World index have been excluded from the Osmosis strategy. As a result,  the Osmosis portfolio’s exposure to carbon pollution and water consumption has been reduced by two-thirds and waste output by almost half compared with the MSCI index. The strategy is aimed at producing better risk-adjusted returns by taking explicit account of the environmental costs resulting from carbon pollution, water consumption and waste creation. It hopes to overperform the MSCI index. (Financial Times*)


Future heatwaves in the UK could put the health of 12 million at risk

Almost 12 million people in the UK are vulnerable to future heatwaves and floods made more likely by global warming, claims a report from the Climate Coalition – an  organisation made up of companies and NGOs committed to action against climate change. Heatwaves threaten the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, such as those living with heart disease. Heat-related mortality among the over-65s has already increased by 21% between 2004 and 2018, and a lack of requirements for regulating temperatures in care homes puts older people particularly at risk from future heatwaves. In cities, temperatures rise even higher during heatwaves, and two-thirds of flats in London could experience overheating by the 2030s. (Sky News)

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2021 Actions for Business