Top Stories

February 16, 2021


Jaguar to switch to fully electric vehicle portfolio by 2025

Car manufacturing major Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will stop producing petrol and diesel vehicles under its Jaguar brand by 2025, and will launch electric models of its entire Jaguar and Land Rover line-up by 2030. JLR will invest £2.5 billion every year in new technology, including hydrogen fuel cell technology for its cars with hydrogen produced from renewable sources. Like other vehicle manufacturers, JLR is under pressure to reduce the CO2 emissions from its fleet as the UK government wants to outlaw the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and governments in Europe and elsewhere are moving in the same direction. (BBC News)


BNP Paribas strengthens policy on beef and soy-driven deforestation in Brazil

French banking giant BNP Paribas announced a policy aimed at curbing deforestation in Brazil caused by soy and beef production, including a commitment to drop companies that continue clearing forest or converting land in the Amazon. The bank will deny financial services to agribusinesses producing or buying beef or soybeans in Brazil's Amazon or the Cerrado grasslands unless the offending businesses devise strategies to achieve zero deforestation and full traceability in their production and supply chains by 2025. The bank will also crack down on its clients. It will not finance customers producing or buying beef or soybeans from land cleared or converted after 2008 in the Amazon, and will encourage clients to avoid producing or buying beef or soybeans from the Cerrado, which shelters 5% of the world's biodiversity.(Business Green)


UK oil major Essar Oil backs new waste-to-jet-fuel plant

Essar Oil UK Limited, which produces more than 16% of the UK's transport fuels, has announced a new joint project with alternative fuel innovation firm Fulcrum BioEnergy to bring a waste-to-jet-fuel plant online. The facility could produce 100 million litres of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) every year by converting pre-processed, non-recyclable household waste into SAF, using the technologies developed by Fulcrum. Essar will assist with the blending and supply of the SAF to airlines, which under current international jet fuel specifications can use blends of up to 50% biofuel. The life-cycle carbon emissions of the SAF will be 70% lower than for traditional jet fuels and produce 90% fewer particulates linked to air pollution across its lifecycle. The fuel production facility could come online in 2025. (Edie)


Norway’s sovereign fund will push firms to put more women on boards

Norway’s $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, will push the companies it invests in to boost the number of women on their boards and to consider setting targets and reporting on progress if fewer than 30% of their directors are female. The Norwegian fund will vote against appointments to the nomination committees of companies that do not have at least two women on the board, except if they have a clear plan or future target. No companies were named, but targets might include British carmaker Aston Martin and US-based used car online auction firm Copart. While other big institutional investors have made requests for boards to be diverse, they typically have not set precise targets for female representation. (Reuters)


Nestlé and Mondelēz among chocolate giants facing child slavery lawsuit over supply chain practices

A human rights firm has filed a lawsuit against major chocolate companies Nestlé, Cargill, Barry Callebaut, Mars, Olam, Hershey and Mondelēz, following allegations of child slave labour in their cocoa supply chains. The lawsuit filed by International Rights Advocates concerns eight individuals from Mali who claim they were forced to work without pay on cocoa plantations during the 2000s and 2010s. The plaintiffs claim these plantations regularly supplied the corporates named during the period specified, with the end-user businesses having a “dominant influence” on practices, and suggesting the chocolate firms “knowingly profited” from illegal child labour. They argue that end-user businesses have misled the public, overstating their commitments to tackle child labour in the supply chain. (Edie)

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2021 Actions for Business