Top Stories

March 10, 2021


Major investors apply net-zero alignment framework to $8trn of assets

A coalition of 35 big-name investors, covering a total of $8 trillion assets, is the first to apply a new net-zero investment framework to their portfolios. Among the first adopters of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change’s (IIGCC) framework are Scottish Widows, Aberdeen Standard, Brunel, Nest, Legal & General Asset Management, the Church of England Pensions Board and the Environment Agency Pension Fund, alongside a clutch of public sector pension funds from the UK, Scandinavia and New York. The coalition is designed to help investors assess how and when to divest from high-emitting companies without credible decarbonisation plans; engage with companies that are developing such plans, and invest in more projects and companies providing climate solutions on the road to net-zero. (Edie; The Guardian)


Pearson targets net-zero carbon by 2030

Education  publishing company Pearson has committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2030, focussing on carbon reductions through the purchase of renewables and the use of offsets to achieve its goal. Pearson’s science-based targets include an absolute reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% in the next 10 years against a 2018 baseline. The company will also reduce Scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services, upstream and downstream transportation and the use and end-of-life of sold products by 50%, by the end of the decade. Additionally, it will make all products and packaging “widely recycled or covered by a take-back programme”. Pearson has also committed to more diversity at management levels by 2025, and to source £500 million from “diverse accredited” suppliers by 2030. (Edie)


Instagram recommendation algorithms are pushing anti-vaxx and QAnon posts, NGO report says

Photo-sharing platform Instagram's algorithms are still recommending anti-vaxx and QAnon content to users, according to a report by the non-profit Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH). Half of the identified posts contained misinformation about COVID-19, a fifth about vaccines, and a tenth about the US election. Some included QAnon references and anti-Semitic imagery. The report found that volunteers following accounts and liking posts that disseminate anti-vaccine information prompted Instagram to recommend more such content through its "Explore" and "Suggested Posts" features. In total, the report recorded that 104 posts recommended by Instagram contained misinformation. Instagram’s parent company Facebook has removed 12 million pieces of misinformation related to vaccines and COVID-19 from Facebook and Instagram since the start of the pandemic. However, CCDH contends the platform is still recommending such content. (Business Insider)


EU prepares to turn the screw on asset managers over greenwashing

Firms including fund houses, insurers and pension funds that provide financial products or services in the European Union will have to begin disclosing on the sustainability of their practices under a suite of new EU finance rules that will start being rolled out in March. The new EU ‘Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation’ (SFDR) aims to drive €1 trillion into green investments over the next decade, iron out current inconsistent and uncomprehensive climate-related reporting provided by financial market participants, and give sustainable firms an edge. The SFDR rules should make it harder for market participants to exaggerate their environmental credentials without following through with action, so-called “greenwashing”. It could also determine how much firms will benefit from the fast-growing market for products with a focus on ESG issues. (Reuters)


The Fashion Pact launches new push to help curb industry's impact on biodiversity

The Fashion Pact, a sustainable fashion coalition which brings together more than 200 brands representing one third of the fashion industry, will launch of a series of initiatives geared at curbing the sector's impact on biodiversity, funded by a $2 million grant. The funding will go towards cleaning up supply chains, improving agricultural practices, decreasing deforestation, and minimising pollution and natural resource extraction. It will also be spent on identifying existing projects that could help the fashion industry to lessen its impacts on biodiversity, and on creating the basis of action plans for the industry geared at addressing issues related to the intersection of climate change and biodiversity loss. (Business Green)



2021 Actions for Business