Top Stories

March 22, 2021


Deutsche Post DHL invests €7bn in sustainability and links executive compensation to ESG

Logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL announced the launch of its new Sustainability Roadmap, increasing its decarbonisation and environmental commitments. DHL is committing investments of €7 billion over the next decade in measures to reduce its CO2 emissions, with a focus on alternative aviation fuels, the expansion of the zero-emission e-vehicle fleet and climate-neutral buildings. The company is committing to new interim targets with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), to reduce its GHG emissions by 2030 in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. DHL has proposed to link its executive compensation with the achievement of ESG targets, and will also introduce more ambitious social and governance goals, including a new diversity target to grow the proportion of female executives in management to 30% by 2025. (ESG Today)


Water-focused climate finance drive launches on World Water Day

Today, on World Water Day, the Prince of Wales has launched a new initiative geared at fast-tracking finance for improving water services in water-stressed regions in Africa and South East Asia. The ‘Resilient Water Accelerator’ programme, which aims to select six locations for support by September 2021, is hoping to reach 50 million people in water-stressed areas by 2030. The programme has wide-ranging support, from various global governments, including the UK, and global NGOs such as the World Bank, the World Resources Institute, UNDP, UNICEF,, as well as professional service firms Deloitte, Arup and CDC Group. The launch of the Accelerator comes as water utilities around the world have been urged to make net zero pledges by the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign. (Business Green)


Spain to launch trial of government-backed four-day working week

Spain could become one of the first countries in the world to trial the four-day working week after the government agreed to launch a pilot project for companies interested in the idea. The proposal is supposed to increase productivity, improve the mental health of workers and fight climate change, and has gained traction as the pandemic has sharpened issues around wellbeing, burnout and work-life balance. The proposal involves a three-year, €50 million project and coverage of all companies’ costs to  transition to a four-day work week in the first year of the trial, reducing to 50% and 33% in years two and three. Around 200 companies are expected to join the pilot, which will be guided by a panel of experts, including representatives from government, workers unions and business lobbies. (The Guardian)


BP is working on major ‘blue hydrogen’ facility in the UK

Energy major BP has announced plans to create a major facility in Teesside UK, which could generate as much as 1 gigawatt of “blue hydrogen” by 2030. Blue hydrogen refers to hydrogen energy produced using natural gas, with the CO2 emissions generated during the process being captured and stored. Described by BP as the UK’s “largest hydrogen project”, the company estimates the development would be able to “capture and send for storage” as much as two million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. The hydrogen will, among other things, provide energy to residential homes and industry or be used as a fuel for heavy transport. A final investment decision on the development will be taken in 2024, with aims to produce 500 megawatts of capacity by 2027 or earlier. (CNBC)


Elsa-d space debris removal satellite set for launch

Elsa-d, the world’s first commercial mission to demonstrate a space debris removal system is scheduled to be launched today. Developed by Astroscale, a Japanese-UK company, Elsa-d is a small satellite designed to find, rendezvous and clamp on to an unwanted satellite. It will then push it into the Earth’s atmosphere, where it will burn up. The removal of space debris is the key to space sustainability, which will ensure that new satellites can be operated without the risk of colliding with old ones, preventing disruption to mobile phones, internet, maps and weather forecasts. More than 28,000 pieces of debris are being tracked by the US Space Surveillance Network. In the next decade, more than 10,000 satellites are scheduled to launch, mostly from satellite internet providers such as SpaceX or OneWeb. (The Guardian)


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