Top Stories

March 26, 2021


UK Government considers bringing forward businesses’ mandatory TCFD requirements to 2022

The UK Government has launched a consultation over a legal requirement for private UK companies to outline and disclose climate-related risks to their business in line with Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, with a mandate potentially coming into force in 2022. New proposals would see any company with over 500 employees and at least £500 million in annual turnover in the UK disclose potential risks associated with climate change and the net-zero transition into annual reports. It anticipates that over 1,500 companies will be impacted. If approved, the new proposals would move forward the Government’s to extend climate disclosure requirements to all companies, from 2025 to 2022. (Edie)


Tesco launches 'climate manifesto' to accelerate net-zero transition

Supermarket chain Tesco has unveiled its new "climate change manifesto", pledging to help customers adopt more sustainable diets, reduce food waste and ramp up its efforts to become a net-zero business by 2035. Tesco aims to procure 100% renewable electricity by 2030, relying on new solar farms, set to come online this year, and its own investment in onsite generation. The supermarket has also updated plans for decarbonising its fleet and committed to electrifying its home delivery fleet within eight years. On sustainable diets, Tesco has partnered with conservation charity WWF to halve the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket. As part of the collaboration, the retailer has produced a metric that enables customers to track the environmental impact of some of its most popular products. (Edie)


Big Oil lobbyist throws weight behind carbon pricing in the US

The American Petroleum Institute (API), the oil industry’s most powerful US lobby group, is calling for the introduction of carbon pricing as it tries to exert influence over how the US Biden administration will achieve its climate goals. The decision marks a reversal from the API’s opposition to a similar carbon pricing bill during the Obama administration. API has acknowledged the Biden administration’s prioritisation of climate change, and the imperative to engage in, rather than oppose, the negotiations around carbon pricing in order to exert influence on climate-related policy-making. Carbon pricing involves imposing a cost on greenhouse gas emissions to encourage polluters to reduce them, from a direct tax to a “cap and trade” system, which sets a number of allowances each year to be bought and sold by emitters. (Financial Times*)


Canada votes to collect data to document 'environmental racism'

Canada will collect data on environmental impacts faced by indigenous, Black and other racial minority communities. Canadian federal lawmakers voted for a bill aiming to tackle "environmental racism", where indigenous, Black and other racial minority communities are exposed to higher levels of dirty air, contaminated water or other toxins and pollutants. Infamously, since the 1960s, residents in the indigenous Grassy Narrows First Nation community in Ontario have suffered health impacts from mercury contamination produced by a former pulp and paper mill. The bill will require the federal government to collect data on the location of environmental hazards and levels of health problems, and create policy recommendations. However, worries exist that it might fall short of its goal as it may clash against provincial-level industrial permitting decisions and other laws. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)


#MeToo sexual harassment cases have big impact on company market value

News of a sexual harassment case at a major company lead to an average market value decline of 1.5% through the following day, representing a drop of $450 million, according to analysis published in the Journal of Corporate Finance on how #MeToo cases impact company value. Researchers at the Copenhagen Business School studied 200 sexual harassment cases from 2005-2019 at major companies including Facebook, Goldman Sachs, CBS, Amazon, Disney, Tesla, and Fox. The analysis also finds that when the claimed harassment involves a CEO or provokes heavy news coverage, market value drops considerably, up to 6.5%. The researchers attribute this to public sentiment, and not to any legal penalties or sudden shift in productivity. (Fast Company)

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2021 Actions for Business