Top Stories

April 09, 2021


Bank of America commits $1 trillion to global sustainability initiatives

Bank of America has increased an existing $300 billion sustainable business initiatives fund to attempt to mobilise $1 trillion by 2030 for initiatives that will support the net-zero transition. The new funding commitment will support business initiatives across the sustainability spectrum, including renewables, transport, resource efficiency, water stewardship and improvements to agriculture and forestry. The commitment will support a broader $1.5 trillion sustainable finance goal that is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Bank of America, like many of its US peers, is facing mounting pressure to reduce exposure to corporates with high deforestation and environmental risks, as the banking sector is increasingly accused of providing billions of dollars to the fossil fuel sector, without environmental conditions attached (Edie)


Sustainable investment group UNPRI reviews Liberty Mutual membership over coal mine plan

UNPRI, a United Nations-backed network that promotes sustainable investment, is reviewing the membership status of insurance firm Liberty Mutual after receiving a complaint that the insurer is backing a coal project in Australia, which is expected to produce 5 million tonnes per year of coal. Action group Save the Dawson lodged a formal complaint to UNPRI, which will undergo an internal review, with expulsion from the group being one possible conclusion. Community groups, Aboriginal traditional owners and farmers who are opposed to the development of the mine claim it risks worsening climate change and polluting local waterways that lead out to the Great Barrier Reef. (Reuters)


Chevron shareholders to vote on climate change proposals

Chevron shareholders will vote on proposals aiming to require the second-largest US oil producer to reduce the environmental impact of its products, and to report on climate business risks. Shareholder proposals include reducing Scope 3 emissions that come from the use of its fuels and a request that the company report the impact of net zero 2050 scenarios on its finances and business assumptions. Other proposals asks for more lobbying disclosures and to shift to being a “public benefit corporation,” a legal structure in which directors must balance the interests of shareholders and other stakeholders. Chevron has pledged to limit the pace of growth of its carbon emissions, but has not set longer-term targets to achieve net zero as many European oil companies have done. (Reuters)


Morrisons to remove all plastic bags for life from UK stores

Supermarket retailer Morrisons is removing all plastic versions of its "bags for life" from all UK stores, in favour of paper and other reusable options, in a move that will remove almost 100 million plastic bags and save 3,200 tonnes of plastic each year. Shoppers will instead be able to purchase water and tear-resistant paper bags that can hold up to 16kg, costing 30p. Other reusable options include string, jute, cotton and reusable woven bags, priced between 75p and £2.50. The plastic-free alternatives will apply to online purchases as well. The announcement builds on Morrisons’ decision to remove single-use plastic bags back in 2017 and is based on positive feedback from consumer-facing trials last year. (Edie)


Citi adds ESG scores to its Citi Velocity Clarity data platform

Leading global bank Citi announced that it has incorporated ESG scores into its securities services data platform, Citi Velocity Clarity. The new functionality will enable clients to analyse the sustainability exposure of their holdings at the portfolio and security level. Citi has developed new visualization tools to analyse multiple sustainability measures provided on a daily basis by ESG data platform Arabesque S-Ray. The bank plans to work with clients to continue to develop the scope and functionality available through the platform, including incorporating additional ESG data from other providers. The move follows the bank’s acknowledgement that ESG exposure has become imperative across the entire industry as investors, advisors and regulators are increasingly asking for transparency from asset managers and asset owners. (ESGToday)

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2021 Actions for Business