Top Stories

April 14, 2021


310 CEOs ask Biden to back net-zero vision with 2030 climate goal

Chief executives from Unilever, Microsoft, General Electric, Google, H&M and Apple are among the 310 business leaders urging the Biden administration to back up its 2050 net-zero target with a strong interim emissions goal. In an open letter, coordinated by the NGOs We Mean Business Coalition and Ceres, the executives argue that for the US’s pathway to net-zero to be “credible” and for the full economic potential of the low-carbon transition to be realised, a legally binding climate target for 2030 should be developed. The target should require the US to reduce annual emissions by at least 50% by 2030, against a 2005 baseline, in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recommendation that global net emissions should be halved by 2030 to deliver the Paris Agreement’s 1.5◦C pathway. (Edie)


Petco to increase its assortment of sustainable pet products to 50% by the end of 2025

American pet health and wellness retailer Petco has committed to increase its assortment of sustainable products to 50% by the end of 2025. As part of its stated mission to improve the lives of pets, pet owners and Petco partners, half of the company’s complete assortment of pet products will align with at least one of five sustainability pillars: responsible manufacturing, sustainably-sourced materials, sustainably-sourced ingredients, responsible packaging, and animal welfare. To help pet owners identify and shop for more sustainable pet products, Petco launched a new sustainable shopping destination on its website, and is featuring in-aisle signage at the majority of its pet care centres. Petco will also provide resources and information to educate pet owners on the benefits of sustainable pet products. (PRNewswire)


US-based United Airlines has announced the launch of the ‘Eco-Skies Alliance’, a new programme aimed at enabling corporate customers to reduce the environmental impact of travel beyond purchasing offsets, by paying the additional cost of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Inaugural corporate participants include Autodesk, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, DHL, HP, Nike, Siemens and others. The airline expects more than a dozen leading global corporations will collectively contribute towards the purchase of 3.4 million gallons of SAF this year, equivalent to eliminating 31,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, or enough to fly passengers over 220 million miles. Air transport has recently come under scrutiny as a significant contributor to GHG emissions, with business travel often constituting a significant source of aviation’s Scope 3 emissions. (ESGToday)


A group of leading pension funds, insurers, and asset managers have called for the introduction of 'portfolio temperature scores' that grade investment funds' climate performance, emphasising the need to standardise the current patchwork of different metrics that assess funds' alignment with global climate goals. The Investment Leaders Group, a global network of investors with more than £14 trillion of assets under management, which includes AON, HSBC, Zurich and Robeco, has published a report calling for a scoring system that measures the likely temperature trajectory that the fund’s emissions are aligned with. The score would provide investors, beneficiaries, and the general public with an easily-understood means of gauging how close a fund is to achieving the Paris Agreement goal of keeping warming well below 2◦C this century. (Business Green)


Seven European countries to halt export finance for fossil fuels

Seven European countries, including Britain, France, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, will commit on Wednesday to stop public export guarantees for fossil fuel projects. Britain, France and Sweden, have already laid out plans to halt export guarantees for the fossil fuel sector, while the remaining four have yet to decide how fast the phase-out will be. The group will also commit to supporting climate-friendly projects and transparency in their export finance policies. They hope US President Joe Biden’s administration will join the group, following an upcoming review of US export finance. Coal, oil and gas infrastructure have traditionally made up a large share of the portfolios of many countries’ public export finance agencies, which support exports through state-backed financing guarantees and insurance against losses abroad. (Reuters)


2021 Actions for Business