Top Stories

May 11, 2021


Major carbon capture project to receive €2 bn from Dutch government

A consortium of four companies, including energy giants Shell and ExxonMobil and leading industrial gases companies Air Liquide and Air Products, will receive a subsidy of €2 billion from the Dutch government towards the development of Porthos, one of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage projects. Beginning in 2024, the Porthos project could store 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year. It will transport and store CO2 that is captured by companies in Rotterdam such as hydrogen producers and refineries, to finally capture it in an empty gas field beneath the North Sea. Carbon capture and storage is a key pillar in the Dutch plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 49% by 2030 and 95% in 2050, compared with 1990 levels. (ESGToday)


Amazon raises $1 billion sustainable bond for climate & social causes

Tech giant Amazon issued its first sustainability bond, raising $1 billion to invest in renewable energy, clean transport, greener buildings and affordable housing. It forms part of a new Sustainable Bond Framework and will be spent on new and existing projects, which include the acquisition of electric vehicles for transportation fleets, as well as e-bikes and other electric-powered alternative delivery vehicles. The framework also cited sustainable building projects, like using an all-electric heating and cooling system run on renewable energy in the company's new Arlington headquarters, as well as private equity investments in clean transportation and zero carbon buildings. Amazon pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2040 and to power all its operations with renewable energy by 2030, as well as increase opportunities for under-represented groups in its workforce. (Reuters)


Tesco to remove plastic rings from beer and cider packs within a year

In what it claims is a first among UK supermarkets, Tesco is scrapping flexible plastic rings on all beer and cider multipacks within a year. The retailer is also removing shrink wrap from beer and cider can multipacks on own-brand lines, and urging third-party brands to follow suit. Across own brands and stocked brands, Tesco’s UK stores will stop receiving beers and ciders using shrink wrap or plastic rings this month, and brands unable to comply with the requirement will not be listed until packaging is changed. Tesco estimates that the change will mitigate the distribution of 50 million pieces of plastic packaging each year. Beer and cider brands that sell to Tesco have been briefed to use alternatives such as cardboard sleeves, plastic-free rings, boxes or rigid plastic. (Edie)


Apple accused of breaking UK competition law “overcharging” for apps

US tech company Apple is facing a billion-pound legal claim after being accused of breaking UK competition law by overcharging millions of people for apps on its App Store. The company has been accused of deliberately shutting out the competition in the store by forcing developers to use its payment systems for in-app purchases and taking up to 30% commission on those transactions, generating what claimants are calling “excessive” profits for itself in the process. The claim, which is being brought on behalf of millions of Apple users in the UK, calls for Apple to repay UK customers it says have been overcharged because of the company’s practices, with damages of up to £1.5 billion being sought for potentially as many as 19.6 million UK users. (The Guardian)


Major UK employers join socially focused Purposeful Company scheme

The bosses of 14 big organisations, including Capita, Unilever, Barclays and National Grid have pledged to put the wellbeing of staff, local communities and broader society higher on the boardroom agenda, after concluding it will enhance the long-term profitability of their businesses. They have joined a coalition of FTSE 100 businesses and large accountancy firms, led by The Purposeful Company, a not-for-profit organisation to show that having a purpose beyond a simple profit motive creates “meaningful work”. The NGO’s latest report, concludes that the current crop of leaders understand consumers, workers and local communities are increasingly concerned that businesses meet high standards of conduct. Proposals for the involved companies include introducing a “say on purpose”, which would mimic consultations with shareholders on directors’ remuneration and on climate policies. (The Guardian)

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