Top Stories

May 14, 2021


Morningstar announces expansion of its sustainable investing toolkit

Independent investment research firm Morningstar has announced the launch of the Morningstar ESG Commitment Level, and the Morningstar ESG Risk Rating Assessment, designed to provide ESG assessments of asset managers and companies, respectively. Morningstar ESG Commitment Level provides assessments of the extent to which funds are incorporating ESG factors into their investment processes. Morningstar ESG Risk Rating Assessment aims to enable investors to easily compare and contextualize the overall ESG risk for companies. The launch of the new products follows the acquisition last year of ESG ratings and research provider Sustainalytics, and the subsequent announcement that it has started the process of formally integrating ESG factors into its analysis of stocks, funds, and asset managers. (ESGToday)


Delta Air Lines to  require new employees be COVID-19 vaccinated

US airline major Delta Air Lines will require new hires to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, but will exempt current employees from that mandate, making it one of the first major corporations to embrace such a requirement. The company is mandating that any future employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 before they can join the airline. While current employees will be exempt from the mandate, the airline’s chief executive expects 75% to 80%of the airline’s work force to be vaccinated anyway and stated that he would “strongly encourage” the rest to do so. Unvaccinated employees could face some restrictions, such as not being allowed to work on international flights, he added. (New York Times)


Canadian Sustainable Finance Action Councilto enhance climate disclosure

The Government of Canada has announced the launch of a new Sustainable Finance Action Council, aimed at helping mobilise capital and investment necessary to meet the country’s sustainability goals. The principal mandate of the council will be to make recommendations on critical market infrastructure needed to attract and scale sustainable finance in Canada. Areas of focus will include enhanced assessment and disclosure of climate risks and opportunities, better access to climate data and analytics, and common standards for sustainable and low-carbon investments. The council’s early emphasis will be on enhancing climate-related financial disclosures in Canada’s private and public sector, in alignments with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations. In addition, the council will also prioritize gender and diversity reporting. (ESGToday)


BT and Sky work towards net-zero with emissions reductions

Over the last 12 months, telecommunications company BT Group has reduced the carbon intensity of its operations by 14%, putting the company on course to reach net-zero emissions by 2045. In addition, over a four-year period, BT has reduced the carbon intensity of its supply chain by 19%, building towards a 42% reduction target set for 2031. In related news, broadcaster Sky has had carbon reduction targets for its net-zero ambition approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Sky’s commitment will see its entire fleet of 5,000 vehicles transition to net-zero emissions by 2030, alongside initiatives to make the technology products it offers and launches more efficient. (Edie)


Lidl and Wyke Farms to serve up 'carbon neutral' Cheddar cheese

Supermarket Lidl GB has announced plans to begin selling cheddar cheese certified as carbon neutral. In a partnership with dairy brand Wyke Farms, the businesses will work to develop a carbon neutral cheese through more sustainable on-farm working practices alongside purchases of 'gold standard' carbon offset credits. Key focus areas will be the management of feed, soil and land, manure, herds and energy. It is estimated that these measures will reduce annual emissions by 22.5 million kilograms of CO2e. The remaining emissions will be addressed with the purchase of “gold standard” carbon credits, verified by The Carbon Trust. The partnership with Wyke Farms has a 2030 ambition of reaching carbon neutrality within the value chain, without the use of offsetting. (BusinessGreen*; Edie)

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Wednesday, 16th June 2021

Credible societal impact – staying ahead of the game with the S in ESG