Top Stories

May 17, 2021


UK plastic waste in Turkey dumped, burned & polluting waterways

Turkey is a key destination for British plastic waste, according to an investigation by environmental activist charity Greenpeace, which found British waste to be dumped, burned and polluting the ocean. Findings state that half of the plastic the British government says is being recycled are sent overseas, often to countries without necessary infrastructure to recycle. Greenpeace investigators in Turkey found plastic waste from leading supermarkets dumped, burned, piled high and left to spill into rivers and the sea. UK and EU rules say that plastic waste should not be exported to countries unless it is going to be recycled. Turkey’s recycling rate is the lowest of any OECD member, at 12%. Greenpeace is urging the UK government to enact the environment bill, using its powers to ban all plastic waste exports. (The Guardian)


BP shareholders show growing support for tougher climate targets

A resolution issued by the climate activitst group Follow This, calling on oil giant BP to publish targets to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, was supported by 20.6% of shareholder votes, pointing to growing investor pressure. Although the level of support at the company’s AGM meant the resolution was rejected, the level of support for tougher climate targets was more than double the number of votes for the last climate-related resolution discussed at the company’s 2019 AGM, when it won 8.4% of shareholder votes. Last year, BP committed to decrease fossil-based hydrocarbon production within a decade, as part of its wider net-zero ambition for 2050. BP will continue to engage with its shareholders and publish an update on its climate engagement in 6 months. (Reuters)


Starbucks signs renewable energy deal for NY stores & communities

Sustainable infrastructure company Generate Capital has announced a partnership with Starbucks that will deliver renewable energy to power the coffee giant’s New York stores, as well as thousands of homes and businesses in local communities. Through a multi-year facility, Starbucks has committed $97 million of tax equity to the development of 23 community solar projects. The agreement supports Starbucks’ goal, announced last year, of becoming a “resource positive” company, with targets including cutting carbon emissions from its operations and supply chain in half by 2030. The projects represent some of the first community solar and storage projects in New York State’s fast-growing community solar market. The partnership is set to power up to 24,000 households, small businesses, nonprofits, churches, and universities, as well as Starbucks’ own stores in New York. (ESG Today)


UK water sector outlines £2.8 billion green recovery plan & support

The UK's major water companies have outlined plans to collectively funnel £2.8 billion into environmental projects and sustainable infrastructure and processes, with the support of regulator Ofwat and the UK Government. The investment plans, covering the period through to 2025, outline £1.9 billion for environmental projects including restoration and conservation of habitats including peatland, wetlands and forests. Blue and green flood defences will be prioritised over solely man-made technologies, the plans state. A further £850 million has been set aside for “green investment projects”, such as technolgoies to reduce energy and chemical use, and partnerships to enhance water stewardship at catchment-level. Organisations including Defra and the Environment Agency will help the sector to deliver key projects, with support from CWW and the Drinking Water Inspectorate. (Edie)


Adidas & Allbirds unveil running shoes with 'lowest recorded' footprint

Sportswear manufacturers Adidas and Allbirds have unveiled a prototype pair of running shoes with a carbon footprint of less than 3kg of CO2e (in comparison to the average of 13.6kg of CO2e). Adidas and Allbirds have not yet revealed full details about the materials used in the shoes, but said in a statement that they had “opened up their materials, supply chains and innovations” to each other, developing a lighter weight shoe with fewer components, made using low-carbon materials and manufacturing methods. Adidas has committed to a 30% reduction in its carbon footprint by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, while B-Corp certified Allbirds has plans of achieving net-zero status, which has been set on an ongoing basis. (Edie)

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