Top Stories

May 21, 2021


Co-op & Hubbub partner with community fridges to fight hunger

Supermarket the Co-op has partnered with environmental charity Hubbub to launch a network of 100 'community fridges' to facilitate food redistribution in the UK. Co-op will donate surplus food from nearby stores, and will encourage customers and other local businesses to follow suit. The partnership will see 100 fridges installed and operating by the end of this year, with the network aiming to redistribute half a million meals each month. This will add to the 150 fridges redistributing around 900,000 meals a month that Hubbub already operates. Aside from mitigating food waste, the fridges can tackle social issues including food poverty, poor community connection and a lack of basic cooking and nutrition skills. To this latter point, the community fridge network operators also facilitate cookery and food growing workshops. (Edie)


Deutsche Bank speeds up sustainability push as lenders go green

Germany’s biggest lender Deutsche Bank is accelerating a push to align its business with environmental, social and governance criteria as global lenders increasingly move toward green finance. The bank seeks to facilitate €200 billion in sustainable finance and investments by the end of 2023, two years earlier than previously planned, and to set more ambitious targets for women in leadership positions, by raising the proportion of women in top leadership roles to at least 30% by 2025. Deutsche Bank also published sustainable finance targets for each of its divisions and said it plans to train half of client-facing staff on its sustainability taxonomy by the end of the year. It also wants to cut the fuel consumption of its 5,400 cars in Germany by 30%. (Bloomberg*)


Biden orders federal strategy to curb climate change risk to economy

US President Joe Biden is directing the federal government to develop a strategy to curb the risk of climate change on public and private financial assets in the US, as part of the administration’s longer-term agenda to transition to a net-zero economy by 2050. The executive order directs the National Climate Advisor and Director of the National Economic Council to develop a government-wide plan to identify and disclose climate risk on government programs, assets and liabilities within the next 120 days. It also requires Treasury Secretary to deliver a report on financial risk data related to climate change. In related news, US Treasury Secretary has proposed a global corporation tax of at least a 15% on company earnings, as part of a push for a global minimum for businesses. (CNBC 1, CNBC 2)


Uniqlo shirts blocked at US border on China forced labour concern

Shirts from clothing brand Uniqlo were blocked at the United States border in January on concerns they violated a ban on cotton products produced in the Xinjiang region of China, where there have been reports of forced labour. A US Customs document dated May 10 said a shipment of Uniqlo men's shirts was impounded on January 5 at the Port of Los Angeles due to a suspicion that the clothes had been produced by forced labour from China's Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. The Customs document notes that Uniqlo had argued and given proof that the raw cotton used to produce the shirts did not originate from the Chinese state-owned firm, but failed to provide enough information to establish the items were not produced in part by forced labour in Xinjiang. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)


Absolut moves away from plastics in paper-based bottle development

Spirit-maker The Absolut Company has unveiled the latest milestone in its mission to create a fully paper-based drinks bottle, having replaced the plastic used to shape bottle necks with a bio-based barrier. Last year, the company announced a trial of 2,000 paper-based bottle prototypes across Sweden and the UK, to test the viability of paper as an alternative to single-use plastics in beverage applications. The first prototypes were made up of 100% recycled content, with 43% being recycled plastic used to create a barrier layer for the bottle. Absolut has confirmed that it is testing different bio-based coatings in order to move more of the bottle away from plastics, although bio-plastics are also being tested in an attempt to use as little barrier material as possible. (Edie)

*Subscription required


Wednesday, 16th June 2021

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

Daily Sessions: Monday 21st June to Friday, 25th June 2021

Social Impact Knowledge Exchange