Top Stories

June 02, 2021


G7 nations commit billions more to fossil fuel than green energy

The nations that make up the G7 have invested billions of dollars more into fossil fuels than they have into clean energy since the Covid-19 pandemic, despite their promises of a green recovery. New analysis from the development charity Tearfund, the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Overseas Development Institute reveals that the countries attending the upcoming G7 Summit committed $189 billion to support oil, coal and gas between January 2020 and March 2021. In comparison, the same countries – the UK, US, Canada, Italy, France, Germany and Japan – spent $147 billion on clean forms of energy. The support for fossil fuels from seven of the world’s richest nations included measures to remove or downgrade environmental regulations as well as direct funding of oil, gas and coal. (The Guardian)


Sustainable business certifier B Lab launching in Southeast Asia

B Lab, a US-headquartered sustainable business certification non-profit, has expanded to Southeast Asia with a mission to grow a community of B Corporations, or B Corps, and advance stakeholder capitalism in the region. After establishing a Southeast Asia hub in Singapore, B Lab is aiming to certify 100 businesses across the region by 2025. To achieve B-Corp certification, companies use an online tool to assess the sustainability of their entire business, including governance, community and environmental impact, and the treatment of workers and customers. Firms that earn a minimum score of 80 out of 200 points are then verified and reviewed by B Lab. There are now 3,944 certified B Corps across 150 industries in 74 countries, but still only 13 in Singapore, two in Indonesia, and one in Malaysia. (Eco-Business)


Amazon warehouse workers injured at higher rates than peers

Warehouse workers at tech giant Amazon are injured at higher rates than those at rival companies, according to a new study by the Strategic Organizing Center. In 2020, there were 5.9 serious injuries for every 100 Amazon warehouse workers, which is nearly 80% higher than the serious injury rate at non-Amazon warehouses. Serious injuries include any injuries that require employees to either miss work entirely – "lost time injuries" – or be placed on light or restricted duty. Amazon's overall injury rate in 2020 was 6.5 cases for every 100 workers, more than twice that of close competitor Walmart, which reported three cases for every 100 employees in 2020. Amazon is taking steps to improve workplace safety initiatives after facing growing scrutiny from employees, advocacy groups and politicians over warehouse working conditions. (CNBC)


Brazil is finalizing rule to pay farmers to prevent deforestation

The Brazilian government is finalizing legislation that will allow farmers to get paid to preserve undeveloped rainforests and savannah. The new rules would allow farmers to get paid if they decide not to clear land for agriculture or to raise livestock, even in the case of some Brazilian where they would be legally permitted to. Brazil has a strict forestry code that allows farmers to clear portions of their land depending on the region where they operate. In some places, it remains possible to chop down trees to create space for livestock or to grow crops, but the new rules would provide incentives for farmers not to do so. The government has not yet provided a timeline for enacting the bill. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)


Kingspan signs for €700 million sustainability-linked loan

Building materials and design giant Kingspan has signed for a new €700 million revolving credit facility with interest rates linked to environmental targets. The facility is linked to the 12 main targets from Kingspan’s ‘Planet Passionate’ sustainability strategy, where the company will benefit from lower interest rates if it delivers against targets on energy, carbon, the circular economy and water stewardship. On energy and carbon, Kingspan’s overarching ambition is to reach net-zero emissions from manufacturing operations by 2030. Kingspan’s circular economy targets include upcycling one billion PET bottles into insulation by 2025 and achieving zero company waste to landfill by 2030. On water stewardship, the firm is aiming to harvest 100 million litres of rainwater this decade and be operating five ocean clean-up projects by 2025. (Edie)


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