Top Stories

June 11, 2021


SASB and IIRC merge to establish 'legitimacy' in sustainability reporting

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) have finalised their merger to form the Value Reporting Foundation in a bid to streamline corporate reporting systems and enhance legitimacy around sustainability disclosure standards. The Value Reporting Foundation plans to support business and investor decision-making with three main resources: integrated thinking principles, the integrated reporting framework, and SASB standards. SASB and the IIRC announced their merger last November after committing to working with other ESG standard-setters like the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the most widely-used framework, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) to harmonise their different standards and frameworks. The move responds to an increase demand from businesses and investors for more clarity and simplicity in the corporate reporting landscape. (Eco-Business)


Royal Mail aims to grow EV fleet ten-fold, as DPD orders 750 electric vans

UK postal service firm Royal Mail has announced plans to add an additional 3,000 low-emission delivery vans to its fleet, in the same week that parcel delivery service DPD placed an order for 750 fully electric vans. Royal Mail currently operates some 300 electric vehicles (EVs), so the vision marks a ten-fold increase in the size of its electric fleet. The new vehicles – the first of which will enter operation this summer – will be added to existing delivery routes and depots will receive models with load capacities ranging from 3.7m3 to 6.3m3 depending on their needs. All Royal Mail delivery offices will need EV charging points fitted as part of the plan. The first are bound to be based on urban areas with ultra-low emission zones and green city plans, like London, Oxford, Glasgow and Bristol. (Edie)


Kingfisher, DS Smith and Turner & Townsend unveil science-based targets

Hardware retailer Screwfix and B&Q's parent firm Kingfisher have set carbon reduction targets consistent with the 1.5◦C target of the Paris Agreement approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), while both packaging firm DS Smith and consultants Turner & Townsend have unveiled net-zero commitments. Kingfisher has committed to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 38% in absolute terms by 2025 compared to a 2016 baseline and reduce Scope 3 emissions by 40% per £1 million of turnover by 2025 compared to 2017 levels. DS Smith has signed up to the ‘Race to Zero’ initiative and is aiming to achieve a 40% reduction by 2030, compared to 2019 levels. The target will be submitted to the SBTi for validation. Turner & Townsend has committed to reaching net-zero by 2030. (Edie)


Unilever unveils 'world's first' paper-based laundry detergent bottle

Consumer goods giant Unilever has announced plans to launch the "first ever" paper-based laundry detergent bottle using cutting-edge technology that has the potential to significantly reduce the use of plastic in household products. Unilever announced this morning that it had built a prototype for the paper-based bottle for its laundry brand OMO, marketed as Persil in the UK, which it intends to sell in Brazil in early 2022 and Europe "soon after". The bottle is made of sustainably sourced pulp and is designed to be recycled in the paper waste stream. It relies on technology developed by the ‘Pulpex ‘sustainable packaging research and development collaboration, which includes Unilever, drinks giants PepsiCo and Diageo, venture management firm Pilot Life, and GSK Consumer Healthcare. (Business Green)


Amazon and Facebook allow greater flexibility in return-to-work plans

E-commerce giant Amazon is giving its corporate employees greater flexibility to work remotely, in a significant U-turn from its earlier return-to-work guidance. In March, Amazon emphasized that its goal was to “return to an office-centric culture.” Now, the company expects employees to work in the office three days a week, leaving them the option to work remotely up to two days a week. Some corporate employees will have the option to work fully remotely up to four weeks per year. In related news, social media platform Facebook will let all employees who can work away from the office do so after the Covid pandemic is over. The company has told its staff it plans to spend up to half of 2022 working remotely. (CNBC; BBC News)


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