Top Stories

June 24, 2021


Climate advisors warn of UK government’s climate policy failures

The UK government’s climate advisory body, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), has urgently warned that the government is failing to support its climate commitments with credible action, with almost all its green policy efforts marred by uncertainty, delay, insufficient engagement with the public, and time running out for Ministers to get the UK's net-zero agenda on track. In its annual progress report, the CCC  acknowledged the recent adoption of several world-leading climate goals, such as ending the sale of new internal combustion engine cars from 2030 and requiring a national 78% cut in emissions against 1990 levels by 2035. However, the report also warns of policy gaps in the UK's net-zero strategy, which, if left unfilled, might put the government at a risk of missing its long-term climate targets. (Business Green)


US retailer Target pledges to become net-zero and 'circular' by 2040

US retail giant Target has outlined its sustainability vision through to 2040, including net-zero and waste reduction commitments. Target aims to halve emissions from Scope 1 and Scope 2 sources and reduce Scope 3 emissions by 30% by 2030 against a 2017 baseline. It will also aim to reach 60% of operational electricity consumption with renewables by 2025, growing to 100% by 2030. Additionally, it plans to stop using materials not categorised as recycled, sustainably sourced or regenerative, and hopes to ensure that products are either recyclable or “easily repaired”. Target’s interim goal is to ensure that at least two owned brands meet these circularity principles for all products by 2025. It has also set a 2025 commitment to reduce total amount of virgin plastic in own-brand packaging by 20%. (Edie)


GRI & Swiss government partner to enhance sustainability reporting

Sustainability reporting standard the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has announced an agreement with the Swiss Confederation’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, partnering on a $4.6 million initiative aimed at improving the quality of sustainability disclosure and accountability by organizations in Africa, Hispanic America and Southeast Asia. The new ‘Sustainability Reporting for Responsible Business’ (SRRB) initiative will provide training activities and workshops for businesses, associations, investors and stakeholders. Other key focus areas of the new initiative include facilitating engagements and events with policy officials and government agents on how to integrate ESG disclosure in the public sector, collaborating with markets and national regulators in support of robust sustainable finance regulations, and engaging journalists on stories relating to sustainable development and the role of corporate reporting. (ESGToday)


Southeast Asia PR industry launches group to curb greenwashing

The Singapore-based industry body for the public relations industry in Southeast Asia, Public Relations & Communications Association (PRCA), has launched a working group to address greenwashing in corporate communications. The group will aim to reduce knowledge gaps on sustainability topics, and set standards for how businesses communicate on sustainability. PRCA’s working group launches off the back of a March study by conservation charity WWF that found that one in five consumers in Singapore say they do not trust sustainability claims from businesses. Sustainability claims have surged off the back of the Covid-19 pandemic, but currently there are few regulations in Southeast Asia or elsewhere that prevent companies from greenwashing – making exaggerated or superficial sustainability claims in their marketing. (Eco-Business)


LEGO unveils prototype bricks made from recycled plastic bottles

Toy production company LEGO Group has unveiled its first prototype bricks made from recycled plastic. The new brick was produced using PET plastic from discarded bottles, sourced from suppliers in the US, with a one-litre plastic PET bottle providing enough raw material for ten 2 x 4 LEGO bricks. The development marks the latest step on LEGO’s journey to make its products from sustainable materials. In December 2020, the company announced a series of climate-focused sustainability commitments, including initiatives to invest in sustainable materials research to reduce the carbon footprint of products and packaging. The company will continue testing and developing the PET formulation of the prototype brick, and assess whether to move to the pilot production phase. It expects this phase of testing to take at least a year. (ESGToday)


Senior Climate Change Consultant, London

Executive Assistant and Office Manager, New York

Sustainability Senior Consultant, North America

Sustainability Senior Researcher, North America