Top Stories

July 05, 2021


HSBC's commercial team to receive sustainable banking training

More than 500 employees at banking giant HSBC are to receive training in how to deliver responsible and sustainable banking practices, as part of a tie-up with the Chartered Banker Institute. HSBC is to offer staff access to the ‘Green and Sustainable Finance’ e-learning programme, aiming to help develop the knowledge and expertise of its commercial banking team to better support UK businesses as they navigate a transition to net-zero emissions. However, like many leading banks, the company has faced criticism from some environmental campaigners who argue that having set its own net-zero emissions target HSBC should be moving more swiftly to halt investments in all fossil fuel infrastructure and further accelerate its investment in low carbon infrastructure and businesses. (Business Green)


WWF calls for UK to cut global environmental footprint by 75%

If the UK is to properly address its climate impacts, it must reduce the environmental impact of products made domestically and imported by 75% this decade according to a major new report by conservation charity WWF. When domestic and overseas impacts are accounted for, WWF claims, the UK’s GHG footprint, on a per-capita basis, is six times the planetary limit. WWF’s suggested roadmap includes a recommendation to cut the footprint of the UK’s material consumption by 40% by 2030, with a higher 50% target for biomass, and a target for 100% sustainably sourced marine resources by 2030. To deliver these targets, WWF recommends a due diligence obligation on businesses with related supply chains, and on the finance sector, to mandate the assessment of nature risks across the value chain. (Edie)


Rolls-Royce & Shell partner to deliver sustainable aviation fuels

Luxury car manufacturer Rolls-Royce and oil giant Shell have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to help build towards their respective net-zero targets by developing and scaling Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) for the sector. The MoU will build on existing partnerships between the two firms to advance the development of SAFs, including Rolls-Royce’s new SAFinity service, for which Shell is the sole SAF supplier. The two companies want to demonstrate that SAFs can act as a “drop-in” solution to decarbonise aviation as SAFs can reduce life-cycle emissions by up to 70% compared to traditional jet fuel. A headline commitment is to ensure that all jet engines supplied to civil and business aviation firms are ready to run on 100% SAFs from 2023. (Edie)


‘Black-owned’ business label debuts on Instagram in equity push

Social media app Instagram has announced the introduction of a ‘black-owned’ business tag that accounts can select to include in their profile biographies. To use the tag, Black-owned businesses will have to self-identify by editing their profile’s diversity information. The new initiative is part of Instagram’s recently formed equity team’s ongoing investment in creating more economic opportunity for Black-owned businesses. Instagram said the goal of the “Black-owned” label is to provide another way for Black business owners to promote their businesses while also making it easier for consumers to find and support these companies. While the Black-owned label is Instagram’s first attempt at allowing businesses on its site to self-identify with a community, additional labels for more groups are expected to be introduced in the future. (Yahoo News)


Call for global treaty to end production of ‘virgin’ plastic by 2040

The solution to the blight of plastic pollution in the oceans and on land could be a worldwide agreement on limits and controls to phase out the production of “virgin” or new plastic by 2040, according to scientists in a recent report, published in the journal Science. The report calls for a new global treaty “to cover the entire lifecycle of plastics, from the extraction of the raw materials needed for its manufacture to its legacy pollution” to phase out production of virgin plastics by 2040. To further address plastic pollution, the report also calls for the creation of a circular economy for plastic by incentivising reuse and refill and the elimination of substantial volumes of plastic pollution, and the launch of a worldwide clean-up of plastic waste. (The Guardian)

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Senior Climate Change Consultant, London

Executive Assistant and Office Manager, New York

Sustainability Senior Consultant, North America

Sustainability Senior Researcher, North America