Top Stories

July 12, 2021


BlackRock CEO calls for stronger global climate finance plan

BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink has called for governments to develop a stronger long-term climate finance plan to unlock the private capital needed to fund the transition to a low-carbon economy. The investment management CEO highlighted three "critical" issues needed to power the ecological transition, which he said represented a $50 trillion opportunity for investors. Firstly, private companies should be under the same pressure to share information on their sustainability efforts as public companies. Secondly, global governments must create more demand for “greener” products and services, lowering the cost to improve affordability of such items. Finally, global institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF should be changed so they can do more to encourage private sector capital to help fund the transition in emerging markets. (Reuters)


Allianz unveils investment exclusions for coal and weapons

Asset manager Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) has announced its new exclusion policy, limiting the company’s investments in coal, and avoiding investments in businesses involved in controversial weapons. Starting in December, AllianzGI will no longer invest in companies that obtain more than 30% of their annual revenue from coal mining, or in companies that generate more than 30% of their electricity production from coal. The company’s controversial weapons policy will apply to companies that are involved in development and distribution of anti-personnel mines, cluster munitions, biological weapons, chemical weapons and nuclear weapons. The announcement comes after its parent company, Allianz Group, announced plans to phase out coal-based business models from its investment and property and casualty insurance businesses by 2040. (ESG Today)


Around 45% of UK businesses are yet to set net-zero targets

The state of net-zero target-setting across the UK's private and public sectors is mixed, with 52% of organisations having set such a goal and 45% yet to do so, according to a survey by sustainable journalism company Edie. The ‘Net-Zero Business Barometer’ surveyed 161 representatives from in-house sustainability, energy and carbon professionals at UK organisations, asking questions on their organisation’s low-carbon transition to date and plans for accelerating progress towards net-zero over the coming 12 months. Of those surveyed, 52% said they had public net-zero targets, compared to 45% claiming that their organisation had not yet done so. On average, 36% of respondents stated 2030 as the most common net-zero target deadline. Targets for this decade typically exclude Scope 3 emissions, while targets for 2040 and 2050 typically include them. (Edie)


AT&T supports new hotline in US to assist with mental health

The world’s largest telecommunications company AT&T is supporting the US-based three-digit emergency hotline code, 988, for suicide prevention and mental health crisis services. Voice calls to 988 will be directed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) to help individuals in crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder increased considerably in the United States during April–June of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019. In response to these trends, in 2020 the Federal Communications Commission and Congress designated “988” as an easy to remember code for Americans to reach the Lifeline. Currently, 99% of AT&T’s wireless customers can dial the 988 code, with those on a wireline able to dial 988 by July 2022. (Diversity Inc)


Asos reduced emissions by 13% in 2020 despite sales boom

Online fashion giant Asos has revealed a 13% year-on-year reduction in its carbon footprint for 2020, despite a surge in sales as lockdown restrictions forced physical stores to close. Asos has recorded a 28% year-on-year drop in CO2e per million pounds of revenue and a 45% drop in CO2e per order since the 2015 – 2016 financial year. It had been targeting a 30% reduction within this timeframe, and will now update its carbon intensity goals. Asos attributes a small proporition of its emissions reduction to the impact of the pandemic, with increased efficiency of delivery routes in the US. The announcement from Asos stands in contrast to a recent sustainability report from Amazon, which revealed that the tech firm’s absolute global emissions rose 19% year-on-year in 2020 as demand increased. (Edie)

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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