Top Stories

July 13, 2021


UN publishes draft global treaty for tackling biodiversity loss

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity has published the first draft of a global agreement for tackling biodiversity loss, setting out a string of ambitious new targets for 2030 and 2050 to be negotiated by world leaders at the COP15 Biodiversity Summit in Kunming, China. Among the 2030 targets are goals for 30% of land and sea to be protected, for pollution from all sources to be reduced to levels that are not harmful to biodiversity, for pesticide use to be slashed by two thirds, for nutrient run off to be halved, and for plastic pollution to be eliminated. The draft also states that all businesses should report on their dependencies and impacts on biodiversity and reduce negative impacts by at least half by the end of this decade. (Business Green)


Lidl sets sights on becoming carbon-neutral business by 2022

Multinational supermarket Lidl GB has announced plans to become a carbon-neutral business by 2022 alongside wider commitments to reduce operational emissions and encourage key suppliers to set their own climate commitments. By 2030, Lidl will reduce its operational emissions by 80% compared to 2019 levels across all countries that it operates in, aligning to the 1.5⁰C warming pathway. Additionally, Lidl will continue to build towards a commitment to operating 250 electric vehicle charging points by 2022. The company introduced its 100th charging point at its stores earlier this year. The retailer will also oblige suppliers that make up 75% of product-related scope 3 emissions to set their own climate targets in line with the recommendations of the Science Based Targets initiative. Suppliers have until 2026 to introduce these targets. (Edie)


Unilever developing sustainable enzymes for cleaning brands

Consumer goods giant Unilever has announced a new three-year partnership with Arzeda, a protein design start-up that aims to use advanced computer technologies to develop new enzymes that could help make cleaning and laundry products more environmentally sustainable. The partnership will see Unilever apply Arzeda's protein development technology, which aims to enhance the performance of existing enzymes and design new versions, to its cleaning and laundry product. The new enzymes are designed to replace ingredients that have a higher environmental footprint with Unilever stating the enzymes could reduce the ingredients needed in cleaning and laundry products by up to 50%. Products set to be impacted through the partnership are Persil, Comfort, Sunlight, Surf, and Seventh Generation. (Business Green)


AXA, Aviva, Zurich & more launch UN-backed net-zero alliance

A group of several of the world’s largest insurance and reinsurance companies have announced the launch of the ‘Net-Zero Insurance Alliance’ (NZIA), aimed at helping accelerate the global transition to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through underwriting and risk management practices. Launched at the G20 Climate Summit in Venice, the NZIA was convened by UNEP Finance Initiative’s ‘Principles for Sustainable Insurance’, and initiated by companies, including AXA, Allianz, Aviva, Generali, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance Group. The signatories made a series of commitments, including setting science-based intermediate targets every five years and independently reporting on their progress on an annual basis. The insurers will also set underwriting guidelines and criteria to reduce GHG emissions within their reinsurance underwriting portfolios and collaborate with clients on decarbonization goals. (ESG Today)


Budweiser APAC signs $500 million sustainability-linked loan

The Anheuser-Busch InBev subsidiary Budweiser Brewing Company APAC, the largest beer company in Asia Pacific, has announced the signing of its first sustainability-linked loan –  a $500 million revolving credit facility with a bank consortium led by the Bank of China. According to the new agreement, interest rates on the three-year loan will be linked to the company’s achievement of ESG-related targets in key areas including climate action, water stewardship, circular packaging and smart agriculture, building up to Budweiser APAC’s 2025 Sustainability Goals. Specifically, the loan is linked to the company’s targets of achieving carbon-neutrality by 2021 in its Wuhan brewery, continuing its circular packaging practices to use 100% recycled materials, increasing water availability and quality within disadvantaged communities, and supporting agriculture through empowering its direct farmers. (ESG Today)

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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