Top Stories

August 20, 2021


Facebook pledges to become 'water positive' by 2030

Facebook has announced plans to become “water positive” by 2030, restoring more water than the company consumes globally. The company had already started to reduce its water use by developing new technologies for cooling and humidifying data centres, its main source of water consumption. These have increased their water efficiency by 80% “compared to the industry standard”. The new push for water positivity will involve the company also working on water restoration projects in water-stressed areas. The organisation said it had already invested in projects that replenish more than 850 million gallons of water a year across six American states, including New Mexico, California and Utah. It plans to extend the work to cover Ireland, Singapore, India, the UK and Mexico in the future. (The Guardian)


China ramps up scrutiny on tech sector with major data protection law

China passed a major data protection law setting out tougher rules on how companies collect and handle their users’ information, which could impact the way China’s technology giants operate. The Personal Information Protection Law lays out a comprehensive set of rules around data collection, processing and protection, that were previously governed by piecemeal legislation. The final version of the law has not been published, but a previous draft said data collectors must get user consent to collect data and users can withdraw that consent at any time. Companies that process data cannot refuse to provide services to users who don’t agree to having their data collected — unless that data is necessary for the provision of that product or service. (CNBC)


US food giants like Costco and JBS failing to tackle Scope 3 emissions

An analysis of 50 of North America's largest food companies' climate efforts has found that only 38% disclose their Scope 3 emissions. This is despite the average company’s supply chain emissions being estimated to be around five-and-a-half times greater than Scope 1 and 2 emissions for most businesses in the sector, according to CDP. The new analysis is from Ceres and covers companies including JBS, Kraft Heinz, Walmart and McDonald’s. Only 19 of the companies assessed were disclosing Scope 3 emissions, and only 15 had set a 1.5C-aligned, verified, science-based target. Just three businesses– namely Starbucks, Mondelez and Hershey – were taking both of the actions. (Edie)


Councils throw support behind Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

More than 100 local authorities and councils have publicly backed the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill, which is set to be debated in Parliament next month and calls for the UK to do more to tackle its contribution to the climate crisis. The CEE Bill has been spearheaded in Parliament by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and would see the UK go beyond its 2050 net-zero target by accounting for its entire carbon footprint – domestically and overseas. At present, international shipping and aviation are excluded from calculations. The Bill would also bind policymakers to prioritise existing climate solutions over emerging technologies, as recommended by Project Drawdown and Chatham House, and to give greater powers to the citizens’ assembly on climate change. (Edie)


Sugary UK children’s yoghurts named and shamed by researchers

Nearly two-thirds of the yoghurts marketed at children provide at least a third of a four- to six-year-old’s maximum daily intake of added sugars, according to research that calls for a ban on child-friendly packaging. Despite the surveyed yoghurts containing added sugar, syrup and fruit concentrate, they are packaged with colourful cartoon designs aimed to attract children. Many contain claims about health benefits, highlighting the presence of calcium, vitamin D and protein content, but the researchers warn that these distract parents from scrutinising nutrition labels. The researchers, who are part of the Action on Sugar charity, are calling on the government to introduce restrictions on the use of child-friendly packaging and to remove nutrition and health claims on yoghurts with medium or high sugar content. (The Guardian)


Senior Climate Change Consultant, London

Executive Assistant and Office Manager, New York

Sustainability Senior Consultant, North America

Sustainability Senior Researcher, North America