Top Stories

August 24, 2021


Airbnb offers free accommodation for 20,000 Afghan refugees

Online accommodation platform Airbnb has committed to house 20,000 Afghan refugees at no charge to help them resettle across the world, after deeming the country’s Taliban takeover as "one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time". The offer starts immediately and the company said it is working with non-governmental organisations to help with the most pressing needs, claiming it would collaborate with resettlement agencies and partners "to go where the need goes" and evolve the initiative and its support as necessary. The stays will be enabled by volunteer hosts, with the company guaranteeing the cost would be funded through contributions from Airbnb and the company’s CEO, as well as donors to the Refugee Fund. Property owners who host Airbnb locations have been encouraged to volunteer as hosts. (BBC News)


Lidl GB to trial traffic light 'eco-labels' on own-brand this autumn

Supermarket Lidl GB will add new on-pack 'eco labels' to dozens of its most popular own-brand product lines this October, giving shoppers more information about the carbon and biodiversity impact of their choices. Food products will be given a total score out of 100 points, as well as a colour-code and a letter grade from A to E. Total scores will be calculated using a life-cycle assessment, taking into account the life-cycle carbon, resource and nature impact of the product and its packaging. Extra points can be added for products that have received third-party certification under schemes like Fairtrade or the Rainforest Alliance. Lidl is trialling the label on 50 own-brand lines sold at its 105 stores in Scotland, with plans to progress further with the scheme in the future. (Edie)


Tesco adds flexible plastic recycling points to all large UK stores

British supermarket chain Tesco has announced that all of its large UK stores now have recycling collection points for soft and flexible plastics, which are not collected from homes by most local councils. Tesco trialled in-store collections for soft and flexible plastics in 2020, during which customers returned more than ten times the expected amount of plastic. It has now added the facility to every large UK store, following positive feedback from customers at  the 171 stores in Wales and the South-West stating the facility helped them to recycle more than they would have done otherwise. Most of the collected material is made into new products and packaging and Tesco has vowed that material that cannot be reprocessed in this way will be kept out of landfill, primarily through energy-from-waste systems. (Edie)


BASF & Atos partner to measure carbon footprint of chemicals

Digital solutions company Atos and chemical and materials giant BASF announced a partnership to launch a new solution enabling the chemical industry to assess the carbon footprint of chemical products. BASF will contribute with its proprietary digital solution enabling it to calculate the ‘Product Carbon Footprint’ of each product, and Atos will develop a software platform based on this methodology to make the calculation approach available to the industry. BASF previously announced a series of partnerships aimed at developing technologies to help decarbonize the chemical industry, one with chemical company SABIC and industrial gases and engineering company Linde to develop and demonstrate solutions for electrically heated steam cracker furnaces, and another with Siemens Energy to accelerate commercial implementation of new technologies designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions in chemical production. (ESGToday)


BorgWarner invests in waste to energy solutions provider Enexor

Automotive supplier BorgWarner has announced a $10 million investment in renewable energy and carbon conversion solutions company Enexor BioEnergy. Enexor uses organics or plastic waste to generate clean onsite energy, producing power and thermal energy for facilities and microgrids, resulting in avoided methane emissions released from landfills, reduced fossil fuel-based power generation, and less waste disposal transportation emissions. BorgWarner and Enexor aim to explore future collaborations, including the potential for further CO2 reduction technologies and supplying battery packs. The agreement marks the latest in a series of sustainability-focused moves and investments for BorgWarner. Recently, the company announced its Charging Forward electrification strategy, targeting a major increase in electric vehicle-related revenue to 45% of sales by 2030, from less than 3%, and an investment in energy storage technology company CelLink. (ESGToday)


Senior Climate Change Consultant, London

Executive Assistant and Office Manager, New York

Sustainability Senior Consultant, North America

Sustainability Senior Researcher, North America