Top Stories

August 25, 2021


Apparel, finance, fossil fuels ranked as most water-polluting sectors

Environmental disclosure platform CDP has published its first ever Water Impact Index in a bid to improve investor understanding of water-related risks. The first-of-its kind study ranked more than 200 industrial activities based on their impact on global water quality and quantity, with the purpose of measuring the water footprint of different industries. The study found the apparel and textile manufacturing sectors, cotton farming, livestock farming, oil and gas extraction, and mining are among the sectors with the largest potential impact on the world's rivers, lakes, aquifers, and streams. The finance sector is also singled out in the index as having a critical impact on global water resources, due to its role as an enabler of other industries' water pollution and damage and obstruction of waterways. (Business Green)


Iberdrola teams up with AECOM on green hydrogen rail link in Italy

Spanish renewables group Iberdrola will be teaming up with US infrastructure consultant AECOM and others on plans to convert an Italian railroad to run on green hydrogen. The 300-kilometre railway link, which crosses four central Italian regions, is only partially electrified and is currently used by old diesel-powered trains. The project is intended to have big environmental impact, as well as significant economic and social effects. It is one in a series of projects Iberdrola is working on to produce hydrogen from renewable electrolysis and supply it for various uses including heavy transport and the chemicals industry. The agreement with AECOM also includes a feasibility study to develop a hydrogen-powered rail link connecting the seaside town of San Benedetto del Tronto on Italy's eastern coast to Rome. (Reuters)


Chevron, Brightmark expand partnership on dairy biomethane fuel

Waste solutions provider Brightmark and energy major Chevron have announced the second expansion of their previously announced joint venture to own projects across the United States to produce and market dairy biomethane, a renewable natural gas produced from cow manure, as part of Chevron’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. Additional equity investments by each company in the joint venture will fund construction of infrastructure and commercial operation of 10 projects to produce dairy biomethane to fuel long-haul trucks. The companies are already developing 28 plants in seven states, with the first set to begin production this year. Chevron will purchase the renewable natural gas produced from these projects and market the volumes for use in vehicles operating on compressed natural gas. (Bloomberg; Business Wire)


Wool from Waitrose lambs to be used for John Lewis mattresses

Unwanted wool from lambs reared by farmers in Wales and south-west England for supermarket chain Waitrose is being turned into environmentally friendly mattresses for retailer John Lewis. Waitrose said farmers were struggling to find buyers for their wool, with the price paid often not even covering shearing costs, leading to the material sometimes being burned or buried. The tough market conditions have been made worse by the pausing of exports to China, a key wool buyer, during the pandemic. The retailer said the tie-up with its sister chain would prevent this waste and hopefully stimulate interest in wool products. Duvets, pillows and mattresses made out of wool are biodegradable and have become a fashionable alternative to mainstream synthetic versions, with specialist brands, such as Woolroom, gaining ground in the market. (The Guardian)


Dangerous weight loss products for sale online with no health

The consumer group Which? has found dozens of “dangerous” weight loss products on sale online containing plant extracts that can make users agitated or aggressive and increase their heart rate and blood pressure. Which? bought nine such products, which are used by some people seeking to lose weight, bodybuilders and gym-goers, through the online marketplaces eBay, Wish and AliExpress. Of those, two included no health warnings or dosage information. They all contained either yohimbine or synephrine, substances that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has said have “considerable potential to cause harm if used without medical supervision or advice”. Which?’s head of consumer protection policy called on the MHRA and other regulators to be more proactive in policing potentially dangerous products that are for sale on these sites. (The Guardian)


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Sustainability Senior Consultant, North America

Sustainability Senior Researcher, North America