Top Stories

September 08, 2021


Human rights group accuses European retailers of profiting from Xinjiang cotton

The Berlin-based European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) has filed a complaint to German prosecutors, accusing retailers including Hugo Boss of abetting and profiting directly or indirectly from forced labour in the Xinjiang Region of China’s cotton trade. This follows the US accusation of China detaining more than 1 million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in camps where forced labour is reportedly carried out. Recently French prosecutors also launched an inquiry into fashion retailers like Uniqulo, Inditex and Sketchers on the grounds of reportedly concealing crimes against humanity in the region. The ECCHR’s filing is looking to open an inquiry that holds retailers to account and raise awareness of issues among consumers.  (Business of Fashion)



WWF urges action to prevent societal costs of plastic hitting $7trn by 2040

The societal cost of plastic produced in 2040 could hit $7.1trn unless urgent action is taken, according to a new report from WWF. The lifetime cost to society, the environment and the economy of plastic produced in 2019 alone has been revealed at $3.7 trillion, by the environmental group's calculations. In its report, WWF claims that fragmented regulatory approaches, misplaced incentives and a lack of coordinated technical resources, financial support and consistent data on plastic leakage are currently “costing us the Earth”. The report also reveals that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the plastic lifecycle will account for up to 20% of the entire global carbon budget, accelerating the climate crisis. (edie)



Climate impact of a transatlantic flight could cost global economy $3,000

A return flight from the UK to New York could cost the global economy more than $3,000 (£2,170) in the long run, owing to the effects of the climate crisis. Researchers from Cambridge University, University College London and Imperial College London, examined the economic cost of the climate crisis and found it would cut about 37% from global GDP this century, more than twice the drop experienced in the Great Depression. Most estimates had assumed fires, floods, droughts and other impacts of the climate crisis did not affect economic growth, the authors said, but there was “mounting evidence to the contrary”. (The Guardian)



Investors call for private firms to disclose more environmental data

Investors managing $2.3 trillion in assets have called for more than 1,000 private companies to provide environmental data through non-profit disclosure platform CDP to address a gap in transparency with their listed peers. CDP said the group of investors, including Neuberger Berman and Nuveen, had helped create a questionnaire for private firms that would be used to benchmark them - a crucial step as they increasingly snap up high-carbon assets from listed companies. The project comes as record amounts of capital are put to work in private equity and debt markets by investors. Private equity net asset value has grown three times as fast as public markets since the turn of the century, the group said. (Reuters)



Siemens Gamesa produces world's first recyclable wind turbine blades

A number of fully recyclable wind turbine blades are set to be installed at an offshore wind farm off the coast of Germany, in a move that been heralded as a landmark moment in the drive towards a more circular economy for the booming global wind energy industry. While established recycling practices are in place for the tower and nacelle components of wind turbines, turbine blades have long presented a recycling challenge to operators due to their use of composite materials. But Siemens Gamesa's RecycleBlade is cast together with a new type of resin that makes it easy to separate the blade's different components at the end of its working life, according to the manufacturer. (Business Green)*



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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