Top Stories

September 14, 2021


Investor Engine No. 1 aims to tie company valuations to climate impact

Investment firm Engine No. 1, which won a board challenge against Exxon Mobil earlier this year, is to publish a framework for investing on Monday that pushes for a value to be assigned to how corporate activities affect climate and society. The total value framework aims to turn ESG into an “economic argument”. Instead of using traditional ESG scores, which the asset manager believes to be too detached from the financial value assigned to companies, Engine No. 1 attaches a value to a company's impact on climate change, water consumption, workforce diversity or human rights. In the absence of company data that allows for impact evaluation, it uses models that draw on sources such as the United Nations and the International Labour Organization. (Reuters)


UK Supermarket Tesco joins refillable revolution with in-store Loop trial

British supermarket Tesco has partnered with the Loop packaging re-use service to introduce reusable packaging across 10 of its east of England stores. A range of 88 products from high profile brands such as Persil, Coca Cola, and Heinz, as well as Tesco own-brand products will be available to buy in packaging that can be returned to the store, cleaned, and reused via the Loop service, operated by recycling specialist Terracycle. Tesco will have designated Loop aisles in the pilot stores where customers can find the products, which are price matched with the original but for a 20 pence packaging deposit that is refunded on return of the packaging to a collection point in the store. It plans to expand the range of products on offer in the scheme. (Business Green)


Latino boardroom representation found to lag in California companies

California companies added Latino directors at the slowest pace among US minority groups, a new study by the Latino Corporate Directors Association found, ahead of a year-end state deadline mandating more boardroom diversity. Although many companies pledged a new effort to diversify their workforces and leadership after last year's Black Lives Matter protests, new figures show slow change in some quarters. Among the roughly 1,443 new directors added to public company boards in California during the 12 months to 30th June,  just 3.5% were Latino or Hispanic, compared to 10% found to be Black or African-American, and 18% Asian. The study found 83% of the state's public company boards had no Latino or Hispanic directors. California has headquarters of many top technology and entertainment companies, including Apple and Disney. (Reuters)


EU anti-deforestation leaked law omits fragile grasslands and wetlands

The European Commission has pledged to introduce a law aimed at preventing beef, palm oil and other products linked to deforestation from being sold in the EU single market of 450 million consumers. However, the draft regulation, expected to be published in December, will be limited to controlling EU imports of beef, palm oil, soy, wood, cocoa and coffee. Campaigners have criticised a leaked impact assessment which reveals “significant omissions” in the plans, including exclusion of endangered grasslands and wetlands, as well as products that raise environmental concerns, such as leather, rubber and maize, and pig and chicken farming. The fragile Cerrado grasslands and the Pantanal wetlands, both under threat from soy and beef exploitation, have been excluded from the draft anti-deforestation law. (The Guardian)


Cows ‘potty-trained’ in experiment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Cows are being potty trained to help reduce the ammonia emissions produced by their waste. Scientists from Germany and New Zealand have discovered calves can learn how to use a toilet quicker than very young children, and found a process dubbed “MooLoo” training that would teach calves to urinate in latrines in exchange for rewards. Agriculture is the largest source of ammonia emissions, with livestock farming making up over half of that contribution. Cows’ urine and faeces combine to create ammonia, an indirect greenhouse gas, which when leached into soil is converted into nitrous oxide, becoming the third most harmful greenhouse gas. The scientists are hoping to transfer their results into real cattle housing and outdoor farming systems.(The Independent)


Senior Climate Change Consultant, London

Executive Assistant and Office Manager, New York

Sustainability Senior Consultant, North America

Sustainability Senior Researcher, North America