Top Stories

September 15, 2021


Just 13 out of FTSE 100 employers reveal ethnicity pay gaps

Only 13 of the 100 largest UK-listed employers have revealed their ethnicity pay gaps, sparking fresh calls for the government to make reporting of racial earnings disparities mandatory. Analysis of the FTSE 100, which includes the biggest firms listed on the London Stock Exchange, found that widespread commitments from employers to take action on racial disparity in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer 2020 have yet to result in hard data. Among those that have published figures are the developer British Land, British Telecom, and NatWest, whereas major employers such as Next, and Aviva have yet to declare figures. On Monday UK MPs will debate making ethnicity pay gap reporting mandatory, after 130,000 people signed a petition backing the change. (The Guardian)


World Green Buildings Council updates net-zero commitment

The World Green Buildings Council has unveiled an update to its Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, that aims to ignite a "reduction-first" approach to decarbonisation to halve emissions from the sector by 2030 and tackle lifecycle emissions. The Commitment, first issued in 2017, calls on companies in the built environment sector to ensure all existing buildings by 2050 operate at net-zero carbon. The updated mandate will prompt companies to account for the role that tackling embodied carbon can have as part of a “reduction-first approach to decarbonisation”. The updated mandate will also call for businesses to account for the whole lifecycle impact of all new buildings and major renovations by 2023, with a commitment to track and report business activities that influence the indirect reduction of whole life carbon emissions. (edie)


Firms urge UK Government to strengthen Environment Bill

Supermarkets and food producers are asking the UK government to consider amendments to the Environment Bill to strengthen its provisions to tackle deforestation. The letter has so far been signed by Asda, the Co-op, Cranswick, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Sainsburys, McDonald’s, Moy Park , Morrisons, Mondelēz International, Nandos, Ocado, Tesco and Waitrose & Partners. The companies reiterate the Environment Bill would only tackle "illegal deforestation", which they argue would not achieve halting the loss of natural ecosystems. They argue this is especially the case when producing country governments have the discretion to decide what is legal or have inadequate enforcement mechanisms, and local land title and clearance records can be unreliable or absent. The businesses are urging the government to consider amending the legislation to tackle all forms of deforestation. (edie)


Multi-trillion investors urge global raising of climate ambitions   

Leading up to the UN Climate Summit, COP26, a major group of 587 investors, representing $46 trillion in assets, has issued a call on global governments to implement a set of actions geared towards helping mobilize investments to address the climate crisis, including outlining roadmaps to decarbonize emissions-intensive sectors and implementing mandatory climate disclosures. In a statement developed by The Investor Agenda, a collaboration of sustainable investment focused organizations, the investors urge global leaders to raise their countries’ climate ambitions and implement policies. The statement explains investors are seeking to decrease their climate risk exposure and invest in opportunities to benefit from the net-zero transition, highlighting that their ability to allocate the trillions of dollars needed to facilitate the global transformation is limited by the current state of government commitments. (ESGToday)


EU pledges extra €4 billion in international climate finance

The European Union has pledged to increase financial support to help poorer countries fight climate change and adapt to its impacts, calling on the United States to also step up its financial contributions. The European Commission has proposed an additional €4 billion for climate finance until 2027 and is urging the United States and other partners to follow suit, in a bid to close the climate finance gap, and send a strong signal for global climate leadership. The EU already contributes $25 billion per year in climate funding. Climate finance is expected to be a decisive issue at the COP26 summit in November, as rich countries have so far failed to deliver their 2009 pledge to provide $100 billion per year in climate finance to poorer countries by 2020. (Reuters)


Senior Climate Change Consultant, London

Executive Assistant and Office Manager, New York

Sustainability Senior Consultant, North America

Sustainability Senior Researcher, North America