Top Stories

September 16, 2021


Fitch announces Sustainable Fitch and ESG Ratings products

Credit rating agency Fitch Group has launched ‘Sustainable Fitch’ – offering a comprehensive range of ESG ratings products at both an entity- and instrument-level for all asset classes globally. The ESG Ratings coverage will initially focus on the ESG-labelled market, but in time Fitch hopes to expand to cover the entire fixed-income investable universe, including conventional bonds and loans. . The ESG ratings are presented on a scale ranging from 1 (“Excellent”) to 5 (“Poor”), and are supported by subgrades and detailed underlying datasets, allowing for granular comparative analysis. The reports will also include qualitative commentary and additional information on instrument relevance and alignment with major standards and taxonomies. The announcement from Fitch means all big three credit rating agencies – Fitch, S&P and Moody’s – now offer a specific ESG rating product. (ESGToday; Fitch Ratings)


PepsiCo and P&G strengthen sustainability commitments

Food and beverage giant PepsiCo has announced the launch of ‘pep+’, its new sustainability framework encompassing ingredient sourcing, production and sale of products, and inspiration of people through its brands. Pillars include: Positive Agriculture – using regenerative practices; Positive Value Chain – climate, water and packaging goals; and Positive Choices – evolving products to make them better for people and the planet. In related news, consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced a comprehensive plan to accelerate its climate action, including a new ambition to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its operations and supply chain, from raw material to retailer, by 2040. P&G has also joined the UN’s Race to Zero through the ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ campaign, revealing its submission of emissions reduction goals to the  Science Based Targets initiative. (ESGToday; SustainableBrands)


EU plans certification scheme for carbon dioxide removals

The European Commission will publish a policy paper by the end of the year on "the sustainable management of the carbon cycle" – the first step towards an EU-wide certification scheme for negative emissions coming from agriculture, forestry and other sources, that will be tabled in 2022. The EU Climate Law, earlier this year revealed targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by  55% by 2030 before  reaching net-zero by 2050. The EU executive is now preparing a second leg to the bloc’s climate policy, with plans to also remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. To accompany this, the EU executive plans to publish a strategy document on monitoring, verification and accounting of carbon dioxide removals, as well as a legislative proposal on carbon removal certification, containing technical details. (edie)


Top carbon emitters fall short on climate risk disclosure

Top emitters of carbon are not disclosing the full risks associated with climate change, reducing the chances of meeting global emissions targets, a study by Carbon Tracker and the Climate Accounting Project claims. Of 107 listed companies assessed in the study, across sectors including oil and gas, automobiles and aviation, more than 70% did not reflect the full risks resulting from climate change in their 2020 accounts. Eight out of 10 audits also showed no evidence of assessing climate risk, such as testing the assumptions and estimates made about impairments on long-lived assets, before accounts were signed off. Researchers also noted concern over a lack of consistency between climate pledges made and their treatment in financial accounts, with 80% not using assumptions in line with the 1.5°C Paris Agreement goal. (Reuters)


Most office workers will never return full-time, survey says

Most people do not believe workers will return to the office full-time after the coronavirus pandemic, an exclusive conducted by polling organisation YouGov for the BBC suggests. A total of 70% of 1,684 people polled predicted that workers would "never return to offices at the same rate", with the majority of workers saying they would prefer to work from home either full-time or at least some of the time. Managers and members of the public surveyed agreed that neither productivity nor the economy would be harmed by continuing work-from-home policies. However, some raised concern that working from home full0time may affect creativity in the workplace. According to the research, more than three-quarters of people believe their boss will allow them to continue working from home some of the time. (BBC News)


Senior Climate Change Consultant, London

Executive Assistant and Office Manager, New York

Sustainability Senior Consultant, North America

Sustainability Senior Researcher, North America