Top Stories

September 22, 2021


Investors call for stronger global biodiversity framework from COP15

A group of investors worth more than $10.6 trillion in assets under management, including the likes of Aviva, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and Robeco, has issued a statement ahead of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity's COP15 next month, calling for heightened global action to end deforestation and ensure sustainable land use. The group, coordinated by sustainability non-profit Ceres and the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation, urges world governments to deliver a more ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework at the upcoming COP15 conference in October. The statement urges governments to create an environment that promotes corporate action and disclosure to address biodiversity-related risks and opportunities, and to create a harmonised policy approach that will deliver net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and tackle the nature crisis. (edie)


British Fashion Council urges major retailers to halve consumer demand

The British Fashion Council (BFC) has urged major retailers and the UK government to work together to encourage shoppers to halve their annual purchases of new clothes. A BFC report maps a framework for building a circular economy in the UK fashion industry, emphasising reducing consumer demand for new clothing by around 50% to open up the market for pre-owned, rented, and repaired outfits. It claims that adopting circular business models provide opportunities to cut down on waste and emissions, while opening up fresh market opportunities. The report  also calls for better sustainable design of clothing to enhance recycling and reuse of garments, and improved sorting methods and materials recovery, and urges the government to implement an extended producer responsibility scheme to hold manufacturers more accountable for the clothing they produce.  (Business Green)


China pledges to end overseas coal funding and support green energy

In a major development in the run-up to the COP26 climate negotiations in November, China has pledged to stop financing coal-fired power stations overseas. The President of China has pledged to increase support for other developing countries in developing green and low carbon energy, and to not build new coal-fired power projects abroad. However, he stopped short of committing to phasing out coal domestically, with coal representing nearly 60% of the country’s electricity mix. China is currently the biggest funder of new coal projects. It has funded 63% of global publicly financed coal projects since 2013, principally in developing countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, South Africa, India and Bangladesh, and has more than 40 gigawatts of coal in 20 countries in the pre-construction pipeline. (Eco-Business)


Salesforce and P&G among 86 new companies joining Climate Pledge

The Climate Pledge has announced the addition of 86 new companies, marking a significant jump in the number of companies joining the initiative and committing to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. New signatories include Salesforce, Procter & Gamble, HP, ASOS, and Nespresso. With the addition of the new signatories, the Climate Pledge surpasses 200 companies, doubling its 100-company milestone reached in April 2021. Several of the new signatories have announced their own recent climate-focused sustainability goals and initiatives. Salesforce, for example, recently unveiled new obligations for suppliers, requiring them to commit to setting a science-based target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Earlier this month, P&G announced a series of new climate goals, including commitments to achieve net-zero GHG emissions across operations and supply chain by 2040. (ESGToday)


Major food companies failing on climate action and human rights

Less than 10% of the world's largest food companies are aiming to reduce their emissions in line with climate science, while fewer than 13% are taking sufficient action to eliminate forced labour, according to a new benchmark of food and agriculture majors from the World Benchmarking Alliance. Among the lowest scorers are Subway, Sunkist Growers, Jollibee, Schreiber, JCB, and Koch Foods. In total, 110 companies scored less than 10 out of 100. No company scored more than 72 out of a possible 100. The highest score went to Unilever, with Nestle, Danone, OCP and Anheuser-Busch InBev rounding out the top five. On climate, while over half have targets to cut emissions, just 26 of the 350 companies reviewed have set science-based targets in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5oC pathway. (edie)



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