Top Stories

October 20, 2021


Amazon, Ikea and Unilever pledge zero-carbon shipping by 2040

Nine big companies including Amazon, Ikea and Unilever have signed up to a pledge to only move cargo on ships using zero-carbon fuel by 2040. Other companies joining the pledge include Brooks Running, Frog Bikes, Inditex (owner of Zara), Michelin, Patagonia and Tchibo. The pledging companies hope the "aggressive" target will push the heavily-polluting shipping industry to decarbonise faster. Cargo shipping currently produces one billion tonnes of climate pollution each year – as much as the country of Germany. However, environmental groups Pacific Environment and said major retail brands needed to switch to zero-emissions ships a decade earlier than the pledge, by 2030, to meet the Paris Agreement goals. To meet this the shipping industry must use zero-carbon fuels at scale by 2030 and be fully decarbonised by 2050. (BBC News)


Brexit and UK immigration policy ‘increasing risks to trafficking victims’

A new report on people trafficking in the UK has warned that Brexit and the Home Office’s immigration plan are increasing risks to trafficking victims. The report, by the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), also found links between terrorism and trafficking in cases involving families from the UK ending up with Islamic State in Syria and an increase in recruitment of trafficking victims via social media. The number of possible victims of trafficking referred to the UK’s national referral mechanism has grown tenfold from 1,182 in 2012 to 10,613 in 2020. Labour exploitation continues to be the most common type of trafficking for adults, with high-risk sectors including the garment industry, construction, hospitality, domestic work, car washes, nail bars, waste management, logistics and warehousing. (The Guardian)


Budweiser plans zero-emissions hydrogen-powered brewing

Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, part of global brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, has announced a new collaboration with green hydrogen energy company Protium to develop the first large-scale hydrogen generation system at a brewery. The companies are exploring the deployment of zero-emission green hydrogen at Magor brewery in South Wales, one of the UK’s largest breweries. The planned hydrogen infrastructure is expected to produce more than 20MW of renewable energy and green hydrogen, fuelling the brewery’s production and key logistics assets, supporting the brewery’s transition to carbon neutrality. Budweiser’s existing wind and solar assets on-site will be used to produce the green hydrogen at Protium’s Hydrogen Production facility. The project is expected to be commercially operational by 2024. (ESG Today)


Credit Suisse fined £147 m over Mozambique tuna scandal

Investment bank Credit Suisse has been fined £147 million ($202.5 million) by UK authorities over a corruption scandal involving Mozambique's tuna fishing industry. The fine is part of a $475 million settlement with UK, Swiss and US regulators. The bank will also write off $200 million of debt "tainted by corruption" that was owed by the African country. Credit Suisse staff allegedly took and paid bribes as they arranged $1.3 billion of industry loans. A Mozambique government contractor allegedly paid over $50 million kickbacks to members of Credit Suisse's deal team between 2012 and 2016. Meanwhile, Mozambican officials received at least $137 million in bribes during the same period. The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said the bank had "failed to properly manage the risk of financial crime". (BBC News)


Britain's Royal Mint to extract gold from discarded electronics

Supplier of Britain's coinage The Royal Mint plans to build a plant in Wales that could reclaim hundreds of kilograms of gold and other precious metals from electronic waste such as mobile phones and laptops. The Mint has partnered with start-up Excir which has developed chemical solutions to extract the metals from circuit boards. The Mint is currently using the process at small-scale while designing a plant that would look to process hundreds of tonnes of e-waste per annum, generating hundreds of kilograms of precious metals. The plant should be up and running within the next couple of years. Typically, while small quantities of precious metals are embedded in circuit boards and other hardware, most of this material is never recovered, with discarded electronics often dumped in landfill or incinerated. (Retuers)



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