Top Stories

October 28, 2021


Coca-Cola, Pepsico and Unilever named top plastic polluters in brand audit

Consumer goods giants Coca-Cola, Pepsico, and Unilever have emerged as the world’s biggest plastic polluters, according to the annual global plastic polluter audit of plastic debris found on city streets, parks, forests, and beaches around the world by advocacy group Break Free From Plastic. The companies have various plastic commitments – Coca-Cola is committed to collecting one bottle for every one sold by 2030, and Pepsico and Unilever have vowed to halve their use of virgin plastic by 2030 and 2025, respectively.  In partnership withGreenpeace Break Free From Plastic administered 440 clean-ups in 45 countries from August to September this year, picking up 330,493 pieces of plastic. Other companies identified in the audit included Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Danone, Mars, Colgate-Palmolive, Mondelēz International and Philip Morris International. (Eco-Business)


Science Based Targets initiative launches net-zero standard for corporates

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has unveiled the ‘Net-Zero Standard’, the world’s first science-based certification of companies’ net zero targets. The certification is given to businesses if their decarbonisation strategies are in alignment with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping planetary warming to 1.5⁰C. Companies will be required to set both near- and long-term science-based targets across all scopes. The SBTi has clarified that science-based net zero targets will require companies to achieve decarbonisation of 90-95% before 2050, stating carbon offsetting and removals cannot exceed 5-10% of a company’s emissions, although this is sector dependent. The validation process will officially launch in 2022 althoughfive firms are set to have their net zero targets certified as part of a pilot scheme, including CVS Health, Dentsu International, JLL, Wipro and Ørsted. (edie)


Timberland Investment Group to invest $1bn in Latin America reforestation

Timberland Investment Group has partnered with non-profit environmental organisation Conservation International for a new impact-oriented reforestation investment strategy. The new partnership will see $1 billion invested over five years in reforestation across locations in Latin America, including projects that seek to protect and restore hundreds of thousands of acres of forests and landscapes. The investment group plans to acquire deforested land in Latin America, initially targeting Brazil, Uruguay and Chile, for protection, restoration and reforestation projects. It confirmed half of the land will be restored and protected, while the other half will be developed into sustainably managed tree farms. The investment firm will seek certification from the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC) sustainability standard for all its acquired properties. (Business Green)


JPMorgan channels more than $13 billion to advance racial equity in the US

Investment banking firm JPMorgan Chase has announced it committed and deployed over $13 billion in financing aimed at advancing racial equity over the past year. The bank released the figures as part of an update on its $30 billion racial equity commitment, a five-year commitment launched last year aiming to help advance racial equity in the US and close the racial wealth gap among Black, Hispanic and Latino communities. Target areas for financing initiatives include the promotion and expansion of affordable housing and homeownership for underserved communities, growing minority-owned businesses, and improving community financial health and access to banking. Going forward, JPMorgan aims to focus its investment on the areas of homeownership, affordable rental housing, small business, financial wealth, workforce, community engagement, and multicultural engagement. (ESG Today)


World is failing to make changes needed to meet 1.5⁰C Paris Agreement

Across 40 different areas spanning the power sector, heavy industry, agriculture, transportation, finance and technology, not one is changing quickly enough to meet the Paris Agreement target of limiting global heating below 1.5⁰C above pre-industrial levels, according to a new report by the World Resources Institute. From renewable electricity generation to meat consumption to public financing for fossil fuels, the report found that no indicator showed the required progress to cut emissions in half this decade before eliminating greenhouse gases completely by 2050 to keep global warming below 1.5⁰C. The analysis warns the pace of progress of certain indicators needs to be accelerated. Specifically, coal needs to be phased out five times faster and  climate finance needs to grow 13 times faster than current progress shows. (The Guardian)



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