Top Stories

November 30, 2021


New study links major fashion brands to Amazon deforestation

A report on the fashion industry’s global supply chains has found brands such as Coach, LVMH, Prada, H&M, Zara, Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Teva, UGG and Fendi are at risk of contributing to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. The research analysed nearly 500,000 rows of customs data, finding deforestation risks in companies’ connections to tanneries and other involvement in the production of leather and leather goods. Conducted by supply chain research firm, the report found more than 50 brands have multiple supply chain links to the largest Brazilian leather exporter, JBS, which is known to engage in Amazon deforestation. The findings come despite some of the surveyed brands recently announcing policies to untangle themselves from actors along the supply chain that contribute to deforestation. (The Guardian)


AstraZeneca invests £2m into forestry planting in England & Scotland

Pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca UK has launched a new £2 million initiative in partnership with Forestry England, Borders Forest Trust, and One Tree Planted to plant more than one million trees in England and Scotland by 2025. The initiative is designed to create green spaces to support the physical and mental wellbeing of local communities, while boosting biodiversity. The programme will focus on planting trees in Thetford Forest, 30 miles from AstraZeneca's global headquarters in Cambridge, and in Goyt Valley, 10 miles from the company's Macclesfield manufacturing site, in partnership with Forestry England. The partners expect to have planted over 400,000 trees by the end of this year, with the aim of reaching 1.3 million trees in the UK by 2025. (Business Green)


Great Barrier Reef faces frequent extreme coral bleaching at 2ºC heating

Parts of the Great Barrier Reef would be hit with extreme levels of coral bleaching five times each decade by 2050 if global heating was kept just below 2ºC, according to new scientific research. Researchers predict that allowing global heating to go beyond 2ºC would bring unprecedented levels of heat stress, and that even under the most ambitious scenario where heating is kept to 1.5ºC, coral bleaching strong enough to kill corals would hit somewhere on the Reef more than three times a decade. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has already experienced three mass outbreaks of coral bleaching in 2016, 2017 and 2020. While coral reefs “could still persist” with global heating of 1.5ºC, the diversity of corals would suffer under warming conditions with prolonged exposure to higher temperatures causing coral death. (The Guardian)


Aldi trials deposit return for drinks bottles in Scotland, ahead of national scheme

German-owned supermarket chain Aldi has begun trialling an in-store deposit return scheme for drinks containers in West Lothian, ahead of the introduction of a Scotland-wide scheme from July 2022. Under the trial, shoppers will be encouraged to return single-use glass and plastic bottles, as well as aluminium drinks cans, to Aldi’s Bathgate store. Customers will be able to deposit items into reverse vending machines, receiving a voucher for 10p for each container deposited. Once packaging is collected, it will be sent for recycling. Aldi will collect data on consumer behaviour during the trial, including the number of items deposited. This data will be used to inform a wider rollout ahead of the implementation of a Scotland-wide deposit return system in law from 1 July 2022. (edie)


Medical PPE unfit for women working on Covid-19 frontlines

The Women in Global Health network is calling for basic standards to bridge gender divide in PPE design, as gear designed for men is often too big and restrictive. A survey conducted by the network found less than one in five female frontline health workers say protective clothing fits them properly. Just 14% of surveyed women reported that personal protective equipment (PPE) provided them protection from infection. According to the report, PPE of all types is too big for women, including respirators, gloves and gowns. Poorly fitting masks were highlighted as particularly problematic. Healthcare workers from non-Caucasian populations faced additional challenges with mask fit due to diverse face shapes. The findings throw into relief the pervasive inequities in PPE access, fit and design, brought into the spotlight by Covid-19. (Eco-Business)



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