Top Stories

December 02, 2021


BT Group aims to go fully circular by 2030

Telecommunications giant BT has formalised the acceleration of its net-zero target for operations, from 2045 to 2030, and set a new ambition to become a circular business by the end of the decade. The plans are centred around responsibility, inclusivity and environmental sustainability.  BT’s net-zero target for operational emissions has been brought forward from 2045 to 2030, whereas for Scope 3 emissions from the supply chain and from customer use of BT products and services, the net-zero deadline is 2040. There is also a new commitment to help customers avoid 60 million tonnes of CO2e by 2030. Technologies including full fibre broadband, 5G, Cloud Computing and smart technologies connected to the Internet of Things will all play a key role in mitigating emissions for business and domestic customers. (edie)


Nine new corporates joining climate employee engagement drive

Nine businesses with more than 480,000 employees collectively have joined the Count Us In initiative, which supports businesses to engage their staff with the net-zero transition. Participating businesses include Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs, Natwest Group, Scottish Power, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte and Spectris. The overarching aim of Count Us In is to engage 100 million employees with climate action, delivering behaviour changes in the workplace and in their personal lives. The initiative aims to deliver actions that drive a considerable reduction in emissions, make businesses and policymakers pay attention, and ensure the broadest possible number of people can participate in them. Existing employee engagement schemes and platforms are participating in the initiative to support the businesses, including UN ActNow, A-World, BrightAction, Do Nation, Deedster, eevie, Giki Zero, Joro and Joulebug. (edie)


Deloitte and AstraZeneca join to tackle healthcare waste and emissions

Deloitte and AstraZeneca have both joined a new not-for-profit body which aims to improve the environmental sustainability of the global healthcare sector and drive down medical waste. The Sustainable Medicines Partnership plans to launch a four-year program in 2022 focused on developing evidence-based solutions to reducing the carbon impact of medicines, currently estimated to make up 20% of the NHS's carbon footprint, and addressing the waste created by packaging and the early disposal of unused medicines. The partnership aims to raise awareness of these issues within the industry and rally companies to work together to implement change, with further partners from academia, the recycling industry, and hospital trusts set to be announced over the coming months. (Business Green)


Morrisons to use insects in chicken feed to hatch carbon neutral eggs

Supermarket chain Morrison’s is replacing soya-based chicken feed with insects to produce “carbon neutral” free range eggs, as part of efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from its agricultural supply chains. Cambridge start-up Better Origin will provide insect mini farms for feed to 10 egg suppliers to the grocer. The automated farms housed in shipping containers are run on artificial intelligence and will produce insects fed on waste from Morrisons’ fruit and vegetable processing site in Yorkshire in a “circular agriculture” scheme. Morrisons aims to start selling its carbon neutral eggs next year. According to the British Free Range Egg Producers Association, the largest contributor to emissions on a free range egg farm is bought-in feed, which typically makes up more than 85% of an egg’s carbon footprint. (Financial Times)


Drax accelerates push to biomass, on track to close its coal

Drax plans to double the production and sales of wood pellets burnt for fuel, and said it remained on track to close its coal units despite needing to fire them up during the global energy crunch. The UK power company said in a trading update that it aimed to increase biomass pellet production to 8 million tonnes per year by 2030, from 4 million tonnes now. With the right government support in place, Drax said it would invest £3 billion over the next decade to grow its biomass business, and pair the fuel with carbon capture technology to generate large-scale “negative emissions”. However, critics are sceptical about the viability of deploying bioenergy with carbon capture and storage at scale, and about claiming that sustainably sourced biomass is genuinely carbon neutral.  (Financial Times)



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B4SI Annual Review 2021