Top Stories

December 03, 2021


Shell pulls out of controversial Cambo oil field development

Oil giant Shell has pulled out of the controversial Cambo oil field development west of Shetland. It claims the economic case for investment in the project was "not strong enough", but insists that "continued investment in oil and gas in the UK remains critical to the country's energy security”. Shell had a 30% stake in the field, which has faced sustained criticism from environmental groups as countries and companies look to reach net-zero. While some climate campaigners believe Shell’s announcement signals “the beginning of the end” for new oil and gas projects,  majority stakeholder Siccar Point Energy hopes to continue talks with the UK government over the future of the field. If approved, drilling in the field could start in 2022 and continue for 25 years, yielding millions of oil barrels. (BBC News)


Goldman Sachs raises diversity expectations for corporate boards

Goldman Sachs Asset Management is increasing its board diversity requirements for companies, introducing updated proxy voting policies that will see the company voting against boards that do not meet its gender and ethnic representation expectations. Under the updated policy, beginning in 2022, the bank will expect portfolio companies in the S&P 500 and FTSE 100 to have at least one diverse director from an underrepresented ethnic minority group. It will also expand its expectations for public companies with 10 or more board members to have at least two women on the board. Goldman Sachs has stated it will vote against members of the nominating committees that do not meet these expectations, and will continue to vote against all members of boards in the US that do not include any women. (ESG Today)


European Commission delays SFDR disclosure regulation to 2023

The European Commission has  delayed the implementation of disclosure requirements under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) related to sustainable investment products by financial market participant to January 2023.This second delay refers to the implementation of the Regulatory Technical Standards supplementing the SFDR, and for disclosures to label products that make sustainable investments. The EU SFDR forms part of the EU’s Action Plan on financing sustainable growth. It seeks to establish harmonised rules for financial market participants including investors and advisers on transparency regarding the integration of sustainability risks and the consideration of adverse sustainability impacts in their processes. It also aims to provide rules to increase transparency regarding sustainability‐related information with respect to financial products.  (ESG Today)


Patagonia to power stores with community-owned renewable energy

Outdoor clothing brand Patagonia is to switch to 100% renewable electricity from community-owned projects for its Manchester and Bristol stores from January 2022. Under the initiative, Patagonia has signed on to a power purchase agreement with Energy Garden, a network of 27 wind and solar projects across Greater London. All projects are co-located with nature conservation, restoration or creation. The brand claims the power purchase agreement is the first of its kind, in terms of a private sector company sourcing community-generated renewables from multiple aggregated projects. As well as purchasing the energy, Patagonia has agreed to pay an additional premium to support Energy Garden’s work in local communities. This funding will be used to deliver programmes including community engagement, training for young people and clean energy education in local schools. (edie)


Elle to stop promoting the use of animal fur in its magazines

Elle has become the first major fashion publisher to pledge an end to the promotion of animal fur in its editorial and advertising content. A senior executive said it was in support of animal welfare, and a reflection of changing tastes. The magazine's 45 global editions have signed a charter written with animal rights group Humane Society and industry reform group Creatives4Change. Thirteen editions have already implemented the charter. A further 20 will join them at the start of 2022, and the remainder in 2023. The move was made on grounds that fur appears to be “outdated and not fashionable anymore”, especially for Gen Z populations who Elle describes as “the golden target of fashion and luxury industry," and who want fashion to be “responsible, ethical and innovative”. (BBC News)



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B4SI Annual Review 2021