Top Stories

December 06, 2021


PwC, PepsiCo & Zurich announce commitments to disability inclusion

The Valuable 500, a coalition of CEOs focused on enhancing disability inclusion, announced new commitments by some of the world’s leading employers to make their businesses more inclusive and supportive of people with disabilities. The new commitments come from the CEOs of PepsiCo, PwC, Spotify, VMware, L’Oréal, Zurich Insurance, Estée Lauder, Schlumberger, Sky and Steelcase, and include initiatives such as accessibility improvements, employee education, and recruitment of people with disabilities, among others. For example, Zurich has committed to ensure inclusion of all employees is on the agenda of senior leadership and to improve digital and physical accessibility across the company’s locations worldwide. Meanwhile, music streaming service Spotify pledged accessibility improvements to serve differently-abled listeners and creators; and Estée Lauder and L’Oréal committed to promoting the recruitment of people with disabilities. (ESG Today)  


Exxon ups decarbonisation pace, fails to align with climate science

Gas giant ExxonMobil has announced its updated decarbonisation plan to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 20% against 2020 levels by 2030. Exxon will allocate $15 billion through to 2027 to deliver the efficiency improvements needed to deliver the new targets, as well as increased investments in carbon capture and storage, biofuels and low-carbon hydrogen. However, Exxon has not yet set plans for tackling Scope 3 emissions, which typically account for the majority of oil majors’ emissions. Additionally, it faces continued criticism for its reduction targets being “in no way compatible” with the Paris Agreement and for its failure to meet the IPCC’s recommendation for companies to at least halve their emissions by 2030 to be in reaching distance of a 1.5ºC global temperature increase. (edie)


British Airways signs major deal for sustainable aviation fuel

British Airways and multinational energy company Phillips 66 have announced a new multi-year agreement for the supply of UK-produced sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) capable of reducing lifecycle emissions by over 80% compared to traditional jet fuel. The SAF be the first to be produced at scale in the UK. The fuel will be produced from sustainable waste feedstock and be supplied to British Airways in early 2022. The airline, which aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, will purchase enough SAF from the agreement to reduce CO2 emissions by almost 100,000 tonnes, equivalent to powering 700 net-zero CO2 emissions flights between London and New York. The airline’s parent company, International Airlines Group, is also investing $400 million over the next 20 years into the development of SAF. (ESG Today)


Report finds luxury brands falling behind on animal welfare

Despite recent commitments from the luxury fashion industry to reduce its environmental footprint, a report has revealed luxury fashion brands are among the worst in the industry for animal welfare, driven by their continued use of fur and exotic animal skins. The findings from global animal welfare organisation, Four Paws, assess 111 brands across different markets on their commitment to animal welfare and sourcing transparency. While LVMH-owned Stella McCartney achieved the report’s highest score of 90%, the luxury sector fared the worst overall, receiving an average score of just 23%, lower than fast fashion at 53%. The report calls for brands to reduce the use of animal products, refine animal-based supply chain choices to encourage higher levels of welfare, and to replace animal products with sustainable alternatives. (The Guardian)


UK gender pay gap unaffected by government policy over past 25 years

UK government policies have made almost no difference to the gender pay gap for the last 25 years, according to a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. On average, working-age women in the UK earned 40% less a week and 19% less an hour (£3.10 less) than men in 2019. Comparing official earnings data for more than 2 million 20 to 55-year-olds between 1995 and 2019, the report also found that women were less likely to be in paid work at all (83.5% of women and 93% of men), and that they worked eight fewer hours a week if they were employed. The findings point to the unequal sharing of childcare responsibilities as a major cause for the lack of progress on closing the gap. (The Guardian)



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B4SI Annual Review 2021