Top Stories

December 09, 2021


Business giants cut 'problematic' plastic use by 57% through WWF scheme

Global conservation NGO WWF has revealed that the businesses participating in its ‘ReSource:Plastic’ initiative aimed at tackling corporate plastic pollution have reduced 'problematic' plastics use by 57% since 2018. Eight businesses are participating in the scheme: Keurig Dr Pepper, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Starbucks, Coca-Cola Company, Amcor, Colgate Palmolive and Kimberly Clark. The ReSource:Plastic initiative’s latest Transparent 2021 report warns that the companies will need to accelerate action on problematic plastic reductions in the coming years. It also raises concerns over slow progress on sourcing recycled and bio-based plastics, and on shifting to refill and reuse models but attributes this slow progress to a mismatch between supply and demand, with corporates finding it hard to source the levels of bio-based recycled content needed to meet goals. (edie)



Walmart, HSBC, CDP to incentivise climate action in supply chain

US retail giant Walmart has partnered with financial services firm HSBC and and environmental disclosure platform CDP to launch a supply chain finance programme to incentivise and help suppliers to set science-based emissions reduction targets, in a bid to advance Walmart’s efforts to address its Scope 3 emissions footprint. Under the new programme, suppliers taking part in ‘Project Gigaton’ now have the option to set science-based targets and achieve certain score thresholds on their CDP climate change reports. Suppliers can also approach HSBC for early payment on invoices approved by Walmart, with pricing on the financing linked to the supplier’s CDP scores, targets and reported impact. Additionally, suppliers can also use the financing to manage working capital and sustainability-linked improvements, such as improving energy efficiency of operations. (ESGToday)



Italy fines Amazon record $1.3bln for abuse of market dominance

Italy's antitrust watchdog has fined Amazon $1.28 billion for alleged abuse of market dominance, in one of the biggest penalties imposed on a US tech giant in Europe. Italy's watchdog said in a statement that Amazon had leveraged its dominant position in the Italian market for intermediation services on marketplaces to favour the adoption of its own logistics service – Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) – by sellers active on its Italian Amazon website. The authority said Amazon tied to the use of FBA access to a set of exclusive benefits, including the Prime label, that help increase visibility and boost sales. Global regulatory scrutiny of tech giants has been increasing after a string of scandals over privacy and misinformation, as well as complaints from some businesses that they abuse their market power. (Reuters)



Biden orders US federal government to achieve net-zero by 2050

US President Biden has signed a new executive order, outlining a series of goals and initiatives for the US federal government to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The order mandates major interim and long-term actions across the government’s buildings, vehicle fleets, procurement activities and operations. The order outlines five key sets of goals for the government to achieve in order to reach its 2050 net-zero goal. These include: achieving 100% carbon free electricity by 2050; purchasing 100% zero emissions vehicles by 2035; cutting emissions from federal procurement to net-zero by 2050; achieving a net-zero building portfolio by 2045 and; reaching net-zero emissions from federal operations by 2050, including a 65% reduction in emissions by 2030. The executive order is expected to have a significant impact on clean energy investment. (ESGToday)



Orange launches €50m nature-based solutions fund on road to net-zero

Telecommunications giant Orange has revealed plans to invest €50 million in reforestation and other nature restoration projects, as it strives to become a net-zero business by 2040. The new fund will be used to invest in projects that improve carbon sequestration in natural habitats, with Orange stating that it will support new forest creation (afforestation) as well as the restoration of existing forests (reforestation), alongside other habitat restoration schemes. The fund will operate in agreement with the Nature+ Accelerator Fund, launched by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (ICUN) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in a bid to leverage private investment in nature-based solutions that also deliver social benefits. Carbon sequestered through the funded projects will help to “net” Orange’s emissions to zero by 2040. (edie)



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B4SI Annual Review 2021