Top Stories

December 14, 2021


Exxon faces backlash from activist investors over updated climate targets

Activist investors are filing a shareholder resolution, ahead of ExxonMobil's 2022 annual general meeting, that would require the firm to align emissions goals with science and tackle its Scope 3 emissions. Earlier this month, the oil and gas major published new climate targets through to 2030, intended to reduce the company’s scope 1 and 2 emissions by 20% against 2020 levels. Given that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends a halving of emissions by 2030, and that Exxon’s targets exclude Scope 3 emissions, green groups have stated that Exxon’s approach is not science-based. Activist investor organisation Follow This has filed a shareholder resolution that, if passed in the company’s AGM in 2022, would compel Exxon to set medium- and long-term Paris-aligned targets to reduce Scope 3 emissions. (edie)



LanzaTech and Zara debut collection made from recycled emissions

Biotech developer LanzaTech has teamed up with fashion retail giant Zara to produce textiles that are made using carbon emissions. The resulting capsule collection of party dresses, available for sale through Zara from this week, is made of polyester made up of 20% industrial carbon emissions; with the partners claiming the technology both captures carbon emissions and displaces demand for conventional fossil fuel-based polyester yarns. LanzaTech specialises in capturing carbon emissions from industrial facilities and converting the captured CO2 into low carbon fuels and materials, including sustainable aviation fuels and plastics. The firm explained that its partnership with Zara’s parent company Inditex has seen it capture steel mill emissions that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere. (Business Green)



Amazon criticised for putting profit over safety at tornado-hit warehouse

Amazon is facing questions over health and safety policies at a warehouse in the US state of Illinois after six workers died when the building was destroyed by a tornado. The roof collapsed as the storm hit the warehouse on Friday. Now, questions are being raised over whether adequate shelter was available, whether workers were advised to go there immediately, and whether the shifts should have gone ahead that evening at all, given the warnings of severe weather. The company said that the team worked "incredibly quickly" to ensure as many employees and partners could reach the "shelter in place" site, but a family member of one of the deceased workers, as well as other parties, are criticising Amazon for prioritising productivity over safety. (BBC News)



Mondelēz launches Human Rights policy, calls for supply chain living wage

Food company Mondelēz International announced its dedicated Human Rights Policy, outlining policies for governing, monitoring and reporting on a range of issues. Key commitments include prohibiting child labour and forced labour in its operations, no tolerance of harassment, providing a safe work environment, paying a living wage, equal opportunities for advancement, ensuring the right of employees to join a union, bargaining with employee representatives, and respecting ownership and use of land and natural resources. The policy applies to all employees worldwide, as well as any partner doing business with the company. Mondelēz has also joined IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative’s Living Wage Roadmap platform, aiming to help advance living wages in global supply chains. The platform works to strengthen international alignment and to build tangible solutions regarding living wage. (ESG Today)



UKGBC publishes building retrofit framework to support local councils

Charity and industry-led network, the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), has published a new framework designed to help local authorities deliver building renovation schemes that accelerate decarbonisation, while also providing economic, social and wellbeing benefits. The ‘Build Upon’ framework sets out a standardised list of environmental, social and economic indicators that local authorities can apply to either a single project or an entire scheme. Specific issues covered in the environmental space include operational emissions, and reducing them in line with long-term climate targets, climate resilience, improving energy efficiency, tackling energy poverty and self-generating clean energy. There are also metrics to support improvements in the health and wellbeing of building occupants, and to maximise the economic benefits of a project or overarching scheme, including job creation, cost savings, upskilling and more. (edie)



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B4SI Annual Review 2021