Top Stories

January 10, 2022


Chanel launches refillable beauty products in low-packaging range

Luxury fashion, fragrance and beauty house Chanel has launched a range of skincare and cosmetic products described as its most environmentally conscious to date, including its first refillable beauty product. The range of products, including serums, foundations, and lip and cheek colourings, are housed in packaging with no outer plastic wrapping and no inner paper leaflets. Chanel has also replaced all plastic components in the bottles and jars, opting instead for glass and urging customers to recycle the packaging once it is empty. Glass has a 76% recycling rate in the UK, while the recycling rate for plastic is around 43%. Non-glass packaging components are bio-based, made using by-products generated by the processing of camellias for Chanel’s product formulas. (edie)


The IEA wants to make its data freely available to the public 

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has announced it aims to make all of its data and analysis freely available and open-access. The move, proposed by the IEA’s executive director, still requires  the approval of member countries at the next ministerial meeting, which will be held during the first week of February. The plan follows criticism of the IEA last year by academics, who argued that hiding data behind steep paywalls could impede the free exchange of climate-related data. The IEA is currently funded by member countries, including the United States, Japan, and some European countries, but subscriptions support a quarter of its $8.1 million budget. To make up for the revenue lost from subscriptions, IEA members would need to increase their contribution, and private funding could make up any shortfall. (Business Green; Oilprice)


Blackstone to invest $3bn in renewables developer Invenergy

Alternative investment manager Blackstone has announced an agreement to invest approximately $3 billion in private renewable energy company Invenergy Renewables, marking one of the largest-ever renewable energy investments in North America. Invenergy is the largest private renewable energy company in North America. It develops, owns and operates large-scale sustainable energy generation and storage facilities in the Americas, Europe and Asia. The company has developed over 25,000 MW of projects that are in operation, under construction or contracted, encompassing wind and solar power generation facilities, as well as transmission and advanced energy storage projects. The investment will provide capital to accelerate Invenergy’s renewables development activities. The transaction is the latest in a string of clean energy focused investments by Blackstone since 2019, totalling nearly $13 billion. (ESGToday)


Brazil extends coal use to 2040 under new 'just transition' law

Brazil will continue to use and subsidise coal as an energy source until at least 2040, according to a new so-called "just energy transition" law, which policy experts say goes against the climate and consumers. Brazil's new law is said to benefit coal producers in southern Santa Catarina state by prolonging the activities of coal-based power plants in the region for a further 18 years. Under previous policies, Brazilian subsidies for thermal coal-powered plants were supposed to end by 2027, and the authorisation for three large plants in Santa Catarina to operate was meant to expire in 2025. The new law reverses that, stating the government must buy energy generated by a group of thermal plants in Santa Catarina, 80% of which must be produced from coal mined in the region. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)


UK Power Networks uses AI for 1000 electric charge point installations

UK Power Networks says it has connected nearly 1,000 electric vehicle chargers to its electricity network in the year since launching a dedicated portal designed to fast track the connection process in February 2021. The Smart Connect portal, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to process data about household installations, streamlines the installation process by cutting down on paperwork and helping installers work more quickly and efficiently. When an installer applies to connect a new device, Smart Connect refers customers to a UK Power Networks expert if their electricity supply needs to be upgraded. If no upgrades are required, the tool immediately approves the application. Since launching, the electricity distribution company's Smart Connect portal has automatically approved 983 electric car charging points, 764 household solar installs, 234 heat pumps, and 66 domestic batteries. (Business Green)



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