Top Stories

January 28, 2022


Nestlé targets child labour in global cocoa supply chain

Global food and beverage company, Nestle, has introduced a series of initiatives aimed at enhancing the sustainability of its cocoa supply. This includes a programme providing financial incentives to cocoa-farming families which ultimately aims to address the risk of child labour in the supply chain. Nestle said that it plans to invest $1.4 billion by 2030 to expand its cocoa sustainability efforts. The company sources an estimated 430,000 tons of cocoa annually, with much of the supply sourced from Ghana and the Ivory Coast, countries where there is significant risk of child labour. Nestle hopes to provide direct financial incentives to families for activities and agricultural practices designed to steadily build social and economic resilience over time. Families will receive money to enrol children into school, increase crop productivity, and increase agroforestry. (ESG Today)


PepsiCo targets plastic in 100% circular economy push

PepsiCo Europe has announced a commitment to eliminate all virgin fossil-based plastic in its crisp and chip bags by 2030. By using 100% recycled or renewable plastic in all packets, the company expects to achieve a 40% reduction in GHG emissions per ton of packaging. The recycled content will be derived from previously used plastic, and the renewable content will come from by-products of plants, including used cooking oil or waste from paper pulp. PepsiCo outlined three key focus areas for its circular economy initiatives, including a reduction in the amount of packaging and move to materials that are easier to recycle, promoting greater flexibility in how packaging is collected and recycled, and ensuring demand for recycled content is made from flexible packaging to increase its use. (ESG Today)


US judge annuls Gulf of Mexico oil auction over climate impact

A federal judge invalidated the results of an oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico on the grounds that the Biden administration failed to properly account for the auction’s climate change impact. The Gulf of Mexico accounts for 15% of existing US oil production and 5% of dry natural gas output. In the decision, the federal judge ruled to vacate the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s lease sale which offered around 80 million offshore acres in an auction last year. The judge’s decision came following a challenge on the sale from environmental group Earthjustice. The sale generated more than $190 million, the highest since 2019, drawing bids from oil majors Exxon and Chevron. (Reuters)


UK Government budget criticised as not net-zero compatible

International nature preservation NGO, WWF, has published findings of a study in which it applied its net-zero stress test according to each of the measures publicised by the UK Government in their investments and incentives announcement in 2021. By its calculations, the package included £55 billion of backing for policies that will ultimately increase the UK’s emissions in the short term. Policy changes that have been criticised include cuts to air passenger duty for domestic flights, a freeze on fuel duty, and a commitment to a multi-billion-pound roads building programme. Even when offset by emissions cutting policies elsewhere, this package will result in an additional 38.4 million tonnes of CO2e being generated in the UK by 2026. (edie)


Ethnicity highlighted as next step in UK financial sector diversity

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England have published a paper setting out how diversity and inclusion could be improved in the UK’s financial sector. The paper suggests that senior management can tie their pay to progress towards increasing workplace diversity which should incentivise reaching targets. The FCA said that a Women in Finance project designed to improve gender diversity is beginning to pay off. The FCA hope that this progress will help encourage the financial sector to push to improve ethnic and race diversity. The UK’s financial services minister also urged financial firms to appoint senior executives responsible for ethnic diversity and to set targets. The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has also recommended that all employers voluntarily report pay gaps among ethnic groups. (Reuters)



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B4SI Annual Review 2021