Top Stories

February 09, 2022


Sustainability consulting market projected to double by 2027

A new report by research firm Verdantix has forecast that the sustainability consulting market is set to more than double over the next five years. Spending by companies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability consulting services hit $6.24 billion globally by the end of 2021 and is projected to grow to $16 billion by 2027. The study anticipates that regulatory changes that mandate sustainability reporting and pressure from stakeholders to acknowledge climate risk and decarbonise will boost sustainability consulting spending in all regions and all sectors. ESG and sustainability consulting services are expected to grow by 17% annually by 2022 to 2027, but corporate reporting and disclosure services will see the largest compound annual growth, at 21%. (Eco-Business)


UK ships set to switch from diesel generators to electricity

The UK Maritime Minister has announced a consultation to review evidence on shifting to shore power for vessels while they are at port. The consultation will collect evidence on possible emissions reductions to be made from using shore power, which will be reviewed by the Department for Transport (DfT). This consultation is part of a wider effort by the DfT to identify innovations in the field of zero-emission maritime vessels. This comes at a time when the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative published a report outlining pathways to reach the International Maritime Organisation’s target to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – against a 2008 baseline. The pathways suggest utilising green hydrogen and sustainable ammonia as fuels, replacing fossil fuels with biofuels, and maximising energy efficiency and using onboard carbon capture. (edie)


Italy makes protecting environment part of Constitution

The Italian parliament has approved a law enshrining protection of the environment as part of the country’s constitution. The law stipulates that the state must safeguard the environment, biodiversity and the ecosystem “in the interest of future generations”, adding that any private economic initiative must not damage health or the environment. The Ecological Transition Minister called the move “an essential step” for Italy in encouraging green investments to transform the economy under the EU’s post-COVID pandemic recovery fund. It is not yet clear what the judicial repercussions of the new law will be, with the Italian branch of environmental NGO WWF saying it expects the parliament to adapt existing legislation on environmental issues. (Reuters)


UK grid trials pilot to reduce household energy usage

UK households will be offered financial incentives to limit their electricity use during periods of peak demand in a two-month pilot scheme to test how consumers can help balance the grid. Utilities contractor National Grid ESO is working with household electricity supplier Octopus Energy on what is expected to be the biggest study of its kind into the role domestic consumers can play in balancing electricity supply and demand. An estimated 100,000 participating households will be asked to meet targets to lower energy use during as many as 10 two-hour “turn down” events. Estimates claim that as much as 150 megawatts of consumption could be saved per two-hour periods. If customers meet their targets, any used electricity during the two-hour windows will be free. (Financial Times)*


Microplastic pollution in oceans on track to rise for decades

A review commissioned by environmental NGO WWF has found that levels of plastic pollution in oceans are expected to continue to grow even if significant action is taken to prevent waste pollution. The review examined almost 2,600 academic research papers on the topic, finding that some regions – such as the Mediterranean and the East China and Yellow Seas – contain dangerous levels of plastic, while others risk becoming increasingly polluted in the future. The analysis finds that almost every species in the ocean has been affected by plastic pollution with coral reefs and mangroves experiencing significant harm, and smaller microplastics being ingested by whales, turtles and plankton. The report concludes that even with policies to prevent plastic from entering oceans, the volume of marine microplastic will keep increasing for decades. (The Independent)

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