Top Stories

May 13, 2022


Investigation reveals 195 ‘carbon bomb’ oil & gas projects in development

The world’s biggest fossil fuel firms are quietly planning scores of “carbon bomb” oil and gas projects that would drive the climate past internationally agreed temperature limits with catastrophic global impacts, according to an investigation by The Guardian. Findings reveal 195 gigantic oil and gas projects that would each result in at least a billion tonnes of CO2 emissions over their lifetimes. The projects would produce greenhouse gases equivalent to a decade of CO2 emissions from China. The dozen biggest oil companies are expected to pay $103 million daily for the rest of the decade exploiting new fields of oil and gas that cannot be burned if global heating is to be limited well under 2°C. Named projects include drilling wells in Canada and gas fields in Qatar. (The Guardian)


Aviva chief warns of worsening sexism after ‘appalling’ AGM comments

Aviva’s chief executive Amanda Blanc has warned that sexism she has faced as a senior executive has become more intense, after comments made at the insurer’s AGM this week triggered a swift backlash across the sector. Remarks levelled at Blanc, appointed in March 2021 as the UK government’s Women in Finance champion, drew condemnation from senior executives across the industry, who described the episode as “appalling”. Aviva’s chair George Culmer rebuked individual shareholders at the end of the meeting following comments that Blanc was “not the man for the job” and that she should be “wearing trousers”. Penny James, chief executive at fellow insurer Direct Line, said the comments “brought into the open the sexism we know still exists” and credited Aviva’s staff for calling out the behaviour. (Financial Times)*


Norwegian sovereign fund targets ‘corporate greed’ over executive pay

Norway’s $1.2 trillion sovereign wealth fund has said it will target “corporate greed” and excessive pay for “mediocre performance”, saying it would object to large salary packages not justified by performance, or were opaque or insufficiently long-term. The fund’s chief executive said: “We are in an inflationary environment, where we are seeing many companies with pretty mediocre performance coming out with very big pay packages. We are seeing corporate greed reaching a level that we haven’t seen before, and it’s really becoming very costly for shareholders in terms of dilution.” The fund, which owns the equivalent of 1.5% of every listed company in the world, voted against executive pay at Intel’s annual meeting and against Apple in March. It also voted against IMB, citing consistently high pay despite disappointing performance. (Financial Times)*


Alliance to End Plastic Waste launches $500m ‘circular plastics’ fund

An alliance of global manufacturers, retailers and chemical firms has unveiled a $500 million ‘circular plastic’ fund aimed at supporting collection, recycling and design solutions for plastics. The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), which was launched in 2019 by 26 companies and has now grow to over 70 firms, represents chemical and plastic manufactures, consumer goods firms, retailers and manufacturers across the plastics value chain. The new circular plastic fund forms part of AEPW’s $1 billion funding commitment to scale solutions that minimise the amount of plastic in the environment by utilising closed-loop solutions. The fund will support initiatives such as collection and sorting, recycling infrastructure technology, reuse and recyclability. Alliance members include BASF, Berry Global, Chevron, Dow, ExxonMobil, Formosa Plastics, Henkel, Mitsubishi, P&G, Sasol and Shell among others. (edie)


Apple iPod creator warns the metaverse will damage human interaction

The creator of technology company Apple’s iPod has warned the virtual reality-based ‘metaverse’ risks creating more online trolls and damaging human interaction. The iPod creator Tony Fadell argues that by removing the ability to “look into the other person’s face” the metaverse loses a “human connection” creating “toxicity” in interactions. The metaverse is a virtual reality realm where it is envisioned people can create avatars of themselves to interact with others in online worlds. It will be used for playing games but also in spaces such as work and music concerts and often accessed through a virtual reality headset. Technology firms Facebook, Microsoft and Epic Games are all investing heavily into the metaverse with Microsoft expecting to add 3D virtual avatars and environments to its Teams chat system in 2022. (BBC News)

*Subscription required




Would you love to work in sustainability, supporting big brands in their responsible business journeys? Click here to see info on our current openings. We can't wait to hear from you



Actions for Business 2022

B4SI Annual Review 2021