Top Stories

June 07, 2022


China unveils ESG reporting framework to cut emissions

A new set of voluntary guidelines for Chinese companies to report on environmental, social and governance metrics took effect on 1st June, offering a glimpse of what mandatory disclosures might eventually look like in the country. Developed by China’s biggest companies and government-backed think-tanks, the standards list more than 100 metrics that generally align with the global benchmark of draft rules issued by the International Sustainability Standards Board. The differences are they are more simplistic and add “Chinese characteristics” which measure things like corporate charity. China, the world’s biggest polluter, is trying to catch up to global peers on reporting standards as part of reaching its net-zero target of 2060. China’s regulators have encouraged listed companies to report ESG information with an eye toward mandatory disclosure in future years. (Bloomberg)*


Carbon credits: Google and Unilever trial new code of practice

Global business giants including Google, Unilever and Hitachi are planning to test a draft code of practice for carbon offset projects. The provisional code was co-launched by the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity initiative (VCMI) and the UK government. The code aims to provide companies with a globally standardised benchmark for the voluntary use of carbon credits, and to ensure credits offer promised emissions savings through its VCMI Gold, Silver or Bronze accreditation. The provisional code will be put out to public consultation and tested by businesses over the remainder of the year, with an updated version then expected to be released in late 2022 or early 2023. VCMI added that it would seek to partner with target setting, accounting and report bodies to ensure consistency with emerging standards. (Business Green)*


Report: fashion brands fail to tackle waste and unfair pay

A report by industry group the Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) has found that the fashion industry is producing twice as many emissions as permitted if it expects to meet UN climate targets in less than 8 years. While the report states that the sector saw progress in resource stewardship, work environments and material choices, it lagged behind on wage systems, waste and circularity. Only 10% of brands disclosed the number of workers in their supply chain that were covered by collective bargaining agreements, while only 9% reported how many of their suppliers had elected trade unions. Just 14% said their company’s products were made with materials that could be recycled where they were sold. The GFA also noted that less than 1% of textile waste was being recycled into new clothing fibres. (Financial Times)*


Argentina plans ‘extraordinary income’ tax on grain profits

Argentina’s government has proposed a bill to tax companies that earn “extraordinary income” from the war in Ukraine, a measure that would particularly affect the country’s grains industry. The measure is seen as an attempt by Argentina’s government to reduce the fiscal deficit and help the economy deal with surging inflation, which is expected to exceed 70% in 2022. The bill aims to levy an additional 15% tax on companies with profits over 1 billion pesos – about $8.3 million – in 2022 whose profit margin are either more than 10% in real terms or 20% higher than in 2021. The bill is endorsed by the International Monetary Fund. Analysts say sectors like food, energy and agriculture would be most affected, with Argentina being one of the largest global suppliers of grains and meat. (Reuters)


Carbon dioxide levels 50% higher compared to pre-industrial era

The level of carbon dioxide in the world’s atmosphere is now more than 50% higher than during the pre-industrial era, further pushing the planet into conditions not experienced for millions of years. The latest US government measurements show a continued upwards trend of CO2. In May 2022, the Mauna Loa Observatory measured a CO2 concentration of 421 parts per million, just the latest escalation in an inexorable rise in CO2 due to the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have released about 1.5 trillion tonnes of CO2, enough to warm the planet for hundreds or thousands of years to come. This leap in CO2 emissions has quickly pushed the world into conditions not seen in 4 million years, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. (The Guardian)

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