Top Stories

June 22, 2022


EU targets greenwashing with new company disclosures

The EU has reached a deal on corporate sustainability reporting requirements for large companies from 2024. Regulators have grown concerned about companies engaging in greenwashing or making exaggerated climate-friendly claims to attract investors. European Parliament members and EU governments struck a provisional agreement on new reporting rules for large companies. Listed or unlisted companies with over 250 staff and turnover of €40 million will have to disclose environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities, and the impact of their activities on the environment and people. Smaller listed companies will be subject to a lighter set of reporting standards, which they can opt out of until 2028. The EU will also add rules to ensure audits are serviced competitively, making room for new players to offer this service. (Reuters)


Global steelmakers face $518bn in stranded asset risk

A report warns that the global steel industry may have to write down as much as $518 billion in stranded assets over the coming years as it fails to accelerate decarbonisation. Countries have continued to announce new coal-based plants while simultaneously setting tougher pledges to lower emissions, according to NGO Global Energy Monitor. As a result, coal-powered blast furnaces are at risk of becoming unnecessary or inoperable over time, leaving the sector with stranded assets worth between $345 billion and $518 billion, the report estimates. Much of the stranded asset risk is concentrated in Asia, notably China and India, where 80% of the world’s new coal-based steelmaking capacity is planned. The report argues for accelerated decarbonisation of steelmaking, an industry responsible for 7-9% of all direct emissions from fossil fuels. (Financial Times)*


Rolls-Royce to give UK staff £2,000 to help ease living costs

Luxury automobile manufacturer Rolls-Royce is to give more than 14,000 staff a £2,000 payment to help them cope with the soaring cost of living, the first time the engineering firm has made such a move. The one-off payment will go to shopfloor staff and junior management, who represent 70% of Rolls-Royce’s UK workforce of about 20,000. A company spokesperson said they were offering the majority of UK staff a cash sum “to help them through the current exceptional economic climate”. The spokesperson added that the cash sum is not linked to performance, but to the economic environment. This comes as the ‘cost-of-living’ crisis worsens, with data firm Kantar estimating that annual UK food bills will rise by £380 in 2022. (The Guardian)


Big Tech must deal with disinformation or face EU fines

Large tech companies, such as Google and Meta, will soon have to act against 'deepfakes' and fake accounts – or risk facing significant fines. Deepfakes are videos using a person’s likeness to portray them doing or saying something they never did. New EU regulation, supported by the ‘Digital Services Act’ (DSA), will demand tech firms deal with these forms of disinformation on their platforms. Firms may face fines of up to 6% of their global turnover if they do not comply. The strengthened code aims to prevent profiting from disinformation and fake news on their platforms, as well as increasing transparency around political advertising and curbing the spread of ‘new malicious behaviours’ such as bots, fake accounts and deepfakes. (BBC News)


Finance giants among sponsors of US anti-ESG group

Financial giants Federated Hermes, Wells Fargo and Fidelity Investments are among the sponsors of an anti-ESG pushback group the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF). According to its website, the SFOF’s mission is to “drive fiscally sound public policy, by partnering with key stakeholders, and educating Americans on the role of responsible financial management in a free market economy”. The foundation has taken a strong stance against ESG on social media. Recently, the SFOF sent a letter to John Kerry denouncing efforts by the Biden administration to push Wall Street to adopt near-term climate commitments and increase allocations for climate-friendly finance. On its website, Federated Hermes, Invesco, Fidelity Investment and Wells Fargo are listed as its “sponsors”, while JP Morgan and KKR are flagged as “friends of SFOF sponsors”. (Responsible Investor)*

*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