Top Stories

September 02, 2022


Selfridges wants half of transactions to be resale, repair, rental by 2030

Department store group Selfridges is aiming for almost half its transactions with customers to be based on resale, repair, rental or refills by 2030 to respond to increasing demand for sustainable shopping. The retailer said it wanted to step up action after increasing sales of second-hand items by 240% to 17,771 pieces in 2021 and facilitating 28,000 repairs, more than a third of which were pairs of trainers, in its effort to trade in a more environmentally sustainable way. It also rented out more than 2,000 items to customers and sold more than 8,000 refills. Selfridges said the first two years of its ‘Project Earth’ plan had been pilots, with only 5% or 6% of transactions based on “circular” models of resale and repair. (The Guardian)


NEF: Bank of England should offer cheap credit for green investment

The Bank of England (BoE) should reconfigure a programme designed to encourage banks to lend cheaply to small businesses to ensure capital-intensive green projects are not starved of investments as interest rates rise, a think-tank proposed. The New Economics Foundation (NEF) said green projects with high start-up costs like wind, solar, home insulation, electric charging points, risked losing out to carbon-intensive business plans that require less borrowing. NEF economist Lukasz Krebel said our ability to “reduce our dependence on volatile oil and gas is threatened when interest rates go up”. The BoE raised interest rates from 0.1% to 1.75% since December 2021. The NEF said launching a green ‘Term Funding Scheme’ will enable banks to issue interest-free loans to fund heat pumps, solar panels and domestic wind turbines. (Reuters)


South African court bans offshore oil and gas exploration by Shell

A South African court has upheld a ban imposed on the energy giant Shell from using seismic waves to explore for oil and gas off the Indian Ocean coast. The judgment marks a victory for environmentalists concerned about the impact the exploration would have on marine life. The 2014 decision granting the right for the “exploration of oil and gas in the Transkei and Algoa exploration areas is reviewed and set aside”, the high court ruled. Shell did not say if it would appeal against the judgement or not. Shell was set to collect 3D seismic data over more than 6,000 sq. km of ocean off South Africa’s Wild Coast – a 300km stretch of rich waters housing marine life and natural reserves. (The Guardian)


Germany’s ultra-cheap train ticket saved 1.8 million tons of CO2

Germany’s three-month experiment with super-cheap public transport reduced carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to powering about 350,000 homes for a year. The €9 monthly ticket, which allows nationwide travel on regional trains, subways, trams and buses, prevented 1.8 million tons of CO2 because commuters reduced car use, according to the VDV public-transport lobby. The ticket is meant to soften the blow from inflation in Europe’s biggest economy amid a surge in energy and fuel prices. Some 52 million of the tickets had been sold, with one in ten buyers ditching at least one of their daily auto trips, the VDV said. Despite this, Germany’s transport sector fell short of environmental targets by some 3 million tons of CO2 in 2021, adding pressure to mobilise new ways to trim emissions. (Bloomberg)*


UK retailers blocking moves to end the killing of day-old male chicks

UK retailers are blocking moves to end the killing of millions of day-old male chicks each year, breeding companies have said. The industrial-scale culling of unwanted chicks is common practice around the world, with 29 million males slaughtered by crushing or gassing each year in the UK alone. Legislation and breeding technology in used in France and Germany has made it possible to avoid mass culling by identifying and preventing the hatching of male chicks. However, breeding companies say UK retailers are not keen to promote eggs that don’t contribute to killing of male chicks alongside existing stock. Respeggt, a German service provider of in-Ovo egg sexing has found that there lacks consumer demand from retailers. Germany and France introduced legislation banning or phasing out the killing of male chicks. (The Guardian)

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