Top Stories

November 25, 2022


German football federation to take action over armband ban

The German football federation (DFB) is set to take legal action against FIFA for not letting players wear ‘OneLove’ armbands in the ongoing World Cup in Qatar. The OneLove armbands contain rainbow colours associated with the Pride flag. FIFA threatened to give yellow cards to captains of the participating teams, after which seven European teams backed out from wearing the armbands for fear of getting sanctioned, including the DFB which refused its players to wear the armbands. The German board suffered a blow due to the ban after supermarket chain REWE pulled out of its sponsorship deal with the team. REWE criticised FIFA’s “scandalous attitude”, calling it “absolutely unacceptable”. The DFB said it is keen to clarify whether FIFA’s threatened sanctions procedure was in fact legitimate. (India Today)


Amundi reclassifies Article 9 funds, Goldman sued over ESG misleading

Asset manager Amundi has reclassified almost all its sustainable investment funds from ‘Article 9’ under the ‘Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation’ (SFDR) to the less stringent ‘Article 8’ level. Amundi said it was in response to uncertainty surrounding SFDR compliance requirements. Amundi managed around 100 funds classified as Article 9 in late 2022 valued at around €45 billion. Article 9 refers to funds “which have sustainable investment as their objective” while Article 8 funds must “promote environmental or social characteristics”. Meanwhile, in the US, financial services firm Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay a $4 million penalty over charges that the bank’s asset management division misled customers about ESG investments. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Goldman failed to adopt written policies and procedures governing how it evaluated ESG factors. (ESG Today; Financial Times*)


Palm oil firms failing to address deforestation across the supply chain

Over half of the world’s largest palm oil companies are failing to assess their supply chains to ensure that sustainability and zero-deforestation targets are in place and being met. New analysis from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) ranked palm oil producers, processors and traders. It found that just 39% of companies are reporting and demonstrating progress to assess suppliers, leaving 61% with “limited or no” public commitments to evaluate sustainability and deforestation risks. The analysis also found that a little over half (58%) of companies have made a public zero-deforestation commitment that accounts for the supply chain. Just 12% have time-bound targets to ensure compliance across the supply chain. Additionally, only 11 companies have programmes in place to address and support “high-risk” palm oil mills to help with compliance. (edie)


Google signs PPA for renewable energy from Scottish wind farm

Technology company Google has signed a major power purchase agreement (PPA) that will see it offtake renewable electricity from the Moray West offshore wind farm in 2025. The PPA with utilities company Engie will enable Google to increase its zero-carbon energy within its operations to 90%. The only other Google Cloud regions operating using 90% zero-carbon energy at present are Finland, Spain, Toronto and Montreal in Canada and Iowa in the US. Moray West offshore wind farm will have a generating capacity of 882MW once complete. Google’s PPA covers the electricity produced by a 100MW share of the project. For Engie, the PPA is the latest in a string of corporate deals, with other buyers including chemicals giant BASF, materials and recycling firm Umicore and FMCG major Proctor and Gamble. (edie)


UK & South Africa announce clean technology mineral partnership

The UK and South Africa have announced a partnership to deepen collaboration on the responsible and sustainable exploration of minerals in South Africa for use in clean energy technologies. The partnership will include regular ministerial and technical dialogues between South Africa’s Department for Mineral Resources and Energy (RSA) and the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). South Africa is a leading producer of minerals that are used in clean technologies, including platinum, palladium, and iridium, which are used for hydrogen production, as well as vanadium and manganese, which are used for battery storage. The partnership will promote responsible exploration, development, production and processing of minerals in South Africa. It will also upscale investment in mineral exploration that adheres to high environmental standards. (Business Green)*

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