Top Stories

December 12, 2022


Investors launch campaign to help companies protect nature

A group of 11 investment firms are calling on a selected 100 businesses with burdens on nature to lighten their impact and monitor their progress. Called the ‘Nature Action 100’, the campaign group hopes to encourage companies to preserve ecosystems that support more than half the world’s economic output. The campaign will engage companies that have the highest impact on nature, not only to protect the natural environment but also mitigate risks these companies face from mounting pressure to effectively address biodiversity issues. The list of 100 companies will be published in 2023. The investor group includes AXA Investment Managers, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Church Commissioners for England, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Domini Impact Investments, Federated Hermes, Karner Blue Capital, Robeco, Storebrand Asset Management, Christian Brothers Investment and Vancity Investment Management. (Reuters)


Fashion majors urged to set science-based climate targets

Non-profit the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), which has members that represent around half of the global apparel and footwear industry, has launched a new decarbonisation programme. The launch of the SAC programme means that all large businesses with Coalition membership will be required to formally commit to setting emissions targets verified by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) from 2023. From the point of committing to set SBTi-approved targets, businesses have 24 months to get them approved. In a useful move for fashion firms sourcing natural raw materials like cotton, the SBTi is also firming up its guidance on how land-based emissions reductions and removals can be accounted for by businesses. The SAC has stated it will provide support, with tailored support for smaller businesses, in developing credible emissions goals. (edie)


UK ministers face legal challenge over oil and gas licences

The UK government is facing a fresh challenge in the courts over plans to award up to 130 new licences for North Sea oil and gas exploration. Three campaign groups have written to the business secretary, Grant Shapps, explaining the grounds on which they consider the current offshore oil and gas licensing round to be unlawful. They call for the decision to award the new licences to be reserved, arguing that new oil and gas exploration and development is incompatible with the UK’s own rules and international climate obligations. Campaigners from environmental justice NGO Greenpeace accused the government of attempting to justify unnecessary fossil fuel expansion on the basis that the production facilities would not produce much carbon dioxide. Campaigners added new licences are unlikely to reduce UK gas prices in the present. (The Guardian)


Pernod Ricard to build $250 million carbon-neutral distillery

French spirits producer Pernod Ricard has announced plans to invest $250 million into a carbon-neutral distillery for its Jefferson’s Bourbon brand in the US. The company has set goals to reduce its overall carbon footprint intensity by 50% by 2030 and to follow a net-zero by 2050 trajectory. Pernod Ricard completed two sustainability-linked bond issuances in 2022, raising nearly €1.9 billion with the cost of debt tied to performance on its goals to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions. The company outlined a range of low-carbon technologies it will employ in the distillery and warehouses, including renewable electricity-powered electrode boilers, on-site electric trucks and facility vehicles, and extensive use of solar and natural lighting. Pernod Ricard said it will also partner with local farmers and suppliers to source ingredients and casks. (ESG Today)


Decline of working-class people in arts reflects wider society

The proportion of working-class actors, musicians and writers in the UK has shrunk by half since the 1970s, new research shows. Analysis of Office for National Statistics (ONS) data found that 16.4% of creative workers born between 1953 and 1962 had a working-class background, but that had fallen to just 7.9% for those born four decades later. This reflected a similar decline in the number of people with working-class origins, according to the paper. People whose parents had a working-class job accounted for about 37% of the workforce in 1981, but by 2011 that had fallen to about 21%. Comparatively, people who grew up in professional families were four times more likely than those with working-class parents to be in creative work, the study found. (The Guardian)














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