Top Stories

January 04, 2023


Existing digital technology could cut cost of SDG delivery by 40%

The cost of delivering the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has increased since Covid-19 began – but could be slashed by deploying digital technologies that already exist. That is the conclusion of a report from Force for Good initiative, which advocates for sustainable capital deployment. Initiative members include BlackRock, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Lloyds Banking Group. The report builds on analysis conducted in 2021 into how the cost of delivering the SDGs had been pushed up by global shocks including Covid-19 and Russia’s war. However, it finds that SDG delivery costs could be reduced by up to 20% – $30 trillion – simply by deploying existing technologies that enhance connectivity. The solutions contribute to technologies including monitoring farms and forests for sustainable management, to creating smart cities and better early warning systems. (edie)


Disabled people among hardest hit by cost-of-living crisis

Disabled people in the UK are much more likely to struggle to heat their homes and cut back on food this winter, according to a report highlighting “massive” income gaps amid the cost-of-living crisis. Research from the Resolution Foundation found people with disabilities had an available amount to spend that was about 44% lower than that of other working-age adults, exposing them hugely to the rising cost of essentials. The think-tank said there was a chasm between the underlying disposable incomes of people with a disability (£19,397 a year) and the non-disabled population (£27,792), according to its analysis. It found that 48% of disabled adults said they had to cut back on energy use, compared with almost one-third of people without a disability. (The Guardian)


Santander UK drops 2:1 requirement for graduate scheme

Retail bank Santander UK will no longer require graduates applying to work there to achieve a 2:1 degree or higher, as part of efforts to boost the socioeconomic diversity of its recruits. The bank said the change would lead to an extra 64,000 more applicants being eligible for its annual graduate scheme and reflected the fact that university performance did not guarantee success in the workplace. The change forms part of Santander’s efforts to boost the proportion of employees from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in senior roles from 28% to 35% by 2030. A report released by the Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank concluded that access to “elite jobs” was often determined by a combination of the subject a student studied, where they went to school and how well they performed. (The Guardian)


Tata Steel finds UK needs 10m tonnes of steel for clean energy

The UK may need more than 10 million tonnes of steel over the coming years to become energy self-sufficient and deliver clean technologies and infrastructure, according to steel company Tata Steel. The steel producer claims in new research that huge quantities of the metal will likely be needed to build thousands of offshore wind turbines, solar farms and nuclear power plants as well as infrastructure for hydrogen production and carbon capture (CCS) projects if the UK government's climate and energy goals are to be met. Specifically, meeting the UK government’s ‘Energy Security Strategy’ will require an estimated more than five million tonnes of steel for construction of wind turbines at sea alone by 2030. Tata Steel also urged the importance of developing low-carbon steel production in the UK. (Business Green)*


Investment firm for biodiversity launches in Indonesia

A new investment firm has launched to help scale up biodiversity conservation projects in Indonesia. Called Terratai, the firm aims to address a perceived gap in the conservation finance ecosystem in Asia. An estimated $700 billion in investment is needed annually to address the biodiversity crisis and restore degraded ecosystems. Asia has lost about 50% of its natural capital over the last half-century, according to conservation NGO WWF’s recent ‘Living Planet’ report. Terratai aims to provide early-stage finance, strategy advice, and nature-based solutions expertise to businesses operating in at-risk land and seascapes. The firm launches with funding support from sustainable investment company RS Group with an initial focus on investment in Indonesia. It will target between 6 to 8 seed or pre-seed start-ups within the first three years of operation. (Eco-Business)

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