Top Stories

January 05, 2023


Tobacco companies to pay for cigarette butts litter in Spain

Tobacco companies are to be forced to foot the bill for cleaning up the millions of cigarette ends that smokers discard every year under new environmental regulations in Spain. The ruling is part of a package of measures designed to reduce waste and increase recycling. It includes a ban on single-use plastic cutlery and plates, cotton buds, expanded polystyrene cups and plastic straws, as well as cutting back on plastic food packaging. Cigarette manufacturers will also be responsible for educating the public not to discard their butts in public space, but it remains unclear how the clean-up will be implemented or what it will cost. One Catalan study put the cost at between €12-€21 per citizen per annum, a total of up to €1 billion. (The Guardian)


Brazil targets rainforest NFTs in win for indigenous people

Brazilian prosecutors have ordered a company to stop selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that promise buyers the chance to protect a tract of Amazon rainforest. Brazil-based NFT company Nemus says it has an agreement to acquire at least 40,000 hectares of forest in the Pauini municipality. However, following a complaint from the Apurinã people, prosecutors in Amazonas state asked Nemus to prove its ownership, accusing the firm of pressuring the indigenous community to endorse documents they could not understand. The state prosecutor’s office has ordered Nemus to halt NFT sales and to not “contact or co-opt” Apurinã leaders or do anything related to the land that violates a UN indigenous rights convention. The office said the company would have 10 days to outline its compliance measures with failure resulting in legal action. (Eco-Business)


FTSE CEOs paid more in 3 days than average worker salary

The bosses of FTSE companies will have made more money in 2023 by the 5th of January than the average UK worker will earn the entire year, according to analysis. Fair pay think-tank the High Pay Centre said that by 2pm on the third working day of the year, a FTSE 100 chief executive will have been paid more on an hourly basis than a UK worker’s annual salary, based on median average remuneration figures. FTSE 100 chief executives are paid £3.4 million on average, working out to 103 times the £33,000 average salary for full-time UK workers, according to Office for National Statistics figures. Median FTSE 100 CEO pay has increased by 39% on January 2022, while the median worker’s pay has increased by only 6% over the same period. (The Guardian)


Big investors ask Glencore to justify thermal coal developments

International investors with $2.2 trillion in assets will ask commodity giant Glencore to show how its development of thermal coal mines meets the goals of the Paris climate accord. Major institutional investors including Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM), Ethos Foundation, Vision Super and HSBC Asset Management said in a joint statement they have co-filed a shareholder resolution that asks Glencore to reveal how its production and capital expenditure plans align with the Paris goals and the International Energy Agency ‘Net Zero Emissions pathway’. The resolution is to be presented for a vote at Glencore's annual shareholder meeting in 2023. At its previous AGM, Glencore saw almost a quarter of investors voting against its climate progress report, citing slow progress in scaling back coal production. (Reuters)


Green bonds set to drive corporate ESG debt out of slump

Global sales of corporate bonds with environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets will rebound in 2023 and top $460 billion, according to British bank Barclays. This is after the asset class suffered its first setback in 2022 as higher interest rates weighed on credit markets. ESG bond volumes dropped by 22% in 2022 amid broader slowdown in corporate bond issues, as companies faced significantly higher borrowing costs. In its credit research note, Barclays said it expects ESG bond sales to grow by 30% in 2023 and rebound to almost the same levels in 2021, predominantly driven by green bonds. Companies can secure cheaper financing through green bonds, Barclays said, and their relative appeal has increased even further as investors doubt the key performance indicators used in less mature sustainability-linked securities. (Reuters)

*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