Corporate Citizenship Briefing https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com Just another Corporate Citizenship site Fri, 18 Sep 2020 14:01:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/09/cropped-ccbriefing-favicon-32x32.png Corporate Citizenship Briefing https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com 32 32 Daily Media Briefing https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/18/daily-media-briefing-1622/ https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/18/daily-media-briefing-1622/#respond Fri, 18 Sep 2020 14:01:07 +0000 http://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/?p=18876 Consumer goods giants accused of covert lobbying against stronger plastics legislation Canada launches emissions reduction fund from Volkswagen fine ‘Total failure’ on English river water quality, according to Environment Agency Tate & Lyle sweetens climate efforts with science-based […]]]>

Waste

Consumer goods giants accused of covert lobbying against stronger plastics legislation

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Danone are among ten major food & beverage and consumer goods firms facing accusations of covertly lobbying against stronger plastics-related legislation, in spite of their public commitments to tackle plastics pollution. The report from the Changing Markets Foundation accuses each of these businesses of being a member of at least two trade bodies which have lobbied against stricter policies since 2018, with Danone accused of partaking in ten such actions. Aside from lobbying, the Changing Markets Foundation report identifies several other key tactics which corporates are using to “externalise” responsibility for the plastics they produce and distribute. Through advertisements, public engagements and meetings with policymakers, the named companies have repeatedly cited consumers as the cause of plastic pollution and suggested that the costs of tackling the problem should lie with governments, local authorities and waste managers, the report states. (Edie)

Sustainable Investment

Canada launches emissions reduction fund from Volkswagen fine

Canada has launched a fund to invest in community-based projects to curb emissions, with bulk of the money coming from a fine that Volkswagen AG paid for breaking the country’s diesel emissions rules. The C$206 million ($157 million) fund is part of the government’s new Climate Action and Awareness Fund which seeks to boost climate science research by empowering youth and communities. “The new Climate Action and Awareness Fund will create jobs for Canadians in science and technology, academia, and at the grassroots community level,” Johnathan Wilkinson, minister of environment and climate change, said in statement. In January, a judge in Canada approved a C$196.5 million fine against Volkswagen after the company pleaded guilty to dozens of counts of diesel emissions violations. The fine was by far the largest environmental penalty in Canadian history, prosecutors said. (Reuters)

Environment

‘Total failure’ on English river water quality, according to Environment Agency

All of the rivers, lakes and streams in England are polluted, says the Environment Agency. The figures reveal a lack of progress towards the target of 100% healthy waters by 2027. The most problematic pollutants are chemical sewage discharge, farming, and industrial chemicals. In 2016, when figures were last published, 16% of waters were classed as good. In fact, water quality hasn’t deteriorated since then – but it hasn’t improved as promised. The figures appear to have got worse because stricter tests brought in by the EU have shown up levels of long-banned pollutants such as PCB in the tissues of living organisms. The Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said the data showed urgent action was needed to reduce sewage discharge and address pollution from agriculture and chemicals. Water UK, which represents water companies, said farmers were mostly to blame. The farmers’ union NFU said farmers had greatly reduced the amount of chemicals they used but recognise that more needs to be done. (BBC)

Strategy

Tate & Lyle sweetens climate efforts with science-based CO2 targets

Sugar company Tate & Lyle has joined the growing band of 65 food and drinks companies worldwide to secure approval for its greenhouse gas reduction goals from the Science-Based Targets initiative, with the ingredient supplier aiming to cut its emissions by almost a third over the next decade. The UK manufacturer yesterday said its target to slash its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 has officially been approved, putting the company in line with the Paris Agreement’s lower ambition goal to limit global average temperature rise this century ‘well below’ 2°C. Tate & Lyle’s pledge to reduce CO2 from its value chain – also known as Scope 3 emissions – by 15 per cent over the same period has also secured approval, it said. (Business Green)

Environment

Chinese fishing armada plundered waters around Galápagos, data shows

A vast fleet of Chinese fishing vessels just off the Galápagos Islands logged 73,000 hours of fishing during just one month as it pulled up thousands of tonnes of squid and fish, a new report based on data analysis has found. Nearly 300 Chinese vessels accounted for 99% of visible fishing just outside the archipelago’s waters between 13 July and 13 August this year, according to analysis by marine conservation group Oceana. China is ranked as the world’s worst nation in a 2019 IUU fishing index. Its fleet, by far the largest in the world, is regularly implicated in overfishing, targeting of endangered shark species, illegal intrusion of jurisdiction, false licensing and catch documentation, and forced labour. The Galápagos Marine Reserve is a Unesco world heritage site and covers more than 133,000 sq km around the archipelago. It is an oasis for ocean biodiversity with more than 20% of its marine species found nowhere else on earth. (The Guardian)

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Daily Media Briefing https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/17/daily-media-briefing-1621/ https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/17/daily-media-briefing-1621/#respond Thu, 17 Sep 2020 13:01:45 +0000 http://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/?p=18865 World misses all UN biodiversity targets Plug-in hybrids are a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’, according to new report Carbon prices to climb 50% over next decade following raised EU climate targets Novartis ties bond sale to malaria treatment […]]]>

Biodiversity

World misses all UN biodiversity targets

The world is set to miss all its targets to safeguard biodiversity and halt the destruction of ecosystems that are critical to slowing climate change, according to an alarming report published today by the UN Convention of Biological Diversity. A decade ago, countries adopted a series of 20 biodiversity objectives, the new study, serves as a report card on these goals, and finds that none have been met in full, while just six were deemed to be “partially achieved”. Some progress was also made towards tackling invasive species, with around 200 successful eradications of alien species on islands logged by the report. However, $500bn of harmful subsidies for agriculture, fossil fuels and fishing have not been eliminated, meaning governments are continuing to directly drive environmental degradation. Earlier this month, a WWF assessment estimated that since 1970 close to 70 per cent of wild animals, birds and fish have been eradicated.  (Business Green)

Consumers

Plug-in hybrids are a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’, according to new report

Carbon dioxide emissions from plug-in hybrid cars are as much as two-and-a-half times higher than official tests suggest, according to new research from pressure groups Transport & Environment and Greenpeace. The official tests indicate that plug-in hybrids emit an average of 44g per km of CO2, however the analysis suggest the real figure is closer to an average of 120g per km. According to these figures a plug-in hybrid would only deliver an emissions reduction of about a third on a typical petrol or diesel car – far less than the official estimates. Transport and Environment’s analysis says a key problem with plug-in hybrids is that so many owners rarely actually charge their cars, meaning they rely on the petrol or diesel engine. The new research is published as the government considers whether to bring forward a proposed ban on the sale of new petrol, diesel and conventional hybrid cars from 2035 to 2030. (BBC)

Policy & Research

Carbon prices to climb 50% over next decade following raised EU climate targets

According to Refinitiv Carbon Research, if the EU proceeds with increasing its climate ambitions from a 40% reduction in emissions to 55% by 2030, carbon prices will increase as a result. The research suggests that the average carbon price between 2021 and 2030 will surpass €30. Beyond 2030, the price would increase again to beyond €50. In comparison, the EU carbon price reached €15 in May 2020, as a result of the coronavirus, its lowest level since 2018. Earlier this week, more than 150 businesses and a group of investors with €33trn in assets under management called on the European Union (EU) to back the ambitions set out in its Green Deal by committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed that the EU would back the proposed 55% reduction. (Edie)

Sustainable Investment

Novartis ties bond sale to malaria treatment access in sustainability push

Pharmaceuticals company Novartis has raised 1.85 billion euros from the sale of a bond on which interest payments will rise if the drugmaker fails to expand access to medicines and programmes to combat malaria and leprosy in a number of developing countries. Investors are increasingly pushing companies to improve their track record on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues while sustainable investing grows in popularity, spurring an increase in sustainable debt issuance year after year. Italian utility Enel pioneered the structure in late 2019, tying interest payments to key performance indicators (KPI), and Brazilian pulp and paper maker Suzano sold a heavily oversubscribed $750 million carbon emissions-linked bond less than a week ago. Unlike green bonds – the biggest financing vehicle in the sustainable investment space which links funds to specific environmentally-focussed projects – sustainability-linked bonds are tied to goals at the company level. (Reuters)

Technology & Innovation

Device to curb microplastic emissions wins James Dyson award

A device that captures microplastic particles from tyres as they are emitted – and could help reduce the devastating pollution they cause – has won its designers a James Dyson award. The Tyre Collective, a group of masters students from Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art, scooped the UK prize of the international competition with their solution for the growing environmental scourge of tyre wear caused by road transport. Every time a vehicle brakes, accelerates or turns a corner, the tyres wear down through friction and tiny particles become airborne. This produces 500,000 tonnes of tyre particles annually in Europe alone. Globally, it is estimated tyre wear accounts for nearly half of road transport particulate emissions. It is also the second-largest microplastic pollutant in the oceans after single-use plastic. The award, which is in its 16th year, operates in 27 countries and is open to university students and recent graduates studying product design, industrial design and engineering (The Guardian)

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Daily Media Briefing https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/16/daily-media-briefing-1620/ https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/16/daily-media-briefing-1620/#respond Wed, 16 Sep 2020 11:07:35 +0000 http://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/?p=18860 New report shines light on the unequal impact of Covid on children’s lives Wildfire smoke causes record pollution in US state Lego intensifies search for sustainable bricks ITV commits to net-zero emissions by 2030 UK must invest in […]]]>

Inequality

New report shines light on the unequal impact of Covid on children’s lives

International non-profit organization Save the Children has released the largest global COVID-19 survey of its kind as part of its latest report, entitled Protect a Generation. The report reveals that the poorest children have been most at risk during the crisis and have disproportionately lost access to education, healthcare, and food. The survey asked 25,000 children and adults how the pandemic is affecting their lives and highlighted the ways the crisis has widened gender and wealth inequalities. Save the Children estimates that 9.7 million children will not be going back to school this year, and the new survey suggests many of the children missing out are girls living in poverty. Less than 1% of the children from poorer households who participated in the survey had access to remote learning, and of those who didn’t classify themselves as poor, only 19% had access. The organization wants to see more response efforts that prioritize children’s needs.  (Global Citizen)

Environment

Wildfire smoke causes record pollution in US state

Air quality in five major cities in Oregon was the worst on record as the state continues to be blanketed by thick smoke from wildfires ravaging nearly 5 million acres in the U.S., environmental officials in state said. The unprecedented wildfires, burning across a total of some 4.5 million acres (1.8 million hectares), have burned through towns in Oregon while also devouring forests in California, Washington and Idaho. Hardest hit is Oregon, where tiny bits of smoke and ash known as particulates have reached the highest levels on record in Portland, Eugene, Bend, Medford and Klamath Falls, the state’s Department of Environmental Quality said. The resulting blanket of ash and smoke has made the region’s air quality among the worst in the world. Satellite images show that some of the smoke from the fires, traveling on the jet stream at high altitude, has wafted east as far as New York and Washington, D.C., according to the National Weather Service. (Reuters)

Innovation

Lego intensifies search for sustainable bricks

Danish toymaker Lego has announced it would invest $400 million over the next three years to step up efforts to produce its colourful bricks using sustainable materials instead of oil-based plastic. The investment will help Lego to reach a target of becoming carbon neutral by 2022 in terms of its production, as well as phase out single-use plastic in packaging by 2025 and replace plastic bricks with ones made from sustainable materials by the end of the decade. Lego’s search for a suitable alternative to oil-based plastic has proven difficult. Over the last five years, a team of more than 150 engineers and scientists have been testing many different plant-based and recycled materials. Lego uses some 90,000 tonnes of plastic in its products each year but since 2018 the company has made some of the less rigid parts of Lego sets, such as plants and trees, from bio-polyethylene, a type of plastic made from ethanol, produced using sugarcane. (Reuters)

Reporting

ITV commits to net-zero emissions by 2030

British television channel ITV has built on a recent science-based targets announcement by committing to reaching net-zero emissions across the business by 2030. In August, ITV confirmed that it will aim to reduce scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 46.2% by 2030 and scope 3 emissions by 28%, both against a 2019 baseline. As part of the new net-zero commitment, ITV will require all programmes it produces and commissions to meet the British Academy Film Awards’ (BAFTA) ‘Albert certification’, an initiative which provides businesses and individuals across the broadcasting sector with resources to help them not only minimise the environmental impacts of their operations, but change the narrative around sustainability issues. In 2018, the organisation became a carbon neutral business, having reduced emissions by more than 52% over a five-year period and offsetting all direct emissions from business operations, travel and energy use. (Edie)

Energy

UK must invest in ‘net zero North Sea’ according to new report

A new era of net zero energy production has the potential to transform the North Sea into one of the world’s leading clean technology hubs, according to a major new report from the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC). The wide-ranging plans hail the potential for the basin to become a test bed for next generation offshore wind turbines boasting larger blades and taller towers, saltwater electrolysis plants capable of slashing the cost of green hydrogen production, and the development of advance catalyst materials for the manufacture of hydrogen fuel. Delivering on the roadmap would cost as much as £430bn, but could generate more than £2.3tr in value to the UK economy, providing up to 200,000 jobs and significant manufacturing opportunities in the process. The news comes as the government is reportedly considering increasing support for floating wind turbines, hydrogen, and carbon capture technologies as part of a green recovery packaged and revamped net zero strategy. (Business Green)

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Daily Media Briefing https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/15/daily-media-briefing-1619/ https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/15/daily-media-briefing-1619/#respond Tue, 15 Sep 2020 13:22:42 +0000 http://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/?p=18856 Google pledges to be carbon free as fires engulf California SBTi kickstarts process on global standard for science-based corporate net-zero targets European meat plants posing ‘avoidable risk’ of disease, inspectors say Facebook launches climate science info centre amid […]]]>

Energy

Google pledges to be carbon free as fires engulf California

Google is promising to run all of its data centres and campuses on carbon-free energy within a decade, as the tech giant makes plans to ditch fossil fuels and agree to a key demand from employees concerned about climate change. The company says it may relocate some data centres to reach the new goal of operating entirely on clean energy such as wind, solar, batteries and hydropower by 2030. Chief executive Sundar Pichai pointed to the wildfires raging across the west coast of the US, and said it was urgent for businesses to address climate change. Microsoft announced earlier this year that it would be “carbon negative” by 2030, extracting more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it produces. The pledge to operate on carbon-free power will address one of four demands made by a group of thousands of Google employees concerned about climate change, who staged a walkout and wrote a letter to the chief financial officer last year. (Financial Times) *

Reporting

SBTi kickstarts process on global standard for science-based corporate net-zero targets

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued its first guidance on what will ultimately lead to the development of a new global standard to ensure that corporate net-zero carbon targets are aligned with climate science. The Foundations for Science-Based Net-Zero Target Setting in the Corporate Sector paper has been released in an effort to ensure that corporate net-zero targets are aligned to climate science and efforts to deliver a net-zero world by no later than 2050. The paper notes that net-zero targets must be consistent with the 1.5C trajectory while neutralising the impact of any sources of residual emissions that cannot be eliminated. As such, the SBTi realises the role that offsets will play in net-zero strategies but insists that reducing emissions must be the overarching priority for companies. (Edie)

Health & Nutrition

European meat plants posing ‘avoidable risk’ of disease, inspectors say

Consumers are being exposed to an “avoidable risk” of disease after a reduction of official controls in food inspections of pig and poultry carcasses across the EU, European meat inspectors have said. Diseased meat is being eaten by consumers in the UK and EU said the European Working Community for Food Inspection and Consumer Protection (EFWFC) this week. In response to the claim, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said the regulations for food safety had been developed to prevent meat that could be diseased or contaminated from reaching consumers. The EWFC is calling for food safety regulations at slaughterhouses to be “re-evaluated in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic”, and is also calling on the EU commission to reverse 2019 changes to poultry inspections that move away from 100% postmortem inspections. (The Guardian)

Corporate Reputation

Facebook launches climate science info centre amid fake news criticism

Facebook has launched a climate science information centre to elevate credible sources on climate change, as critics question its role in the spread of misinformation on the issue. Facebook said the project is modelled on its COVID-19 Information Centre, and launched a similar feature last month on voting in preparation for U.S. elections in November. The tool will be rolled out in the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and eventually to other countries. Facebook has faced allegations that it permits false claims around climate change through a policy that exempts opinion articles from its external fact-checking system. It has said that it prioritizes handling of misinformation that poses an immediate threat of harm, like bogus coronavirus cures or hate speech that could incite violence. Facebook’s global policy chief Nick Clegg said the company would continue exempting false claims about climate change posted by politicians. (Reuters)

Sustainable Investment

Tesco steps up rail investment plans

UK supermarket Tesco has officially launched a new £5m investment programme to support its plans to transfer a greater proportion of its distribution network away from road and on to the rail network. The investment includes 500 new rail boxes and two new stacking machines with a particular focus on moving more freight by rail in the north east England especially. The increased rail service is set to replace 40 truck loads of road freight between Daventry and Middlesbrough per day. It will eventually save more than 5,000 tonnes of CO2 each year and remove over 3.9 million truck miles from the road. The news, which was announced last week, was warmly welcomed by Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris. Andrew Woolfenden, UK distribution director for the supermarket, said: “Tesco is the biggest retail user of rail in the UK and it’s the most efficient way of moving our goods quickly, so the benefits are practical for our business and for the environment. (Business Green)

 

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Daily Media Briefing https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/14/daily-media-briefing-1618/ https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/14/daily-media-briefing-1618/#respond Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:39:08 +0000 http://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/?p=18850 BP warns of oil demand peak by early 2020s Fashion industry accused of water pollution blindspot Investor group issues AGM warning to climate net-zero laggards Warmth shatters section of Greenland ice shelf ‘Superfungus’ threatens last Panamanian golden frogs […]]]>

Energy

BP warns of oil demand peak by early 2020s

UK energy major BP has warned of a peak in oil demand within the next few years, signalling that the coronavirus pandemic is ushering in an earlier than anticipated decline for the fossil fuel era. The company modelled three scenarios for the world’s transition to cleaner fuels that all see oil demand falling over the next 30 years. The new analysis marks a dramatic change from last year when BP’s base case expected consumption to grow over the next decade reaching a peak in the 2030s. While oil demand is not expected to collapse, a plateau or decline in consumption would fundamentally alter the outlook for investment in the industry and the willingness of shareholders to keep funding new projects. Increasing efficiency and electrification of road transportation is one of the main drivers of a peaking in oil demand. (Financial Times) *

Sustainable Fashion

Fashion industry accused of water pollution blindspot

The fashion industry has been accused of being “blind” to the risks of water pollution by a new report from investor-backed environmental disclosure platform CDP. The research, which has been released today in the run up to this year’s London Fashion Week, reveals that only 10 per cent of listed fashion firms have demonstrated awareness of their impact on water pollution levels. CDP said the fashion and textile industry is responsible for substantial levels of water pollution at each stage of the supply chain, from agricultural runoff in cotton fields to the toxic chemicals used during the dying process and the microfibres that can be released when clothes are washed. Yet, of 136 businesses whose investors requested impact assessments on water pollution, only 62 – or 46 per cent – provided data in 2019. Of these, only seven – including Gap Inc, H&M, and luxury goods brand Kering – demonstrated awareness of water pollution across their entire value chain. (Business Green)

Sustainable Investment

Investor group issues AGM warning to climate net-zero laggards

Climate Action 100+, a leading investor group, has written to the boards of the world’s largest corporate emitters of greenhouse gases, warning they must produce a strategy to move their business to net-zero carbon emissions or face pressure at future AGMs. The group includes most of the world’s biggest investors, collectively managing $47 trillion in assets. The group called on the companies to create strategies that covered their full value chain – including Scope 3 emissions from each company’s products – and were science-based. Companies also needed to set medium-term objectives and material targets to help demonstrate the longer-term goals were achievable. To compare the relative merits of each company’s strategy the group is launching a new benchmark to help its 500 members and others assess each company’s progress on the way to net-zero against a set of 30 indicators. (Reuters)

Climate Change

Warmth shatters section of Greenland ice shelf

A big chunk of ice has broken away from the Arctic’s largest remaining ice shelf – 79N, or Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden – in north-east Greenland. The ejected section covers about 110 square km, which satellite imagery shows has shattered into many small pieces. The atmosphere in this region has warmed by about 3C since 1980. Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden is roughly 80km long by 20km wide and is the floating front end of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream – where it flows off the land into the ocean to become buoyant. July witnessed another large ice shelf structure in the Arctic lose significant area. This was Milne Ice Shelf on the northern margin of Canada’s Ellesmere Island. Eighty sq km broke free from Milne, leaving a still secure segment just 106 sq km in size. Milne was the largest intact remnant from a wider shelf feature that covered 8,600 sq km at the start of the 20th Century.  (BBC)

Environment

‘Superfungus’ threatens last Panamanian golden frogs

Some 200 critically endangered golden frogs are living a sheltered existence in Panama, protected from a devastating fungus that threatens to wipe out a third of the country’s amphibian species—a situation scientists describe as “critical”. Though endemic to the Central American country, no Panamanian golden frog can be seen in its natural habitat, threatened as it is by a so-called “superfungus” that has decimated amphibians in the wild. The pathogen is responsible for chytridiomycosis, an infectious disease that scientists say has already caused the disappearance of some 30 species. Despite the gloomy scenario, scientists point to some glimmers of hope, saying that in the past few years some species believed to have gone extinct have been re-discovered. Believed extinct in the wild, only about 1,500 of the tiny Panamanian golden frogs are found in zoos where they can reproduce. (Phys)

 

 

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Daily Media Briefing https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/11/daily-media-briefing-1617/ https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/11/daily-media-briefing-1617/#respond Fri, 11 Sep 2020 13:37:08 +0000 http://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/?p=18844 Rio Tinto chief to quit over Aboriginal Sébastien cave destruction Plans unveiled for ‘world’s biggest’ recycling facility in bid to meet soaring European demand Citigroup becomes first big Wall Street bank to be run by female CEO BP […]]]>

Corporate Reputation

Rio Tinto chief to quit over Aboriginal Sébastien cave destruction

The boss of Rio Tinto, Jean-Sébastien Jacques, will step down following criticism of the mining giant’s destruction of sacred Aboriginal sites. In May, the world’s biggest iron ore miner destroyed two ancient caves in Pilbara, Western Australia. The company went ahead with blowing up the Juukan Gorge rock shelters despite the opposition of Aboriginal traditional owners. Other senior executives, including the heads of the miner’s iron ore and corporate relations divisions, will also leave the company at the end of the year. The caves – seen as one of Australia’s most significant archaeological research sites – had shown evidence of continuous human habitation dating back 46,000 years. In June, rival miner BHP also halted its plans to expand its mine in the Pilbara region in June following the outcry over Rio’s actions. (BBC)

Waste

Plans unveiled for ‘world’s biggest’ recycling facility in bid to meet soaring European demand

Loop Industries and SUEZ have revealed plans to build giant plastic recycling facility, as pressure grows for sector to boost capacity across Europe. The plant, which would be the largest in the world to date, would be dedicated to Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) plastic and would boast the potential to produce the equivalent of approximately 4.2 billion food grade beverage bottles made of 100 per cent recycled and infinitely recyclable PET plastic annually. When fully operational, Infinite Loop systems aims to save 180,000 tons of CO2 annually, compared with traditional virgin PET production methods. Europe consumes approximately 5.5 million tons of PET plastic every year, of which less than less than seven per cent is currently recycled. PET plastic is used in the production of plastic bottles, packaging, carpets and textiles. (Business Green)

Employees

Citigroup becomes first big Wall Street bank to be run by female CEO

Citigroup has appointed the Scottish-American banker Jane Fraser as its next chief executive, the first time a big Wall Street bank will be led by a woman. Fraser was born in Scotland and studied economics at Cambridge University and Harvard Business School before starting her banking career at Goldman Sachs in London. Since then, she has worked in roles across the world for a range of companies. The promotion will make Fraser one of the most prominent women in US business. Only 38 of the Fortune 500, which tracks the US’s biggest listed companies, had female chief executives at the start of August, according to CNN. Fraser’s first job will be to guide Citi through the extended period of economic weakness expected by many economists as the US and other major markets struggle to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. (The Guardian)

Energy

BP enters offshore wind with Equinor deal

BP has made its first foray into offshore wind power, agreeing to buy a 50 per cent stake in two US projects from Norway’s Equinor for $1.1bn. The decision to take a stake in the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind assets comes as BP seeks to boost annual investment in low-carbon businesses 10-fold to about $5bn a year. BP plans to increase renewable power development from 2.5 gigawatts in 2019 to about 50GW by 2030 after chief executive Bernard Looney laid out ambitions for the company to become a net-zero emissions company by 2050. Investors, environmentalists and the public are demanding that fossil fuel companies make drastic changes to their business models to reduce emissions, even as customer demand for oil, gas and even coal remains robust. BP and Equinor have slashed their dividends to shareholders and their spending on legacy business as they buffer themselves from a slide in their earnings, while continuing to increase their low-carbon expenditure. (Financial Times) *

Strategy

Advertising sector launches new initiative to eliminate negative environmental impacts

A new initiative has been launched to eliminate the advertising industry’s negative impact on the environment, which has been backed by the likes of Sky and Unilever. ‘AdGreen’ is an initiative from the Climate Action Working Group, led by the Advertising Association in partnership with the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA). The initiative will provide organisations within the advertising sector with tools, advice and services to help reduce emissions and cut back on waste produced. From 2021, the initiative will measure carbon footprints from advertising, before then empowering the sector to become zero-carbon and zero-waste. Carbon footprint calculators, specialist training, offsetting schemes and a renewable energy purchasing option will all be offered to relevant organisations. AdGreen will develop a strategic partnership with the BAFTA’s Albert initiative, which provides businesses and individuals across the broadcasting sector with resources to help them minimise their environmental impacts. (Edie)

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Daily Media Briefing https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/10/daily-media-briefing-1616/ https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/10/daily-media-briefing-1616/#respond Thu, 10 Sep 2020 13:29:49 +0000 http://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/?p=18841 Ex-VW CEO to face diesel fraud trial, court says L’Oréal launches make-up recycling across UK shops Australian business leaders respond to corporate scandals, #MeToo movement Tax frequent flyers, ban new gas boilers and demand carbon labelling, UK Climate […]]]>

Lawsuits

Ex-VW CEO to face diesel fraud trial, court says

Former Volkswagen AG head Martin Winterkorn and four others must stand trial over serious fraud charges in Germany for their role in the diesel-rigging scandal that cost the carmaker more than 30 billion euros ($35 billion). The former chief executive officer and other managers were charged last year with equipping vehicles sold to customers with a so-called defeat device. The company two years ago found a way out of the probe, paying 1 billion euros to settle with prosecutors. Alongside the fraud charges, the accused will be tried on tax-evasion allegations. Since the cars received tax breaks for their supposed reduced emissions, the government lost out on 820,000 euros, according to the statement. Volkswagen said it is cooperating with the authorities and that the ruling is another step toward coming to terms with the scandal. (Bloomberg)

Waste

L’Oréal launches make-up recycling across UK shops

Cosmetics giant L’Oréal is introducing make-up recycling bins across 1,000 UK stores in an environmental push. Its Maybelline brand and recycling firm TerraCycle will install the recycling points in branches of Tesco, Boots, Sainsbury’s and Superdrug. L’Oreal’s UK boss said the firm wants to “lead the way” in creating beauty recycling habits. But Greenpeace said without reducing single-use plastic production, firms “cannot claim they are doing enough”. Chains such as The Body Shop and skincare specialist Kiehl’s – also owned by L’Oréal – already offer customers rewards for returning empty products to stores to be recycled. Nearly half of make-up wearers did not know that recycling beauty products was possible, according to a recent survey of more than 1,000 consumers by Maybelline. The cosmetics firm has pledged that 100% of its plastic packaging will be refillable, reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. (BBC)

Governance

Australian business leaders respond to corporate scandals, #MeToo movement

A group of mostly male executives from Australia’s top companies said in a report on Thursday that boards should be tougher in tackling sexual harassment at a time when the country is facing a number of corporate scandals. The group, which also has some female executives as members, also recommended that companies stop using non-disclosure agreements to prevent people from speaking out. The proposals come as Australia is being shaken by corporate scandals, which have prompted companies to review their codes of conduct and propelled the issue to the top of their agenda. The scandals have involved large companies such as wealth manager AMP Ltd and QBE Insurance Group Ltd. Australia lags behind international standards in preventing and responding to cases of sexual harassment, according to a recent inquiry into Australian workplaces.  (Reuters)

Policy & Research

Tax frequent flyers, ban new gas boilers and demand carbon labelling, UK Climate Assembly tells politicians

Politicians have the backing of the British public to tax frequent flyers, ban new gas boilers, and demand carbon labelling on food and drink products, according to the results of the UK’s first-ever citizen’s assembly on climate change. Last year, 108 members of the public were tasked by Parliament with drawing up a road map for getting the UK to net zero emissions by 2050. Assembly Members were selected at random to represent the UK’s population in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, educational level, where in the UK they live and level of concern about climate change. After more than 6,000 hours of expert advice and deliberation the group have urged the Government to take radical steps to speed emissions cuts across the economy. Assembly members said watching the Government’s response to the pandemic had convinced them radical change was possible, so long as the government was committed to it. (I News)

Climate Change

Covid-19 will weaken energy demand for decades—but world still losing climate fight, warns report

While coronavirus may dampen energy demand for decades, the world is still on track to heat up by 2.3 degrees Celsius by 2100, a new report from DNV GL predicts. Covid-19 has led to an 8 per cent drop in energy demand this year and, with economic growth delayed and remote working and reduced travel here to stay, consumption levels are expected to remain at least 6 per cent below levels forecast prior to the outbreak through to 2050. However, the report states that the world is still not on track to win the battle against global warming. Over the next 30 years, absolute carbon dioxide emissions are expected to rise steadily in the Indian Subcontinent and Sub-Saharan Africa, with Greater China—currently the largest emitter by far—expected to reach peak emissions before 2030. A recent United Nations report has detailed that the build-up of climate-warming carbon dioxide, is now at its highest level in 3 million years. (Eco-Business)

 

 

 

 

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Daily Media Briefing https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/09/daily-media-briefing-1615/ https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/09/daily-media-briefing-1615/#respond Wed, 09 Sep 2020 13:53:05 +0000 http://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/?p=18836 Seafood stakeholders push for stricter sustainability measures in landmark Fisheries Bill UK could save £1.6bn and 17,000 deaths by improving air quality, report finds More than 1 billion people could face displacement by 2050, according to new report […]]]>

Natural Capital

Seafood stakeholders push for stricter sustainability measures in landmark Fisheries Bill

Over 20 of the UK’s largest supermarkets and food brands have today joined forces to urge the government to reassess the sustainability credentials contained in the Fisheries Bill currently working its way through Parliament. The group, which includes Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose & Partners, Marks & Spencer, The Co-op, Morrison’s, and Young’s, stressed the Fisheries Bill offered the government a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to establish a “world-leading” sustainable fisheries management regime after the Brexit transition period. The Fisheries Bill marks the first new fisheries legislation in more than 40 years and represents a landmark piece of post-Brexit environmental legislation. Fisheries policy has emerged as one of the key sticking points in the currently deadlocked negotiations, with the UK and EU said to be at loggerheads over how quotas and fisheries should be managed post-Brexit. (Business Green)

Policy & Research

UK could save £1.6bn and 17,000 deaths by improving air quality, report finds

Improving air quality in England in line with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines could deliver a £1.6bn benefit while preventing 17,000 premature deaths each year that are linked to air pollution. These are the findings from the new landmark research from the CBI’s economic analysis arm on behalf of the Clean Air Fund. At a business level, the research found that the loss of three million working days could be prevented by meeting WHO guidelines. In addition, workers would see earnings increase by £900m collectively due to more time in work. Clean Air Zones were due to be launched in Bath, Bristol, Birmingham, and Leeds in 2020 but have been postponed as a result of the coronavirus until next year. Greater Manchester’s clean air plans have been delayed until 2022. (Edie)

Around the World

More than 1 billion people could face displacement by 2050, according to new report

Rapid population growth, lack of access to food and water and increased exposure to natural disasters could mean more than 1 billion people face being displaced by 2050, according to new analysis compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). With the world’s population forecast to rise to nearly 10 billion by 2050, intensifying the scramble for resources and fuelling conflict, the research shows as many as 1.2 billion people living in vulnerable areas of sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East may be forced to migrate by 2050. The result is an analysis assessing how many threats each of some 150 countries faces and their capacity to withstand them. The IEP said it hoped the register, which may become an annual analysis, would shape aid and development policies, with more emphasis and funding going towards climate-related impacts.  (Reuters)

Governance

Ex-G4S executives charged with defrauding UK government

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged three former executives at security company G4S with defrauding the government. The men charged were all directors of G4S’s care and justice services division, which ran an electronic monitoring contract with the Ministry of Justice for tagging and tracking offenders. The three men were charged with seven offences of fraud in connection to false representations made to the Ministry of Justice between 2009 and 2012. The men appeared for their first hearing at Westminster magistrates court in London on Tuesday. They are due to appear at Southwark crown court on 6 October. A spokesperson said it was not appropriate for it to comment on the individual cases. G4S is one of the largest UK-headquartered private sector employers, with security operations across the world. (The Guardian)

Energy

Poland to accelerate coal phase-out, spend billions on renewable and nuclear energy

Poland wants to speed-up the phase-out of coal and spend billions to build renewable and nuclear power infrastructure to address challenges related to climate change and ensure stable power supplies. The climate ministry said Poland plans to invest 150 billion zlotys ($40 billion) to build its first nuclear power plants, with 6-9 gigawatts (GW) of capacity eventually. The first 1-1.6 GW facility would be up and running by 2033. It also plans to build 8-11 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2040 with investment estimated at 130 billion zlotys. The development of renewable and nuclear energy facilities will create 300,000 jobs, it said. Poland has been the only European Union state to refuse to pledge climate neutrality by 2050. Poland expects to receive 60 billion zlotys ($16 billion) from EU funds for coal regions’ transformation, the climate ministry said.  (Reuters)

 

 

 

 

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Daily Media Briefing https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/08/daily-media-briefing-1614/ https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/08/daily-media-briefing-1614/#respond Tue, 08 Sep 2020 11:21:02 +0000 http://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/?p=18833 Global regulatory body to harmonise ‘plethora’ of ESG standards US$154 billion in capital has gone to 300 forest-risk companies since the Paris Agreement Coronavirus fuels modern slavery threat for Asian garment workers Nestlé on track to meet sustainable packaging […]]]>

Sustainable Investment

Global regulatory body to harmonise ‘plethora’ of ESG standards

The International Organization of Securities Commissions, the global umbrella body for securities regulators, is seeking to harmonise the patchwork of rules governing how companies disclose sustainability risks in a move that could be a game-changer for the fast-growing green finance sector. ESG ratings attracted scrutiny in the UK recently following revelations that fast-fashion retailer Boohoo had positive ESG ratings from MSCI and others despite being accused of poor working practices. The body is looking to identify “commonalities” among the vast range of sustainability disclosure standards from across the world in order to make it easier to compare information. The “plethora” of sustainability frameworks gives companies a multitude of choice in terms of what ESG risks they report. This makes it difficult to compare one set of company ESG disclosures with another, he added, meaning there is “no common definition of what a sustainable finance product is”. (Financial Times) *

Policy & Research

US$154 billion in capital has gone to 300 forest-risk companies since the Paris Agreement

Since the Paris climate agreement in 2016, 300 companies at risk for contributing to deforestation have received at least $153.9 billion in financing, according to a new analysis by Forests and Finance, a joint project between six researchers and environmental advocacy groups. The 300 companies that were analysed received capital in the form of loans or investments and were involved in the production of pulp and paper, beef, palm oil, soy, rubber, or timber. According to the new data, since 2016 banks and other investors have pumped $95.2 billion into forest-risk companies in Brazil, $54.2 billion to those in Southeast Asia, and $4.5 billion to those in Central and West Africa. “We’re not directly accusing any of these companies of deforestation,” said Merel van der Mark, coordinator of the Forests and Finance Coalition. “We’re just saying they’re deforestation-risk companies because historically companies operating in these sectors have been linked to deforestation.” (Eco-Business)

Sustainable Fashion

Coronavirus fuels modern slavery threat for Asian garment workers

For the first time, India and Bangladesh have been placed in the ‘extreme risk’ category for modern slavery, joining China and Myanmar in a group of 32 countries with the worst risk of slave labour, according to a global index. Garment workers supplying global fashion brands lost up to $5.8 billion in wages from March to May, the Clean Clothes Campaign pressure group said last month, as the Covid-19 pandemic led to store closures and cancelled orders. Laid-off workers are likely to turn to exploitative jobs or may put their children to work to cope with the loss of earnings, industry experts say. Travel restrictions and measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 have made it harder for companies to carry out audits to ensure ethical working practices in their supply chains, said the slavery index, which aims to help businesses identify risk. (Eco-Business)

Waste

Nestlé on track to meet sustainable packaging goal

Food and drink conglomerate Nestlé has increased the share of recyclable or reusable packaging for its products to 87%, making progress toward its 100% goal by 2025. The company has also given examples of innovation to cut plastic waste in a media briefing on Monday. The company has vowed to reduce its use of new plastics by a third by 2025 and spend up to 2 billion Swiss francs ($2.19 billion) to boost recycled plastics. Eliminating packaging is one aspect of Nestle’s strategy, while another is replacing plastic with more sustainable materials. Nestlé said it recently launched a refillable system for pet food in Chile allowing deliveries to consumers without extra packaging. Head of operations Magdi Batato said it was difficult to give a goal for the usage of paper packaging as there was no one-size-fits-all solution for all products and geographies. Plastics will also remain a component of packaging for the company going forwards. (Reuters)

Environment

Criticism over BP bid to help Aberdeen City Council cut emissions

Environmental group Friends of the Earth Scotland has criticised Aberdeen City Council’s decision to seek advice on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel company BP. The authority said it had formed the partnership to help it reach its decarbonisation targets and become a “climate positive city”. The oil giant says it wants to assist 10-15 cities globally in reaching net zero – where emissions from homes, transport, farming and industry are avoided completely or offset by, for example, planting trees. Under the agreement, which the council says is cost-neutral, expertise will be offered from BP in areas such as low-carbon energy systems, transport and heating. It will also focus on fossil fuel alternatives, such as hydrogen, which is already being used in Aberdeen to fuel some buses. WWF Scotland has given a qualified backing to the link-up but said the oil supermajor needed to be serious. (BBC)

 

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Daily Media Briefing https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/07/daily-media-briefing-1613/ https://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/2020/09/07/daily-media-briefing-1613/#respond Mon, 07 Sep 2020 14:46:34 +0000 http://ccbriefing.corporate-citizenship.com/?p=18830 Amazon deletes 20,000 reviews after evidence of profits for posts Vattenfall fires up fossil-fuel free steel plant US Companies Are Lagging on Stakeholder Capitalism Report: Global fashion sector will emit double its Paris Agreement limit by 2030 Report […]]]>

Corporate Reputation

Amazon deletes 20,000 reviews after evidence of profits for posts

Tech giant Amazon has deleted approximately 20,000 product reviews, written by seven of its top 10 UK reviewers, following a Financial Times investigation into suspicious activity. Evidence was uncovered of users profiting from posting thousands of five-star ratings. Overwhelmingly, the products were from little-known Chinese brands, who often offer to send reviewers products for free in return for positive posts. Amazon’s longstanding problem with fake or manipulated reviews appears to have worsened since the coronavirus pandemic turbocharged the number of people shopping on its site. Amazon said it took such fraud seriously and used AI to spot bad actors, as well as monitoring reports from users. Unlike bloggers and influencers, who can accept and publicise free products with proper disclosure, Amazon’s community guidelines explicitly prohibit “creating, modifying, or posting content in exchange for compensation of any kind (including free or discounted products) or on behalf of anyone else”. (Financial Times)*

Energy

Vattenfall fires up fossil-fuel free steel plant

The Swedish power company Vattenfall have inaugurated a pilot plant in Sweden which aims to make progress towards fossil-free steelmaking. Work on the plant started just over two years ago with financial support from the Swedish Energy Agency. Tests will now be carried out at the plant in several stages for the use of hydrogen in the direct reduction of iron ore – emitting water instead of carbon dioxide. This process has the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 10% in Sweden and 7% in Finland, as well as contributing to cutting steel industry emissions in Europe and globally. The steel industry currently generates 7% of total global carbon-dioxide emissions. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said: “Right now we have a historic opportunity to do things that provide jobs here and now – but also hasten the climate transition that everyone realises is necessary. Together we can rebuild Sweden as the world’s first fossil-free welfare nation.” (Renews)

Inclusive Business

US Companies Are Lagging on Stakeholder Capitalism

US corporate leaders remain out of step with the rest of the world when it comes to social purpose, according to a new survey on stakeholder capitalism from Diligent Institute. While 63 percent of global leaders strongly believe that a fundamental change in capitalism is underway, only 33 percent of US leaders strongly agree with that view. The idea of stakeholder capitalism is that for too long, companies have valued short-term gains for shareholders and investors at the expense of the long-term well-being of all stakeholders. According to the report one big reason for the gap between the US and the rest of the world, is the lack of regulatory pressure on U.S. companies to meet certain environmental, social and governance (ESG) benchmarks. There is an increasing pressure on US companies as calls for action from investors and society are all around them. (Triple Pundit)

Sustainable Fashion

Report: Global fashion sector will emit double its Paris Agreement limit by 2030

New analysis from McKinsey and Global Fashion Agenda has found the global fashion sector is currently generating more emissions each year than the UK, Germany and France combined, and will fail to align with the Paris Agreement without transformational change over the next decade. The report calculated emissions from the global apparel and footwear industry in 2019, accounting for sources from raw material production to product disposal, to be 2.1 billion tonnes of CO2e, or 4% of the global total. This makes fashion a higher emitter than aviation. They identified three key priority areas for action were identified, namely upstream supply chain operations; direct operations and consumer behaviours. Acting on upstream emissions alone could deliver 61% of the reduction needed, with recommended actions including transitioning to renewable energy, improving energy efficiency and minimising waste. McKinsey and Global Fashion Agenda claim that only 50 fashion companies have comprehensive, 1.5C-aligned targets and are acting to achieve them. (Edie)

Environment

Report rings alarm bells over Pakistan’s fossil fuel-heavy power plans

Pakistan risks locking itself into polluting and expensive electricity generation capacity if it follows energy strategies laid out in its latest power expansion plan, a new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has found. The power plan, published by state-owned utility firm National Transmission and Despatch Company in April, charts a development pathway for the country’s electricity generation sector over the next 27 years. Under the plan’s base-case scenario, the South Asian nation’s imported coal power plants are estimated to run at only 14 per cent of their capacity by 2030, with utilisation rates for imported gas-fired stations set to stand at 22 per cent. Pakistan’s extensive fossil fuel plans would also see the country’s climate impacts grow substantially, causing carbon emission to almost triple by 2047 relative to 2020 levels. (Eco-Business)

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