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Sense and Sustainability - October 2021
BLOWING TRUMPETS BUT ALSO WHISTLES, WITH BRITAIN'S BIG CHEESE
As the days counted down towards COP26, we tooted horns at Ford launching multi-billion dollar electric vehicle investments and a new oil and gas sustainability reporting standard promising much better disclosure and transparency. McKinsey showed how five industries can cut methane emissions with proven technologies at a reasonable cost, while BlackRock’s decision to give investors voting powers from January was a game changer for ESG exchange traded funds. Lego vowed to remove gender bias from its toys and Edison client Dentsu set out mental health policies, including extra days off each year for staff. In food and health, McDonald’s UK set a target to reach net-zero emissions by 2040, while THG Holdings, owner of the Myprotein brand, tied executive pay to green goals in a new sustainability strategy. In this video, Agronomics co-founder Jim Mellon, a panel member at Edison’s webinar on the investment case for the future of fish, explains the science behind cellular food.
TURNING UP THE VOLUME
Evidence of climate change continued to mount, with more than 2ft of rain falling in Italy in half a day, and research showing that children face seven times more heatwaves than their grandparents. The southern hemisphere’s ozone layer now surpasses Antarctica in size and is already larger than it was last year. After the English Football League agreed a partnership to help its 72 clubs in their bid to become more environmentally sustainable, here are seven things that every investor should know about Edison client VivoPower, Tottenham Hotspur’s official battery technology partner.
SOUNDING OUT OF TUNE
Some other tunes lacked harmony, with whistles on allegations of ethical breaches at Facebook and wasteful practices at luxury brand Coach. Analysis found Amazon and Microsoft supporting lobby groups fighting US climate change legislation despite having promised to combat the climate crisis, while Jeff Bezos pledged $1bn to conservation, despite having produced greenhouse gas emissions by rocketing into space. China pledged to stop building coal plants abroad but then said it is planning more domestic mines. As fuel shortages focused our minds on our energy footprints, it was claimed that taking an Uber is worse for the climate than driving in your own car. Wizz Air’s CEO described carbon offsetting as ‘a bit of a joke’. For an example of direct green action, watch Edison’s interview with Otto de Bont, CEO of pure-play recycling company Renewi.
FLYING THE FLAG
As Chris Packham asked the royal family to commit to rewilding estates, Harry and Meghan joined the ESG boom, while Prince Charles revealed that he runs his Aston Martin on surplus English wine and whey from cheese-making. And a wry tweet suggesting that he should ‘drive Caerphilly’ gave us a giggle.
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