Sense and Sustainability - August 2021

Undaunted as red turns to green, with Athens' chief heat officer and Geronimo the alpaca

Welcome to the first edition of our ESG newsletter, capturing the sustainability sentiments of the month.

As the focus turns to momentum, ambition and action in the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow, the European ETF market has reached a green milestone, with 50% of total flows year to date heading towards ESG funds. As Edison’s second electric vehicles outlook examines the prospects for better battery performance, Biden is targeting zero emission vehicles to reach 50% of all new automobile sales by 2030. Edison is also highlighting the opportunities and options for shipping green H2.

ACTING AS WELL AS TALKING

Corporates as well as governments are taking action, with Fidelity International pulling forward its net zero goal by a decade and setting new diversity targets, FedEx Ground expanding its electric fleet, Deliveroo and Burger King getting together to launch ‘Meat-Free Mondays’ and Athens becoming the world’s second city to appoint a chief heat officer. As the ‘G’ in ESG is about to get a major shake-up, environmental, social and governance issues are now discussed in about one-fifth of all earnings calls across the world.

STAYING COMMITTED TO THE CAUSE

The need has never been clearer. After record European temperatures in Sicily caused snails to burn alive in their shells, a ‘code red for humanity’ in the latest climate emergency report, is prompting ESG investors to consider a longer-term focus and new ways to measure investments. July was the hottest month ever recorded globally, while debt owed by emerging markets to superpower nations and ‘buy now, pay later’ schemes are said to be adding fuel to the crisis. Despite its cardboard beds and recycled medals, the Tokyo Olympics was still too big to be sustainable. It may also be time for a rethink on financial inclusion.

Local as well as global and national actions are being taken on issues from COVID-19 to boosting biodiversity, with devoted teams of healthcare workers trekking great distances to deliver life-saving vaccines to the world’s remotest places and Paws for Conservation’s ecological dog squad training canines to sniff out protected species such as water voles, newts, rare birds and bats. According to this poll, 94% of UK residents now support increased biodiversity, Sign up here for Edison’s webinar on the investment case for the future of fish.

ISSUING A CLARION CALL

This company is aiming to transform a pet food industry expected to grow to $90bn by 2025 by making mouse meat cat treats without harming animals, while this orchardist is rescuing and reviving lost varietals of fruit trees in New Mexico. As efforts continue to save Geronimo the alpaca, spare a thought for your fellow humans tomorrow on World Humanitarian Day. And here are 10 things you can do to help save the earth.

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