Maitland/AMO Green Monitor – 7 February 2019

7th February 2019

In Business

  • HERE’S THE SCOOP: Ben and Jerry’s has announced plans to phase-out single use plastics by April 9, 2019 by switching to wooden spoons and paper straws in their Scoop Shops. There has also been the suggestion of adopting edible cones over tubs to help reduce waste.
  • GREEN SLEEVES: Selfridges have introduced garment bags made from recycled bottles. The garment covers, made by company Jutexpo, are now available in all Selfridges outlets and are estimated to result in over 220,000 plastic bottles being recycled during the first 6 months of rollout.
  • BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED: Tesla is planning to buy Maxwell Technologies, an energy storage specialist, in a $218m deal.
  • A NEW GOLDEN AGE OF TRAVEL? The UK’s first all-electric airport shuttle, Driven, has said it hopes to reduce the carbon-intensive act of flying by providing users with ‘sustainable, affordable and enjoyable’ passenger journeys to and from the UK’s major airports.
  • DESK SHARE: Ikea has announced it will trial a rent-model in its Swedish stores. Under the pilot scheme, businesses will be able to rent furniture for a set period before it is taken back by Ikea for refurbishment, upcycling, resale or recycling.
  • ADAPTING IS KEY: A new report by the Glacier Trust has stressed the importance of discussions around climate change adaptation, as opposed to just mitigation of its effects.

In Politics

  • NATURAL CHOICE: Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has announced that Tony Juniper is the preferred candidate for Chair of Natural England, the Government’s advisor for the natural environment in England.
  • GREEN GOVE: Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has launched a £10m year-long drive to increase access to nature. The ‘Year of Green Action’ is aimed at encouraging more people from all backgrounds to get involved in projects to improve the natural world.
  • GREEN ROADS: The Department for Transport has announced it will release £23m of funding for research on green technology to improve the state of the country’s roads. Eight local authorities will trial the new technologies, including plastic-filled potholes and solar roads and footways, to determine if they are successful to be rolled out throughout the country.
  • GREEN CABBIE: The Department of Transport has awarded a £6m funding package, to be shared between 17 local authorities, to assist in the rollout of ultra-low emission taxis. Almost 300 chargepoints and 46 ultra-fast chargepoints for use by plug-in taxis operators will be introduced.
  • GREEN GROWTH: report published by the Office for National Statistics has revealed that the UK’s low carbon and renewable energy economy grew by 6.8% to £44.5bn in 2017.
  • GREEN WATCH: Earlier this week the UK Export Finance’s energy portfolio was examined by the Environmental Audit Committee. This involves an in depth look at the actions undertaken to meet the Paris Climate Agreement;s 1.5°C and 2°C global warming targets from a scientific and legal standpoint.

In Innovation

  • WIPE CLEAN: Lush has launched a reusable, biodegradable cleanser and makeup remover wipes.
  • VEGAN INTERNET: VSOCIETY have launched a UK social network “all in one ecosystem” that aims to curate everything ethical onto a single dashboard.
  • HARBOUR LIVING: Volvo has unveiled a 3D-printed “seawall” in Sydney Harbour in a bid to help bolster biodiversity. The 50-tile wall, made using 100% recycled ocean and beach plastics, has been designed to mimic the structure of mangrove tree roots which promote micro-organisms.
  • PITTED PLASTICS: Istanbul-based startup, Biolive, has launched a new bioplastic made using waste from the city’s olive industry.

In Peril

  • ON A WING AND A PRAYER: The RSPB has attributed a massive population crash in a colony of British seabirds on Ascension Island to poor nutrition after industrial fishing and climate change reduced the available food.
  • YOU WANT JAWS WITH THAT? DNA tests by the University of Exeter have raised fears that meat from endangered sharks is regularly finding its way into UK restaurants.
  • ON THE SCALES: An investigation by Canada’s Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife suggests half of the country’s chinook salmon are endangered.

In Investment

  • WEPOWER: WeWork founder, Adam Neumann, has announced a £25m investment in Faraday Grid, a UK-based smart energy technology company.
  • ESG ETC: BlackRock has predicted sustainability-themed investment funds are set to almost double in size by 2029, reaching around $1.5tn. Factors influencing this growth include millennial’s interest in sustainability as well as increasing regulatory focus from governments worldwide.
  • BONDS APLENTY: Moody’s and S&P expect the green bond market to reach a record-breaking high in 2019. Moody’s is predicting $200 billion of green labelled issues this year, whilst S&P is predicting $180 billion.
  • CONSCIOUS CHANGES: The demand for ‘socially-conscious’ funds is on the rise. In 2018 a record high of ‘socially-conscious’ mutual funds and exchange-traded funds were launched by asset managers. Collectively this equates to $1.2trn in assets, double what it was a decade ago ($622bn).
  • MORE ON THE VERIZON: Earlier this week Verizon Communications Inc issued $1bn of 10-year green bonds in a deal that is hoped will open the encourage more US companies to enter the lucrative $600 billion green-bond market. The telecommunications giant plans to use the money raised for investments in renewables and energy efficient projects.

YEAR OF THE WEEK

To coincide with 2019’s the Year of the Pig, Compassion in World Farming is hosting the premier of M6NTHS on their website. The a film follows the life of a factory farmed pig and supports the End the Cage campaign. The 12-minute documentary won the NHNZ Short Award at the Panda Awards, one of the the highest accolades in the wildlife film industry.


OFFER OF THE WEEK

Million Dollar Vegan, a project backed by Sir Paul McCartney and Blue Horizon International Foundation, has offered $1m towards charity if the Pope agrees to go vegan for Lent.