Maitland/AMO Green Monitor – Friday 10 May 2019

10th May 2019

In Business

  • SIEMENS SPLIT: Siemens has announced plans to separate its energy division, splitting with its power and gas business to create a new company with over 80,000 employees and ‘business volumes’ of around €30bn.
  • DELL-IGHTFUL: Dell has passed its 2020-predicted commitment to take back 2bn pounds of used electronics a year early. To date it has designed around 100m pounds of recycled content into its products.
  • MITIE’S ELECTRIC INITIATIVE: Mitie has partnered with Pod Point to electrify 20% of its 3500 strong fleet of smaller vehicles by 2020. 800 new charge points will be installed at a selection of Mitie sites, employee homes and client offices.
  • SELFRIDGES SMASHES TARGETS: Selfridges has met its pledge to eliminate palm oil from their own-brand foods nine months earlier than anticipated. Selfridges is the first major UK retailer to achieve this target.

In Politics

  • EAC INQUIRY: The Environmental Audit Committee has launched an inquiry into the Greening Government Commitments – the targets for reducing the negative environmental effects from the Government’s buildings, transport and operations.
  • SCOTLAND DITCHES TAX PLANS: The Scottish government has announced it has cancelled plans to cut air departure tax by 50%, taking into consideration the country’s ambition to become a net zero emission economy by 2045.
  • GOVE TARGETS FOOD WASTE: Environment Secretary Michael Gove has issued an urgent plea for companies to introduce and commit to ambitious new targets in order to cut food waste levels across the country.

In Innovation

  • CRUSTACEAN CONTAINERS: London based start-up Shellworks has developed a system that can turn waste lobster shells into a plastic alternative. The start-up is currently looking into ways to transform the solution into items including plastic bags.
  • OIL FROM COFFEE: Revive Eco, a Scotland-based start-up, is tackling the problem of palm oil by developing a process to extract oils from coffee grounds. They have already succeeded in extracting small quantities of oil and purifying it but are looking for investment to develop a more advanced purification method.
  • REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE: Circular Computing is tackling the problem of electronic waste by developing a carbon-neutral method for refurbishing old laptops. The process involves disassembling unwanted PCs with 99% being used to create a ‘remanufactured’ computer and the remaining 1% being recycled.
  • I’LL TOAST TO THAT: Toast Ale has launched a new organic amber ale brewed using waste bread from Hobbs House Bakery. ‘Flour Power’ has a distinct fruity and citrusy taste and 5% of profits from sales will be donated to Friends of the Earth.

In Peril

  • ICELAND RISKS DROP IN SALMON POPULATION: Icelandic scientists believe that a 5 times increase in open net fish farms will decimate the wild salmon population. Next month a parliamentary bill is expected to extend farm licences from 10 to 16 years and there are worries both for marine pollution and wild salmon stocks.
  • EXTINCTION ISSUES: A report by the UN is the most thorough planetary health check ever undertaken (examining changes to the natural world over the past 5 decades) and has revealed the accelerating decline of the Earth’s natural life-support systems. As a result of human actions the biomass of wild mammals has fallen by 82% and a million species are now at risk of extinction. Whilst climate change has long been considered the most pressing environmental concern, biodiversity loss is now also considered a serious threat.
  • RENEWABLE STALL CONCERNS: The International Energy Agency’s data has revealed that the amount of new renewable power capacity added worldwide stalled last year for the first time since 2001. In order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement renewables capacity additions needs to increase by over 300GW between 2018 and 2030.
  • PLASTIC USAGE GROWING: Data from the Campaign to Protect Rural England has found that the usage of drinks bottles is on the rise. The findings reveal that global sales of plastic and glass drinks bottles are set to hit 1.9tn this year, up from 1.6tn in 2015.
  • MARINE PROTECTION FAILURE: The Environmental Audit Committee Chair Mary Creagh MP has said: “Our inquiry heard that the Government is failing on UK marine protection, allowing harmful activities to take place through a lack of management and monitoring.”

In Investment

  • CPPIB AND PIRAMAL’S JOINT FUND: Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Piramal Enterprises are co-sponsoring a renewable energy infrastructure investment trust. The fund has an initial target size of $600m.
  • FINNISH RENEWABLE FOCUS: A trio of Finnish pension funds have set up a renewable energy investment fund. Elo Mutual Pension Insurance, the State Pension Fund and Veritas Pension Insurance plan to put €300 million into the renewables sector.
  • ING’S SUSTAINABILITY LOANS GROWTH: ING has reached a total of €21bn in sustainability-linked loans and sustainable bonds finance activities in Q1 of 2019, a €4.3bn increase from Q1 2018.
  • JOB OPENING: The World Economic Forum and KPMG have called for applications to manage a ‘global sustainable energy innovation fund’. The fund, which is the first of its kind, is looking to blend up to €3bn of public and private finance “to overcome the inherent funding challenges for disruptive sustainable energy innovations”.
  • NETHERLANDS ANNOUNCES GREEN BOND: The government of the Netherlands has announced its first green bond will be issued later this month. They are planning to raise €4-6 billion with proceeds from the bond being used for sustainable and climate-related investments.
  • ØRSTED UPDATE: Ørsted A/S has announced that they will be issuing green senior bonds in the UK-market to finance its green growth ambition towards 2025. The proceeds from these bonds will be used to support and finance their investments in offshore wind projects.

CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION

This month sees climate change being tackled in two separate events. The 12th May marks International Mothers’ Day and will see a march in London, starting in Hyde Park Corner and ending in Parliament Square where a rally will be held to demand the UK government declares a climate emergency and drastically cuts emissions. Later on in the month on the 24th of May, another school strike for climate action will take place. The last strike on the 15 March saw an estimated 1.6 million students worldwide walk out of school in order to demand climate change action.