Maitland/AMO Green Monitor – Friday 4 October 2019

4th October 2019

In Business­

  • COFFEE CUP COLLECTION: Pret has announced they will expand their coffee cup recycling scheme across almost 90% of their stores in the UK. They have already saved over 6m paper cups since January 2019 when they introduced their 50p discount for hot drinks when a customer brings in a reusable cup.
  • FRAY BENTOS BIG WINNER: Fray Bentos has been awarded Best Vegan Pie in the PETA annual food awards for its Vegan Steak and Kidney Bean Pie.
  • 50% LESS WATER: Carlsberg has unveiled plans for their new water-recycling plant at their Fredericia brewery that will halve the amount of water needed to create their beer. The new system will allow them to recycle 90% of all process water.
  • PROTECTED PALM OIL: An investigation from the Rainforest Action Network (‘RAN’) has found that two illegal palm oil mills in the Singkil Wildlife Reserve have been supplying some of the world’s biggest brands including Nestle and Mars. Both companies are contesting the allegations but RAN claim to have definitive evidence.
  • RECYCLEBOX: Recycling firm First Mile and compostable packaging maker Vegware have partnered to launch RecycleBox – a new courier service that will collect Vegware packaging to ensure it does not end up in landfill and is composted correctly.
  • CHEESE PLEASE: Applewood Vegan, a new cheese alternative from Applewood and VBites, sold out in 40% of stockists within 24 hours of hitting shelves. The product was sold in 230 Asda stores at the end of September.
  • B SNUG: Shell has partnered with UK tech firm PassivSystems to launch ‘B-Snug’ – a new smart hybrid home heating system that cuts greenhouse gas emissions by prioritising the use of electric heat pumps over traditional boilers.
  • KFC NOT KFV: KFC has responded to a fake sign with their branding claiming it would be opening a new vegan-only restaurant. The company claimed “We’ll always be KFC not KFV!”.
  • BOOTS’ GREEN WIPES: Boots is switching to sustainable viscose material for its own-brand baby wipes, in a move that has the potential to save 200 tonnes of plastic going to waste each year. The new material will enable the wipes to degrade “significantly faster” than standard wipes. Boots aims to ensure that all their own-brand wipes will be biodegradable by the end of 2020.
  • SAMSUNG + BULB: Samsung and Bulb have partnered to create a free to download app-based service – SmartThings Energy Control. The new energy control tool allows customers to monitor their energy usage from their phone in real-time, allowing them to make greener decisions.
  • SMOOTH SOUNDS: Havas London and Sharp’s Brewery have collaborated to create the first playable record composed from recycled beach plastic from the Cornish coast. The record plays Mercury Prize-nominated musician Nick Mulvey’s ne track inspired by the Atlantic Ocean.

In Politics

  • CONSERVATIVE PARTY GREEN PLAN: Following announcement from Labour and the Liberal Democrats on their new decarbonisation policies at their conferences, the Conservatives highlighted their commitment to the UK’s target to build a net zero emission economy by 2050. Chancellor Sajid Javid underscores the government’s £220m plans for low-carbon bus services and extensions to the UK’s broadband network. These announcements are however shadowed by road-building programmes.
  • ECO-FRIENDLY APLIANCES: From April 2021, appliances manufacturers in Europe will be required to meet minimum repairability requirements to be easier to recycle and more energy efficient. These new eco-design rules, that have been agreed by the European Commission, will apply to all lightning products, dishwashers, washer-driers, washing machines, freezers, fridges and TVs.
  • GREEN NEW DEAL: The Green New Deal, that was developed by the Green Party years ago, has been supported by the Labour Party. Its aim is to decarbonise the UK’s economy through investments in a variety of infrastructures, that are estimated at £50bn a year in green infrastructure in the UK alone.
  • ECO-FRIENDLY HOMES: A government consultation was released this week proposes changes to building regulations as part of a drive to cut emissions from homes. This plan, that would take effect from the end of next year, would pave the way for the ‘Future House Standard’ (FHS) plan for all UK homes which would ban fossil fuel heating for new homes by 2025.
  • GREEN LEADER: Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed at the Conservative Party Conference his belief that the UK could be the global leader in clean green technology, reducing greenhouse gases and tackling climate change.

In Innovation

  • WOOD PROGRAMMING: Scientists from the Institute for Building Materials in Zurich have come up with a unique solution to bend wood without the wastage that comes with traditional methods such as using a bandsaw. The scientists are employing ‘wood programming’ – using the natural warping of wood when it dries to create predetermined shapes.

In Peril

  • BEAR-LY THERE: Polar Bears International have said that the increasing loss of Arctic ice is having a pronounced effect on the polar bears. This year marks the first time that they were unable to carry out their studies due to safety concerns over the thin ice. A member was quoted saying “To preserve a world where polar bears and people continue to flourish, we must demand our leaders listen to the science and take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before it is too late.”
  • SHELL-SHOCKED: Sea turtles across the coast of Brazil have been found covered in tar after an oil spill hit the North-East coast. Officials are still investigating the spill as it has been discovered the oil was not produced in Brazil.
  • CARBON STUDY: A new study in the journal Nature Communications has warned that whilst Australia’s mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows absorb around 20m tonnes of CO2 annually, degradation of these “vegetal coastal ecosystems” has seen 3m tonnes of carbon dioxide be rereleased into the atmosphere each year.
  • AIR POLLUTION ISSUES: New figures released by the UK government have revealed that most of the UK continues to suffer from illegal levels of air pollution. Out of the 43 reporting zones, only 7 were compliant with requirement levels of NO2, a pollutant largely emitted by cars and road traffic.

In Investment

  • BUNZL BUNDLE: BNP Paribas has agreed to a new €105m sustainability linked loan with Bunzl, a packaging and consumable goods powerhouse.
  • NORDIC WIND: UK fund manager Glennmont Partners bought a 211.4MW wind farm in Finland, Project Piiparinmäki, from Ilmatar Energy for an undisclosed sum.
  • GREEN LABEL: Index provider FTSE Russell has removed the “non-renewable” label on the London Stock Exchange, and replaced it with “Oil, Gas and Coal”, only three months after the new label was implemented.
  • TYPHOON FAXAI: Catastrophe risk modelling company RMS estimates the losses from Japanese typhoon Faxai could reach between $5bn and $9bn. Previous figures by their counterpart AIR Worldwide estimated the losses at between $3bn and $7bn.
  • ANZ’s ESG: New Zealand dairy firm Synlait has agreed to a four-year $50m deal with Australia and New Zealand Banking (ANZ). The loan, from 15 banks, is the country’s first ESG linked loan.
  • CLIMATE ACTION 100+: The Climate Action 100+, a group of 370 global investors with over $35tr under management, published its first report congratulating companies which adopted climate strategies, while stating that “far more needs to be done” by global corporations to transition towards decarbonisation and better climate risk strategies.
  • SUSTAINABLE FINANCE: According to a new report on the biannual Global Green Finance Index (GGFI), green finance is increasing in most of the world’s financial centres compared to previous numbers. In terms of terms of “green finance quality”, London is first in GGFI in followed by Amsterdam, Paris, Hamburg and Zurich.
  • GREEN GREENHOUSES: Greencoat Capital has secured funding from major UK pension funds for a £120m project to build two giant greenhouses in East Anglia that will use waste heat from local wastewater facilities. This new system is expected to cut the carbon footprint of the crops by 75 and produce one in 10 of the UK’s tomatoes. The project is expected to be complete in autumn 2020.
  • BATTERY-POWERED TRAINS: Bombardier Transportation announced a five-year €100m partnership with Leclanché, a Swiss battery maker, to produce the first battery-powered trains in the UK. This deal aligns with UK’s target to suppress diesel trains by 2040.
  • GREEN BEANS: French bank BNP Paribas has partnered with Neumann Kaffe Gruppe to establish a $25m loan facility to support sustainable sourcing of coffee from small producers and tackle poverty. The Smallholder Livelihoods Facility aims to assist over 100,000 coffee farmers across 10 countries.
  • CARBON SCORE TOOL: Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) has teamed up with Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) to measure the positive carbon impact of more than 40,000 wind and solar assets, using the Carbon Score tool. This global online tool was unveiled at GIG’s Green Energy Conference in London on October 3rd.
  • SUSTAINABLE FARMING: The Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, a group of over 60 investors, banks, foundations and governments, has unveiled today the launch of six inter-related climate finance proposals, aiming to raise billions of dollars of investment to support sustainable agriculture, clean energy plans and improve the energy access in developing countries.
  • E-SHUTTLES: Canadian shipowner Teekay Shuttle Tankers, which specialises in oil and gas transportation, seeks to issue a $150m green bond to fund the controversial building of new tankers. These ‘E-Shuttles’ are claimed to have 42% reduced CO2 emissions and 22% fuel consumption reduction.
  • OIL FUNDS: Norway’s Ministry of Finance has announced that the country’s major sovereign wealth fund – $1trn of assets – would gradually dispose of $5.9bn worth of stocks in crude oil producers.
  • GREEN FINANCE: A World Resources Institute release has outlined that only 23 of the world’s 50 largest private banks have made projects to finance sustainable energy and tackle climate change, as other banks still finance fossil fuels. This was measure by the new Green Target Tool, that was unveiled this week.
  • GREEN LEADER: The Global Green Finance Index has ranked London the top spot of the world’s best financial centres for green finance. All top-five spots are filled by European cities.

RECORD BREAKING ATTENDANCE

A record-breaking number of people attended the Official Animal Rights March hosted by Surge. Global attendance is expected to be around 41,000. There are still upcoming events which can be found on their site.