Maitland/AMO Green Monitor – Thursday 10 October 2019

10th October 2019

In Business­

  • MG’S FIRST EV: MG has partnered with EV charge point manufacturer Pod Point in a deal that will encourage customers who purchase the new electric ZS model to also purchase their home charging points form Pod Point. The deal represents a three-year preferred partnership.
  • UNILEVER’S PLASTIC GOAL: Unilever has announced it intends to cut its use of virgin plastic by 50% and collect and process more used plastic than it sells by 2025. The announcement makes Unilever the first major global consumer goods company to pledge to an absolute plastics reduction across its entire portfolio.
  • FESTIVE FEAST WRAP: Tesco is set to launch a vegan Christmas wrap which will feature plant-based ‘turkey’ alongside meat-free trimmings including parsnips and sage and onion stuffing. The Wicked Kitchen Festive Feast Wrap will be available in stores on 28 October.
  • TICKET TO RECYCLE: Commuters in Rome are able to get free travel in exchange for recycling plastic bottles. The environmental initiative will be running until July 2020 and gives travellers €0.05 for each plastic bottle they recycle at special machines located in three stations. The credit is downloaded onto an app, eliminating the need for paper tickets.
  • NEAT WHISKY: The Glenlivet has launched a new capsule collection of ‘glassless cocktails’ which are packaged in an edible seaweed-extract casing which is designed to be put in the mouth whole. The 23ml capsules are available in 3 flavours – Wood, Spice and Citrus and can be enjoyed at London Cocktail Week.
  • EV ROAMING AGREEMENT: A group of leading EV charge point manufacturers and operators have banded together and penned a letter of intent to form a charging partnership which will open up their charging networks for EV drivers across the UK. The group includes Allego, Chargemap and Chargepoint.
  • VOLVO/GEELY: Volvo Cars and Geely have announced that they will be merging their combustion engine operations into a single stand-alone business that will allow them to jointly accelerate the development of hybrid drivetrains and enable Volvo’s core operations to narrow their focus on the development of EVs.
  • DS SMITH TARGETS BENELUX: Packaging giant DS Smith will be launching a new paper cup recycling system at their De Hoop Mill in the Netherlands, following the success of the system that is place in the UK. The Benelux region currently uses 4.5bn disposable coffee cups a year and DS Smith are hoping to make a “significant dent” to recycling rates.

In Politics

  • OFFSHORE WINDFARMS: Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn launched its commitment to a further 37 offshore windfarms that would create 70,000 jobs.
  • COAL TO GAS CONVERSION: Electrical power generation company Drax Group has received authorisations from Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom to build new gas generators on the site of old coal units despite Planning Inspectorate opposition to this project.
  • BUILDING REGULATIONS: A Solar Trade Association (STA) research has found that 51 per cent of all local authorities in the UK require developers to go beyond Westminster’s building regulations. According to the research, these authorities have a “vital” role in UK’s decarbonisation plans.
  • WIND ENERGY OUTLOOK TO 2023: WindEurope has highlighted in its Wind Energy in Europe: Outlook to 2023 report that the European wind energy industry is facing uncertainty as it waits for governments to unveil a new National Energy & Climate Plan.


In Peril

  • WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING ON THE RISE: Wildlife trafficking is increasing across Latin America. The world’s most biodiverse continent is home to around 40% of the world’s plant and animal species. In particular, the poaching of jaguars has increased for the first time since the 1970s due to increasing demand for traditional Eastern medicine and exotic jewellery.
  • TIME TO CHANGE OUR TUNA: Scientists have warned that current levels of tuna fishing are unsustainable and could push the fish to extinction. The rise in popularity of tinned tuna has meant that global catches have increased by over 1000% over the last 60 years.
  • SO LONG, FAREWHALE: The humpback whale that was spotted in the Thames earlier this week has been found dead. Marine experts who were tracking its movements say its lifeless body was found floating near Greenhithe in Kent.
  • SALMON ABUSE: Seafood company Cooke is under investigation after campaigners from Compassion over Killing found evidence of animal abuse at their Mine aquaculture farm. Footage published shows disfigured salmon left to slowly suffocate.

In Investment

  • GREEN PUSH: According to EIRIS Foundation numbers, investment in UK green and ethical funds has increased by more than £4.5bn, reaching £23.5bn in 2019.
  • NORDIC OIL: KLP, Norway’s largest pension fund with over $81bn of assets under management, has announced it would divest from five companies operating in oil sands from its portfolio.
  • FISH FARM: Aqua-Spark, a Netherlands aquaculture investor and world’s first fund focused on sustainable aquaculture, has invested an undisclosed sum in Brazilian tilapia fish farm Fisher Piscicultura. Fisher uses a cage system with automated feeding, which it claims improves animal welfare.
  • COAL OUT: While US insurers claim they are ready to divest in coal, Chubb remains the first and only US insurer to no longer invest or insure in coal since its July statement.
  • NET ZERO UNIVERSITIES: 20 UK universities, including Newcastle University, the University of Exeter, and Aberystwyth University, have teamed up to sign a £50m renewable energy deal. This ten-year Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) will allow these universities to source power from wind farms in Scotland and Wales.
  • HYDROGEN INVESTMENT: Multinational chemicals company Linde has acquired 20 per cent of ITM Power, a UK hydrogen firm. This £38m investment is part of a wider fundraising effort from ITM Power which collected £140m from investors to switch to bigger manufacturing facilities.
  • WIND FARM PPA: A PPA developed by Allianz and Nephilia Climate has been used to address mitigate risks associated with Scout Clean Energy, a 180MW wind farm in McCulloch County, Texas.
  • CIRCULAR ECONOMY FUND: BlackRock, the world’s leader asset manager, has teamed up with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and launched its first circular economy fund.
  • PEPSI’S GREEN BOND: PepsiCo has introduced a £1bn green bond designed to fund the company’s sustainability plans to tackle its greenhouse emissions, packaging waste and water overuse.

EXTINCTION REBELLION PROTESTS

Environmental activists have gathered in Westminster over the course of the week to block traffic in central London and plan to maintain the protests for at least two weeks. The group has also vowed to cause a “Hong Kong-style” occupation at City Airport over the coming days in an attempt to grind London’s business terminal to a halt.