Maitland/AMO Green Monitor – Thursday 11 April

11th April 2019

In Business

  • PITCH(ER) OF BEER: Brewing giant ABInBev, producer of Budweiser, has collected and recycled over 3.2m of their red Budweiser cups from the FIFA World Cup in Russia to turn them into a new sports facility in Sochi. The newly opened Budweiser ReCup Arena’s playing fields are coated with a red and white coating made from the recycled cups.
  • SOY FAR SOY GOOD: Co-Op is the latest firm to introduce plans to help them achieve a 100 per cent sustainable soy goal. The Co-Op will purchase credits from the Roundtable for Responsible Soy to cover all the soy used in its product value chain.
  • COFFEE COALITION: Nespresso is tackling the throwaway behaviour of its consumers by inviting rival coffee pod makers to join its global recycling program. It hopes to develop a universal recycling scheme for aluminium coffee pods as currently only a quarter of its fully recyclable pods are sent to be recycled by consumers.
  • AMAZON CLEAN ENERGY INITIATIVE: Amazon has announced that it will be supporting three major new wind projects, generating more than 670,000 megawatt hours annually. Amazon will be buying power from wind farms in Ireland, Sweden and California.
  • LUCOZADE LAUNCHES ECO-MARATHON INITIATIVE: Lucozade Ribena Suntory is cutting down on their dependence on single-use plastic with a trial at the Virgin Money London Marathon. The company will offer runners 30,000 Lucozade Sport Ooho seaweed capsules and use compostable cups at three of their Lucozade Sports stations throughout the course.
  • MILK & MORE EV FLEET: Milk & More, a doorstep delivery firm, has announced plans to expand their EV fleet by 160 new battery-powered milk delivery vans by the end of May. This would bring their total to just over 500, putting them on track to becoming the largest operator of EVs in the UK.

In Politics

  • BAD IMPLEMENTATION: A recent study by COWI and Euonmia has revealed that ineffective implementation of environmental laws cost the EU economy around €55bn in 2018. The report has quantified the costs and missed benefits of not following the environmental targets and rules set out in EU legislation.
  • PENSION CHANGES: Parliament’s pension fund trustees are reconsidering rules of investments to factor in risks regarding climate change. This change leads the way for a future promise to fully divest from fossil fuels.
  • ULEZ: On Monday this week, London introduced the Ultra Low Emission Zone. The new initiative will mean that if vehicles fail to meet new emissions standards, they will be charged a substantial fee for entering the city centre.

In Innovation

  • ECO-SEAPLANE: Canadian seaplane airline Harbour Air, has partnered with electric transport startup magniX to develop a system to convert its existing aircraft to an all-electric model. The process involves removing the combustion engine and installing a fully-electric motor for testing to begin late this year.
  • BETTER BUSES: Chinese Automaker BYD Auto has unveiled the world’s longest pure electric bus. The 27m long ‘K12A’ bus is ‘bendy’ and will be used in Shenzen, which last November became the first major city to have a fully electric bus fleet.
  • CITY-POWERED TURBINES: Deveci Tech, a Turkish cleantech startup, has come up with a solution which allows turbines to harness wind power in urban areas. Traditionally, cities are notoriously inefficient for wind power as wind routinely gets trapped between buildings but Deveci Tech’s ‘Enil’ turns when exposed to both natural wind and breezes generated by passing cyclists or vehicles.
  • PACKAGING PLATFORM: Tetra Pak has unveiled their “connected packaging platform”, allowing producers, retailers and consumers to access sustainability and recyclability related information about their products. Codes on Tetra Pak products can be scanned via a smartphone or tablet which are linked to digital information bases.

In Peril

  • POLLUTED BY PESTICIDES: Research in the journal, Science of the Total Environment, has revealed that pesticides and antibiotics are polluting streams and waterways across Europe, including in the UK. Scientists have warned that these levels of contamination are dangerous for wildlife whilst increasing the risk of developing drug-resistant microbes.
  • COSTLY EFFECTS: A study in the Marine Pollution Bulletin has found that marine plastic pollution costs the world up to $2.5tn a year. Plastic waste is estimated to cost up to $33,000 per ton in reduced environmental value, and an estimated 8m tons of plastic pollution make their way into oceans annually.

In Investment

  • HOT INVESTMENT: Ex-Spice Girl Emma Bunton’s company has raised £420,000 in one week through online site Angel Investment Network, breaking the platform’s record for fastest fundraising round from angel investors. Kit & Kin is an eco-friendly baby product business that Bunton founded in 2016 alongside business partner Christopher Money.
  • RENEWABLE INVESTMENT FIRM CLOSES: UK Renewable Investments was ordered to cease operations on Wednesday 3rd April after it was unable to repay £2.5m of investors’ cash. The firm sold corporate bonds to more than 200 clients between July 2015 and September 2016.
  • BANK OF AMERICA INCREASES ESG INVESTMENTS: Bank of America has pledged $300bn to finance low-carbon businesses by 2030. This will be invested through its Environmental Business Initiative and will bring their total commitment to over $445bn.
  • NORWEIGAN CHANGES: A decision made by Norway’s finance ministry will allow the country’s $1trn sovereign wealth fund to invest in unlisted renewables assets.
  • SHELLING OUT INVESTMENTS: As part of Shell’s emission reduction strategy, the firm has announced plans to invest $300m by the end of 2021 in natural ecosystem-based projects, with an initial focus on reforestation partnerships.

THE BIG SPRING BEACH CLEAN

Between the 6th and 14th of April, volunteers across the UK will be taking part in the Big Spring Beach Clean, helping to clear beaches across the UK of plastic and rubbish. Since 2010 74,531 volunteers have removed 152,741kg of marine litter from the UK’s Coastline.