Maitland/AMO Green Monitor – Thursday 6 June 2019

6th June 2019

In Business

  • TAKE A SEAT: SEAT has joined the EV market with its first fully battery-powered car. The Mii Electric has a range of up to 260km per charge and is expected to hit the market at the end of 2019.
  • CANARY WHARF PLASTIC-FREE: Canary Wharf has become the first commercial centre to be awarded Plastic Free Community status by marine charity Surfers Against Sewage. Canary Wharf has removed over 2 million single-use plastic items over the last year, acting on its 2018 promise to become a plastic-free estate.
  • FERRY GOOD NEWS: Ferry operator, Ærø Kommune, will be launching the Ellen E-Ferry from July. The ferry is the world’s most powerful electric ferry and is the first e-ferry to have no back-up generator on board. The project is supported by the European Commission’s €80bn research and innovation Horizon 2020 initiative.
  • GENERATION ELECTRIC: EDF has launched a new marketing campaign aimed at inspiring customers to embrace an electric future. The ‘Generation Electric’ campaign seeks to tap into the growing concern for climate change to push interest in low-carbon technologies including EVs.
  • CAMPAIGNERS POINT BLAME AT NECTAR: Nectar have ended their 16-year partnership with BP and have made ESSO their new fuel-partner. Climate campaigners have criticised the loyalty card for partnering with a company who has been under fire for its track record on climate change.
  • REDUCED WASTE WAITROSE: Waitrose is trialling refillable, packaging-free products at its Botley Road store in Oxford. The innovations include a dedicated refillable zone for items such as cereal, wine, coffee and cleaning products which are aimed at encouraging customers to embrace more sustainable products.
  • M&S MOVE: Mike Barry, Sustainable Business Director of M&S, will be stepping down from his role at the end of the month. Barry, a green business leader, is best known for heading the company’s trailblazing sustainability strategy Plan A.
  • RYAIN PUBLISHES FIGURES: Ryanair has become the first European airline to publish monthly CO2 data after mounting pressure on the industry to reduce its environmental impact. The May report revealed that Ryanair emitted 1.2m tonnes of CO2.

In Politics

  • BLUE BELT GROWS: The government has created 41 marine conservation zones, creating an area of protected waters almost double the size of England. The introduction of this blue belt will help species such as the short-snouted seahorse and the ocean quahog.
  • LABOUR GREEN JOB TOUR: Labour has kicked off a national green jobs tour in order to promote and gather support for its ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ agenda. Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Business Secretary, launched the tour with a visit to Morecambe to discuss the prospects of green jobs in the area.
  • IMPACT INVESTING INSTITUTE: A new independent institute has been setup in order to help people invest with a social purpose. The Impact Investing Institute will combine financial returns with a way to benefit communities and society.
  • LABOUR QUESTIONS CARBON TARGETS: Labour has accused the government of “running down the clock on our planet” and called on their failure to seriously address the climate crisis. Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey also questioned why the government is set to fall short of the carbon targets until the early 2030s.
  • EAC EVERYDAY CHEMICALS: The Environmental Audit Committee has completed its inquiry into Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life – assessing and examining the use of toxic chemicals in everyday products, the governments regulation of them and the health and environmental consequences.

In Innovation

  • ECO ICE-CREAM VAN: Ice-cream van manufacturer, Whitby Morrison, is hoping to roll out the first all-electric ice-cream van by the end of the summer. Currently Whitby Morrison make about 80% of all ice-cream vans in the UK.
  • ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK: High street retailer, H&M has released a new range of womenswear made using Orange Fiber – a material made using the waste rinds generated by orange juice manufacturers.
  • SIT SMART:  Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council in Dublin, has funded the installation of the world’s first solar-powered bench. The design, called Mona, incorporates a solar roof which powers an automated LED lighting system as well as two electrical sockets – allowing users to charge electric bikes and phones.
  • SHE’S ELECTRIC: Battery technology firm ecovolta has unveiled the Elettra (a 10m long boat modelled on the classic Vaporina yacht) at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2019 – a ‘beauty contest’ for classic cars, bikes and boats. The Elettra is a fully electric yacht and can go five hours on a full charge.
  • OLAY GOES ECO: Proctor and Gamble has launched a refillable packaging trial – offering Olay Regenerist Whip which comes with a refill pod that can be placed insider the jar once it is empty.

In Peril

  • THE SEARCH FOR PERCH: The Nile perch is under threat as the demand for fish maw (made from the swim bladders of the fish) has created a lucrative business enterprise worrying some about the dangers of overfishing. There is high demand from China where the fish maw is considered a delicacy.
  • SAVE SCOTLAND: Francesca Osowska, Chief Executive of Scottish Natural Heritage, has warned that Scotland faces an ‘apocalypse’ of dead forest, polluted waters and deserted towns unless radical action is taken by 2030 to switch to a low carbon economy.
  • HOT WEATHER HEALTH HAZARD: A report by the European Academies Science Advisory Council has outlined the health impacts of global warming and warned of the increasingly severe effects expected in the future. The report not only details the effects of weather, such as floods and heatwaves, but the serious indirect impact too such as spreading mosquito-borne illnesses and the impact on mental health.
  • CRUISE CONTROL: The cruise industry is hurting the environment with emissions and waste disposal. Despite all the restrictions in place, cruise ship operators can often breach these rules, as demonstrated by the $20m fine imposed on Carnival for repeatedly polluting oceans.

In Investment

  • GREEN CHILE: Felipe Larrain, Chile’s minister of finance, has announced that Chile is preparing to issue a green bond – becoming the first country from the Americas to do so. It was revealed that a green transaction could help the country raise up to $1.5bn this year.
  • AQUILA FALLS SHORT OF TARGET: Aqula Capital’s European Renewables Income fund fell short of its €300m target, raising €154m by listing on the London stock exchange. Commentators have suggested that the shortfall is a reflection of broader concerns in the IPO market.
  • VIRIDOR’S NEW PLANT: Viridor has announced plans for the UK’s biggest plastics recycling plant, capable of producing 60,000 tonnes of recycled plastic within its first year in operation. The £65m project will be powered by Viridor’s £252m energy recovery facility which is currently still under construction.
  • CLIMATE FUND: Candriam kicked off World Environment Day with the announcement of a new fund that will help raise environmental awareness and tackle climate issues. The Candriam SRI Equity Climate Action Fund currently has around $30m in assets but has the potential to grow to $500m within the next few years.
  • RSPB DEAL: The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has announced details of £710,000 loan from Triodos Bank which will be used to fund a variety of renewable energy projects. The RSPB has revealed that the loan has already supported the installation of over 700 solar panels across seven of their nature reserves.
  • MAY BONDS HIT HIGH: Recent figures have revealed that last month saw the highest total combined issuance from the green, social and sustainability bond markets. May’s figure hit $32.6bn with $26bn in green bond issues, $5.2bn in sustainability bonds and $1.4bn in social bonds.
  • CLIMATE CHANGE CUTS PROFITS: A report published by CDP has revealed that climate change could potentially wipe close to $1tr off the valuations of 215 of the biggest companies worldwide. The report valued physical, transitional, and reputational risks from climate change at almost $1tn.
  • AI HELPS ESG INVESTING: Artificial intelligence is helping people make more informed ESG investment decisions through the ability to analyse and interpret huge datasets to produce more clear, reliable and timely ESG data.
  • CLIMATE INVESTMENT: IFC and HSBC Global Asset Management have launched the Real Economy Green Investment Opportunity Fund (REGIO) in order to support a diversified portfolio of climate-smart investments. The fund is expected to generate a minimum of $500m to $700m.