Maitland/AMO Sustain Monitor – 16 October 2020

16th October 2020

Climate change will have a systemic impact on the whole of the economy and society, and whilst many governments and businesses have begun taking the necessary action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, surveys  indicate that climate anxiety has grown among individuals and environmentally conscious consumers.

 

Climate anxiety is the term used to describe the sense of dread and gloom in the face of one of the greatest existential challenges of our time. A relatively nascent concept, in 2014 the American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica described the topic as receiving “scant attention from researchers, policymakers, and communicators.”

 

However, six years later, we are starting to see a significant change in awareness and understanding. There has been academic research into the impact of climate anxiety on both children and adults. Support networks, such as Climate Psychology Alliance have grown in popularity. We’re also seeing an increase in media coverage about the impact of climate change on human psychology, with people sharing their experiences and feelings. Interested in learning more about climate anxiety? There are a number of resources available, including tips from Friends of the Earth and academic studies on how climate change is affecting both people and the planet.

 

Climate change was a theme that dominated the Natural Resources Forum’s ESG Week which took place last week. Speakers at the event included ICMM, Simmons & Simmons as well as Legal & General Investment Management. Panels will be available online or you can download our event summary note here.

 

Maitland/AMO Sustain Team

 

If you’d like to hear more about Maitland/AMO Sustain and our bespoke sustainability offering, please contact sustain@maitland.co.uk

 


A round-up of this week’s sustainability news…

In Business

  • TGIF: Ikea is launching a new ‘buy back’ scheme on Black Friday, in contrast to the mega sales launched on the day from other retailers. The furniture giant will buy back old or unwanted Ikea items in return for a voucher in order to help consumers “take a stand against excessive consumption”.
  • SSE PRO EV: SSE has called on the government to introduce a ban on diesel and petrol cars and vans across all corporate fleets by the end of the decade, saying in a letter: “We believe commitments from government on corporate fleets will be important in helping to reduce the costs of decarbonising fleets and addressing potential barriers, thereby encouraging other companies to follow the lead set by SSE.”
  • WAVES OF ELECTRICITY: National Grid has announced the completion of a £700m undersea electricity cable that will run between Portsmouth and Normandy, trading surplus green power between the countries.
  • CLEANER CLEANER: Electrolux has partnered with Stena Recycling to launch a new vacuum cleaner made from 100% recycled plastics.
  • LESS SPARKLE, MORE SUSTAINABLE: Morrisons, Waitrose and John Lewis have announced that own-brand Christmas items will not contain glitter due to the environmental damage the microplastic can have.
  • GREEN SAVINGS CALCULATOR: O2 and the Carbon Trust have collaborated and launched a ‘green savings calculator’, designed to help UK businesses optimise financial and carbon savings.

In Politics

  • FIRST LOCAL GOVERNMENT GREEN BOND: The UK’s first local government green bond has successfully reached its £1m target, closing five days ahead of the deadline. Abundance Investment, who managed the issuance for West Berkshire District Council, said it had attracted 640 investors who on average made a £3,500 investment.
  • PLANS CONFIRMED: The Department for Transport has published responses to two consultations, which clarify how EU-wide emissions standards will be maintained in the UK post-Brexit on January 1st

In Investment

  • MEASURING MENTAL HEALTH: Investment Manager CCLA has announced its creation a first-of-its-kind assessment tool to enable investors to measure and compare how the biggest businesses are managing employee mental wellbeing.
  • AGREEMENT REACHED: The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility​ has withdrawn its shareholder resolution to BHP Group regarding a moratorium on the desecration of cultural heritage sites on the request and recommendation of the First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance, following the brokering of an outcome with BHP.
  • TIME TO PLEDGE: The COP26 Presidency has called on financial institutions, both public and private, to commit to climate pledges to mark the Green Horizon Summit next month.
  • THE BIG EXCHANGE: The Big Exchange, the UK’s first actively-managed social, environmental and impact investment platform has launched. The platform will enable anyone investing from just £25 a month to join the impact-investing movement.
  • NET ZERO ASSET OWNER ALLIANCE: Members of the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance – including Aviva and the Church of England – have collectively committed to reduce emissions by 16-29% across their portfolios by 2025.
  • INVESTORS CALL FOR ACTION: 137 investors, holding almost $20tr in assets, have called on over 1,800 firms, including Tesla, Royal Mail and Rio Tinto, to set stricter emissions reduction targets. The companies have been urged to adopt climate targets using methodologies set out by the independent Science-Based Targets Initiative.
  • GLOBAL RETURNS PROJECT: The Global Returns Project, a charitable initiative setup by two financiers, has formally been launched. It is calling for ‘pioneering individuals’ to ‘reinvest in the Earth’ by committing 0.25% of their savings and investments annually to organisations tackling the climate crisis. The initiative is hoping to raise $10bn every year.
  • OVERSUBSCRIBED: Enel, an Italian utility company, has announced that it received £3bn of orders for a £500m sustainability-linked sterling bond designed to fund the expansion of its clean energy generation business.
  • CONCERNED ACCOUNTANTS: A new report from Association of Chartered Certified Accountants has revealed that accountants worldwide are increasingly worried about companies’ environmental and social impacts and are in support of attempts to engineer a “sustainable recovery” from Covid-19.
  • LGIM RAMPS UP CLIMATE COMMITMENTS: Legal & General Investment Management has pledged to ramp up the stringency of its standards and sanctions regarding sustainability in its annual Climate Impact Pledge, in a move that could see it divest from companies that don’t meet its standards.
  • BLACKROCK BOOST: BlackRock has committed $118m of investment in UK electric van developer Arrival. The money will help the company ramp up its vehicle production capacity, including the opening of its first US ‘microfactory’.

In Research

  • SAVE FOOD TO SAVE MONEY: A six-week trial run by Tesco and Hubbub has found that UK households could save over £850 annually if they adopt food habits that cut food waste including meal planning and more effective food storage like freezing.
  • GREEN JOBS: New analysis from Vivid Economics has revealed that the UK’s export credit agency could create 42,000 jobs in the UK in 15 years if it switches its support for overseas fossil fuel projects to renewables and clean energy infrastructure.