Maitland/AMO Sustain Monitor – 27 August 2021

27th August 2021

Recent research from the British Chambers of Commerce found that only 9% of small businesses are actively measuring and reducing their carbon footprint. Whilst this number does rise to 26% for larger firms, it is a clear indication that more businesses must be supported to become net zero if the UK has any hope of achieving its 2050 target.


To rectify this the UK Government hopes to galvanise businesses to take action ahead of COP26 by committing to net zero through its Together for Our Planet campaign alongside the UN-backed Race to Zero. To help get the message to the nation the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has partnered with net zero business certifier Planet Mark on the Zero Carbon Tour, which will see Planet Mark visit 30 locations across the UK in an all-electric ‘Carbon Battle Bus’.


Each stop will see Planet Mark work with local authorities to educate businesses on the challenges and opportunities of going net zero. With the first event kicking-off next week, BEIS hopes to create a much needed tidal wave of support from businesses for climate action in the months preceding COP26.


There are 67 days to go until COP26.


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Top stories this week

Low carbon learnings…

NEW ACADEMY: Nicola Sturgeon has launched the Green Jobs Workforce Academy, which is designed to help workers find and prepare for jobs in Scotland’s net zero emission economy. The training centre will provide people with information advice, training, and skills to help them land ‘green jobs’ in sectors including energy and transport.

AIA: Cambridge University launched the Aviation Impact Accelerator, which aims to bring together a group of international experts in aerospace, policy, economics and climate science to support the green aviation sector.

Action needed on food and drink..

NET ZERO FOOD: Climate Action 100+, a shareholder engagement network, has released its sector strategy for the food and beverage sector. The strategy outlines key actions that the sector needs to take in order to achieve net zero, and contains recommendations for investor engagement with companies.

PEAK POULTRY: The Soil Association has called on the UK government to introduce a ban on intensive poultry units and to remove industrial chicken meat from menus in schools and hospitals. The organisation has warned that the UK will fail to meet its climate and nature goals without measures to curb consumer appetite for the meat as it has caused deforestation and habitat loss in South America due to the need for soya for  livestock feed.

NGO pressure…

WATER IMPACT INDEX: The CDP has published its inaugural Water Impact Index. The Index highlights the negative impact that finance, apparel and fossil fuels are having on the world’s water resources. The research aims to improve investor understanding of water-related risks.

BEYOND NET ZERO: The Climate Crisis Advisory Group, which is comprised of 15 leading climate scientists, has released a new report that urges governments and intergovernmental bodies to aim for net-negative emissions, as opposed to net-zero. This recommendation is the result of research revealing that climate change is occurring more quickly than expected, with group member Sir David King stating that this is a ‘‘now or never moment.’

Green financing…

$1TR OF BONDS: S&P Ratings has said that 2021 trends have put sustainable bond issuance on track to exceed $1tr this year alone.  S&P said that the increase in sustainable bond issuance was driven by ESG concerns becoming mainstream for issuers amid increasing pressure from regulators, consumers and investors.

CARBON REMOVAL: Swiss Re, a reinsurance company, and Climeworks, a leading specialist in carbon dioxide air capture technology, have signed the world’s first long-term purchase agreement for direct air capture and storage of carbon dioxide. The agreement, worth USD 10 million over ten years, marks a milestone for Swiss Re’s goal of reaching net-zero emissions in its own operations by 2030.