Maitland/amo Sustain Monitor – 29 April 2022
This week, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) announced details of its new platform to facilitate the alignment of jurisdictions working on climate disclosures and its plans to create a new advisory body, the Sustainability Standards Advisory Forum.
This new platform will bring together delegates from a number of governments and policymakers already engaged in setting standards for sustainability disclosures to discuss the compatibility of those endeavours and how ISSB can contribute to “optimising” reporting efforts.
The influential new body unveiled its recommendations for a global baseline of sustainability and climate disclosures in March. These can be used voluntarily by market participants or incorporated by individual jurisdictions into mandatory requirements.
ISSB’s announcement coincides with HM Treasury’s launch of the UK Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT). Following Rishi Sunak’s pledge at COP26, the TPT seeks to accelerate decarbonisation by guaranteeing that financial institutions and corporations prepare strategies to attain net zero goals through robust standards that will tackle greenwashing.
With 2030 being a milestone year for net zero goals, time will tell whether or not ISSB’s new platform and the UK’s launch of TPT will be to accelerate net zero goals that will prevent greenwashing while attaining targets to combat global warming.
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Top sustainability stories this week..
AXA TO LAUNCH BIODIVERSITY FUND: AXA Investment Managers has launched a biodiversity fund that will fund companies providing solutions that will address land and water pollution, land degradation, fauna and flora protection, and overconsumption. The four areas of investment will contribute to the preservation of biodiversity, including sustainable materials, land and animal preservation, water ecosystems, and recycling and reduction.
NEW FUND TO TARGET EARLY TRANSITION TO SUSTAINABILITY: Nordea Asset Management has announced the launch of a new fund that will target companies in the early stage of transitioning towards sustainable practices. Nordea Asset Management is a founding member of Net Zero Asset Managers initiative and manages about €12bn in climate solutions.
40% OF LAND IS DEGRADED: A new UN report highlights how years of deforestation, mining and industrial pollution have taken a toll on the planet, with 40% of land degraded. According to the report, if these trends continue, an additional 11% of the world’s land surface may be degraded by 2050.
OIL DEMAND TO PEAK IN THREE YEARS: A study by McKinsey revealed that despite net zero targets, the world is on course to not fulfilling the Paris Agreement and the average warming is expected to exceed by 1.7C by 2050. Furthermore, the report indicated fossil fuel demand is projected to peak before 2030 and global oil demand would peak by 2025.
TOO MUCH COAL: A recent report from Global Energy Monitor found that despite the number of coal-fired power plants decreasing, there is still far too much coal being burned. The report also found a 13% decrease in total coal power capacity, from 525GW to 457GW, a record low for new plants under development.
BURGER KING TO TRIAL RE-USABLE PACKAGING: Burger King announced this week its partnership with Loop, a global re-use platform, to introduce a scheme in five branches that allow customers to have the option to pay a £1 deposit for a re-useable cup or container rather than throwaway packaging.
ASDA TO CUT FOOD WASTE: In an effort to cut food waste, Asda has announced it has donated £1.4 million to set up the ‘All Good Food Fund’ that will support suppliers donating surplus products. Additionally, Asda has also deployed new technology that will allow employees to identify products close to their expiry date so they can be marked down more efficiently before expiring.
In other news..
US SEC TO CHARGE VALE: The US SEC has charged Brazilian miner Vale SA for violating securities laws by making inaccurate and misleading disclosures about the safety of its dams ahead of a 2019 tragedy that killed 270 employees. According to the charges, Vale manipulated dam safety audits, acquired fraudulent stability certificates and deceived local governments, communities and investors with its ESG disclosures.
TARIQ FANCY CREATES FIXTHERULES: Tariq Fancy, former sustainable investing CIO at BlackRock, has created a platform, FixTheRules.org, that discusses how policymakers should introduce fines for heavy polluters, limit vehicle emissions and create minimum energy efficiency standards as dramatic policy shifts to combat climate change.
AEGON TO INVEST IN BLACKROCK ESG INDEX FUNDS: Aegon UK has announced it has invested £3bn in a range of BlackRock ESG index funds. Investors in Aegon’s growth fund pathway will double their ESG exposure from 30% to 60% because of the investment, while those in retirement will see their ESG exposure rise from nothing to 40%.