Maitland/AMO Sustain Monitor – 4 June 2021

4th June 2021

A WWF report released this week has revealed the damaging impacts a 1.5C rise in global temperatures will have on the planet’s wildlife. Whilst the long-term effects of climate change are front of mind for many, the report delivers stark insight into the species that will be impacted from rising greenhouse gas emissions.


In the UK, for example, puffins are facing increasing threats from warming seas as their main food source – sandeels – suffer a reduction in availability. Entire colonies of puffins are at risk of failing as a result.


Although many countries, including the UK and US, as well as the EU, have already promised steep cuts in emissions by 2030, when taken together, it is estimated that these cuts would still lead to a rise of 2.4C by the end of this century. The report therefore joins an already mountain-sized pile of evidence for the need to keep warming to 1.5C or below.


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

In Business

  • FINGER PICKIN’ GOOD: In light of the recent unprecedented levels of litter, KFC has partnered with Keep Britain Tidy to launch a new dedicated ‘litter line’. The fast-food chain will also be introducing compulsory litter training for all UK store staff.
  • ECOSIA TREES: Internet search engine Ecosia has launched a new service called Ecosia Trees, which will allow businesses to invest in its forestry projects.
  • JUST TRANSITION TRACKER: RenewableUK has launched its new Just Transition Tracker, which will enable its member companies to measure and highlight progress over the three themes of people, places and planet.
  • CHEERS TO THAT: Anheuser-Busch has hit its 100% renewable energy goal for its beverage production activities in the US, four years ahead of its 2025 target.
  • SAF SUCCESS: Heathrow has for the first time successfully incorporated Sustainable Aviation Fuel into its fuel distribution for use across all its flights.
  • CUP-SHARE: Starbucks will be launching Cup-Share, its reusable cup sharing initiative, later this year in all British, French and German stores. Customers will pay a small deposit for a reusable cup and will then receive 25-30p off each beverage every time the cup is reused.

In Politics

  • DEAR PRIME MINISTER: Over 50 campaign groups and NGOs have penned an open letter to Boris Johnson calling on the government to listen to the recent warning from the IEA and implement an immediate suspension on new licenses for oil and gas wells in UK waters.
  • BETTER VIENNETTA: Researchers at the University of Birmingham have received £1.4m of government funding to produce a landmark roadmap that will outline how the UK can reduce the significant emissions from the cold food chain industry.
  • RETROFITTING: Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has unveiled a host of new measures designed to help unlock up to £10bn in value towards a green homes ‘retrofit revolution’.
  • MISSION INNOVATION: The UK has joined governments including the US, Japan and Norway, to join the Mission Innovation 2.0 initiative which aims to encourage private and public investment in green tech to help deliver clean and affordable energy solutions by the end of the decade.

In Investment

  • SHAREHOLDER SUPPORT: HSBC has secured shareholder backing for its plans to phase out financing for the coal industry by 2040, with 99% of the bank’s shareholders voting in favour of the climate resolution.
  • NASDAQ ACQUISITION: Nasdaq has acquired a majority stake in – an online carbon removal marketplace with clients including Microsoft.
  • STEEL GROUP: ING, Citi, Goldman Sachs, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered, and UniCredit have teamed up to form a working group that will explore how to decarbonise the steel industry ahead of COP26. It is hoped the group will attract more financial institutions to join and unlock the private sector investment required.
  • NEW ETF: Engine No. 1 is planning to launch an exchange-traded fund that will focus on socially conscious investing. The Engine No. 1 Transform 500 ETF will seek to “encourage transformational change at the public companies within its portfolio through the application of proxy voting guidelines”.
  • G7 CALL: The Investment Association has called on the G7 countries to do more to tackle the climate crisis by committing to improving companies’ reporting on the climate-related risks they face.
  • PE BAD INVESTMENTS: A new report from Fitch has shown that private equity investment has been filling the financing gap for thermal coal as public investors divest under activist pressure.
  • GREEN BOND LOOPHOLES: New analysis from IEEFA has revealed that investors in green bonds issued by Chinese utilities may be unintentionally funding carbon intensive fossil fuels due to loopholes in the rules that govern the bonds use of proceeds.

In Research

  • TROUBLE AHEAD: New research from Verisk Maplecroft has warned that a disorderly energy transition is inevitable and that the world’s leading economies are on track to miss their climate targets.
  • ENERGY INVESTMENT: An IEA report has forecasted a 10% year on year increase in global energy investments. It further details that 70% of the total investment will go towards renewables but warned that the global energy sector is still off-track for its 2050 net zero goal.