The Barker Plan: How a former UK Energy Minister used sustainability to transform a sanctioned Russian aluminium firm
EXCLUSIVE: Over the course of a year, Russian aluminium and hydropower firm EN+ Group has gone from being banned on the US market to launching a new sweeping sustainability strategy and having those sanctions lifted. Here, edie speaks to former UK Energy Minister Greg Barker, who has been the surprise driving force behind this transformation.
From climate change to urbanisation: BlackRock's five megatrends that will disrupt society
A new report from BlackRock has found that climate change, resource scarcity and growing consumerism will create disruptive structural shifts across industries as a "confluence of global megatrends" begin to clash.
EIB plans to cut all funding for fossil fuel projects by 2020
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has vowed to end its multibillion-euro financing for fossil fuel projects by the end of next year in order to align its strategy with climate targets.
EU banks launch €10bn circular economy funding pot
Five major banks located and operating within the European Union (EU) have agreed to work with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on a €10bn initiative to promote circular economy projects.
HSBC: Investment in sustainability becoming mainstream for UK businesses
Against a backdrop of new green legislation and increasing consumer demand for low-carbon, resource-efficient products and services, almost half of UK businesses are planning to up their sustainability-related investments over the next two years.
UN launches Green Finance Platform to improve banks and business interactions
The UN's Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) has launched two new platforms to improve the dialogue and actions between the finance sector and businesses in order to accelerate the growth of green finance.
What does the Green Finance Strategy mean for business?
Following the launch of the UK Government's Green Finance Strategy, the chief executive of the Green Finance Institute has outlined how climate disclosure, policy signals and a robust business case for sustainability will transform how corporates engage with the finance community.
HSBC to support UK businesses with green finance offerings
One day after the Government launched its Green Finance Strategy, banking giant HSBC has launched a new range of green finance services aimed at helping businesses of all sizes strengthen sustainability initiatives.
UK unveils Green Finance Strategy to drive progress towards net-zero goal
The UK Government has unveiled its highly anticipated Green Finance Strategy, outlining how the finance sector and better climate disclosure from corporates can drive progress towards wider action on climate change and the push towards net-zero emissions.
Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2019: Jonathan Davies, Marston's
This new series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Next up: Jonathan Davies, waste & recycling co-ordinator at Marston's.
Banking giants commit to align maritime shipping investments with climate goals
A group of 11 big-name banks have pledged to align their investments in the shipping sector with the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) goal of halving emissions by 2050, against a 2008 baseline.
Climate-related financial disclosures 'still insufficient for investors', says TCFD
Efforts to disclose climate-related data aligned to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD's) recommendations have increased by more than 50%, but concerns remain that companies aren't providing enough information to inform the investor community.
Barclays pledges to source 100% renewable electricity by 2030
Transatlantic banking giant Barclays has pledged to source 100% renewable electricity by 2030, with an interim goal of 90% by 2025.
The Big Business Plastics Debate (Part Two): How can we create a 'ripple effect' of change?
In the second of our two-part feature from the Big Plastics Debate at edie Live 2019, we move the conversation on to explore how businesses and policymakers can harness the momentum of environmental campaigns and protests to drive a new 'social norm' around plastics.
MPs apply pressure on pension funds over fossil fuel holdings
More than one third of MPs have called on pension fund trustees to halt investment in fossil fuels to support a move to a net-zero carbon economy.
World Bank to raise €1.5bn for SDG bond
The World Bank had raised €1.5bn for a new 10-year bond focused on mobilising action towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Low-carbon transition puts $10trn at risk for inactive investors
A global coalition of financial investors has warned that more than $10trn (£7.7trn) in portfolio assets could be lost if the sector and governments fail to rapidly transition to a low-carbon economy.
Coalition of central banks urge finance sector to 'raise the bar' on climate action
A coalition of 36 central banks and regulators, including the Bank of England and the World Bank, have issued a rallying cry urging all stakeholders across the global sector to address climate challenges by "greening" the financial system.
Finnish businesses set up 'world's first' marketplace for carbon removal certificates
A group of Finnish businesses have partnered with global financial solutions firm South Pole and Swedish bank SEB to launch a new marketplace for science-based CO2 removal certificates, in a bid to scale methods that can capture and remove carbon globally.
Mark Carney tells global banks they cannot ignore climate change dangers
The global financial system faces an existential threat from climate change and must take urgent steps to reform, the governors of the Bank of England and France's central bank have warned, writing in the Guardian.
Philip Hammond joins finance coalition to spur climate action
Chancellor Philip Hammond has called on global financial leaders to place climate adaptation and mitigation at the heart of future economic policies and planning, after joining a new global coalition to drive action on climate change.
The World Bank accused of dodging 'no-coal' pledge by funnelling billions of dollars into fossil fuels
A large-scale study on hundreds of active energy projects commissioned by The World Bank Group has concluded that the body is currently financing $21bn of fossil fuel projects, compared to $7bn in the renewables sector.
New World Bank chief confirms commitment to environment
Donald Trump's choice to run the World Bank has moved swiftly to allay fears that his appointment will lead to a softening of the organisation's approach to climate change.
Bank of America commits $300bn to sustainable finance
Bank of America has issued its third commitment to sustainable finance, pledging to mobilise an additional $300bn (£230bn) in capital by 2030, with a previous commitment set to be achieved six years ahead of schedule.
BNP Paribas aligns with SDGs and Paris Agreement in new sustainability strategy
French banking giant BNP Paribas has outlined its latest strategy to accelerate its commitment to sustainable development.
How ING achieved boardroom buy-in to launch its second green bond
EXCLUSIVE: Banking giant ING was able to launch its second green bond earlier this month due to its past experience in structuring external green bonds for sustainability-conscious clients, the firm's global head of sustainable finance Leonie Schreve has claimed.
Corporates 'set to lose $1.6trn' without action on natural capital
FTSE100 firms face collectively losing $1.6trn of market capital if they fail to adopt a natural capital approach to decision-making, by assigning a monetary value to natural resources.
Green Investment Group funnels £1.6bn into clean energy projects
The Green Investment Group made or arranged £1.6bn of investments in clean energy projects in the 12-months following its privatisation, according to the company's first annual progress report.
No more 'Greenhush': Sir Ian Cheshire urges business to get vocal on sustainability
The chairman of Barclays UK and Debenhams had suggested that the business community has a "moral imperative" to deliver and communicate real change that brings in new business models to alleviate key climate concerns.
The World Bank launches $1bn energy storage programme for developing nations
The World Bank has launched a first-of-its-kind $1bn funding programme to fast-track deployment of battery storage projects in developing countries, to 'close the gap' on efforts to transition to cleaner energy sources.
Climate disclosure enters 'mainstream', but better reporting required, warns TCFD
More than 500 companies have expressed support for the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures' (TCFD) recommendations. However, many businesses are failing to translate climate impacts into business risk.
European Investment Bank issues €500m Sustainability Awareness Bond
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has issued a €500m (£448m) Sustainability Awareness Bond designed to boost capital market and private sector transparency for climate-related risks and opportunities.
University of Strathclyde widens sustainability behaviour change programme
The University of Strathclyde is rolling out an organisation-wide behaviour change project to boost sustainable habits among staff, after a five-month pilot saw the institution reduce its carbon emissions by 15,000kg.
European Investment Bank Group halves emissions intensity as staff numbers increase
The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group has announced that it has halved its emissions intensity over the past decade, despite staff numbers increasing more than two-fold over the ten-year period.
UBS doubles sustainable portfolio of assets to almost £2bn
Financial services firm UBS has today (August 14) announced that it now manages £1.93bn worth of assets through its sustainable portfolio, more than double the size from when it first launched seven months ago.
How ING is avoiding greenwash in the new green finance era
EXCLUSIVE: ING's global head of sustainable finance Leonie Schreve believes that stronger internal relations between the finance and sustainability departments within businesses will create more access to green loans and bonds to assist the low-carbon transition.
SDG immersion: Breaking down barriers for business
Four days at the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is undoubtedly an immersion process. It's also a good way to gain perspective - I learnt as much by the things that weren't said as those that were.
Innovating with technology and behavioural change to leverage the employee engagement opportunity
Whilst the majority of companies now accept that sustainability is critical to long-term success, many haven't yet figured out how to effectively engage their employees on their sustainability programmes.
Macquarie offers £500m of green loans
Macquarie is offering £500m of green financing to renewable energy, energy efficiency and other environmentally-friendly projects, as part of a new £2bn loan facility.
Dozens of top European banks to trial new green mortgages
European banking giants including BNP Paribas, ING Bank and AXA have joined forces to launch a new green mortgage scheme which focuses on helping consumers drive energy efficiency.
Top pension funds and insurers failing to engage with climate risks
Some of the UK's biggest pension funds are failing to address climate-related impacts, while 25 of the world's largest insurance brokers continue to invest in coal or tar sands projects, two damning reports have claimed this week.
Show me the money… from sustainability
At my keynote at edie Live, I spoke about a vision of a sustainable built environment, how far away from it we currently are and what the industry is doing to move towards it. It's evident that, despite some positive progress, we need to fast-track the level of change and one way of achieving that is by making the business case for sustainability abundantly clear.
Banking industry one of UK's 'most unethical sectors'
The UK's big five high street banks are hindering the sector's efforts to tackle climate change by continuing to profit from some of the world's dirtiest fossil fuel projects.
Lloyds launches £2bn Clean Growth Finance scheme
Lloyds Banking Group has announced it will be providing a further £2bn of funding for sustainable investments, increasing its total UK green finance commitments to £3bn.
Barclays unveils dedicated Green Trade Loan
Barclays has launched a new loans product to help businesses meet working capital needs related to green projects.
Barclays offers green homes mortgage on select new builds
Barclays has launched a Green Home Mortgage scheme, offering homebuyers preferential interest rates and savings of more than £1,300 on energy-efficient new build houses.
NatWest delivers £3.5bn low-carbon lending in three years
Banking giant NatWest has pledged to deliver of £10bn lending to UK renewable energy and energy efficiency projects by 2020, having provided £3.5bn over the past three years.
London ranked as global leader in green finance movement
London has been ranked as the best financial hub in the world for green financing offerings, with a new report predicting that the market for green offers will grow "substantially in size and quality".
£555bn pension funds questioned over climate risk 'misunderstandings'
Government ministers are concerned about "outright misunderstandings" amongst the UK's top 25 pension funds, with assets under management worth £555bn, relating to failures to account for climate-related risk.
Lloyds aligns 2020 goals with SDGs in bid to 'help Britain prosper'
Banking giant Lloyds has vowed to "help British people and businesses prosper" with a set of 2020 CSR targets which are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Banking sector's 'skin deep' commitment to green finance threatens 2C future
The shortcomings of global banks on climate action could undermine efforts to achieve a 2C world, according to a damning report backed by more than 100 investors worth almost $2trn in assets.
Triodos pioneers sustainable crowdfunding platform
Sustainable lender Triodos has become the first UK bank to launch its own crowdfunding platform, which will enable people to invest directly in equity or bonds issues by organisations delivering positive social and environmental impacts.
Lloyd's of London to divest from coal over climate change
Lloyd's of London, the world's oldest insurance market, has become the latest financial firm to announce that it plans to stop investing in coal companies.
ING announces €100m Sustainable Investments fund
Dutch Bank ING has today (18 January) launched a €100m Sustainable Investments fund to help start-ups and innovative new business models scale up concepts and projects tailored for energy, water and resource efficiency.
Green bonds market reached record heights in 2017
The green bonds market grew by a staggering 78% between 2016 and 2017, with national and institutional investors funnelling more than $150bn into low-carbon projects.
Don’t look back in anger: Top sustainability trends in 2017
Some of us might look back on 2017 as another eventful, if somewhat discouraging year for sustainability. 2017 has seen the inauguration of Trump, which has led to the US pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, and more recently, has led to removing climate change from the list of USA national security threats. Meanwhile, closer to home, Brexit brings fears that the 1,100 EU environmental laws will become watered down in the UK among the effort to ensure Britain remains a great trading nation. Amid all this, you would be forgiven for thinking that 2017 has been a dismal year for sustainability.
Barclays updates green bonds to capture 'compelling' economic opportunity
Barclays has signified its shift towards a low-carbon economy, by announcing a set of green finance products that will help promote sustainability in the UK and across the globe.
World Bank, major businesses and nations unite against coal funding
The One Planet Summit in Paris has signalled the beginning of the end for the coal industry, after the World Bank, numerous financial institutions and a group of nations and major businesses all pledged to phase out fossil fuel funding and use.
EU announces €9bn in funding for climate action
The European commission has announced funding of €9bn (£8bn) for action on climate change, one of a flurry of measures from governments, businesses and investors aimed at achieving the goals of the 2015 Paris agreement.
Corbyn backs MP pension divestment as business leaders call for improved climate disclosure
A group of 100 MPS, including Labour's Jeremy Corbyn and the the Green Party's Caroline Lucas, have called for a £612m pension fund to divest from fossil fuels, while leading chief financial officers have endorsed the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
UK banking performance at odds with Government's green finance leadership ambitions
The UK Government's ambition to promote the UK as a global leader of green finance post-Brexit is already at risk, with a new report finding that French banks have shown "marked leadership in green banking" because of innovative new legislation.
Water risks still 'invisible' to finance sector, says ING
Commercial banks are struggling to overcome a communications barrier with businesses to gain insight into portfolio risks specifically associated with water, according to Dutch bank ING's vice president for sustainable finance Ambika Jindal.
Can government and investors make post-Brexit UK a green finance leader?
The recent Clean Growth Strategy has created a multi-billion-pound framework for low-carbon growth, but the UK Government is still keen to strengthen relationships with investors to tackle the "hard and challenging" times ahead.
New investor partnership scores corporates on physical climate risk exposure
Deutsche Asset Management (DAM) has formed a new partnership with a US-based advisory to develop a first-of-its-kind climate risk service that calculates the physical climate risks of investor portfolios.
HSBC pledges $100bn to sustainable finance
As Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) releases findings showing that energy investment in emerging markets suffered its largest year-on-year decline, HSBC has pledged to provide $100bn in sustainable financing by 2025 - as part of a new batch of climate-related commitments.
High street banks still financing fossil fuel growth
The UK's high street banks are profiting from some of the world's dirtiest fossil fuel projects despite committing to deliver the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to below 2C.
Huge private sector investment puts Paris climate target in reach, says report
At least one trillion dollars are being invested globally in ways to reduce the threat of climate change, including renewable power, energy efficiency, and public transport around the world.
Oil refining capacity set to shrink by a quarter during low-carbon transition
A quarter of global refining capacity will leave the market or be forced to close by 2035, sparking calls for investors to be aware of the risk of "wasting capital" on new investments into the oil sector.
Can green mortgages help the European Union reach climate and building targets?
New reports provided by the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) have outlined how an "energy-efficient mortgage" could provide the ideal financial instrument to improve the energy performance of Europe's existing housing stock.
Investors urged to engage with Sustainable Development Goals
Investors have been urged to support the "world's most pressing environmental, social and economic issues" by using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a capital allocation guide.
Your top sustainable innovation questions answered
In August I delivered the Sustainable Innovation Masterclass as part of Edie's webinar series. This generated a great debate and a lot of questions from attendees, that we simply didn't have time to answer in the allotted time. This blog revisits and answer these questions as a way to keep the debate going. Do chip in and let us know what you think.
Investors implore banking firms to champion climate disclosure
More than 100 investors with $1.8trn under management have written to the chief executives of 60 of the world's largest banks, including HSBC and Bank of America, calling for better disclosure and implementation on climate risks in their investment portfolios.
Thinking outside the box: going circular
Many businesses now recognise the importance of moving towards a circular economy; the environmental imperatives stare us straight in the face. We cannot continue along a linear path of take, make, dispose forever, or indeed for much longer. It is simply not sustainable for the planet nor for long term value creation within business. The potential size of the prize of a more circular approach for the economy and society is also large.
Millennials twice as likely to invest in green business, survey reveals
Millennials are driving global growth in sustainable investing, according to financial services firm Morgan Stanley, which has discovered that the younger generation are twice as likely to invest in companies targeting social or environmental goals.
World's first climate disclosure lawsuit to set 'important precedent' for businesses
Pressure is mounting on the private sector to consider climate change risk in annual reports after the world's first climate disclosure lawsuit was lodged today (8 August).
CSR has a PR problem, and it’s not going away
It took only three days for the first corporates to step up to fill the vacuum left by Donald Trump's exit from the Paris accord. Silicon Valley spoke first, followed by a chorus of CEOs, from Elon Musk to Jeff Immelt, promising to work with cities and citizens to meet their targets. Few would argue they were wrong.
Information overload: In a multimedia world, how do busy CRS practitioners stay abreast of emerging trends?
I don't know about you, but I often feel like I'm buried under an avalanche of online updates. With so much information to digest, it takes time to sort the digital wheat from the chaff to find the most credible news.
What a competition tells us about the circular economy
In July, I was privileged to be asked to join a brainstorming session with the Amsterdam Economic Board. This regional advisory body works with businesses, government agencies and knowledge institutes to sustainably enhance the prosperity and wellbeing of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, which has a population of more than 2.3 million people.
JP Morgan commits to 100% renewables as it makes $200bn clean finance vow
One of the world's biggest banking institutions JP Morgan Chase, has pledged to facilitate the "largest commitment" by a financial institution in the form of a $200bn clean financing fund, alongside a transition to 100% renewable energy.
New £5 and £10 banknotes have smaller lifetime carbon impact
New £5 and £10 notes unveiled by the Bank of England earlier this month have carbon footprints 16% and 8% lower than previous paper versions, new analysis from the Carbon Trust has revealed.
Kerbside drink carton collections up 16-fold in decade
The kerbside collection of beverage cartons for recycling has seen a 16-fold increase across local authorities in the past decade, according to new figures released this week.
Global banks worth $7trn pledge support to TCFD climate disclosure guidelines
Eleven of the world's top banks, including Barclays and Santander, have jointly committed to adopt key elements of a new international framework which seeks to improve climate transparency in the financial industry.
Climate change enters the boardroom: The business implications of the G20 Task Force report
Climate change poses some of the most significant monetary risks to the corporate sector, yet too often remains the reserve of specialised sustainability professionals.
TCFD: Businesses worth $2trn back final climate disclosure recommendations
More than 100 businesses including Unilever, Barclays and HSBC, have publicly committed to support the final recommendations listed by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which seeks to disclose climate information as part of mainstream financial statements.
Catalysing green finance: a priority for the new government
With Brexit negotiations kicking off and the government facing several immediate policy challenges, it would be easy for the new government to be entirely focused on short-term issues. However, it is in the UK's economic interest for the government to take a long-term view as it develops a new policy agenda.
New data hub offers financial oasis against climate-related hazards
A new global data community aimed at expanding the climate risk adaption strategies for the insurance and investment markets has launched this week (5 June), to protect economic losses incurred through damages to infrastructure during natural disasters.
Triodos launches UK's 'most sustainable' personal current account
Sustainable banking group Triodos has today (26 April) ramped up efforts to disrupt the "dysfunctional" banking sector through the launch of a new personal current account that embraces responsible finance.
'The scales have tipped': Majority of investors taking action on climate change
The number of the asset owners recognising and acting on the risk of climate change has risen by almost a fifth in the last year, with 60% of the world's biggest investors taking steps to protect their portfolios, a new report has revealed.
Major firms implore G20 to act on climate-disclosure risks
The chief executives of 27 global businesses, including HSBC, Unilever and PwC, have called on G20 governments to adopt recommendations that call on companies to disclose climate-related financial risks.
Philips agrees €1bn loan connecting sustainability performance with finance
Philips has agreed a pioneering €1bn loan in collaboration with banking group ING, with an interest rate dependent on the year-on-year advance of the global lighting firm's sustainability performance.
Private sector funding for smart cities hindered by regulatory constraints, say experts
The private sector will have to mobilise "enormous" amounts of capital to help with the global smart cities transition, but nations must first address regulatory and institutional barriers to incentivise the movement.
BlackRock headlines green bonds push, but is investor action ambitious enough?
As a new briefing paper highlights that up to $6.9trn in controlled assets are covered by investors with little to no environmental, social and governance (ESG) responsibility, the world's largest investor has headlined a stream of new green bond announcements.
Minister responds to fears over GIB restructuring
Business and energy minister Nick Hurd has written to the head of the Environmental Audit Committee to respond to concerns over the restructuring of the Green Investment Bank ahead of its sale.
G20 set to scale back climate funding pledges
Pledges from G20 nations to finance climate mitigation strategies, including the $100bn fund for developing countries, could be set aside, with ministers instead calling on development banks to raise private capital to meet the bill.
World Bank unveils first green bonds linking business actions to SDGs
The World Bank has issued its first ever set of green bonds that directly link financial returns to companies performing to the standards and aims on the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Building trust through community and client engagement
With edie's engagement month coming to a close, and ahead of my appearance at the Sustainability Communications Conference, now is as good a time as any to reflect upon how Capgemini UK's Community Programme is helping to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders and build trust in our brand.
Barclays delivered £21bn for sustainability projects in 2016
Multinational bank Barclays raised £21.1bn in finance for environmental and societal schemes in 2016 as part of a fresh strategy that focuses on enhancing the sustainability of its business model.
HSBC revamps deforestation policy after Greenpeace investigation
HSBC has launched a new zero-deforestation policy following a Greenpeace investigation which linked the banking corporation to organisations that have been destroying Indonesia's rainforests.
World Bank quashes fossil fuel funding claims
The World Bank has criticised what it believes are "grossly misrepresented" findings from the Bank Information Center (BIC), which has claimed that up to $5bn in intended low-carbon funds have instead been used to introduce tax breaks for fossil fuel developments in developing countries.