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Corporate Human Rights Benchmark: Key Findings 2017

This benchmark report provides a comparative snapshot year-on- year of the largest companies on the planet, looking at the policies, processes, and practices they have in place to systematise their human rights approach and how they respond to serious allegations.

While Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to “protect the future of our planet”, green groups and organisations have questioned the Labour leader’s ability to bring about dramatic change

Jeremy Corbyn's energy manifesto: 'wishful thinking' or a welcome change from 'incompatible' climate commitments?

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has unveiled his Party's energy and environment manifesto that aims to accelerate renewables generation, ban fracking and end fossil fuel reliance. But would a Labour Government really strengthen EU-driven policies or instead become a naive and short-sighted regime?

Aldersgate Group executive director Nick Molho remains optimistic that green economy will continue to rise up the national agenda

BEIS formation 'makes complete sense' for the green economy, says Aldersgate Group

EXCLUSIVE: The creation of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) provides a key opportunity for Britain's energy-intensive businesses to develop and deliver ambitious low-carbon strategies, the Aldersgate Group's executive director has told edie.

Two-thirds of large energy users surveyed by Inenco believe that BEIS' primary focus should be the creation of a long-term green policy framework

Will DECC's replacement de-prioritise Britain's climate change strategy?

The majority of large business energy users fear that the recent removal of the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) will leave climate change "swept under the rug", according to a survey addressing the implications of the newly-formed Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for business-led climate action.

More than 30 combined heat and power projects are impacted by the surprise change made in secondary legislation on Renewable Heat Incentive payments

BEIS under fire for sudden withdrawal of renewable heat support

The newly-formed Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is being urged to reverse a cut to renewable energy subsidy support which was initiated by its governmental predecessor the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), just under 9% of the UK’s imports arrived from China in 2013

UK's carbon footprint rises 3%, what happens next?

New figures published by Defra have revealed that the UK's carbon footprint grew by 3% between 2012 and 2013. With ambitious international and national carbon reduction targets now in place to enshrine low-carbon actions into law, is this a mere blip on the radar, or does the UK need radicalise its approach to emission goals?

The work of the new department brings together responsibilities for industrial strategy, energy, business, consumers, employees, science, innovation, research, and climate change. Photo: BEIS

BEIS confirms ministerial make-up and key responsibilities

The newly-formed Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has today (1 August) unveiled its full list of ministerial responsibilities, weeks after replacing DECC in Prime Minister Theresa May's Government reshuffle.

How will Brexit impact UK environmental product regulations?

Legislation designed to reduce the environmental impacts of products including REACH, RoHS, WEEE, Batteries, Packaging, End of Life Vehicles and Ecodesign requirements for energy-related products were all negotiated and agreed at EU level. In light of Brexit, what impacts can we expect on UK environmental product regulations?

Moving energy and climate change issues into the business sphere could help align business strategies to low-carbon operations

The demise of DECC: What next for the UK's green business prospects?

As the dust settles on the shock announcement that DECC has been axed and merged into an expanded business department, attentions have inevitably turned to what the transfer of power means for the green economy and what opportunities and challenges will arise from the new regime.

The news comes amid a string Government cabinet reshuffles which has seen Andrea Leadsom appointed as the new Environment Secretary at Defra

DECC abolished as part of major ministerial overhaul

DECC has been abolished by new Prime Minister Theresa May, with UK energy policy set to be merged into a new ministry called the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Former DECC secretary Amber Rudd has been promoted to Home Secretary, while ex-Environmental Secretary Elizabeth Truss has been appointed as the new Justice Secretary

Andrea Leadsom announced as new Defra Secretary

Andrea Leadsom has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

Organisations are establishing overlapping and duplicate schemes within the energy efficiency sector. KPMG claims that this is having a detrimental effect on businesses

Streamlining energy schemes would boost economy and incentivise businesses, says KPMG

The UK Government could achieve savings of £100m and improve private sector growth over the next 20 years if efforts are made to streamline administrative mechanics of energy schemes such as feed-in tariffs (FiT) and capacity markets, a new report has found.

As with the rest of his tenure, Cameron's Government took

David Cameron's legacy: 'greenest government ever' or 'lukewarm at best'?

One of the most seismic political upheavals in modern British political history takes yet another twist today (13 July) as Prime Minister David Cameron steps down after six years in power. As he prepares to take part in his final Prime Minister's Questions this lunchtime, edie takes a look at his environmental legacy and the green outlook for his successor Theresa May.

Andrea Leadsom’s leadership bid arrives after a week of political turmoil in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the EU

Andrea Leadsom confirms Tory leadership bid

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom has today (30 June) announced her intentions to become the next leader of the Conservative Party, on the same day that Ex-London mayor Boris Johnson surprisingly ruled himself out of the race.

Life after Brexit: A new road for the green economy, but the destination remains the same

What a devastating week.

UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd declared that the much anticipated Fifth carbon budget would be outlined on Thursday (30 June), which could establish carbon reductions commitments of 54% or more

Amber Rudd: Post-Brexit Britain will not step back from climate leadership

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd made a surprise appearance at the Business and Climate Summit in London today (29 June) to insist that the UK will not "turn its back" on the global battle to mitigate climate change, despite the nation voting to leave the European Union (EU) last week.

The Committee recommended that storage be deployed at scale as soon as possible, lamenting the “archaic” regulations that hinder its development

MPs call for a fragmented National Grid

MPs have called for a complete overhaul of the UK's energy network operation, recommending that operating systems should be transferred from National Grid to independent operators in order to mitigate the potential for "conflicts of interest".

To combat the dramatic cuts, DECC is suggesting an introduction of a default degression to the tariffs

DECC launches consultation proposals to slash biogas subsidies

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has delivered another blow to the UK's clean energy industry, after proposing to completely cut Feed-in Tariff (FiT) schemes for large anaerobic digestion (AD) site and "severely" reduce subsidies for small and medium scale plants.

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom said contingency plans were in place to protect the UK energy security in the event of sustained Hinkley postponements

New nuclear remains in pole position to drive Britain's decarbonisation, says DECC

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom has today (24 May) underlined the Government's prioritisation of nuclear energy, insisting it remains in "pole position" to drive down Britain's emissions, ahead of other technologies due to its comparatively low-cost to the UK taxpayer.

Policy Connect's Owain Mortimer called upon the Government to adjust its long-term approach towards policy that matches the UK’s climate and energy needs

Government criticised for 'lack of foresight' over low-carbon heat

EXCLUSIVE: The UK Government has "suppressed the progress" of green technologies through a chop-and-change approach to green policies such as the RHI scheme, an audience of sustainability professionals at edie Live was told today (17 May).

As of 15 April, 6,239 organisations had submitted notifications of ESOS compliance, with around 400 additional firms intending to comply

ESOS: Thousands of businesses face enforcement action as final deadline passes

EXCLUSIVE: Compliance rates for the Government's Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) appear to have stalled at a critical time, with thousands of qualifying organisations still unaccounted for upon Friday's (29 April) ultimate deadline.

Solar installations remain the popular choice for renewables among the public, while support for biomass has wavered slightly

Six charts that show how public support for UK renewables has reached record levels

Public support for the UK's renewables revolution has reached an all-time high, with the latest Public Attitudes survey from the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) revealing that eight in 10 Brits support the uptake of clean technology.

The known unknown of Britain's low-carbon progress

At last week's Effective Energy Management Conference, Rolls-Royce's director of energy gave a frightfully honest answer to a question about how his firm will reach an ambitious 50% energy reduction target.

Sir David King gave a keynote speech at the launch of the UK Stakeholders For Sustainable Development (UKSSD) network

Sir David King: UK should shift renewable energy subsidy focus to offshore wind

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) should concentrate its limited renewable energy subsidy budget on offshore wind, in an effort to drive down costs and increase investor demand, the UK's chief climate envoy has told edie.

The Government has proposed significant reductions in financial incentives provided through the RHI scheme, which supports growth in the biomass heat industry

Biomass sector urges Decc to 'quickly re-examine' RHI reforms

The biomass industry has called on the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to re-examine its proposed reforms to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) set out last month.

While the Government achieved its target to improve one million energy-poor homes through the Green Deal, only 1% of households actually applied for loans

'Neglected' Green Deal failed on energy savings, report finds

The UK Government's recently-folded Green Deal scheme to insulate and provide on-site renewable generation to homes delivered just 30% of what predecessor schemes achieved in terms of carbon reductions, a new report has found.

Lord Barker, pictured speaking at an Aldersgate Group event last month, says DECC's recent energy figures offer

Lord Barker: No reason for UK to appoint another climate envoy

Lord Barker of Battle sees "no reason" for David Cameron to find a successor for him as the Government's climate change envoy, after the Prime Minister confirmed that no one is being lined up for Barker's now vacated post.

Plummeting coal use and rising renewable energy generation led to a fall of 4% in the UK’s annual carbon dioxide emissions last year, according to DECC's new data

The UK's ever-changing energy mix: 2015 in charts

It was the year that record-breaking renewable energy generation and plummeting coal production led to a fall of 4% in the UK's annual carbon dioxide emissions, but a raft of green policy changes have left future clean energy deployment levels hanging in the balance. Here, edie provides a snapshot of the UK's new energy figures for 2015.

What have we done to upset HMG?

Is it possible that one of the minor provisions of the latest Budget will fall foul of the 'Law of Unintended Consequences' and actually increase carbon emissions and climate change?

Rudd warned that a potential Brexit would hit working people through higher energy costs and job losses

Brexit would cause 'electric shock' for energy costs, warns Amber Rudd

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has today (24 March) warned that leaving the European Union would see energy costs 'rocket' by £500m as well as depleting investor confidence.

An aerial shot of Imperial College London, which will form part of the new cleantech cluster. PHoto: Imperial College

London Mayor and DECC rally behind 'Cleantech City' plans

Plans to develop a new business district which could transform London into a global centre for cleantech innovation have today (15 March) been wholeheartedly supported by the Mayor of London and the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

Nuclear plants and innovation funds are part of the steps DECC has introduced to boost investor confidence

10 ways DECC is boosting investor confidence in the UK's energy market (according to DECC)

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has released a list of ten ways it will stimulate investor confidence in the UK's energy market in the wake of widespread criticism aimed at numerous abrupt policy amendments.

The proposed reforms of the Renewable Heat Incentive come as the UK remains way behind a self-imposed target of generating 12% renewable heat by 2020

Government proposes major RHI reform with removal of support for solar thermal

Another day, another shock green policy proposal from the UK Government, this time in the form of a consultation to reform the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which would see a 98% reduction in the deployment of non-domestic biomass boilers and an end to support for solar water heating systems.

The report states that many of regulatory reforms needed to compliment the uptake of energy storage systems would be cost neutral and provide no burdens to Government funding

Energy storage could save UK £2.4bn every year

The implementation of energy storage systems could contribute £2.4bn to UK electricity system savings by 2030, but only if a range of 'necessary regulatory reforms' are introduced to steady the UK's energy market, a new report from the Carbon Trust has found.

Can storage help reduce the cost of a future UK electricity system?

The United Kingdom’s (UK) electricity system is undergoing significant changes to provide electricity that is secure, affordable and ultimately low carbon. Energy storage, alongside other flexibility options such as demand response and interconnectors, can provide the flexibility required by a future system that may see an increasing share of intermittent renewables and more distributed generation.

The report cites the UK’s slide out of the top 10 of analysts EY’s respected international league table on renewable energy as a cause for concern

MPs warn of 'dented' investor confidence over UK energy policy

The Government is risking higher energy prices and stalling new investment through 'sudden and numerous' energy policy changes that are denting investor confidence in the UK energy market, MPs have warned today (2 March).

Sustainability professionals and green business groups must wait patiently on the sidelines as MPs debate the pros and cons of 'Brexit'

IN or OUT? How the green economy will vote on Britain's EU referendum

Energy and environment ministers, green NGOs and sustainable businesses groups have revealed their stance on Britain's European Union (EU) membership, with the overwhelming majority agreeing that remaining IN the EU is crucial for our transition to a low-carbon future.

An artists' impression of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project, which has been planned for the eastern side of Swansea Bay

Ecotricity to compete for UK's first tidal project

Ecotricity will compete to build Britain's first tidal lagoon site ahead of the Government's independent review of tidal energy in the spring.

Prime Minister David Cameron has rejected allegations that recent cuts to renewable energy subsidies have undermined investor confidence

It's time to redress the balance of the UK's energy trilemma

With the Government recently announcing its intention to publish a new climate change and emissions reduction plan by the end of 2016, Carbon2018's Melanie Kendall-Reid explains the importance of considering all aspects of the 'energy trilemma' to build an effective strategy.

Record falls in coal production were coupled with a significant rise in crude oil production

UK's low-carbon energy generation soared in 2015, but so did oil production

Low-carbon energy sources rose to account for 43% of the UK's electricity supply last year, but oil production saw its first significant increase this millennium, provisional figures released today (25 February) have revealed.

Who do you think you are kidding DECC and Defra?

Don't panic! DECC and Defra have everything under control. The two departments say they will "deliver an energy infrastructure fit for the 21st century", "champion the environment", "tackle air pollution" and "provide security against floods" in their new five-year plans.

The UKERC report has warned that investors would be unwilling to invest into gas projects unless enhanced policy incentives and infrastructure are in place

Natural gas capabilities in the UK 'very limited' without carbon capture, report warns

Using natural gas as a bridging fuel to a cleaner energy mix in the UK will only act as a "stop-gap", with its viability as an energy source severely limited beyond 2020 unless carbon capture and storage (CSS) technology is rolled out, the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) has warned.

Labour MP Alan Whitehead is calling for a coherent national strategy to help the UK meet its climate targets

Shadow Energy Minister calls for national CCS strategy

Shadow Energy Minister Alan Whitehead has renewed his calls for a national carbon capture and storage (CCS) strategy, following the Government's last-minute decision in November to axe a £1bn competition for CCS pilot projects.

The two departments say their new plans will deliver cheap and clean energy, a strong economy and a healthy environment

DECC and Defra unveil 'ambitious' five-year plans

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have published new departmental plans, detailing the UK's energy and environmental policy priorities from 2015-2020.

Gyro's new head of sustainability practice Lord Barker and Gyro London's managing director Kate Howe  Kate Howe

Lord Barker takes sustainability role at advertising agency

Former UK Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Barker has been appointed head of sustainability practice at green B2B advertising agency Gyro.

Data from DECC's reports shows that two-thirds of respondents would not have installed renewable heat technology if RHI wasn’t in place

RHI critical to UK decarbonisation, DECC research proves

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has been critical to decarbonising the UK's heat sector, reports from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have found.

The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project is planned for the eastern side of Swansea Bay, between the docks and a new university campus

Government to review future of tidal lagoon power

The Government will launch an independent review this spring into the feasibility of tidal lagoon energy in the UK.

Cancelations to the White Rose and Peterhead projects have left investor confidence at an all-time low

DECC urged to make U-turn on 'disappointing and damaging' CCS cancellation

The Department of Energy & Climate Change's (DECC) decision to cancel the £1bn funding competition for carbon capture and storage (CCS) initiatives could make it 'challenging' for the UK to meet climate change commitments, the Energy and Climate Change Committee has warned.

The Welsh Assembly passed the Bill to reduce carbon emissions in the country by at least 80% by 2050

Welsh Environment Bill ups business requirements for recyclable waste

New legislation has passed in Wales looking to cap the amount of waste materials sent to Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities in the country, as the Welsh Assembly looks to ramp up businesses' recycling efforts.

An existing Green Highlands hydro project in Wester Ross

£13.5m hydro project underway in the Highlands

Scottish renewable energy company Green Highland Renewables has started work on a £13.5m hydropower scheme in the Scottish Highlands.

The DECC survey introduced questions about fracking opposition for the first time

DECC survey: The more people know about fracking, the less they support it

The more people know about fracking, the less they support it, new Government research has found.

National Audit Office to investigate taxpayer value for money in George Osborne’s scrapping of CCS and question plans to secure UK energy supply

Spending watchdog to examine scrapping of £1bn carbon capture plan

The National Audit Office is to investigate George Osborne's decision to scrap a £1bn prototype carbon capture scheme which cost the taxpayer at least £60m, a letter seen by the Guardian shows.

Amber Rudd said Government policies were designed to keep bills low and maintain energy security

10 ways DECC is encouraging investment in clean energy (according to DECC)

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has released a list of ten ways it is encouraging investment in clean energy in response to the latest wave of criticism of its policies.

Under the new subsidised cuts the tariff rates for domestic solar installations has decreased from 12.03p/kWh to 4.39p/kWh

Solar installations surge to beat subsidy cut-off date

Domestic and commercial solar installations in the final quarter of 2015 shot up by approximately 63% year-on-year, as developers scrambled to get projects up and running before subsidy cuts took effect.

George Osborne has asked the Commission to report on three initial projects by Budget 2016, one of which is energy infrastructure

National Infrastructure Commission sees energy storage as 'key part' of UK energy future

The head of the newly-established National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has revealed he considers energy storage a key part of Britain's future energy network.

Angus MacNeil addressed delegates at an energy storage event in London this week. Photo: REA

DECC is a hostage of the Treasury, says energy committee chief

The head of the Parliamentary committee that holds DECC to account has launched a scathing attack on the Department which he says is held captive by the treasury and lacks a coherent strategy.

The ETI said the key to reducing the cost of CCS is delivering a small number of large plants sequentially

CCS decision will add billions to cost of UK decarbonisation, says ETI

The Government's controversial decision to scrap carbon capture and storage (CCS) funding in the UK could add £1bn-2bn a year to the cost of decarbonisation throughout the 2020's, new analysis from the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has warned.

The consultation opened on 15 January and will run for four weeks

DECC asks energy sector for advice on boosting innovation

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has launched a public consultation in a bid to ensure that regulation in the energy sector is encouraging innovation.

The Prime Minister appeared in front of The Commons Liaison Committee, composed of chairs from expert committees in the UK Parliament

"It's total, utter nonsense": Cameron slams climate policy critics

Prime Minister David Cameron "couldn't disagree more" with all of the green groups, industry associations, opposition parties and other political figureheads who have said there is a disconnect between the UK Government's high-level engagement on climate change at the Paris climate conference and domestic energy policy.

Rudd said she had fought hard for an increase in DECC's innovation budget

Rudd: UK must be 'better and smarter' about energy innovation

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has pledged to "light the fire" of energy innovation in 2016, by ramping up investment in research, development and demonstration (RD&D).

Hugh McNeal will make the switch from the Department of Energy and Climate Change to RenewableUK in April

RenewableUK snaps up DECC director as new chief exec

The national trade association for Britain's wind, wave and tidal power industries has recruited a top civil servant at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as its new chief executive.

Total UK solar PV capacity reached 8.4 GW as of November 2015

National Grid seeks more accurate solar data to refine power balancing act

The National Grid has enlisted the help of Sheffield University's solar research team to better understand how much power the UK's ever-growing array of solar panels is producing.

The UK is moving backwards on renewables while accelerating on fracking, says Lord Chris Smith

UK is going into reverse on clean energy, says former Environment Agency head

The UK is going into reverse on renewable energy while pressing the accelerator on fracking, according to former Environment Agency chairman Lord Chris Smith.

George Osborne announced during the Autumn Statement that DECC's budget will be reduced by 22% over the next four years

DECC axes £1bn carbon capture fund

The Department of Energy & Climate Change has axed a £1bn fund to commercialise carbon capture & storage (CCS) in the UK.

The Autumn Statement document included a pledge to reduce the projected cost of green policies on the average annual household energy bill by £30 from 2017

7 questions George Osborne didn't answer in his Spending Review

Chancellor George Osborne spoke for an hour and the Government released a 154-page document detailing the changes made to Britain's economic plan today, but when it comes to green policy, there STILL seems to be more questions than answers.

Chancellor George Osborne delivers his Autumn Statement and Spending Review to a jubilant House of Commons

Autumn Statement and Spending Review 2015: Green budgets cut, RHI reform

"Going green should not cost the earth" proclaimed George Osborne in his Autumn Statement as the Chancellor confirmed plans to reform the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and slash budgets for DECC and DEFRA.

DECC is expected to see budget cuts of around 30%, with up to 200 staff made redundant

Autumn Statement and Spending Review: The green business wish list

Chancellor George Osborne will deliver his update on the Government's plans for the economy, known as the Autumn Statement, in Parliament today. The hopes are high, but expectations are seemingly low among green groups and industry.

The 10 year plan to close coal-fired plans will form part of a policy to make energy affordable and secure

Amber Rudd to 'reset' Britain's energy policy with coal phase-out

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has announced plans to "reset" Britain's energy policy by prioritising the closure of all traditional coal-fired plants by 2025 as Britain commits to building new infrastructure "fit for the 21st century".

If food waste was measured as a country it would be the third biggest emitter of GHG in the world

Feeling green: Food firms urged to get emotional over sustainability

Using "emotional drivers" and financial incentives is the quickest way to spark corporate interest in sustainability initiatives, leading food industry experts have claimed.

DECC's Paul van Heyningen was speaking at a Food and Drink Federation event in London. Photo: FDF

Carbon reduction incentives could ease 'complex' policy landscape, says DECC

UK businesses are operating within a "complex" energy policy environment and need to engage with Government over the potential introduction of new financial incentives to stimulate carbon reductions, a DECC official has claimed.

Rudd told Parliament back in September that the UK is on track to meet its renewable targets

Rudd faces up to renewables shortfall following leaked letter revelations

It is "difficult to say" whether or not the UK will hit its 2020 renewable energy targets, according to Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, after a leaked letter revealed there could be a massive shortfall.

How to produce a sustainability report

This book is a step-by-step guide to the practices and processes in producing a sustainability/integrated report using the GRI framework.

The businesses the Guardian spoke to accused the government of

Revealed: Many more solar firms face closure if government cuts go ahead

Hundreds more jobs will be lost at solar power companies if planned changes to government policy come into force in the new year, 25 small businesses have told the Guardian.


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