Clean Growth Fund spearheads Government's green finance commitments
As part of Green GB Week, the UK Government has announced a new £40m venture capital fund to help bring innovative clean technologies to market.
Global investors call on pension funds to address climate-related risks
A group of 161 investment firms with more than €21trn in collective assets under management have called on pension fund managers to factor climate-related risks into their planning processes.
Investors urged to act on natural capital to help halt climate change
The investment sector has been urged to assess their impacts and dependencies on natural capital resources - such as clean air, oceans and forests - in the wake of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) landmark report on global warming.
Lidl becomes first UK retailer to purchase 100% sustainably-sourced soy
Discount chain Lidl has become the first UK retailer to switch to 100% sustainably-sourced soy for its own-brand products, after joining the Government's Roundtable for Sustainable Soy.
London slides down rankings for global green finance leaders
London has dropped from first to third place in a global ranking of the world's "greenest" financial centres, with ties to “legacy assets” focusing on “non-green” financial offerings impacting its score.
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.
UBS: UK investors 'more cautious' on sustainable finance than global peers
A new report from UBS has found that UK investors have been more cautious to integrate sustainable financial products into their portfolios, largely due to the uncertainties of Brexit.
Big-name investors call on food industry to tackle supply chain deforestation
A group of 44 global investors have called on food companies which source beef from South America to mitigate and eliminate deforestation risks from their supply chains.
Hundreds of global investors commit to bolster climate strategies
A coalition of almost 400 investors with $23trn in collective assets has pledged to step up its climate action plans in a bid to help the global finance sector meet the aims of the Paris Agreement.
City of London Corporation invests £2m in UK's Green Finance Institute
The City of London Corporation has pledged to invest £2m in the UK's new Green Finance Institute once the new body launches next year.
Report: Fossil fuel demand to peak in the 2020s due to clean energy growth
The global transition to clean energy and low-carbon technologies is set to be much quicker than previously expected, with worldwide demand for fossil fuels set to peak in the 2020s.
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.
UK's ethical investment market to reach £48bn by 2027
An increased focus on sustainability within the UK's investment community will result in the national socially responsible investing (SRI) market growing by 173% by 2027 to reach £48bn.
Future gazing the role of the sustainability profession
It's a tricky thing, predicting the future. So, before looking forward let us reflect upon on what changes we've seen in the CRS profession over the last 20 years. There's no doubt we are a profession that is growing in maturity, and yet still evolving.
How the TCFD recommendations are reshaping Moody's CSR efforts
EXCLUSIVE: Moody's Corporation's global head of CSR Arlene Isaacs-Lowe believes that adopting the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) has enabled the company to become green finance "standard-setters" and champion the benefits of transparency to the wider industry.
Finance firms 'slowest' TCFD signatories to report climate impacts
Financial services firms that have committed to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures’ (TCFD) recommendations tend to be less transparent in disclosing their climate impacts than TCFD signatories from other industries, a new study has revealed.
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.
Big-name investors make joint call for stronger palm oil certification standards
More than 90 institutional investors representing more than $6.7trn in assets under management have jointly urged the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to strengthen its draft certification standards before they are finalised in November.
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.
Investors commit to tackle deforestation in Brazil's Cerrado savanna
A string of big-name investment corporations including Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM), APG and Robeco have pledged (31 July) to act to prevent deforestation in Brazil's tropical savanna.
edie at 20: How did sustainability become so business-critical?
edie's 20th anniversary as a sustainable business media brand is an ideal opportunity to remind ourselves of the past two decades of corporate sustainability, which have seen it evolve from an environmental add-on to a fundamental aspect of growth.
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.
edie at 20: Looking 10 years back - and forward 10
To celebrate edie's 20th anniversary, writer and thinker, John Elkington, reflects on a decade of corporate action, the need to imagine tomorrow, and why we should clean oceans, not just fish.
What's the business case for climate science?
Let's be honest, the transition to a low carbon economy is going to require some difficult and far-reaching change from most companies and sectors. But emerging leadership from the corporate world is showing that remodelling business strategies around climate science is already driving innovation, growth and other business benefits.
Operationalising sustainability as an opportunity
I could have started my talk by acknowledging how sustainability managers find themselves in a cross-fire between contributing to the delivery of competitive goods and services on the one hand and responding to increasing consumer awareness and international and national policy goals on environmental matters on the other hand.
Developing nations faced with huge climate-mitigation bill
Infrastructure investments totalling £470bn are needed across 10 African countries in order to enable national commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while up to £127bn may be required for developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Legal and General divests from climate change 'laggards'
Insurance giant Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM) has committed to divest from a host of companies it believes are showing "persistent inaction" on addressing climate risks, removing the firms from its Future World Fund.
Businesses, NGOs make joint plea for higher EU ambition on climate change
A unique coalition of businesses and investors representing over €21 trillion in assets have joined forces with local authorities and civil society groups to urge EU leaders to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy in order to keep global warming below 2°C.
Unlocking the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the planet
Back in 1970, at the dawn of the modern environmental movement, American Futurist Alvin Toffler coined the term 'Future Shock'. Toffler highlighted that the late-20th Century was experiencing a phenomenon unique in human history in which technology was changing faster than people. This in turn led to widespread discomfort and confusion as well as frequent social and economic upheaval.
MPs urge UK Government to make climate risk reporting mandatory
Ministers have urged the UK Government to make it mandatory for companies and asset owners to report on climate-related risks by 2022 in order to "fix" the short-term mindset of the current financial system.
'High risk' meat and fish sector failing to combat climate-related business risks
More than half of global meat and fish suppliers have been labelled as "high risk", with new research warning that the sector is failing to manage sustainability issues such as greenhouse gas emissions and antibiotics stewardship.
EU tables ground-breaking 'low-carbon benchmark' for green finance
The European Commission presented on Thursday (24 May) a set of proposals aimed at boosting private investment in low-carbon technologies like renewable energies while increasing transparency in sustainable finance to avoid green-washing.
UK insurers lead the ranks for climate action
UK insurance companies Aviva and Legal & General have taken two of the top four spots in a ranking of global insurers on their climate strategies, but globally the sector is struggling to set climate targets in line with the Paris Agreement.
Policy needed to solve the 'Rubik's cube' of energy storage
EXCLUSIVE: Regulatory frameworks need to act as a "steady hand" to grow the business case for energy storage solutions, with expert delegates from UK Power Networks (UKPN) and energy not-for-profit Regen SW likening the market to a Rubik's cube that was almost aligned.
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.
Unleashing the next wave of sustainable business leaders
At this month's edie Live conference in Birmingham, I'll be joining a panel to discuss how we encourage more businesses to join the green revolution. I was pleased to be asked, because the question of how we support and develop sustainable business leaders is something - in my new role as ICRS Chair - I am closely concerned with.
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.
Subsidy cuts slow growth of independent renewables, report finds
Investment in new, independent renewable energy projects in the UK totalled £227m in 2017, down by almost 20% from 2016 figures, according to a new report published this week.
Investors and energy giants call for close UK EU climate ties after Brexit
Aviva, E.ON, RWE, EDF and NPower are among a coalition of 21 energy giants and top investors who have called on Britain and the EU to maintain close links on energy and climate policy after the UK leaves the bloc.
How Integrated Reporting can help to transform the global economy
Although many people can tune out when they hear the words 'corporate reporting', the reality is that meaningful reporting can transform the global economy, and business has a real opportunity to lead the way.
Climate change mitigation should be viewed as business opportunity, says London Stock Exchange
Businesses and investors should focus more on measuring and reporting the positive impacts of sustainability efforts rather than purely analysing the risks posed by climate change, according to the sustainability manager of the London Stock Exchange Group.
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".
Telling your sustainability story: edie launches communications handbook
Sustainability and CSR professionals looking to boost stakeholder engagement through effective communications now have access to a new 'handbook', which provides expert advice and insight into how to tell your sustainability story.
Energy storage investment fund to raise £100m on London Stock Exchange
The world's first listed investment fund targeting energy storage developers and projects is attempting to raise £100m after floating on the London Stock Exchange.
Report: Political clarity key to unlocking 'enormous' UK green investment opportunities
The UK can "reap enormous opportunities" by strengthening private financial investment into green infrastructure and projects, with a new Aldersgate Group report noting the "urgent" need for political clarity to unlock more revenue streams.
European Union unveils green investment action plan
The European Commission unveiled on Thursday (8 March) its highly expected action plan on sustainable finance, aiming to clarify what can be labelled as "green" investment and potentially lowering capital requirements on asset holders.
Environmental verification: less mechanical, more collaborative
With the simultaneous advent of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive (EU NFR) over the course of the last 18 months, environmental reporting is being driven into the limelight in boardrooms in a manner it has seldom seen before.
Honda to play central role in V2G demonstrator project
Car giant Honda has teamed up with other firms, local bodies and academic institutions for a new project that aims to demonstrate the business case for Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technologies across the UK.
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.
Top investors call on global food brands to make plant-based shift
An investor-led coalition worth $2.4trn has urged the likes of Unilever, Nestlé and Tesco to diversify their protein sourcing away from a reliance on animal proteins.
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.
Expert group recommends setting up European standards for 'green bonds'
An EU sustainability taxonomy, a definition of priority investment areas, the clarification of investor duties and development of "official" European sustainability standards for green bonds are some of the recommendations experts made to the European Commission on Wednesday (31 January).
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.
A powerful man wants purpose. What next?
Larry Fink's celebrated purpose letter has left many CEOs asking how much social benefit they should deliver.
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.
2017: A turning point for energy efficiency in the UK?
2017 started badly for the energy efficiency sector: no policy news and yet another shuffle in the Ministerial team. The Government's plan to deliver the 5th Carbon budget was long overdue, the energy efficiency policy landscape was full of holes, and the market was flat.
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.
Philippe Joubert: Policy frameworks will define climate action in 2018
The concept that markets can direct themselves without government guidance is a "fallacy" and policymakers must create the regulatory frameworks that enable businesses to thrive on a low-carbon pathway in 2018.
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.
Sainsbury's and Unilever sign up to blockchain trials for supply chain practices
Global brands Unilever and Sainsbury's have partnered with leading investors to trial how blockchain technology can financially reward sustainable farming practices for Malawian tea makers.
Climate Action 100+: New investor initiative targets top 100 corporate emitters
More than 200 of the most influential investor institutions, with more than $26.3trn in assets under management, have today (12 December) launched a new global initiative to help the 100 largest corporate emitters reduce value chain carbon footprints.
Global companies call on nations to push for 'well-below' 2C Paris target
More than 50 global companies including Unilever, M&S and Adidas have called on nations meeting in Paris to discuss climate progress, to phase-out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 and create the framework to limit global warming increases to well below 2C.
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.
Could looming new energy efficiency standards spark a green rental market?
The impending creation of a new energy efficiency regulation for UK properties could trigger the emergence of a green rental market, a leading credit rating agency has claimed.
Corporates risk $941bn due to deforestation failure, CDP warns
The business community is risking up to $941bn on commodities linked to deforestation, according to research, but the vast majority of corporates are reportedly failing to take action.
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.
So, what now for sustainability reporting?
As a CSR and Sustainability professional, reporting is one of the most significant issues to be addressed in this field.
Business focus on water management reaching 'record levels', says CDP
The number of big businesses investing in water security has reached "record levels", with new analysis from CDP finding that more than $23bn has been invested in 2017 as some companies place an "internal price on water" to justify funding decisions.
World Water Council: Water infrastructure investment must to triple to combat climate change
As UN delegates meet in Bonn this week to commence the COP23 climate conference, the World Water Council (WWC) has reported that financial investment into water infrastructure needs to triple to €255bn annually to combat climate change and meet sanitation targets.
TCFD's scenario analysis a 'storytelling' opportunity for sustainability professionals, says WRI
EXCLUSIVE: The recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) provide sustainability professionals with a chance to strengthen relationships with board members and the finance department, by utilising the "storytelling" aspects of scenario analysis.
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.
Put 'cows alongside cars' at COP23, investors urge
With COP23 set to start in Bonn next week, an investor network is calling on developed countries to prioritise the "elephant in the room" at the UN talks, by tackling livestock sector emissions.
Lord Stern: Flexible policy approach will catalyse low-carbon transition
Lord Nicholas Stern has called on governments across the world to implement "predictably flexible" policy frameworks that enable businesses to map investment opportunities during the transition to a low-carbon economy.
What the world needs now, is sustainable soy
Producing more responsible - and certified - soy will be critical in protecting the Cerrado region of Brazil.
Rabobank launches $1bn programme for food production practices
Dutch cooperative financial firm Rabobank has partnered with the UN Environment to promote sustainable food supply across the globe, starting with the launch of a $1bn fund to catalyse land restoration and forestry initiatives.
The impact of the Modern Slavery Act, two years on
The Modern Slavery Act shone a spotlight on the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking when it was written into UK law two years ago. But what effect has it had so far?
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.
KPMG: Three quarters of businesses not acknowledging climate-related risks
Despite investors ramping up the pressure on the corporate disclosure of climate-related risks, nearly three quarters of large and mid-cap companies don't acknowledge the financial risks of climate change in their annual financial reports.
Claire Perry: Clean Growth Strategy will set 'decarbonisation pathway' across UK economy
The Government's long-anticipated Clean Growth Strategy launches tomorrow (12 October), and the Minister of State for Climate Change Claire Perry has vowed to "march on a decarbonisation pathway" across the entire UK economy to meet national carbon commitments.
The Reporting Exchange: Global platform launched to streamline sustainability reporting
As more companies switch to integrated reporting linking sustainability actions with financial filings, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has launched a free, online platform to help businesses navigate the increase in reporting requirements.
The seven buzzwords in responsible retail
Debbie Griffiths offers a round-up of some of the most frequently uttered words from edie's Responsible Retailer conference.
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.
Why businesses need to get serious about sustainable buildings
It will be months, possibly years, before the full extent of damage from Hurricane Irma is fully understood, let alone repaired. It reminds me of the sense of despair shared in a lecture I attended by one of the key architects of the multi-trillion-dollar recovery of New Orleans post Katrina. He spoke of it like it was a tale of many disasters, all of which pointed back to climate change.
British American Tobacco added to Dow Jones Sustainability Index as familiar brands lead the way
Companies including Coca-Cola, Peugeot, Unilever and Royal Mail have been named as industry group leaders in the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which has added British American Tobacco and removed a company linked to the North Dakota access pipeline from its sustainability indices.
Keeping up with the customers – why CSR is no longer enough
We are living in an age of information abundance. Consumers are increasingly becoming more demanding and more dubious that brands can keep the promises they make. There is often a sizeable gap between expectation and reality in the products that people buy, and nowhere is this gap more obvious than in the "sustainable" product sector.
Why a responsible business is a sustainable business
As a sustainability consultant, I have been following the meteoric rise of the 'gig economy', and the news around some of the best-known companies in the space.
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).
Mongoose Energy secures UK's biggest community energy deal
Mongoose Energy has finalised a deal to finance the UK's biggest community energy project, a 'solar plus battery' farm in Warwickshire.
Shareholder demands driving commitments on deforestation, report finds
Shareholder resolutions are an increasingly viable way to drive company action on deforestation, with more than half of proposals to address risks leading to business commitments from the likes of Kraft, DuPont and Mondelez, according to new analysis.
WHAT’S IN A NAME? Doing business responsibly and sustainably
EDIE blog readers will be very familiar with the classic definition of sustainable development as formulated by the Brundtland Commission in 1987: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Today, we might more immediately define sustainable development as how 9-10 billion people will live at least reasonably well, within the constraints of One Planet, by mid-century.
Investors reach early milestone for UK's first commercial geothermal power plant
A bond that encourages investors to back the first commercial geothermal electricity power station in the UK has raised more than £1m in the 48 hours since it was launched.
Decentralised energy will revolutionise sustainable business, claims Mongoose Energy boss
EXCLUSIVE: Businesses that invest in decentralised energy systems can enjoy the triple benefit of economic value, security of supply and "telling a good story", the new chief executive of community energy supplier Mongoose Energy has told edie.