BP shareholders demand climate action, but reject calls for hard targets
An overwhelming vote in favour of climate action at BP's annual meeting yesterday (21 May) shows how activist investors have started to move the oil and gas industry. But it also showed the limits to their appetite for change.
edie Live Mission Possible report launch: Inspiring quotes, key takeaways and the zeronauts
I was thrilled to have formally launched edie's Mission Possible: 2019 report during a high-level panel discussion at edie Live on Tuesday (21 May). Here, I've rounded up my key takeaways from that session and the report for aspiring sustainability and environmental professionals.
How SDG alignment helped Tideway engage key investors
EXCLUSIVE: Several companies to have aligned their strategies with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have claimed that doing so has improved communications and created a more joined-up approach - but for Tideway, a further benefit has been gaining investor buy-in.
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).
Government backing for offshore wind keeps UK's renewable energy attractiveness afloat
The UK has maintained its top-ten position in a ranking of the world's most attractive renewable energy markets for investors, largely due to the Government's recent assertation that offshore wind power will provide a third of the nation's electricity by 2030.
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.
Can TCFD recommendations communicate a business response to the 'climate emergency'?
Against a backdrop of Extinction Rebellion protests and declarations of a "climate emergency", businesses will need to articulate their role in combatting climate change. Could the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures' (TCFD) recommendations create the ideal framework to do so?
Report: Oil and gas firms failing to disclose climate-related financial risks
The world's largest oil and gas firms must disclose more information on the financial risks that climate challenges will pose to their business, or face losing investment and stakeholder trust.
Extinction Rebellion: Role of business in society is being defined by climate change
As thousands of climate protestors continue to blockade key London landmarks as part of the Extinction Rebellion protests, businesses have been warned that action or inaction to combat climate change will define their role in future societies.
We Mean Business boss: Companies must 'embed' ESG to survive low-carbon transition
EXCLUSIVE: In the face of pressing climate challenges, the business and finance sectors must now collaborate to ensure that environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are embedded in all financial decisions to spur the creation of a zero-carbon economy.
Yorkshire Water launches sustainability bond
Yorkshire Water has launched its first sustainability bond in a bid to raise £350m from investors.
SDGs becoming a 'new compass' for sustainable investing, survey finds
More than half of institutional investors to have incorporated environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues into their frameworks are using the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a guideline, a new survey has found.
UK water firms join global funding alliance helping sector to champion green innovation
UK-based water companies Severn Trent and United Utilities are among a group of 10 global water firms to have jointly launched a new innovation fund aimed at supporting green solutions to the sector's biggest sustainability challenges.
'Historic breakthrough': Norway's giant oil fund dives into renewables
Norway's $1tn oil fund, the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, is to plunge billions of dollars into wind and solar power projects.
Michael Bloomberg to launch decarbonisation tracker for utility firms
Businessman and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg has unveiled fresh plans to utilise his firm Bloomberg LP and its charitable arm, Bloomberg Philanthropies, to help the utility sector to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.
How can business transform unsustainable economic models from within?
We are only able to enjoy our current standard of living due to economic growth. But with emissions, resource consumption and social inequality all rising under capitalism, will the economic model need to be completely overhauled to ensure a sustainable future?
Doubts raised over viability of 'subsidy-free' renewables
Senior figures from the energy and finance industries have declared doubts over the feasibility of building "subsidy-free" renewables at scale without some form of revenue stabilisation.
Shell starts paying top execs in line with low-carbon progress
Royal Dutch Shell is to link the pay of its 150 most senior executives with its progress towards its carbon reduction aims with "immediate effect", following months of pressure from investors.
BlackRock steps up ESG drive with six new low-carbon funds
The world's largest asset manager BlackRock has launched new exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that screen out exposure to "controversial" sectors, improve environmental social and governance (ESG) scores and offer a reduced carbon emissions intensity of 30%.
Report: Airlines warned of investment losses over lack of climate action
The climate efforts of 20 of the world's largest airlines will not suffice if the aviation sector is to align with the aims of the Paris Agreement and the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Sky partners with Ambienta to spur corporate funding for projects tackling ocean plastic
Broadcaster Sky's Ocean Ventures arm has forged a partnership with European investment fund Ambienta to help drive investment into projects targeting plastic pollution across all levels of the value chain.
'The £1bn challenge': Natural capital investment project launched in Scotland
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Scottish Wildlife Trust have teamed up to launch a new project aiming to attract £1bn of investment in protecting the nation's natural capital.
Reports: Policy support for climate adaptation investments 'insufficient'
Insufficient policy support has left investors and lenders across the world struggling to identify, measure and adapt to climate challenges relevant to their portfolios, a pair of new reports have found.
Development bank investments could halt emissions rises in developing nations, report finds
By funnelling concessional finance into renewable energy and battery storage projects in developing nations, development finance institutions could halt the rate of emissions growth across such countries altogether.
Princes turns to blockchain to minimise supply chain sustainability risks
International food and drink firm Princes has unveiled a sweeping new set of measures to make its supply chain practices more sustainable, including a pledge to use blockchain to ensure workers' rights are protected.
BP links employee bonuses with climate progress in Paris Agreement alignment drive
Following pressure from green investors, oil and gas giant BP has pledged to align its business with the aims of the Paris Agreement and has begun linking staff bonuses to its low-carbon progress.
Sustainable investing is finally 'going mainstream', BlackRock claims
As concerns that the next financial crash may be climate-related grow, impact investment and green finance products are "going mainstream" and ceasing to be classed as a "niche" area, global investment management firm BlackRock has claimed.
First CDP climate-related investment fund launched
CDP has today (31 January) co-launched an equity fund dedicated to investing in companies that best manage risks associated with climate change.
Investors press fast food giants to 'urgently' improve supply chain sustainability
A coalition of investment firms with more than $6.5trn in assets under management have called on six of the world's largest fast food companies to take more ambitious action to tackle the climate and water risks within their supply chains, as a "matter of urgency".
Survey: Two-thirds of UK businesses will include climate risks in this year's financial reports
Two-thirds of the UK's largest 100 companies are planning to incorporate climate risks in their annual financial or combined report this year as client, investor and customer demand for transparency on sustainability issues grow.
Finance firms must adopt a natural capital approach to risk, PwC warns
In the face of climate challenges, most financial service providers are still failing to assess the extent to which environmental degradation could pose financial risks to their firms, PwC has warned.
Major utilities team up to launch sustainable finance hub for European businesses
Utility giants EDF, SSE and Ørsted are among the 16 companies which have co-founded a new forum aimed at helping Europe's business community champion sustainable finance and impact investing.
Policy shake-up set to fast-track energy storage and renewables projects
The UK Government has launched a consultation to determine how best it can alter planning policy frameworks to support developers and businesses seeking to build energy storage facilities in England.
WWF: Finance firms must do more to safeguard food sector from sustainability risks
Global finance firms seeking to future-proof their investments should take more ambitious action to help to food and agriculture firms they invest in become more sustainable, new WWF-led research has concluded.
Why brands should take a new digital approach to responsible growth
This blog, from DNV GL, outlines how businesses can engage their consumers in powerful authentic brand stories that promote trust and highlight sustainability.
Banking giants pledge to align investment portfolios with Paris Agreement
BBVA, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered and Société Générale have pledged to measure the climate-related impacts of their lending portfolios and assist companies they invest in with aligning their respective sustainability strategies with the Paris Agreement goals.
Shell to pay executives in line with decarbonisation achievements
Oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell has today (3 December) pledged to link progress made towards its carbon reduction aims to the amount of pay awarded to members of its executive board, in a move to engage senior stakeholders with sustainability.
CDSB: European corporates failing to track climate change impacts
Less than half (44%) of European corporates are currently tracking how climate challenges will affect their business models in the future or disclosing the full extent of their environmental impacts.
How does the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures impact the SDGs?
The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, or TCFD, is all about climate change. Or is it? Carolina Karlstrom, independent action researcher and sustainability expert, takes a closer look at the financial disclosure initiative and identifies how its impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is wider than you might think.
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.
Religious leaders urge Theresa May to appoint dedicated SDG minister
Leaders within the UK's six most predominant religions have urged Prime Minister Theresa May to bolster the Government's action plans for achieving the aims of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), after a recent report revealed that the nation is delivering on less than a quarter of its SDG targets.
BNEF: Global energy storage investment to hit $1.2trn by 2040
Global investment into energy storage technologies including batteries is set to reach $1.2trn by 2040 as technology costs fall, according to new research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
Business giants to support new SASB reporting standards
Food and drinks giant Kellogg, sportswear brand Nike and beverage manufacturer Diageo are among a group of 11 businesses who have pledged to adopt a new sustainability reporting standard, in a bid to give clarity to investors.
All financial institutions must disclose sustainability risks and impacts, MEPs agreed
The European Parliament's Committee of Economic and Monetary Affairs has endorsed a decision that makes it mandatory for all financial market participants, including banks, to disclose sustainability risks and impacts of their portfolio, a move that NGOs say brings the EU one step further in greening its financial system.
Report: Just 5% of UK pension funds possess a climate change policy
Just 5% of the UK's largest pension fund managers have a specific policy on climate change in place, despite almost three-quarters (74%) claiming to acknowledge the risks that climate challenges pose to the finance sector.
Top European firms warned over lobbying against stronger climate policy
A group of investors worth $2trn has urged 55 major European businesses to review their relationships with organisations with lobbying practices "inconsistent" with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Abundance Investment targets new shareholders to accelerate green project financing
Peer-to-peer finance platform Abundance Investment looks set to accelerate demand for environmental and social projects across the UK, by increasing its number of small shareholders 10-fold.
Big-name businesses jointly pledge $500,000 to spur action on SDGs
A group of nine corporations, including oil and gas giant BP and professional services firm Deloitte, have collectively pledged to invest $500,000 into projects which aim to accelerate global progress on one or more on the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
World's pension funds vulnerable to climate risks, study reveals
87% of assets managed by the world's 100 largest public pension funds are yet to undergo a formal climate risk assessment, according to research published on Tuesday (23 October), with only 15% of them adopting a coal exclusion policy.
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.