Author: Archie Burkinshaw

Sustainability reporting regulations (or ‘ESG regulations’) can be confusing at the best of times, but global progress is being made to increase the consistency, accuracy, and transparency of disclosure requirements. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the most critical to keep in mind in 2024. Updated February 9, 2024 to reflect the recent news that EU Lawmakers have agreed to delay some ESRS sustainability reporting standards by 2 years. Sustainability considerations are becoming essential across businesses of all sizes. Companies can no longer ignore the increasing number of sustainability reporting laws and regulations that are popping up globally. What…

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Swiss Post has committed to achieving net zero emissions across its entire value chain by 2040, by initially becoming carbon-neutral in its internal operations by 2030.  One of its key targets is to rapidly reduce its carbon footprint, primarily by transitioning its vehicle fleet to electric vehicles. Approximately half of Swiss Post’s vehicles are already emission-free. Additionally, Swiss Post is heavily investing in renewable energy sources and phasing out fossil fuels. They are actively installing solar systems on the rooftops of their facilities, like letter and parcel centres, to drive these efforts. Through these initiatives, the Swiss Post anticipates a…

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The ‘Ready steady grow’ report, by the charity and think tank Green Alliance, has identified and addressed obstacles hindering the expansion of the circular economy.  The model suggested diverges from the prevailing ‘take, make, use, and dispose’ linear approach by prioritising the prolonged circulation of materials at their highest value. Characteristics of circular models encompass designing for longevity, embracing reuse and sharing systems, and establishing ‘reverse supply chains’ for reprocessing, resale, or redistribution of goods. While recycling remains vital, the circular economy places greater emphasis on reusing and remanufacturing materials to uphold their value. What are the economic advantages of…

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American multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation Pepsi has made use of Tesla’s Semi trucks to drive its sustainability aspirations forward. In order to reduce its carbon footprint, the beverage giant has deployed 21 Tesla Semis, in conjunction with battery forklifts, Ford eTransit vans, and other battery electric vehicles (BEVs), to facilitate its logistical operations at a key plant in Sacramento, California. The multi-year initiative is aimed at ushering in a greener era, with Pepsi’s use of Semi together with other BEVs to manage the logistical demands of its northern California facility. “Battery electric vehicles are essential for us,” Amanda…

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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are already making significant strides in championing sustainability, through implementing environmentally friendly practices throughout their operations. This may include using renewable energy sources, reducing water and energy consumption, and implementing waste reduction and recycling programs. Many SMEs are working closely with suppliers and partners to ensure the sustainability of their supply chains. They may prioritise sourcing materials and products from environmentally responsible and ethical suppliers. By integrating sustainable practices into their operations, SMEs can not only champion environmental stewardship but also set an example for larger corporations and inspire positive change within their industries. According…

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To ensure a more inclusive global energy transition, advanced countries must enhance their engagement with developing nations, according to a recent report by the International Energy Forum (IEF) which highlights the risk of a “north-south divide” that could hinder the progress and priorities of the energy transition. The report, titled “Shaping a Living Roadmap for Energy Transition,” is the result of roundtable discussions conducted over the past ten months in various locations worldwide, including Cape Town, Bali, Riyadh, Washington DC, Panama City, and Davos.  The findings bring together insights from 350 participants representing industry, government, and civil society, aimed at…

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The European Union’s (EU) executive body has published its final rules for corporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures, confirming previous actions to relax the requirements. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen had committed to reducing red tape across the EU executive’s work, responding to complaints from companies about the increasing costs of environmental regulations. The European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) builds on the bloc’s corporate sustainability reporting directive (CSRD), which will apply to large companies in their annual reports for 2024, with smaller firms following two years later. The commission has relaxed the draft ESRS standards from its…

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The UK government’s recent changes to the carbon trading scheme have sparked controversy and raised questions about its commitment to combating climate change. By offering more allowances than expected to pollute industries, the government has made it cheaper for certain industries to emit carbon in the UK compared to the European Union (EU). This move has led to carbon prices trading at a significant discount compared to the EU, resulting in warnings from industry experts that it could undermine green investments and encourage greater fossil fuel use. “The changes to the carbon market have largely passed under the radar in…

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Telecommunications operator Telefónica has become the first in its industry to obtain validation from the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). The recognition confirms that Telefónica’s decarbonisation approach aligns with scientifically-based principles. The company has set a commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its entire value chain by 2040, resulting in a reduction of at least 90% of total emissions (both direct and indirect). Telefónica has already taken steps to neutralise the remaining emissions, amounting to less than 10%, through the use of high-quality carbon credits. As part of its interim objectives, Telefónica aims to reduce absolute…

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Several prominent footwear brands and retailers, including Adidas, Inditex, Target, and Zalando, have joined forces to participate in a new recycling initiative. The new pilot program is being spearheaded by Fashion For Good, a global movement aimed at driving sustainability in the fashion industry, and FastFeetGrinded, a footwear recycling company. Amidst growing concern about waste in the shoe industry, the initiative aims to address the problem head-on. Currently, 24 billion shoes are introduced to the market annually, with 90% of them ending up in landfills or incinerated, according to a report from Vivo Barefoot. FastFeetGrinded breaks down all types of…

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