News and Updates on Sustainability

WWF Living Planet Report 2018

Over the past 50 years our Ecological Footprint – one measure of our consumption of natural resources – has increased by about 190%. Wetlands are the most impacted category, having lost 87% of their extent in the modern ERA. https://bit.ly/2Q7hh9d

 

The Green New Deal

The Plan for a Green New Deal (and the draft legislation) shall be developed in order to achieve the following goals, in each case in no longer than 10 years from the start of execution of the Plan:

  • i. 100% of national power generation from renewable sources;
  • ii. building a national, energy-efficient, “smart” grid;
  • iii. upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety;
  • iv. decarbonizing the manufacturing, agricultural and other industries;
  • v. decarbonizing, repairing and improving transportation and other infrastructure;
  • vi. funding massive investment in the drawdown and capture of greenhouse gases;
  • vii. making “green” technology, industry, expertise, products and services a major export of the United States, with the aim of becoming the undisputed international leader in helping other countries transition to completely carbon neutral economies and bringing about a global Green New Deal.

https://ocasio2018.com/green-newdeal

 

Stella McCartney to launch UN charter for sustainable fashion

Stella McCartney is to announce a United Nations fashion industry charter for climate action, which will be launched at next month’s climate talks in Poland. The designer hopes the charter will “ring some alarm bells” while making a business case for sustainable fashion, setting out a path for collective action to enable low-carbon production methods to be scaled up, improving economic viability. Other signatories to the charter, which will be launched in Katowice on 10 December, have yet to be announced but are known to include several major fast fashion brands. The charter has been initiated by the UN climate change secretariat. Waste, pollution, deforestation, toxicity in manufacture and carbonfuelled supply chains combine to make fashion one of the most environmentally damaging industries, and reform is essential if the goals agreed in the Paris climate agreement are to be met. https://bit.ly/2E3jEaO

 

Patagonia Donates $10 Million Tax Break To Green Groups, Says Trump ‘Irresponsible’

by Nick Visser 

Patagonia said Wednesday it planned to donate $10 million to environmental causes, money the company saved due to President Donald Trump’s massive tax breaks for corporate America last year. https://bit.ly/2BHOuDB

 

You are not gluten intolerant, you are glyphosate intolerant

“Celiac disease, and, more generally, gluten intolerance, is a growing problem worldwide, but especially in North America and Europe, where an estimated 5% of the population now suffers from it,” researchers wrote in a meta-analysis of nearly 300 studies. “Here, we propose that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup®, is the most important causal factor in this epidemic,” they add. The study, published in the journal Interdisciplinary Toxicology in 2013, was completely ignored by the media except for Mother Earth News and The Healthy Home Economist. The symptoms of so-called “gluten intolerance” and celiac disease are shockingly similar to the symptoms in lab animals exposed to glyphosate, argue the study’s authors Anthony Samsel, an independent scientist who’s served as a consultant to the EPA on arsenic pollution and to the U.S. Coast Guard on chemical hazard response, and Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist at MIT. They point to a recent study on how glyphosate effects the digestive systems of fish. It decreased digestive enzymes and bacteria, disrupted mucosal folds, destroyed microvilli structure in the intestinal wall, and increased secretion of mucin. “These features are highly reminiscent of celiac disease,” Samsel and Seneff write. https://bit.ly/2FMKq9d

 

Paul Polman, a ‘Crucial Voice’ for Corporate Responsibility, Steps Down as Unilever C.E.O.

by David Gelles 

He rolled out a long-term strategy to make Unilever a better steward of the environment and a more socially responsible business, known as the Sustainable Living Plan. Mr. Polman will be succeeded by Alan Jope, who has led Unilever’s beauty and personal care division — its largest business — since 2011. https://nyti.ms/2E6rHno

 

 

Oprah Winfrey SUPER SOUL Conversation with John Mackey: Conscious Capitalism

While some might say the act of being conscious and the practice of capitalism have little to do with one another, Whole Foods Market co-founder and coCEO John Mackey believes differently. John discusses the consciousness, mindfulness, creativity and love that goes into running the billion-dollar business. A strong believer in the adage “follow your dreams,” John shares his inspiring personal story and why he believes it is critical that we all strive to live more conscious lives. John also talks about his New York Times best-selling book, “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business.” https://bit.ly/2RnIi93

 

 

Unlocking Endowments: Foundations Are Stepping Up Impact Investing

Podcast: Ten years after the Rockefeller Foundation coined the term “impact investing,” it has become a $250 billion market and an expanding global movement. Today, foundations across the U.S. and globally are increasingly looking to use their endowments to achieve social or environmental goals. https://whr.tn/2BFloVp

 

Swell Investing Review 2018

By Anna-Louise Jackson 

For investors seeking to align their investment strategy with their values, Swell presents a compelling choice. Investors can choose from seven SRI-themed portfolios, with limited customization available. Management fee:0.75%; account minimum:$50; Promotion: $300 bonus for every three friends who sign up and fund an account. https://nerd.me/2KLpjmu

 

KICKSTARTER: A guide to reducing the environmental impact of your product

As a creator, you have the opportunity to consider the impact that your products have, and will continue to have, on the environment. We encourage you to think about your products in a holistic manner, from how you obtain your materials to the end of your product’s life. Why is this important? Making sustainable decisions can reduce your impact on the environment and human health, and inspire others to do the same. It can also differentiate your product from others on the market, attract new supporters, and even reduce fulfillment costs. Read on to learn about how to incorporate sustainable decisions into every step of your process, from product design to manufacturing to fulfillment. https://www.kickstarter.com/environment

 

Textile industry joins hands with WWF to promote sustainable energy, water use

The Việt Nam Textile and Apparel Association and conservation organisation World Wide Fund for Nature launched two flagship products and an initiative designed to promote improved river basin governance, improve water quality and develop sustainable energy use in the textile and garment sector on Wednesday. The “Exploring water risks and solutions for the textile and garment sector in Việt Nam” report and “High-resolution Mekong regional water risk filter” tool along with “Greening Việt Nam’s textile and garment sector through improved water management and energy sustainability”, funded by HSBC, will involve many players in the sector to promote better river basin governance and contribute to water quality improvement and sustainable energy use. https://bit.ly/2U42fDS

 

Global supermarkets’ corporate social responsibility commitments to public health: a content analysis

Claire Elizabeth Pulker 

The aim of this study was to investigate the world’s largest and most powerful supermarkets’ publically available CSR commitments to determine their potential impact on public health. Commitments to sustainable fishing were made by 22 supermarkets (22/79 animal welfare CSR statements). Commitments to reduce food waste were made by 22 supermarkets (22/69 food and packaging waste CSR statements). https://bit.ly/2U7VuB1

 

Download the Free Ebook: Advanced Technology for Energy and Water Conservation

This free Ebook also delves into the role of occupant behavior on the efficiency of a house, and how technology can help people live more efficiently in their homes without undue sacrifice. Using a green building pyramid to show the important efficiency issues to tackle first, the ebook lists all the important decisions affecting a home’s long-term energy and water use. https://bit.ly/2ADksPC

 

ESG fixed income products exceeded supply, according to new research by Cerulli Associates.

The report revealed that inflows into ESG fixed-income products surpassed $11.4 billion the last two years, but a shortage of benchmark indexes that measure ESG-focused criteria makes it difficult for its inclusion in the asset class. However, an influx of new ESG fixed-income products into the market over the next few years could help appease increased demand. Types of fixed-income ESG investments can include green bonds, which are debt issues used to fund projects with a focus on positively impacting the environment. The proceeds from green bonds are allocated towards green initiatives and projects–backed by the debt issuer’s balance sheet. The chart below specifies the types of green bonds available for investors. https://bit.ly/2PcELbH

 

Eight-out-of-10 corporate leaders believe companies now have an obligation to speak out on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues

The tightening labor market, specifically competitive pressure for companies to recruit and retain talent, is a key driver of the Brands Taking Stands movement, followed by efforts to protect and enhance corporate reputation. “People want to support companies that live their values and are authentic,” said Dave Armon, chief marketing officer of 3BL Media, the world’s leading communications partner for purpose-driven organizations, which partnered with GlobeScan, an insights and strategy consultancy, to conduct the research. “We did this research to get the pulse of corporate responsibility and sustainability leaders on this new phase of brand activism.” https://bit.ly/2G4VAq7

 

The Internet of Disposable Things Will Be Made of Paper and Plastic Sensors

IHS Markit, a research firm that tracks and analyzes the electronics industry, predicts that the global volume of IoT devices will more than quadruple, from 27 billion connected devices in 2017 to 125 billion in 2030.
Researchers have been working on paper and plastic sensors for years, and lowering the cost of sensors hasn’t been their only motivation. Competition for federal funds has led researchers to seek ways to make microtechnology without clean rooms and other exotic tools. Then there’s the rising interest in constructing sensors out of materials more flexible and biodegradable than silicon, for use in invasive medical applications. And as electronics applications embrace the entire world, there’s a growing need in developing countries to make use of the ultimate low-cost material—paper. https://bit.ly/2zFO27B

 

 

Companies must address ESG issues to be deemed trustworthy by investors — Edelman survey

BY JAMES COMTOIS

Results of the second annual Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Institutional Investors show that 89% of investors have changed their voting and/or engagement policy to be more attentive to ESG practices, with 63% reporting that this change has taken place in the past year. “It’s plain as day that ESG is a major criteria for investors,” said Lex Suvanto, Edelman’s global managing director, financial communications and capital markets, in a phone interview. “It’s no longer optional.” In addition, 87% of institutional investors said their firms are more interested in taking an activist approach to investing and 92% will support a reputable activist investor if they believe change is necessary at a company in which they invest or recommend investing. https://bit.ly/2zAiIXE

 

 

The Insect Apocalypse is Here

What does it mean for the rest of life on Earth? United States, scientists recently found the population of monarch butterflies fell by 90 percent in the last 20 years, a loss of 900 million individuals; the rusty-patched bumblebee, which once lived in 28 states, dropped by 87 percent over the same period. The German study found that, measured simply by weight, the overall abundance of flying insects in German nature reserves had decreased by 75 percent over just 27 years. If you looked at midsummer population peaks, the drop was 82 percent. Scientists have tried to calculate the benefits that insects provide simply by going about their business in large numbers. Trillions of bugs flitting from flower to flower pollinate some three-quarters of our food crops, a service worth as much as $500 billion every year. In the United States, dung beetles save ranchers an estimated $380 million a year. https://nyti.ms/2DU1jw5

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