Sustainability Insights

   

The volume of data, news flow and research into sustainability is ever increasing.   Together with our partners we can help identify emerging trends, breaking news, highlight sector research coverage and provide resources to help corporate communications.

InterAxS has partnered with Curation and others to help corporates with information overload.  Curation uses a unique combination of artificial intelligence and human editors to curate from over 80,000 sources and picks out the most pertinent information relevant for your business. 

For more information on Curation services please click here 

Our aim is to highlight tools for corporates and investors that prove useful in their preparation for a future where sustainability is key. 

InterAxS Blog 

The 6th annual environmental markets conference Carbon Forward 2021 will take place on 6-7 October. Key speakers will examine what the onset of the Paris Agreement era means for global ambition and how fast-rising carbon prices are becoming the key global commodity to watch. Against the backdrop of the accelerating climate crisis and to push others to take their full responsibilities ahead of COP26, the EU has adopted a new Climate Law. It makes climate neutrality by mid-century a legally binding commitment. The EU is now also walking the talk with the 'Fit for 55' package, a set of thirteen legislative proposals to deliver the emission cuts aimed for, and this package includes a tightening of the EU ETS.

The EU’s benchmark carbon price surpassed 50 euros for the first time ever earlier this year, having stood at around 20 euros before the coronavirus pandemic. Analysts and traders believe this record-breaking rally still has plenty of room to run. In Europe CO2 prices may rise more than 50% by 2030, EU draft impact reports show. The price of polluting in the European Union may rise to as much as 85 euros a metric ton by the end of the decade as the bloc tightens its carbon market and forces a swifter shift to clean energy.

For corporates, this will bring extra pressure to manage their carbon risk in the near to medium term. For investors, due to rising prices and high volatility, low costs (annual registry fees), and good liquidity, European Union Allowances (EUAs) are likely to be an attractive asset. Apart from corporate entities with compliance obligations (such as factories or large power generating facilities) typical carbon market participants include financial institutions such as banks, hedge funds, pension funds and individual investors. New sectors including shipping will come under the purview of the EU’s Green Deal. And while it may take up to two years to ratify the changes, InterAxS Global is positioning itself to support companies and investors as they navigate this strengthening of the EU ETS.

[One note on The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism - the CBAM does not target particular countries, but specific goods. It conveys a policy signal to EU partner countries to introduce carbon pricing at home and for foreign producers to lower the carbon contents of the products they export to the EU. The best outcome would be that the CBAM induces effective carbon pricing mechanisms around the world. This is designed to stop ‘carbon leakage’ in the System so EU firms will still have to contend with the stricter regime].

This code offers our contacts 20% ticket price for Carbon Forward 2021, purchased by following this link: https://lnkd.in/ehruU9rC

 

Challenges of using social media to communicate ESG messages (part I)

In the past 10 years IR has become multi-dimensional and uses many different communication channels, including social media. As an investment analyst this can present a challenge in terms of where to look for company information, including latest corporate developments on ESG policies, initiatives and performance. And it’s getting time consuming to wade through all these ESG information sources; which one is for me, and how do I navigate the various social media channels…?

Mixed messages

We now have a blurring of lines across the target audience spectrum, from a single, formal presentation on company websites which is business-like, to thousands of ‘tweets’ on a company Twitter feed which are less formal but still information rich. What now classifies as investor information that influences capital allocation, what’s for NGOs, what’s for Joe Public? Is IR now about trying to reach everyone - with different messages for different interest groups - or does the same message underpin all communications on sustainability...? Is it getting a bit messy and muddled, or is it great we have more transparency and real time information and wider access to and participation in company communications, on ESG matters?

Nowadays access to corporate data is totally different, every man, woman and his / her dog can get some kind of audience, with a multitude of possibly relevant sustainability personnel, via LinkedIn for example. LinkedIn at least has a strong business orientation, but there’s still a lot of random advertising on it and thousands of other corporate messages, and what about other social media such as Twitter, Facebook etc… Very modern grandparents are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, sharing photos of the latest present bought for Little Johnny, but so are the biggest companies in the world on Instagram et al…does every company IR team need to be on every social media platform, just because that’s the way of the world now?

- What are the appropriate channels for sending IR / sustainability messages these days?

- Is every available online platform suitable, just because they are available?

- Or should IR and CSR people be more selective in their choice of media?

- Are mass media outlets and extra transparency and inclusivity to be applauded? Is Instagram access to company communications now just as important as IR messages sent to a top shareholder?

A big question… perhaps for discussion at our next breakfast club.  Message us for further details. 

 

Sustainability stories from around the web

Clean Motion unveils EV delivery van with solar panel on roof 

Sweden's Clean Motion is developing an EV delivery van with a solar panel roof, which is expected to be available next autumn. The Re:volt van has a 400 km range, including up to 130 km from the solar roof, 2,500 litres of cargo space and 450 kg of cargo capacity. Clean Motion is seeking partners that can adapt the van to their requirements.

The Driven | 28 September 

Reinsurers underestimating climate risks by 33-50%: S&P

Reinsurers around the world have most likely underestimated their exposure to physical climate risk by 33-50%, according to S&P Global Ratings. S&P said that if reinsurers do not account for climate risks it will result in volatility in earnings and implications for the cost of reinsurance products which will impact profitability. S&P says that for more recurrent extreme weather events such as a one-in-50-year return period its likely risks are undercalculated, but for return periods beyond one-in-50-years there is no data in recent history, so it is difficult to tell if there is underestimation.

insurancenews.com.au | 27 September

Arla shares CO2 footprint of its dairy farms, targets future cuts

Milk from Arla’s 1,964 UK dairy farms is produced using half the global average of CO2, according to the cooperative’s report, A Sustainable Future for British Dairy. It highlights action by farmers to cut emissions and the emission-reduction technologies being piloted. Data collected will be used to inform future decision-making, while providing consumers with “better food education”, Arla said. Cow digestion and cow feed are the highest emitting activities, accounting for 83% of the total. Arla targets cutting 30% of its farm-level emissions per kg of milk by 2030, as part of a net zero strategy.

Co-op News | 23 August 

ASOS, Primark among joiners of Textiles 2030 climate initiative 

Over 60 organisations and fashion retailers, including ASOS, Marks & Spencer and Primark, have joined WRAP’s Textiles 2030 initiative. Signatories commit to halving emissions by 2030 and aim to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century. Members must also cut their water use footprint and expand their circular economy efforts beyond single collections of products. Additional pledges include increased use of recycled materials and product recyclability and reducing upstream waste. Several signatories, such as Boohoo, have been called out for their approach to environmental issues. Over 50% of UK consumers believe the fashion sector generates "severe" environmental impacts, according to WRAP research.

Edie | 25 April 

European Commission issues green taxonomy, delays detail on gas

The European Commission has published part of its sustainable finance taxonomy, which outlines to investors the economic activities the EU deems "green" and the conditions that qualify activities as such. The taxonomy, which will apply from 2022, aims to help finance flow into areas that support the EU's climate goals and avoid greenwashing. Following substantial lobbying from industry and governments, natural gas will be addressed in a second set of criteria later this year. Rules on nuclear will also be released separately. The published criteria on bioenergy and forestry were criticised by green groups and some EU advisers.

Reuters | 22 April 


Oxis Energy to supply less flammable solid-state Li-S batteries

Oxis Energy has confirmed that it will commence commercial production of its quasi solid-state lithium-sulphur (Li-S) batteries at its Port Talbot site, and launch its Brazilian operation in 2023. Li-S systems are less flammable than lithium-ion batteries, and do not feature materials such as cobalt or nickel. Oxis Energy has said it aims to ship batteries with an energy density of 550 Wh/l to Japanese client Sanyo Trading by summer 2022, followed by the delivery of 700 Wh/l batteries in autumn 2023. The company has a target of 900 Wh/l by 2026.

PV Magazine | 21 April

 

Global emmissions on the rise after 5.8% fall due to Covid-19

Global carbon dioxide emissions, which fell by 5.8% in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, began to rise at the end of last year and are set for further increases, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). In December 2020, emissions were 2% or 60 million tonnes greater than in December of the previous year, due to increased activity in major economies. China, the world’s leading greenhouse gas emitter, was the only country to see an emissions increase in 2020, with a 0.8% or 75 million tonne rise from 2019, the IEA claimed.

IEA | 2 March
 

Beyond Meat agrees to supply McDonald’s and Yum! Brands

US plant-based meat substitute company Beyond Meat has secured major supply deals with McDonald’s and Yum! Brands, the owner of KFC. Under a three-year deal, Beyond Meat will supply McDonald’s with meat-free burgers as part of the company's developing McPlant line. The deal follows a trial partnership in which several McDonald’s outlets in Canada sold meat-free sandwiches during 2019 and 2020. The deal with Yum! Brands will see Beyond Meat develop a range of plant-based protein products for chains including KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

Business Green | 1 Mar

Carrefour branches to trace food with IBM blockchain

Majid Al Futtaim, the company overseeing Carrefour branches in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, will begin using IBM Food Trust to track food at Carrefour stores using blockchain. The programme will first focus on Carrefour's fresh chicken products and the company's microgreens, which are harvested in-store. Customers will be able to obtain product information by scanning a product's QR code using their smartphone. Changing consumer demands and the Covid-19 outbreak have led to a need for greater trust in food supply chains, claimed Majid Al Futtaim CEO Hani Weiss.

Gulf Business | 22 Feb


Coca-Cola launches pilot for paper-based bottles in Hungary

Coca-Cola has begun trialing a paper-based bottle prototype, “AdeZ”, in Hungary as part of efforts to reduce waste. Developed in partnership with The Paper Bottle Company, the product will feature a strong paper exterior, a thin recycled polyethylene terephthalate lining and a plastic cap. The drinks retailer is the largest plastic polluting firm in the world and has a plastic footprint of 2.9 million mt each year, and has committed to recycle 100% of the cans and bottle products it sells and eliminate waste entirely by 2030.

The Independent | 16 Feb

Harmful seaweed transformed into paper in St Barths project

Sargassum seaweed, which poses threats to marine habitats, is being converted into marketable paper pulp by the St Barths-based Sargasse project, in efforts to dispose of and repurpose the seaweed into a functional biomaterial. St Barths and other Caribbean islands have struggled with the ever-growing accumulation of the seaweed since 2011. The produced pulp carries the same cellulosic qualities as paper and can be further developed into cardboard. Sargassum is a form of micro-algae that can kill some species and pose risks to coral reefs. It also releases odorous gases when dried, which can induce headaches, nausea and respiratory difficulties. 

Springwise | 14 Feb