ESG Today: Week in Review

News Today

Mark Segal wrote a blog on April 14, 2024.

This week in ESG news, several stories have emerged. The SBTi has decided to permit the use of carbon credits in net zero goals. Japan has disclosed its proposed sustainability reporting standards. The EU has passed regulations that demand new structures to be zero emissions by 2030. Watershed has launched a new solution to CSRD sustainability reporting. Lululemon has introduced its first-ever product featuring new recycled polyester tech and captured carbon. A study conducted by MSCI reveals that there has been improvement in scope 3 reporting by firms, but the United States is still a long way behind. ISS has purchased a software provider for sustainability reporting, while there have been capital raises for technologies such as direct air capture, hydrogen mobility, community solar, and methane removal tech. EY has picked a new global head of private equity ESG, and a lot more ESG news can be found.

Take a look at the most important events of the previous week and stay updated with all the latest ESG news at ESG Today.

Achieving Sustainability: Goals And Actions

The SBTi has decided to give carbon credits a stronger position in achieving net zero emissions targets. This announcement comes as the SBTi has faced criticism for being too rigid in its approach to net zero targets. Carbon credits allow companies to offset their emissions by investing in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, the use of carbon credits has been controversial because it can allow companies to continue emitting instead of reducing their own emissions. The SBTi's decision means that companies will be able to use more carbon credits to reach their net zero targets, but with additional requirements and limitations to ensure they are still committed to reducing emissions and transitioning to renewable energy sources. This shift in approach reflects a growing realization that achieving a net zero future will require a diverse range of strategies and solutions. While reducing emissions should always be the top priority, carbon credits can play a useful role in accelerating progress towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.

SSAB, a leading steel producer, has recently invested $5 billion towards constructing a new steel mill that operates without fossil fuels. This initiative aims to reduce Sweden's carbon dioxide emissions by up to 7%. This sustainable approach by SSAB is a vital step towards combatting climate change.

Lululemon has recently introduced a brand-new item created using state-of-the-art recycled polyester technology known as "Captured Carbon". This marks the first time that the company has used this type of material in its products. The Captured Carbon technology involves the collection of carbon emissions directly from factories and other industrial sites, which are then converted into usable material for clothing. This process is both environmentally friendly and sustainable, as it helps reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. The new Lululemon product featuring this innovative technology is both stylish and functional, making it a must-have for any eco-conscious consumer. It also shows that the company is committed to making more sustainable choices when it comes to producing their clothing.

Featured Article - The Increasing Demand for ESG Controllers: Influencing Sustainable Corporate Practices The idea of ESG controllers is becoming increasingly popular as businesses are looking to incorporate sustainable practices into their operations. These controllers are responsible for monitoring and reporting on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors that could have an impact on the company's bottom line. With a growing number of consumers and investors looking to support businesses that prioritize sustainability, ESG controllers play a critical role in helping companies meet these demands. They provide guidance on best practices for reducing carbon emissions, promoting diversity and inclusion, and ensuring ethical conduct throughout the supply chain. The rise of ESG controllers marks a significant shift in the way businesses are approaching sustainability. Rather than treating it as an afterthought, companies are recognizing its importance and making it a core part of their strategies. In turn, this has led to more innovative solutions and technologies to help businesses operate in a way that's both profitable and sustainable. All in all, the role of ESG controllers is necessary in shaping the future of sustainable business practices. As demand for sustainable solutions continues to grow, companies that prioritize ESG factors will be better positioned to succeed in the long run.

The European Union has recently implemented regulations mandating that all newly constructed buildings must produce zero emissions by 2030.

The European Parliament has approved a legislative measure to create a certification system for carbon removal. This new law aims to establish a credible and transparent system that will guarantee the effectiveness of carbon capture. The certification system will be developed for those companies that invest in carbon removal projects. The objective is to promote more investments in these kinds of projects that are essential to mitigate the effects of climate change. The measure guarantees that the removal of carbon dioxide will be accurately measured, monitored, and verified. The certification system will facilitate the monitoring of carbon removal efforts and provide valuable information about how much carbon the EU can store. This information will help policy-makers and businesses make more informed decisions about their carbon reduction commitments. The decision to establish a certification system for carbon removal is a fundamental step towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. The EU is committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. The certification system will help the EU achieve its green targets by ensuring that carbon removal projects are verified and credible.

The state of West Virginia has decided to prohibit HSBC and Citi from obtaining a banking agreement due to discrepancies in their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies.

According to MSCI, over 40% of publicly traded companies are now disclosing their Scope 3 emissions. However, the United States is falling significantly behind in this area.

Blog Article: Caught Off Guard by the CSRD? Here's What You Need to Be Aware Of.

Japan has recently unveiled suggested sustainability reporting standards that are based on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). This move is expected to promote transparency and consistency in sustainability reporting across different companies operating in Japan. The proposed standards will incorporate key sustainability indicators, such as greenhouse gas emissions and diversity and inclusion policies, alongside financial performance metrics. The goal is to enhance the credibility of sustainability reporting, which has become increasingly important to both investors and stakeholders. The proposed standards are open for public comment until September 30, 2021, and are expected to come into effect in the fiscal year starting April 1, 2022.

ESG Tools And Services

Preqin Unveils Fresh Standards to Evaluate ESG Investments in Private Markets

The International Space Station (ISS) has obtained a start-up company called Celsia that specializes in creating software for sustainability reports. This acquisition marks a significant investment for ISS in the development of sustainable technologies. The software allows companies to track their sustainability practices and improve their overall impact on the environment. The hope is that this technology will be able to create a more sustainable future for individuals and businesses alike.

CarbonChain recently unveiled their revolutionary solution for the reporting of emissions in commodity supply chains. This breakthrough technology streamlines the process of reporting carbon emissions across several stages of the supply chain. The release of this innovative tool is a huge step towards sustainability and transparency.

Watershed has recently introduced its innovative Sustainability Reporting Tool for the CSRD industry. This new solution offers advanced features to help businesses assess their environmental and social impact more accurately. The Sustainability Reporting Tool is designed to help companies meet the ever-changing demands of regulatory bodies and sustainability frameworks. It enables businesses to track their data and visualize their progress towards sustainability goals, making it easier to identify areas for improvement. This innovative tool is a great step forward in supporting the CSRD industry's efforts to become more sustainable and create a better future for all.

Investing In Startups & Companies

Nexamp, a solar energy company located in the United States, has received funds amounting to $520 million for the purpose of speeding up the installation of community solar panels.

Toyota has recently announced the launch of a brand new venture fund with a whopping worth of $150 million. The objective of this fund is to develop innovative and effective solutions that will tackle the ongoing global climate crisis. This new venture fund, known as the Climate Solutions Fund, will be managed by Toyota AI Ventures, the automaker's investment division and will be primarily focused on investing in startups and small companies that concentrate on developing ideas to combat climate change. The Climate Solutions Fund seeks to provide support to promising early-stage tech companies in developing new solutions related to zero-emission mobility, renewable energy, energy storage, hydrogen production, and more. This initiative is a part of Toyota's larger commitment to supporting a sustainable future, spearheaded by the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, their long-term environmental plan to build sustainable measures and explore technologies towards a better earth. With this new fund, Toyota aims to influence the ecosystem that will lead to significant environmental advancements and sustainable innovation. The effort will not just help startups in need of funding but also help accelerate the deployment of new technologies into the market and support ambitious entrepreneurs who share a vision of a more sustainable future. The Climate Solutions Fund is now actively looking for newly established start-ups and budding entrepreneurs who are committed to reducing carbon emissions and actively contributing to the growth of the global climate solution. Additionally, Toyota is also keen on partnering and collaborating with big organizations that share their mission of accelerating the transition to a net-zero world.

A startup called HysetCo, which is focused on providing hydrogen-powered transportation solutions, has recently secured more than $200 million in funding. This is a significant achievement that will enable the company to further develop its technology and expand its operations. The funds will be used to improve the production of hydrogen-powered vehicles and increase their availability for use in public transportation fleets. This is a step towards a cleaner, more sustainable future for our planet.

The cleantech startup called Mission Zero has recently accumulated a whopping $28 million funding for the expansion of their Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology. This brilliant solution is designed to remove carbon from the environment in an efficient and sustainable manner.

A new company called Windfall Bio has received $28 million to expand its innovative solution to reduce industrial emissions using methane-eating microbes. This funding will enable Windfall Bio to grow its operations and make a positive impact on the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The company's technology has already shown promising results, and this new investment will allow them to scale up their business and make an even bigger impact. By continuing to develop and refine their solution, Windfall Bio has the potential to revolutionize the way we think about industrial emissions and make a significant contribution to combating climate change.

Chevron and Carbon Direct Capital have made a joint investment of $45 million in ION Clean Energy, a tech firm specializing in carbon capture technology.

Barclays has recently named Rafael Abati as one of the Co-Heads of the Energy Transition Group in EMEA. Abati is now in charge of leading one of the most important sectors for the bank. In this role, he will be primarily responsible for ensuring that Barclays stays ahead of the market trends in the energy transition industry. This includes finding innovative ways for the bank to invest in this sector and develop strategies that will help their clients transition to renewable energy sources. Abati brings a wealth of experience to this new role, having previously worked for RBC Capital Markets, where he held a number of senior positions related to the energy transition sector. His expertise, combined with Barclays' reputation as one of the leading banks for energy transition investments, makes him an excellent fit for this position. With the increasing demand for renewable energy sources, it is crucial that banks like Barclays stay ahead of the market trends and continue to innovate in this ever-changing industry. The appointment of Abati as Co-Head of the Energy Transition Group in EMEA is a step in that direction and signals Barclays' commitment to playing a leading role in the sector.

The act of pollination has employed a group of lawyers who specialize in environmental issues, with Sarah Barker serving as their leader.

Chase Jordan has been selected by EY to serve as the Global Head of Private Equity ESG.

Kathryn Barber has been named as Orchard Street's Head of Responsibility and ESG. This is a significant move for the company, as they are showing their commitment to being environmentally and socially responsible. Barber will be responsible for ensuring that Orchard Street meets its responsibilities as a real estate investor. She will also be in charge of developing the company's ESG strategies, which will ensure that they are always working towards sustainability. This is an exciting time to be working for Orchard Street, as they continue to be a leader in the real estate industry and an inspiration to many other companies.

B Capital, a venture investor backed by BCG, has appointed senior personnel to steer their climate platform.

ESG Today was founded by Mark after working in investment management and research for 20 years. Before ESG Today, Mark worked at Delaney Capital Management (DCM) in Toronto, Canada as the head of U.S. equities and was a part of the firm’s ESG team. His work involved assessing the sustainability factors that impact portfolio companies and determining the suitability of companies for portfolio inclusion. Mark also has experience in sell-side research industry where he covered the technology and services sectors. He holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BBA from York University in Toronto, and he is also a CFA charterholder.

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