Apple launches green bond, Carlsberg's science-based targets, retailers linked to viscose pollution, Hershey cuts packaging waste, RSPO grows, and WBCSD calls for action on food waste

Apple launches $1bn green bond

Following Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, Apple has launched its second green bond underlining its commitment to climate action.

The US company is launching a $1bn green bond offer designed to finance clean energy and environmental projects. The move comes a year after its first green bond of £1.5bn, launched in response to the Paris Agreement.

The company lobbied President Trump to reconsider his decision regarding the international agreement. In a statement, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson said: “Leadership from the business community is essential to address the threat of climate change and protect our shared planet.”

Reports said as well as clean energy, the bonds would finance new sustainable supply chain initiatives and work to develop greener materials for its products. The sale was organised by Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase. 

Green bonds have been under the spotlight recently. Bram Bos, senior portfolio manager for sustainable credits and green bonds at NN Investment Partners, this week warned the bonds need more transparency and assurance for investors and their advisors. He told FT Adviser that there was a clear need for green bond issuers to report on quantitative impacts to measure the impact green bonds have on the environment. At the moment, the voluntary industry standards governing green bonds do not include quantitative key performance indicators.

Bos said: "Investors want to compare bonds and either include or exclude them from their portfolios according to their own standards. A clear code would significantly increase demand for green bonds and mark a major step forward in encouraging more issuance of green bonds."

See how other leading figures and companies plan to honour US commitments to the Paris Agreement here.


Carlsberg aims for zero carbon emissions by 2030

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THE CARLSBERG Group has signed up to the Science-Based Targets initiative and committed to eliminating carbon emissions and halving water usage at its breweries by 2030 as part of its new sustainability programme, Together Towards ZERO.

The strategy, which the company said was in response to consumer demand, includes an intermediary target to use 100% renewable electricity at its breweries by 2022.

The Together Towards ZERO programme is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and sets out science-based targets consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C; halving brewery water usage by 2030; offering 100% distribution of alcohol-free beer by 2022 to expand consumer choice; and targets for a year-on-year reduction in the accident rate for all Carlsberg employees.

Cees t’Hart, CEO of the Carlsberg Group said: “Our clear targets and ambitions reflect the mentality of our founders to always strive for perfection and contribute to society through science. The world needs leadership, which is why we've made it a top priority to improve the world of tomorrow in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”


H&M, Zara, Marks and Spencer linked to viscose factory pollution

Credit: Changing Markets Foundation

MAJOR FASHION brands including H&M and Zara are buying viscose from highly polluting factories, according to a report by the Changing Markets Foundation called Dirty Fashion.

The evidence was gathered by the foundation, which works in partnership with NGOs and research organisations to shift the market towards environmentally and socially beneficial solutions, across Indonesia, China and India. It showed that viscose factories are dumping highly toxic wastewater into local waterways, destroying marine life and exposing local workers and populations to harmful chemicals.

The report reveals links between the polluting factories and major European and North American fashion brands, including H&M, Zara, Marks and Spencer, Asos, and Levi’s, amongst others.

H&M is buying directly from seven of the polluting factories investigated and Zara/Inditex from four. While several brands, including H&M and Zara, have committed to more sustainable sourcing of wood pulp, used to produce viscose, the manufacturing of viscose receives little oversight from retailers.

Natasha Hurley, campaign manager at Changing Markets, said: “This report reveals that some of the world’s biggest brands are turning a blind eye to questionable practices within their supply chains. With water pollution increasingly being recognised as a major business risk, shifting to more sustainable production processes should be high on retailers’ agendas.”

Changing Markets is calling on retailers and brands to implement a strict zero pollution policy, and conduct regular audits to make sure it is implemented.


Hershey’s makes inroads on cutting packaging waste

Credit: Hershey

THE HERSHEY Company has launched “25 by 25” sustainability goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and water use by 25% by 2025, as part of its annual sustainability report.

The confectionary company has also pledged to reduce packaging waste by 25m pounds (11m kilograms) by 2025, as part of a commitment to its Shared Goodness CSR strategy. In 2016 an innovative new packaging system reduced corrugated cardboard waste by 3.12 million pounds.

The performance summary for 2016 showed that CO2 emissions fell to 57.10 metric tons from 58.03 metric tons, however total direct greenhouse gas emissions rose to 110,889 metric tons of CO2 equivalent from 103,668 metric tons CO2e in 2015, due to a rise in NOx, SOx, and particulate emissions. Water use per 1,000 products produced also rose slightly (0.74 gallons from 0.70 gallons) while waste generated rose to 43,524 metric tons from 39,920 metric tons.

Hershey said it increased its certified and sustainable cocoa sourcing to 60% of all cocoa purchased in 2016 and remains on track to reach 100% by 2020. The company also expanded its Nourishing Minds partnership, which aims to provide children with basic nutrition, in Ghana, the US, Canada, and China. Its goal is to provide basic nutrition to one million children by 2020.

"Hershey has a long heritage as a purpose-driven company and Shared Goodness reflects our conviction that strong company performance is intrinsically linked to a responsible and sustainable operation," said Michele Buck, president and CEO. "As we share our progress this year, I'm most proud of our employees, who dedicate their time and talents for a greater good."


Roundtable for sustainable palm oil adds 300 members

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MEMBERSHIP of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has grown by 10% in the past year, with 300 new members.

The RSPO, which aims to ensure palm oil companies are adhering to environmental best practices, have seen its membership reach over 3,400 companies across the palm oil supply chain.

The group also announced a new partnership with UNICEF to promote business practices on children’s rights and workers’ welfare in the palm oil sector.

Darrel Webber, chief executive officer at RSPO, said in a statement: "It's important for the industry to acknowledge the social issues it faces if we want to find sustainable solutions. The partnership with UNICEF represents an opportunity to collaborate, promote best practices across the industry and address some of the existing gaps in our sector."

 RSPO also unveiled a new interactive mapping service it developed with the World Resources Institute that provides detailed satellite mapping information on RSPO members’ certified mills, land, topography and fire alerts.

WBCSD calls for more collaboration on food waste

Credit: WBCSD

THE WORLD Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is calling on businesses to address challenges relating to nutrition and sustainable food production, focusing on collaboration.

The WBCSD told companies in a conference this week that more science-based methodologies are needed as part of a cross-sector collaboration through the entire food supply chain. Alison Cairns, managing director of food solutions at WBSC, said one of the top priorities is to reduce food waste, which generates $940bn in global economic losses annually.

Cairns said: “Almost all the world’s food comes from private sources, including many very small companies and producers. We all need to do much more to address the big issues to accelerate sustainably produced food.”

She added: “This requires a more positive spirit of cross-sector collaboration than we may have seen in the past, and a readiness for all parties in the sector to work together. The past focus on food productivity alone is giving way to concerns over better nutrition, diet and health for people around the world, and also to more sustainable ways of producing food which truly values our natural resources.”


food waste  WBCSD  Palm Oil  supply chains  Hershey's  chocolate  packaging  M&S  Zara  H&M  viscose  pollution  carlsberg  emissions  carbon  Apple  green bond 

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