B&Q bans neonics, SAP aims for carbon-neutral, H&M joins EP100, philanthropy award for Hoare, How2Recycle scheme grows

B&Q bans suppliers from using neonics

Leading DIY retailer B&Q said this week its flowering plant range will be grown without using neonicotinoid pesticides from February 2018, a move it said was in response to declining bee populations.

“In 2013 we reviewed the use of neonicotinoids in our garden chemical products,” said Rachel Bradley, B&Q’s sustainability manager. “As a result of the findings, and ahead of EU restrictions, we withdrew all pest control products containing the three substances most linked to the decline in bee population.  We are now able to confirm that, to further support pollinators, we are encouraging everyone to do more for wildlife and to that end we will ensure that none of the flowering plants we sell will be grown using any pesticide containing any of the nine neonicotinoids.” 

The announcement comes on the launch of a new report from B&Q, “The Nature of Gardens”, that provides tips on how people can make their gardens more wildlife-friendly. The report, written in partnership with social enterprise Bioregional, found that one in five people with small gardens did nothing for wildlife, citing time, space, money and lack of knowledge as the biggest barriers.

See Ethical Corporation's four-part briefing on bee decline, Plight of the bumblebee

SAP aims to become carbon-neutral by 2025

Credit: SOMMAI/Shutterstock

SOFTWARE giant SAP said this week it will be carbon neutral in its own operations by 2025 as it gave an update on its sustainability plans.

SAP, the number one software company on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index last year, has a target to cut its emissions to 2000 levels by 2020, which it is on target to reach through energy efficiency measures, and buying 100% renewable electricity certificates for its facilities and data centres.

Chief sustainability officer Daniel Schmid said: “We are well on track to achieve our current carbon target. But we have the ambition to remain a frontrunner and look beyond 2020. By 2025, we will become carbon-neutral in SAP’s operations. This is the logical next step in SAP’s long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) avoidance strategy,” Schmid points out.

Along with internal carbon pricing for CO₂-free train and air travel and the implementation of carbon-neutral fuel cards for company cars, part of SAP’s carbon neutral strategy is the investment in climate protection projects such as the Livelihoods Fund, started by a group of French companies, which channels money into re-forestation and climate-protection projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

“We know there is always a risk of greenwashing,” Schmid said. “To avoid this, we have put together a set of key criteria describing the quality standard for the procurement of CO₂-offsets such as the Gold Standard that we will apply with great scrutiny when selecting new projects.”

H&M, Cree to double energy productivity

Credit: Sorbis/Shutterstock

H&M THIS week became the first international fashion retailer to sign up to The Climate Group's EP100 campaign, pledging to double the economic output from every unit of energy it consumes by 2030.

H&M made the announcement at the 2017 Energy Efficiency Global Forum in Washington DC.  It last month unveiled a new sustainability strategy to become ““climate positive’  by 2040 through closed-loop and renewable targets. As part of the new commitment, H&M plans to build future stores that use 40% less energy per square metre, and by 2025, the firm aims to have all its supplier partners enrolled in an energy efficiency programme.

“Using less energy and increasing our economic output is a fundamental part of our strategy,” said H&M global sustainability business expert Pierre Borjesson.

US-based Cree, a market leader in LED lighting, also announced it had signed up to EP100.

“H&M and Cree have been taking bold steps on energy productivity and we are delighted to welcome them to EP100 and showcase their ambitions to link smarter energy use with business growth objectives,” The Climate Group head of energy productivity initiatives, Jenny Chu, said.

new report from the Energy Transitions Commission indicates that a 3% annual improvement in average global energy productivity through to 2050 is required to limit global temperature rises to below 2 degrees Celsius.

Hoare wins City of London philanthropy award

ALEXANDER Hoare, partner and director of Hoare & Co, the oldest privately owned bank in the UK, has been awarded the 2017 Beacon Award for City Philanthropy. The award, which celebrates change-making philanthropy, is sponsored by the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust.

The eleventh-generation private banker was recognised for creating a new social investment institution that will open up the market to individual investors as well as institutions.

Together with the Panahpur Trust, led by James Perry, Hoare committed more than £2m of his bank’s £10m Golden Bottle Trust endowment in Project Snowball LLP, a diversified portfolio of debt, equity and venture investment in “social-first” entities. 

They now plan to attract other partners who wish to grow a social investment institution, “which may be the first of its kind in the country, or in Europe,” says Hoare.

“When the fund gets to a certain size, around £30m, we will take it to IPO and aim for £100m plus. Then the person on the street can go to the stock exchange and buy a diversified social investment instrument to put in their ISA or their portfolio. It is perpetual capital that will grow and grow. We call it the Berkshire Hathaway of social investment,” says Hoare.


Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo join US How2Recycle scheme


NESTLE WATERS North America, PepsiCo, and Unilever are among eight global brands to join America's How2Recycle labelling programme. More than 60 brands representing $295bn in sales revenue in North America participate in the programme and the labels can be found on thousands of products. Other companies to join are Campbell Soup Company, Church & Dwight, Henkel, Ocean Spray Cranberries, and RB.

“Accurate on-package recycling labels such as the How2Recycle label are critical in helping consumers know how to recycle more and better,” said Kelly Cramer, How2Recycle leader at Sustainable Packaging Coalition.

How2Recycle is the only US-based standardised labelling system that communicates recyclability information on package to consumers. Walmartbegan incorporating the How2Recycle label into its brand-owned product packaging in 2016 and has encouraged brands that sell at its stores to follow suit. The move has had an industry-wide impact.

“Recovering plastic bottles that deliver beverages to consumers is one of our highest priorities because failing to do so means plastic ends up in landfills, natural areas and our oceans. This is not acceptable and we are committed to doing our part to solve the problem,” said Nelson Switzer, chief sustainability officer at Nestlé Waters North America.



fsustainable fashion  wildlife  climate  energy efficiency  recycling  waste  SRI 

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