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.
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Sustainability stories from around the web
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
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 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 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
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
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 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
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