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What's Happening? - Sustainability

Please see below selected recent intelligence about climate and sustainability. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at competitors, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers in our external environment.

 

August 2016

Please see below the latest CO2 emissions - in metric tons per capita - data, according to the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

 

 

 

 

 

  • It’s still a challenge for investors to get the information they need on environmental, social and governance issues. About 75% of the S&P 500 produced sustainability reports in 2015, up from 20% in 2011, according to the Government & Accountability Institute. But investors who want to use the information say the information they are getting is often difficult to compare between companies and tough to incorporate into forecasts. “We know investors care about this information,” said Mary Schapiro, the former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman in comments to a Bloomberg Sustainable Business summit in New York Thursday. Yet she added investors are “highly dissatisfied with the information they are getting today” and “can’t really use it effectively for their allocation decisions.”

 

 

  • Along with 78 other business leaders, PwC pledged support to a World Economic Forum (WEF) letter calling on world leaders who are attending the Paris climate change summit in December to agree an ambitious deal to mitigate the risks posed by climate change. This letter notes that hastening the shift to a low-carbon economy in an economically sustainable manner will generate growth and jobs in both the developing and developed world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Thousands of politicians, business leaders and civil society groups will gather just outside Paris next month for the biggest UN-hosted talks on tackling climate change since 2009. The Cop 21 summit will seek to agree a reduction in carbon emissions after 20 years of negotiations. The previous meeting in Copenhagen ended without agreement on how to share the burden. Click here for the Financial Times' latest coverage on climate change.

 

 

 

October 2015

 

 

 

 

  • A recent TED talk, Climate change is happening. Here's how we adapt, warned that we can continue to ignore the climate change problem, but if we do that, we are also choosing to adapt to very much more powerful climate impacts in future. And not only that. As people who live in countries with high per capita emissions, we're making that choice on behalf of others as well.

 

 

 

 

  • Deloitte announced the appointment of Eric Dugelay as Global Leader for Sustainability Services. Formerly a partner in Deloitte France and the EMEA regional leader for Sustainability Services, Dugelay will devote his full-time activities to the role previously held by Dave Pearson. A senior leader with DTTL, Pearson becomes DTTL Chief Sustainability Officer. Valerie Chort and Keiichi Kubo remain Americas and Asia Pacific Regional Sustainability Services Leaders, respectively. Deloitte Sustainability Services encompasses a multitude of disciplines, including strategy, innovation, assurance services, consulting, transaction support, and risk services. More than 2,000 professionals globally are devoted to Deloitte Sustainability Services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • PwC's Sustainability and Climate Change practice pay an important role in the debate on climate change and each year produce a ‘Low Carbon Economy Index’ to track the progress of the world’s largest economies towards meeting global carbon reduction targets. The 2015 report is now out, and indicates that last year saw a significant improvement in efforts to tackle climate change. Visit the LCEI spark page to read the full LCEI report and for information you can use to start conversations with clients, as well as messages you can share on social media.

 

 

 

September 2015

 

 

  • S&P Dow Jones Indices and RobecoSAM, an investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing, announced the results of the annual Dow Jones Sustainability Indices review. The three largest additions and deletions to the DJSI World in 2015 included, as additions, Bank of America Corp, Telefonica SA and BHP Billiton Ltd, and as deletions, Cisco Systems Inc, PepsiCo Inc and Royal Bank of Canada.

 

 

  • El Niño remains difficult to predict, yet authorities in e.g. Peru are taking fresh measures to respond. The World Meteorological Organisation has talked of a mature El Niño in the Pacific Ocean, potentially among the four strongest since 1950. Australia, India and Indonesia are already experiencing droughts and meteorologists believe there is a 95% chance that El Niño will last through the first quarter of 2016. There will be wide-ranging impacts in vulnerable economies, but they are likely to include smaller harvests. Although the EIU forecast a modest rise in global food prices in 2016, after four years of decline, its does not expect a major turnaround. Low energy costs, ample stocks and moderating demand growth in emerging markets should keep a lid on prices.

 

 

 

 

  • According to PwC's CEO pulse on climate change, many global companies acknowledge the reality of climate change and that it will impact their business. Yet, aside from a few very vocal advocates, CEOs have, up until now, tended to look at climate change through the short-term, tactical lens of rising energy costs and making energy efficiency improvements. As climate change starts to affect access to raw materials, the reliability and security of global supply chains, and even the type of products and services consumers demand CEOs must also take a strategic view - one that looks to the short, mid and long-term, to identify both the risks and opportunities for their business.

 

 

 

August 2015

 

 

 

 

  • According to INSEAD, sustainability focused startups are entering established companies’ market space, bringing both new threats and new opportunities. Employees want to work for them, customers are willing to pay more for their products and investors are eager to become shareholders. “Hybrid social ventures” like Whole Foods, Patagonia, and Honest Tea that combine commerce with sustainability missions are leading the movement for sustainability oriented innovation in business. For established companies that were not necessarily built with sustainability in mind, these new entrants are competing for their most attractive customers and talent. Customers that prefer sustainability oriented products and services tend to be young and relatively wealthy. Talented employees who have a choice of where to work, particularly millennials, increasingly want to use their skills at companies that they perceive to be doing good in the world. A continued generational shift toward sustainability-oriented values threatens to shift the balance even further in favour of companies that have sustainability baked into their DNA.

 

 

 

July 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2015

 

  • INSEAD warned that companies get stuck in box-checking when it comes to sustainability. But there is substantial value to be found in making sustainability a strategy.To capture the full value potential from the issues that impact one’s stakeholders, more is needed than the stereotypical checking of boxes in a sustainability report. Companies that exclusively use their materiality matrix (which is used for deciding which CSR initiatives to invest in) for reporting purposes fall into the “reporting trap” where basic environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting apparently fulfils the entire sustainability requirements of the Board and the company’s shareholders. Failing to transpose materialities into a well executed sustainability strategy will lead to missed opportunities for innovation and engagement of stakeholders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 2015

 

 

  • Water is fundamental to business – to heat, cool, clean and as an ingredient. Having too little or too much, or water that’s too dirty or too expensive can have devastating effects. Yet, water is the most problematic of resources – think about the reliability and quality of the supply; the impact of drought and flooding; having to manage it on the way out as well as the way in; and having to share it with other users. It’s a challenge for a business in its direct operations and its supply chain, and is often an unquantified risk in its portfolio. PwC therefore launched the Water Hub, where you’ll find everything you need here to engage your clients in a conversation about water. And the right SMEs to introduce to your clients when they want to discuss their water challenges in more detail. Please see Global water network.

 

 

 

February 2015

 

 

 

January 2015

 

 

 

 

 

December 2014

 

  • Project Syndicate warned that the use of plastic must be reined in. Since the 1950s, worldwide production has increased by a factor of one hundred. Every year, more than 280 million tons of plastic is produced, with vast quantities making their way into groundwater, rivers, and oceans – and onward up the food chain. Though plastic is not biodegradable, not a single country has pledged to prevent it from entering our environment.

 

  • The world will need more and better targeted financing to meet the challenges of global development post-2015, argued the OECD. This means taking important decisions not only on what qualifies as official development assistance, but also on how those flows can be most strategically used. An important objective is to provide a better picture of the total resources available for global sustainable development, including for action on climate change, as it is now widely understood that climate change and development are intrinsically linked.

 

 

 

November 2014

 

  • Technology is at the cutting edge of efforts to make growth more sustainable. As the global population swells and more people move into higher consumption classes, the demand for food, for energy, for water, will all increase. But the resources our planet offers will not. Clearly the status quo is not sustainable. So the question is, how do we use these scarce resources more efficiently? How do we allow everyone to benefit from economic growth, without impinging on opportunities for future generations? The answer for Grant Thornton, is through technology.

 

 

 

  • PwC published its latest corporate sustainability update. In this year’s report PwC continues to pioneer new ways of describing corporate performance in order to provide better quality information to our stakeholders. If you have the time, please share your thoughts on it by completing the short survey at the end of this article.

 

  • KPMG launched a guide meant to help companies pinpoint issues that matter most to investors in a bid to improve sustainability reporting. Sustainable insight: the essentials of materiality assessment, breaks down assessment of materiality in sustainability into seven phases and seeks to link key issues in sustainability with processes such as enterprise risk management. KPMG says the guide seeks to fill a growing need for materiality assessment amid a growing international focus on sustainability reporting with new reporting frameworks and accounting standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative G4 Guidelines, the International Integrated Reporting Framework and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.

 

 

 

 

 

October 2014

 

  • An EIU report Sustainable at every level? Reaching new heights through good values found that for asset managers and other institutional investors, what is required is a fundamental shift away from short-term incentives and reporting and toward more long-term strategies. A deep change in attitudes across the whole investor community is required to ensure businesses are confident their sustainability initiatives will boost, not damage, their attractiveness to investors.

 

  • Dow Jones published its annual Sustainability World Index. The ever widening assessment criteria included tax strategy (to address the growing risks associated with tax optimisation schemes); social and environmental reporting factors, including materiality; human capital development policies; and performance scoring related to occupational health and safety, and talent recruitment and retention.

 

September  2014

 

  • The Economist cautioned that most corporate sustainability plans rarely amount to more than cost-saving measures and compliance with regulations, plus a few projects with a public- relations punch, but fall well short of putting sustainability at the heart of what firms do. For some companies, though, that is changing.  It added that, while the first wave of sustainability  rewarded itself",the new wave will not do that. It is more akin to investing now to have a licence to operate in future, with consumers, lobbyists and regulators ever more demanding about the way firms behave.

 

 

 

August 2014

 

 

 

 

July 2014

 

 

 

June 2014

 

 

  • With a global climate deal due in 2015, carbon pricing will play a key role in controlling emissions. This has implications for clients with carbon-intensive assets or investments. The 9th IETA GHG Market Sentiment Survey, that PwC produced, analyses private sector views on carbon pricing. In it, carbon market participants suggest China may put a price on emissions, with a carbon market or similar mechanism expected in the coming years. For a copy of the report, click here.

 

 

May 2014

 

 

 

 

March 2014

 

 

 

 

February 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 2014

 

 

 

 

 

December 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 2013

 

 

  • PwC published its latest Global Green Policy Insights. Highlights of this edition:China elevates environmental protection to a 'pillar industry'; UK focuses on shale gas, consulting on a proposed tax regime and announcing community benefits; Spain introduces energy market reforms further cutting renewable support and South Korea proposes carbon tax on fossil fuels and electricity and CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 - What's driving climate change action in the world's largest companies?

 

 

 

 

 

October 2013

 

 

 

September 2013 

 

  • To assist policymakers and the energy industry with pressing forward sustainable energy systems, the World Energy Council, in collaboration with Oliver Wyman, prepared the report World Energy Trilemma: Time to get real – the case for sustainable energy investment. This second of a two-part series of reports examines the drivers and risks preventing the development of sustainable energy systems. It then recommends an Agenda for Change to address these risks and to accelerate a global transition to more diversified, and therefore sustainable, energy systems that will present opportunities for economic growth.

 

  • The Arctic’s summer sea ice is set to nearly vanish in less than 40 years, according to the final draft of a sweeping UN climate change report that sharply revised past estimates of how fast the icy north is melting. “A nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in September before mid-century is likely,” said the draft of the first large-scale study in six years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The retreating ice is encouraging for Arctic nations such as Russia, which is trying to boost shipping traffic along its icy Northern Sea Route. But it is worrying for scientists because of what was described in a recent study as an “economic time bomb” that could explode if the melting Arctic permafrost releases vast plumes of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and drives significant climate change.

 

 

 

 

August 2013

 

 

  • KPMG named the US, Japan, the UK, France, South Korea and China as the most active during Q2 2013 in using tax policy to drive sustainable corporate behaviour and achieve green policy goals. The finding is part of the first ‘KPMG Green Tax Index,’ which explores how governments use tax systems to meet global challenges such as energy security, water and resource scarcity, pollution and climate change.

 

 

 

July 2013

 

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