Why the ESG bandwagon must embrace adaptation

March 2, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Why the ESG bandwagon must embrace adaptation Peter A. Soyka Tue, 03/02/2021 – 02:00 With the explosive growth of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing in recent years, it appears that we may be at or approaching an inflection point. As ESG investing becomes ever more prominent, it may be timely to ask whether, as currently practiced, it considers all issues of material importance to investors. In this commentary, we suggest that current ESG research, analysis and investing practices pay insufficient attention to one of most important issues of our time: how people, societies and companies will adapt to a changing climate, and what that portends for stock and corporate bond investments. The elephant in the room To their credit, the sponsors of several prominent initiatives to promote climate-related disclosure (such as CDP) expressly request information on organizational risks and plans to address them. Accordingly, there is at least some expectation that such disclosures would describe alternatives to business-as-usual conditions and how the reporting entity might respond to them. Perusing a typical annual report or 10-K will show, however, that even today most corporate planning and forward-looking disclosures reflect the assumption of stable business conditions. (Entities issuing securities — stocks or bonds — in the U.S. that may be purchased by the public must provide regular disclosure of important operating and financial information at defined intervals. These requirements include the issuance of an annual report and accompanying audited summary of key financial information [Form 10-K], as well as quarterly financial reports [Form 10-Q].) It’s time for ESG to consider how people, societies and companies will adapt to a changing climate, and what that portends for stock and corporate bond investments. This state of corporate reporting and disclosure poses a problem for investors. Science and recent events tell us that environmental, societal and economic conditions will look very different in 20 years than they have in historical memory. Among the increasingly likely effects predicted by climate scientists and analysts are the following: “managed retreat” — abandonment of major portions the coastline and other low-lying areas in the United States and countries around the globe; potentially severe impacts on water availability, agricultural production, human health, productivity and other fundamental support systems and processes underlying viable societies; vast numbers of climate refugees, including in advanced economies; and failed nation-states. In the face of these threats, it is clear that greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation is necessary (to minimize future climate changes), but not sufficient. Now, and increasingly as these effects compound, adaptation to climate impacts must receive at least commensurate attention, promotion, support and funding to that dedicated to climate change mitigation efforts. (Indeed, this fact has been acknowledged in the 2016 Paris climate agreement.) Profound changes in climate and severe weather are locked in for the next several centuries and will comprise “the new normal.” Given this increasingly clear reality, mitigation is necessary to keep us from moving too far out into uncharted and very dangerous territory. Equally important though, is how well we will adapt to the inevitable changes. The practice of ESG must adapt If one accepts that climate change adaptation is vital, the next questions are how to make it happen and where to start. Fortunately, some productive steps have been taken, such as the guidance issued by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) regarding scenario planning. Attention to scenario planning as recommended by the TCFD can facilitate greater focus on the adaptation and resilience challenges faced by organizations and, in turn, inclusion as ESG factors. Careful planning and investment decisions that take account of climate impacts and include infrastructure that will better withstand these impacts needs to become standard business practice. Facility-siting decisions should further account for climate vulnerabilities and the adaptation steps that local governments are taking to address them. Similarly, a rapidly changing climate requires some rethinking of corporate sourcing. Many organizations will be negatively affected when previously reliable supplies of materials, energy, workers, components, sub-assemblies and other vital inputs are disrupted. Procurement and distribution systems will need to extensively integrate predicted climate impacts and more agile methods as supply chains become increasingly susceptible to climate change impacts. Thus, adaptation of the supply chain to increase resilience represents an important ESG consideration. Moreover, as the current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has amply demonstrated, many companies already have over-extended their supply chains and have eliminated redundancies to the point at which they have become insecure and subject to failure, or not resilient enough to withstand additional shocks to the system. The number and scale of looming climate change impacts likely will appear with an uneven spatial distribution, so it will be essential for larger, multi-site organizations (multinational corporations) to evaluate and strengthen existing stakeholder relationships and perhaps form new ones. This, too, is a form of adaptation worthy of ESG consideration. These networks and collaborations will be particularly important in the context of the local communities housing company plants, distribution centers, headquarters, major offices and other facilities. Partnerships with other businesses and governments to encourage collective adaptation actions where they leverage complementary capabilities and are cost-effective also will be essential. At a more general level, the challenges posed by the need for climate change adaptation provide corporate and other organizations with an opportunity to examine important aspects of their current orientation and operations through strategic planning. Performed thoughtfully, such strategic planning efforts can yield a revised or clarified vision and mission; actions indicated through a business, portfolio or asset review; a realigned organizational structure; and an updated understanding of indicated management steps to address business and financial risks. Companies that accept and play this role effectively will prosper in the years ahead, while those that do not will experience increasingly limited prospects and eventual failure. To spur this necessary transition and, as always, provide asset owners with reliable positive risk-adjusted returns, professional investors must demand that corporate issuers provide evidence that they are actively managing their own adaptation to the new world that we are creating. This commentary is part of a series on emerging issues from Adaptation Leader. Pull Quote It’s time for ESG to consider how people, societies and companies will adapt to a changing climate, and what that portends for stock and corporate bond investments. Topics Reporting ESG GreenFin Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Shutterstock

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Why the ESG bandwagon must embrace adaptation

Endangered black-footed ferret is successfully cloned

February 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The birth of Elizabeth Ann, a black-footed ferret, on December 10, 2020, marked a major achievement in the recovery of the species. Elizabeth Ann is the first black-footed ferret to be cloned with the aim of increasing the genetic diversity of the species. The now 2-month-old ferret was created from frozen cells of a black-footed ferret that lived over three decades ago. Black-footed ferrets were once considered extinct , but a family of seven was discovered in 1981. The ferrets were captured to be protected by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Having been recovered from only seven ferrets, the current population of the species lacks genetic diversity. The recent cloning is important given that the clone parent, Willa, was recovered from the last wild black-footed ferrets and did not belong to the line of the recovered seven. Samples of the wild ferret were preserved at the San Diego Zoo Global’s Frozen Zoo from 1988. Related: San Diego Zoo successfully clones an endangered Przewalski’s horse To improve the species’ resilience to diseases, several organizations have come together. Among the partners involved in the process include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Revive & Restore, San Diego Zoo Global, ViaGen Pets & Equine and the Association of Zoos and Pets. “The Service sought the expertise of valued recovery partners to help us explore how we might overcome genetic limitations hampering recovery of the black-footed ferret, and we’re proud to make this announcement today,” said Noreen Walsh, director of USFWS, Mountain-Prairie Region. “Although this research is preliminary, it is the first cloning of a native endangered species in North America, and it provides a promising tool for continued efforts to conserve the black-footed ferret.” The journey to cloning has been long and with many obstacles, according to Ryan Phelan, executive director of Revive & Restore. “We’ve come a long way since 2013 when we began the funding, permitting, design, and development of this project with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.” Phelan said. “Genomics revealed the genetic value that Willa could bring to her species .” According to Walsh, while cloning is one of the ways to improve the genetic diversity of the species, the organizations are also paying attention to habitat-based threats in their efforts to recover the black-footed ferret population. + U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Images via USFWS

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Endangered black-footed ferret is successfully cloned

You can make this 3D-printed, bioplastic face shield at home

February 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many issues of waste into the spotlight, starting with the sheer quantity of petroleum-based personal protective equipment (PPE) used in the medical field and by everyday users gearing up to go to the grocery store or park. Designer Alice Potts homed in on this problem early, countering it with face shields made from food waste and flowers. These face shields required more than just a little research and development. Potts wanted to tackle the issue of plastic-based PPE but approached it by also addressing food waste . Potts said the face shields are biodegradable , because they are a product of food and flowers collected from local markets, butchers and households in the surrounding London area. The variety of organic materials affect the final product, meaning that each mask varies in unique ways. Related: Engineering student turns food waste into renewable energy “Every colour is completely seasonal depending on what flowers are blooming, what vegetables and fruits are growing and earth that is in and around London,” the designer said. Potts was initially inspired by her brother, a paramedic who reported a lack of PPE for himself and other first responders and medical care workers. So Potts set out to create a more sustainable option intended for the public, because the shields likely don’t offer the same level of protection as required in a medical care setting. With the recipe for the face shield and a design for the 3D-printed top section, Potts plans to make the template available to everyone via an open-source design. “I want to combine the advantages of technology with sustainability to form a template of the top of a face shield that can be 3D-printed from recycled plastic with a bioplastic recipe for the shield for people to make at home,” she said. The Dance Biodegradable Personal Protective Equipment (DBPPE) Post COVID Facemasks, as Potts named them, will be on exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, an event that highlights art, design, and architecture and runs through April 2021. + Alice Potts  Via Dezeen   Images via James Stopforth and Sean Fennessy via Alice Potts

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You can make this 3D-printed, bioplastic face shield at home

SoilKit wins recognition through Lowe’s small businesses program

February 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Through the “Making It…With Lowe’s” program, entrepreneurs around the U.S. had the opportunity to showcase their products and innovative ideas. Three winners were picked out of many products and various entries into the program. One of these standouts is SoilKit, and the story behind the kit is just as interesting as the product itself. SoilKit is a soil test kit created by fifth-generation farmer Christina Woerner McInnis. This Alabama resident used her grandmother’s knowledge of soil health and modern soil chemistry to create a kit that will help aspiring gardeners keep their soil healthy. McInnis spent her younger years working on her grandmother’s farm, which dates to 1908. She decided to help everyday homeowners and gardeners expand their soil knowledge and make it easier for them to achieve soil health. Enter SoilKit, a comprehensive product that allows anyone to gather and submit a soil sample for expert lab reports and extensive information about the soil. Because she found a way to simplify a process that has been mostly performed by scientists and serious soil enthusiasts in the past, Lowe’s offered her a top supplier marketing development package and a Small Business Grant for $5,000. Consumers can purchase SoilKit right now. Making It…With Lowe’s is a $55 million program designed to support small businesses and provide opportunities. Lowe’s has also released a three-part YouTube series showcasing the three standout small business owners who recently submitted their impressive ideas. “Lowe’s began nearly a century ago as a small-town hardware store, and we know small business is the backbone of our economy ,” said Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s president and CEO. “Our Making It…With Lowe’s program attempts to give these diverse small business owners a shot at the American Dream – and inspire others through their stories.” Small businesses that are at least 51% minority-owned, woman-owned, veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, disability-owned or LGBTQ-owned are encouraged to apply to the  Making It…With Lowe’s program. + Lowe’s Images via Lowe’s

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SoilKit wins recognition through Lowe’s small businesses program

Hyperloop desert campus imagines futuristic solar-powered oasis

February 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Begum Aydinoglu of  Pada Labs , Mariana Custodio Dos Santos and Juan Carlos Naranjo have been recognized among the 30 finalist teams for their Hyperloop Desert Campus design, a competition entry for a futuristic  Hyperloop  test center in last summer’s Young Architects Competitions (YAC). The competition brief challenged designers to create an eye-catching building in the Mojave Desert in Nevada that would not only help advance one of the most futuristic means of transit but also serve as a “sanctuary of science.” In response, the trio of designers created a visually striking proposal that focuses on resilience in terms of environmental sustainability, future-proofing and knowledge sharing.  In their Hyperloop Desert Campus proposal, the trio reimagined a seemingly inhospitable stretch of the Mojave Desert — North America’s driest  desert  that stretches across four states — into an oasis. Their curvaceous Hyperloop test center design is centered on four courtyards with water elements that support the growth of tall palm trees and other greenery.  “The symbiosis between the rough landscape and the iconic technology, helps The Hyperloop Desert Campus find its form,” the design team explained. “The building was designed to seamlessly rise from the desert ground of Nevada …the building’s design spirals up – inspired by the speed of traveling – large corridors loop around these Oasis, crossing and interchanging levels, resembling complex interchange high-ways in form and function.” Related: First passengers make history on BIG-designed Hyperloop Pegasus pod At the heart of the design is the concept of resilience. The looping building proposal is flanked by solar panel farms that generate renewable energy while the courtyards are engineered for rainwater collection and graywater recycling. The landscaped courtyards would also help promote airflow for natural cooling. Resiliency is further explored through inclusive knowledge sharing with educational tours, multiple technical cores that establish a fail-safe emergency system, and built-in expandability with adaptable interiors to allow for flexible future growth.  + PadaLabs Images via PadaLabs

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Hyperloop desert campus imagines futuristic solar-powered oasis

Shahar Livne turns recycled ocean plastic into Balenciaga jewelry

February 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Award-winning conceptual material designer Shahar Livne collaborated with fashion design company Balenciaga to create a new line of jewelry made from recycled ocean plastic . Inhabitat caught up with Livne to hear more about the process and inspiration behind the project. “The collaboration took inspiration from my ongoing speculative research project ‘Metamorphism,’ which investigates the future of plastics within the geological record of the Earth and the rebirth of it as a possible future semi-natural material I named ‘Lithoplast,’” Livne told Inhabitat. “In the  ‘Metamorphism’ project, I use different plastics, ocean plastics, or landfill-designated plastics, in developing the new jewelry collection we worked with both, mainly PP and HDPE.” The jewelry line will be available for purchase on the Balenciaga website in May 2021. Related: Nonprofit Washed Ashore crafts art and jewelry from ocean plastic The ocean plastic comes from Oceanworks , a worldwide marketplace for recycled plastic products and raw materials. The company sources plastic materials from all over the world, focusing mainly in Southeast Asia, where it says 60% of the world’s ocean plastic originates. The jewelry line, which consists of bracelets, earrings and rings, also uses marble waste material sourced from a marble processing company as well as landfill-derived plastic from recycling companies. “It was interesting for us to work with OceanWorks-provided materials since we wanted to find the most sustainable and social option,” Livne went on to say. “OceanWorks is a global network that collected plastics from different areas, among them the oceans, with the help of fishermen and other beach cleaning operations, and the connection seemed perfect.” The designer followed a similar process to her “Metamorphism” project, using heat and pressure to create a composite material. The material is then molded by hand into vintage -style shapes designed by Balenciaga, 3D-scanned to create a mold (in order to recreate a coherent style for the entire collection) and then finished by hand by Livne herself. + Shahar Livne Design Via Dezeen Images via Balenciaga and Shahar Livne Design

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Shahar Livne turns recycled ocean plastic into Balenciaga jewelry

How climate change can be addressed through executive compensation

February 8, 2021 by  
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How climate change can be addressed through executive compensation Nidia Martínez Mon, 02/08/2021 – 00:44 Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are increasingly becoming incorporated across all aspects of organizations, including business strategies, operations and product/service offerings. Recent global research of boards of directors by Willis Towers Watson found that 70 to 80 percent of respondents have identified ESG priorities and developed ESG implementation plans. However, only 48 percent have fully incorporated ESG into their businesses, indicating that organizations are at different stages in their ESG journeys. While the most cited reason for taking ESG actions is that they see it as the right thing to do, over three-quarters (78 percent) of respondents indicate that they believe ESG is a key contributor to strong financial performance. Although many organizations have adopted ESG principles, executives and boards could do more to meet the demands of institutional investors, customers, employees and other stakeholders especially in regard to climate change risk. Some 41 percent of respondents ranked the environment — including climate change — as their leading ESG priority; and 43 percent anticipated it will remain No. 1 in three years. A particularly effective way to advance ESG principles is through redefining responsible leadership. And one of the most useful tools in prompting leaders to address climate change and make their organizations more sustainable is through compensation and incentive programs, and the incorporation of new climate-action metrics into such programs. Rising demand for sustainable solutions The drive to make companies more climate resilient and sustainable started with institutional investors, long aware of climate risk. Consumer awareness, likewise, has grown significantly as climate change becomes more apparent in their daily lives amid news stories about extreme weather, such as wildfires. Many consumers are more conscious than ever when choosing brands whose policies meet their own interests. For some, this attitude carries over as a factor in the companies they choose to work for, further encouraging organizations to incorporate climate action and sustainability, among other ESG criteria, to help attract and engage the best talent. Only 48% of CEOs are implementing sustainability into their operations. Despite this backdrop, many boards have not incorporated climate awareness into their organizations yet. Analysis of company public disclosures conducted by Willis Towers Watson shows that while about 11 percent of the top 350 European companies have CO2 emissions linked to their incentive plans, only 2 percent of US S&P 500 companies have it. As we look forward, nearly four out of five (78 percent) survey respondents plan to change their use of ESG priorities in executive incentive plans over the next three years, with 40 percent looking to introduce ESG measures into long-term incentive plans and nearly one-third looking to increase the prominence of environmental measures. Executives acknowledge need for climate action Despite the lack of environmental and climate metrics in executive compensation and rewards programs, executives acknowledge the need to address climate risk. According to a 2019 survey by the United Nations (UN) and Accenture , 71 percent of CEOs believe that — with increased commitment and action — business can play a critical role in contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Yet only 48 percent of CEOs are implementing sustainability into their operations, consistent with the findings from Willis Towers Watson’s research as noted earlier. Our research found that the most common challenges cited when incorporating ESG metrics into executive compensation plans include setting targets (52 percent), identifying (48 percent) and defining (47 percent) performance metrics, and establishing time periods to affect meaningful change (35 percent). Given these responses, it is fair to assume that the lack of standardized climate change metrics is holding back the wider adoption of including climate action in executive compensation. Furthermore, every business has a measurable carbon footprint. Therefore, boards can make reducing that footprint — with the ultimate goal of reaching carbon neutrality — a metric for their organizations and incorporate it into executive compensation. As every industry is different, the metrics to incentivize climate action need to be customized by sector, as highlighted through the industry-specific standards provided by the Sustainability Accountability Standards Board or other climate change disclosure frameworks such as the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). As organizations refine their climate change strategies and disclosures, they can start to consider the linkages to their executive compensation programs. Multiple ways to link executive pay to climate action As indicated by our research, more boards will be linking relevant climate action measures to executive incentive plans over the next few years. There are a few ways to make the connection, ranging from underpins to modifiers to short-term incentive (STI) plans to key performance indicators (KPIs) within long-term incentive (LTI) plans to standalone hyper-long-term incentive plans. An underpin (or minimum funding threshold) is most appropriate in the case of a company with meaningfully high CO2 emissions that newly introduces climate sustainability metrics. It should include a threshold or basic level of CO2 emissions required for some payout under other incentive plan metrics to occur. An individual performance rating modifier can be tailored to an individual’s role and improve line-of-sight for more qualitative or strategic climate change objectives, but it may not promote collaboration by participants to achieve a common material goal. Plan modifiers are standalone metrics that consider the “how” and the “what.” A modifier allows for the entire STI or LTI award payout to be increased or decreased by a certain percentage. If the underlying target is met, then no modification would be made and the underlying STI or LTI award would be made based on the other metrics. KPIs provide a direct measure that reinforces the importance of climate change and usually are easily communicated, quantifiable objectives. A more highly weighted metric requires clear linkages to funded metrics, but the KPI needs to have a material weighting to demonstrate its importance to plan participants and external stakeholders. KPIs in LTI plans introduce standalone climate change metrics that are most appropriate if there is a longer time horizon to produce measurable results (such as carbon emission reductions). A drawback, however, is the length of performance period may dilute momentum to achieve sustainability results, the key drivers of LTI plan performance, and could de-emphasize financial/market performance. Standalone incentive plans are separate from other incentive plans, with the sole purpose of measuring sustainability performance and reducing climate risk (such as a hyper-long term that aligns with the sustainability strategy). Such plans encourage participants to take a longer-term view of performance, but they may be difficult to communicate or viewed as duplicative of other incentives. Because most CO2 emission reduction targets tend to have longer-term horizons, the typical annual and three-year incentives may not be directly aligned with these goals. Nonetheless, even short-term incentives can have a significant impact in terms of corporate culture. But to encourage longer-term decision making (for example, a target period of 10 years) often associated with large capital investments, and to emphasize its prominence, companies could introduce a separate, hyper-long-term incentive plan focused solely on CO2 emission reductions. Modern incentive plans are based on time as a constant (such as one- or three-year performance periods) and performance as a variable (achievement of threshold, target, stretch goals). However, a hyper-LTI could allow a different variation, in that the performance goal could be treated as constant (CO2 emission reduction of 50 percent) and time could be treated as the variable. Thus, encouraging early achievement of goals via incentive upside, and conversely punishing delayed achievement of CO2 reduction targets with an incentive downside. Climate-related measures can provide a return on investment through reduced energy consumption and waste in addition to the goodwill of stakeholders such as investors, customers and employees. Implementing such incentive arrangements may not be straightforward. Companies will need to consider whether and how best to rebalance other components of pay, how to deal with disclosures of mega-LTI grants, and ensure that targets are sufficiently stretched so that proxy advisers do not perceive these plans to have soft targets as way of boosting executive pay. Large institutional investors have supported proposals for long-term alignment between CO2 emissions and incentives, provided that the quantum and opportunity are properly calibrated, and mechanics are carefully laid out. To convince skeptics, focus on the bottom line For boards and management that are a little more suspect of climate sustainability, consider that climate-related measures can provide a return on investment through reduced energy consumption and waste in addition to the goodwill of stakeholders such as investors, customers and employees. As the World Economic Forum’s January 2019 publication on effective climate governance for boards sets out, monetary incentives for senior management teams should be tied to long-term organizational goals that contribute to resilience and prosperity over time. There is little to prevent linking climate-risk and opportunity-related factors to compensation if they are material to an organization’s long-term sustainability, value creation and risk mitigation. Executive compensation always has been an effective tool to foster innovation. Now we must marshal its power to encourage the march toward a climate resilient future. Pull Quote Only 48% of CEOs are implementing sustainability into their operations. Climate-related measures can provide a return on investment through reduced energy consumption and waste in addition to the goodwill of stakeholders such as investors, customers and employees. Contributors Ryan Resch Topics Leadership Finance & Investing Risk & Resilience WEForum Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Illustration of a deal being closed. Shutterstock kentoh Close Authorship

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How climate change can be addressed through executive compensation

Let’s rid our work environments of the toxic smoke of dysfunction

January 25, 2021 by  
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Let’s rid our work environments of the toxic smoke of dysfunction Chris Gaither Mon, 01/25/2021 – 01:30 Before he saw the smoke, he felt it in his throat. It tasted foul. It curled into his nose, his mouth, his lungs. He looked up from his computer. His colleagues were tapping at their keyboards. The smoke hovered around them. He walked to his manager’s door. “This office is filled with toxic smoke,” he said. “Yes,” she said. “Don’t worry. We have a plan.” “What will you do?” he asked. “Install new ventilation? Move us to another space?” “No,” she said. “We’ve hired you an executive coach to help you develop strategies for dealing with the toxic smoke.” “But I don’t want to deal with the toxic smoke,” he said. “I want to get rid of it.” “Work with the coach,” she said. “Leave a few minutes early today. Get a massage. You’ll be okay.” We must approach our personal sustainability challenges as a problem with our ecosystem. I heard this parable last year, before the pandemic, from a fellow executive coach. It lodged in my gut. I realized that so many of my coaching clients — in big corporations and small nonprofits, sustainability teams and sales departments — were asking me for help dealing with the stress and dysfunction of their organizations. They were breathing the same toxic smoke as everyone around them. Sometimes they were, themselves, pumping that toxic smoke into their work environments. Yet they were suffering alone, trying to solve it alone. Just as I did during my hectic career leading teams at the Los Angeles Times, Google and Apple. If anything, the pandemic has increased the pressure on us to deal with this suffering in isolation. But here’s the thing: Avoiding burnout is not simply a matter of individual responsibility. It’s a leadership challenge, and we are all leaders. Throughout this Sustainable You series for GreenBiz, I have encouraged you to tend to your personal sustainability so you can do great work on behalf of the planet. This kind of self-care remains critical. But it’s insufficient. As environmental sustainability leaders, you are, by nature, systems thinkers. You identify root causes. You craft upstream solutions. You see the forests, not just the trees, and work to improve the ecosystems so the individuals in them can thrive. So, let’s approach our personal sustainability challenges as a problem with our ecosystem. To get to the root cause of the smoke, we need to think bigger. “You can’t expect people to adopt healthy lifestyles when their work environments reinforce or even cause poor habits,” says Jeffrey Pfeffer, an organizational-behavior professor at Stanford University. Pfeffer is the author of the 2018 book, “Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance — and What We Can Do About It.” He writes that companies have created elaborate systems for tracking their progress on environmental sustainability, but they seem to have forgotten to measure the human sustainability of their own employees. Current management practices harm employee engagement and job performance, Pfeffer says, and they increase employee turnover and healthcare costs. There’s even more at stake. To solve global, complex challenges like the climate emergency, racial injustice and species extinction, we must be adaptive leaders. We need to be mindful. Creative. Intuitive. Curious. Willing to experiment, learn and redesign. Open-minded and open-hearted. That’s so hard to do when we’re burned out. Organizational culture is a living, breathing thing. We draw from it, and we feed into it. We’re constantly creating it together. So, when everyone around us is stressed out, exhausted and closed off, it’s easy to shift into that same mode. Our mirror neurons, those evolutionary tools that help us build nourishing social connections, pick up on those signals and encourage us to be like the others. To suffer with the rest. I know this feeling well. I have held, deep in my body, the physical and emotional distress that burnout carries. We can work this way for a while, but eventually we deplete our energy and fall apart. As an executive leadership coach, I have supported many individuals to the other side of this burnout, where they’ve refilled their energy reserves and brought their creativity back to life. I’ve also followed my intuition upstream, seeking the origins of the toxic smoke. I work with full teams and their leaders to help them shift organizational culture: to slow down, reflect on what really matters, call out harmful behaviors, give themselves permission to embrace a more wholesome way of working. Healthy people, healthy planet A healthy earth depends on healthy people. To heal the planet, we must first heal ourselves. So, my fellow leaders, let’s set an intention to cultivate human sustainability in our organizations — for the sake of our employees and the communities and natural habitats they’re working to protect. Let’s look for the toxic smoke curling through our Zoom meetings, our email inboxes and Slack channels. Let’s name it, get curious about where it came from, chase it down to its source. Let’s pay close attention to the tone we are setting for our teams. The moods we are carrying into our interactions. The behaviors we are modeling. The harmful ways of being that we are introducing or accepting. Let’s check in on each other. Let’s work to understand how others in our groups are experiencing the world, how they might be suffering differently from us, and offer them support. Let’s talk about burnout and wellness — with our team members, fellow leaders, bosses, even our boards of directors. Let’s gather our teams. Let’s come up with, say, 50 things we could do to improve our health and happiness at work. Then let’s commit to new ways of being together. Let’s craft agreements and hold each other accountable. Instead of trying to manage the toxic smoke in our work environments, let’s get rid of it. Because only when we can breathe can we truly do this critical planetary work. Pull Quote We must approach our personal sustainability challenges as a problem with our ecosystem. Topics Leadership Health & Well-being Featured Column Sustainable You Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Shutterstock

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These changes to our food systems could improve human and planetary health

October 26, 2020 by  
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These changes to our food systems could improve human and planetary health Oliver Camp Mon, 10/26/2020 – 01:30 On the recent World Food Day, the clarion call was clearer than ever: We must fix our food systems to improve human health, drive economic growth and save the planet from environmental collapse. The challenges facing us are wide-ranging. The way the world produces and consumes food causes huge environmental impacts, and yet 3 billion people worldwide are unable to afford a healthy diet, and up to a third of the food we produce is wasted. What’s more, hunger and micronutrient deficiencies are concentrated among the poorest and most vulnerable — often including those who produce the food we eat. Meanwhile, the so-called double burden of malnutrition is on the rise: hunger and malnourishment coexisting with overweight and obesity, often in the same countries, communities or even individuals. Tackling these multiple challenges and threats requires coordinated action from the public sector, private sector, NGOs, civil society, innovators and actors throughout the food value chain. In my role at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (a Swiss-based foundation on a mission to advance nutrition outcomes by improving the consumption of nutritious and safe food for all people, especially the most vulnerable), I am constantly inspired by the passion and commitment of our partners across these sectors. In particular, young leaders who refuse to accept the status quo are already driving real change and positive impact in food and ag. Over the past two months, I reached outside my usual network to discuss this topic via email with six fellow honorees from the 2020 GreenBiz 30 Under 30 , to which I was named in June. In particular, our exchange explored how food systems can be made healthier and more sustainable as we look to a future in which we’ll need to find a way to produce enough food to nourish as many as 10 billion people while staying within planetary boundaries. We also considered the role of young leaders from the private and public sectors in this essential transformation. All comments expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of their organizations. Below are excerpts, edited for style and length. If you’d like to discuss these subjects and the future of food systems, join Oliver Camp’s roundtable session Thursday at VERGE 20 . Jennifer Ballen, head of global market operations, Indigo Ag What concerns you about the current global food system when it comes to environmental sustainability and human health? Only eight countries in the world spend less than 10 percent of their household income on food, with the United States spending the least amount (around 6 percent). In contrast, Nigeria spends over half of its household income on food, followed by nine other countries that spend over 40 percent on food. This is not because food is more expensive in Africa than it is in the United States. Au contraire, it is the reverse. The average American spends $2,392 per year on food while the average Kenyan spends $543 per year on food (World Economic Forum, 2016). The global food system, like many of the world’s Achilles’ heels, is representative of the tragedy of the commons: a renowned economic theory by which individual agents of a system using shared resources act in accordance to their self-interest at the expense of society. As the demand for the resource overwhelms the supply, each additional unit consumed directly harms those who can no longer reap the benefits. The chief impediment is that the gain is private, yet the cost is public. One juicy hamburger for you equates to (about) 600 gallons of water consumed, 0.126 pounds of methane released, 13.5 pounds of cattle feed that could have been consumed by a malnourished human, 64.5 square feet of land and the assuaging of animal species distinction, water pollution and habitat destruction. My biggest concern is running out of time. Looking back with regret. My grandchildren wondering how our generation let this happen. The world seems to be less nourished than ever before. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), there are almost 60 million more undernourished people now as compared to 2014. In 2019, 690 million people or 8.9 percent of the world population were undernourished. Moreover, to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, scientists posit carbon emissions must drop rapidly to 25 gigatons by 2030, or 7.6 percent emissions reduction every year over the next decade (United Nations). Pause and consider how difficult this will be considering the pace at which our population is growing. We must change our relationship with food. What gives you hope and optimism when you look at the future of our global food system? The problem is vast. In our world of finite resources, we need to revolutionize the way we produce and consume food to ensure enough nutritious food for 9.8 billion people by 2050. And we need to do so in a way that reduces the environmental devastation on our planet. Awareness is vital to ignite change. I am optimistic that the world is “waking up” Corporations, governments and individuals are enduring the conversation and mobilizing around solutions aimed at producing enough nutritious food for our growing population in a sustainable manner. We have access to myriad documentaries and books aimed at increasing awareness. I am witnessing the increase in education ignite behavior changes in some communities: less meat; less waste; more conscious decisions.  People, corporations and governments are seemingly taking action. We’re seeing a variety of interesting solutions and advancements from the private sector such as carbon sequestration on farms, meatless food that tastes like meat, greater access to vegetarian and vegan options and the use of technology to reduce food waste. The public sector is mobilizing around curbing hunger. We’re working with each other, not at each other’s expense. Collaboration is queen if we are to solve this thing. How can young sustainability leaders play a role in securing a nutritious and sustainable future of food? Long-lived, profitable habits are hard to change. While some ignore the issue at hand, others point to the food system as “broken.” Both are dangerous vantage points. The chief impediment to the notion that a system is broken is the illusion that a system can easily be fixed. A different point of view is that the food system is not broken, but instead working exactly the way it was built — by and to the advantage of the rich at the expense of the poor. We don’t need small tweaks and improvements: We need a revolution.  The battle against climate change is vital. The more troops the merrier. Learn, share, act. Sustainability leaders of all ages must educate themselves on the systemic food production and consumption challenges and subsequently educate others. Sustainability leaders should vote those with strong environmental platforms into office. Leaders should also ‘vote’ with their wallets, supporting companies that are part of the solution and avoiding companies that are part of the problem. When designing solutions, it’s imperative to understand that the climate crisis and therefore the global food crisis disproportionately affects people of color, particularly Black and Indigenous peoples, who are more likely to live near toxic areas, be inflicted by pollution and climate-related diseases, experience lagging response to emergencies — the list, unfortunately, goes on. Sustainability leaders must vote at the polls and with their wallets. We need strong public sector commitments to mitigate the global food crisis. Sustainability leaders should vote those with strong environmental platforms into office. Leaders also should “vote” with their wallets, supporting companies that are part of the solution and avoiding companies that are part of the problem. Leaders must lead by example in their own food consumption habits. Is your household dependent on meat? Do you know where your food is coming from and how it is produced? Charlotte Bande, global head of climate strategy, Quantis International What concerns you about the current global food system when it comes to environmental sustainability and human health? I think the first element is how slow we are moving in the right direction. While I understand the complexity of these supply chains and how difficult it will be to fully transition to a more sustainable food system, we are losing critical time in endless debates that are not focusing on action.  A great example is accounting. Companies often spend months if not years trying to get the accounting perfect, and this can shift the focus away from action as a result. Accounting methodologies are yet to be refined and finalized and, in the meantime, companies need to try to find a balanced way to track progress while also taking action. Secondly, companies are setting individual targets to try to solve a global challenge. By focusing on reducing their own impacts instead of looking at things holistically, they sometimes end up losing sight of critical pieces and actually driving change. It leads them to focus on optimizing their current business models rather than taking a step back and look to transform it. To give some concrete examples of what I mean, let’s talk about three major transformations that our food system needs to undertake to become more sustainable, and where we are not seeing the right pace of change. Deforestation is a critical environmental challenge associated with the food system. It drives most of the food and beverage industry climate impacts, threatens biodiversity and water, as well as habitat for people and animals. While many companies are very aware of this issue, they are working on it in a siloed way, which significantly limits opportunities for improvement. Companies have targets that push them to fix their own supply chain, but this can lead to simply shifting the problem to another company’s supply chain. Companies are setting individual targets to try to solve a global challenge. By focusing on reducing their own impacts instead of looking at things holistically, they sometimes end up losing sight of critical pieces and actually driving change. Food loss and waste is another big environmental topic. And like deforestation, it affects much more than the environment alone. We need to feed 11 billion people in the future, and some studies estimate food loss and waste amounts to up to 50 percent of food production. Food loss and waste is very poorly measured right now, and most value chains are not equipped to understand the extent of food loss and waste that is occurring in their supply chain or at consumer levels. However, this is a topic that brings great economic and social opportunities. Reducing companies’ food loss and waste not only would help drastically reduce the food system’s heavy impact at the raw materials extraction stage, it also would help reduce costs, as less food would need to be produced to feed 11 billion people in the future. It might even help farmers earn more for what they sell. Finally, meat consumption. Animal protein production is heavily reliant on feed that is fossil-dependent and contributes to deforestation. To reach a 1.5 degrees Celsius world, we’ll need a paradigm shift in the way we raise animals, and regenerative agriculture practices can and should be a part of the solution. However, in addition to improving practices, there is an opportunity for producers to rally around the idea that less and more sustainable meat options, which will be critical to limit global warming, can still be good for business. These examples show the importance for every company to take a step back and look at the overall picture, understand what a 1.5 degrees C food system looks like, and define how their business model will need to shift to guarantee not only that we can stay within planetary boundaries, but also to ensure their business’ long term resilience. What gives you hope and optimism when you look at the future of our global food system? The first thing is the shift in consumer mindsets. In Southern California, where I live, I can see the explosion of interest in our local farmers’ markets or the appearance of plant-based options on restaurant menus. To me, this really shows a demand from consumers for these products. On a corporate level, working with companies at Quantis, I have seen a major shift over the past few years. Companies now have a good sense of where their major drivers lie and are seeing the case for some environmental actions. Additionally, they start to better identify where risks associated with a siloed approach might occur and ensure that their identified solutions aren’t simply shifting impacts. Finally, NGOs like the WWF are working to define what a sustainable food system looks like, and I’m hopeful that bringing more clarity on the level of sector-wide transformation needed will help companies take the transformative actions we need. How can young sustainability leaders play a role in securing a nutritious and sustainable future of food? I believe it is our role to make these risks and opportunities more visible. During conversations with companies we work with at Quantis, I always try to bring a more global perspective in our discussions, supporting companies in identifying the questions that will put them on the right path and broadening the conversation towards business model transformation rather than incremental changes.  It’s also our role to share our knowledge with the people we know. Not everyone works in our fields and has access to the information we have. We should use this to help others make better-informed decisions by helping them learn what we have learned throughout our careers.  And finally, ask more from our politicians and governments. This is a global challenge that will require collective action. We need everyone on board. Arturo Elizondo, CEO, Clara Foods What concerns you about the current global food system when it comes to environmental sustainability and human health? I am deeply concerned about our reliance on animals to make our food. From a sustainability standpoint, animal agriculture emits more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector (all the planes, ships, cars in the world combined). And from a health standpoint, it’s the cornerstone of the Standard American Diet directly fueling heart disease as the No. 1 killer in the country. What gives you hope and optimism when you look at the future of our global food system? Conscious consumers give me hope. People voting with their dollars. If it weren’t for conscious consumers actively trying to eat more sustainably, pushing companies to source better and more ethical ingredients, and striving to eat less meat and animal products, the sustainable food-tech startups that can scale massively to transform our food system would have a harder time getting off the ground. How can young sustainability leaders play a role in securing a nutritious and sustainable future of food? Advocate for plant-based options at your corporate cafeterias, get you and your colleagues at work to do Meatless Mondays, and get you and your friends excited about out all the new plant-based foods that are now ubiquitous. Demand drives supply. A tiny ripple can create a tsunami. It makes a difference. Alyssa Harding, executive director, Sustainable Food Trade Association What concerns you about the current global food system when it comes to environmental sustainability and human health? Our food system as it is today is broken and is disconnected from the needs of its stakeholders. Our planet’s 500 million smallholder farmers tend to be the most impoverished and malnourished groups, not to mention the disproportionate lack of equitable access to healthy, nutritious food that low income, minority communities often face. We need to find sustainable and equitable solutions that provide nutritious food to almost 10 billion people by 2050, and remedy the global food inequity that permeates our communities and supply chains. What gives you hope and optimism when you look at the future of our global food system? The global pandemic has illustrated that local, sustainable supply chains are more resilient, and with the rise of regenerative organic agriculture, it is clear that a redefined food system can provide an opportunity for climate impact and environmental justice. I’ve worked with many brands over the past few years who are intrinsically motivated to find good food solutions and think business as a force for good has a unique role to play in both climate action and social justice. Although sustainable food systems lag behind energy and health when it comes to investment and policy, we are at a critical mass to help push forward sustainable development, focus on equitable food access, and diversify our leadership to better serve our economies, people and planet. How can young sustainability leaders play a role in securing a nutritious and sustainable future of food? Many of my colleagues can be considered young leaders, and youth climate activists have been gaining a lot of momentum in terms of educational awareness and producer responsibility. I feel very fortunate to pursue both my personal and professional passions in one role, and I think that young leaders can bridge the gap between industry/sector leaders and bring new technology innovation, research hubs, new financing mechanisms and radical collaboration to our conversations on building a truly holistic food system. José Miguel Salazar, senior specialist, corporate sustainability services, CSRone What concerns you about the current global food system when it comes to environmental sustainability and human health? Since the Industrial Revolution, as humanity we have been achieving unprecedented progress in terms of decoupling famine from our living conditions due to advances in technological innovation, science and more efficient industrial practices, among others. However, our modern food systems also have brought a new set of global challenges that require urgent attention and action to fix systemic failures that threaten our way forward. In terms of environmental sustainability, our current global food system accounts roughly for 12.8 percent of our total global greenhouse gas emissions , and its contribution as a sector to climate change is quite significant. In addition, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that roughly a third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted along different stages of the value chain. If food waste alone were a country, its emissions would rank third in carbon emissions after China and the U.S. Fixing our food system is an important component to address the urgent climate crisis and at the core lies decoupling our reliance on animal-based foods, which overall have a significantly higher footprint than plant-based foods. We as sustainability professionals have a unique positioning in our organizations, networks and communities to serve as ambassadors or influencers to communicate these challenges and emphasize the opportunities … In terms of human health, based on the latest estimates from the Global Nutrition Report, globally one in nine people is hungry or undernourished, and one in three people is overweight or obese. These findings indicate that a very significant percentage of the world’s population is affected by malnutrition and at least by one or some of the following health issues: poor child growth; micronutrient deficiencies; overweight and obesity; and non-communicable diseases. These health issues ultimately could bring serious and lasting burden for individuals and their families, for communities and for countries. The convergence of these challenges creates unprecedented risks for the sustainability of our natural environment and the development of societies and economies. Moreover, we need to keep in mind that our world population is expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050, hence food production would have to be increased to meet growing demands and, of course, we would have to bring innovations along the value chain. In this regard, what concerns me the most is our ability to accelerate the innovation and change at scale that is needed on time and in ways that respect human well-being and the environment. What gives you hope and optimism when you look at the future of our global food system? There are several positive signals of change I’ve been observing in the last few years. But I’d like to highlight three in particular: 1. Growing awareness and changing behaviors. Increased access to education and modern communication technologies have brought more attention towards these issues, and rapidly emerging groups of consumers advocate and favor food products that are more nutritious, with lower environmental footprint and that contribute to regenerative agricultural practices. This is still a niche market from the total, however many social enterprises, companies and even multinational corporations are understanding and designing or re-adjusting their operations to meet these emerging needs. 2. Advances in technologies and their applications. Solving these challenges requires addressing a number of gaps (food production gaps, agricultural land area use gaps, GHG mitigation gaps, inequities gaps, nutrition outcomes gaps, etc.) and this requires better collection and analysis of data. Emerging new technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence can help us to understand and identify areas to invest resources and increase positive impact. 3. The rise of multi-stakeholder initiatives. Organizations such as GAIN, the FAO, the Global Nutrition Report, the WEF and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) provide important platforms for different stakeholders to convene and develop system-wide proposals and solutions. These initiatives can be implemented on the ground through the collaboration of governments, investors, business, NGOs, civil society and consumers that have the capacity to accelerate change and scale up the innovations where needed the most while creating shared value. Solving the food systems challenge is an immense task and it could not be addressed by one stakeholder alone. How can young sustainability leaders play a role in securing a nutritious and sustainable future of food? Since this is a very complex and systemic challenge, I think there are plenty of areas where sustainability leaders can advance progress. Any sort of innovation brought along the value chain (production, storing, processing and packaging, distribution and consumption) will be important. There is a great report from the World Resources Institute (WRI) that offers a set of five solutions to ensure we can feed 10 billion people by 2050 without increasing emissions, fueling deforestation or exacerbating poverty. I highly recommend everyone interested in the topic to take a look at it. In my view, anybody can exercise the role of a positive agent of change in these topics and move forward solutions; however, in terms of how and where can young sustainability leaders be most influential, I believe it is through the advocacy of the risks and opportunities from the food system failures internally in their organizations and externally with the wider society and governments. We as sustainability professionals have a unique positioning in our organizations, networks and communities to serve as ambassadors or influencers to communicate these challenges, but also and most importantly emphasize the opportunities of creating shared-value and proposing practical initiatives that can bring these opportunities forward.   Katerina Fragos, manager, sustainability and climate change consulting, PwC What concerns you about the current global food system when it comes to environmental sustainability and human health? I have three concerns with the global food system. First, a large majority of medical practitioners will tell you that nutrition is not well-covered in medical school curriculum just as several farmers will tell you that regenerative agriculture techniques are not yet well-understood in their community groups. This means that two of the most important stakeholders in our health and food system are missing the knowledge and tools to entrench sustainability within the system. Second, modern life has decoupled us from the food system, with many of us never visiting a farm or tending to a garden in our lifetimes. A lack of exposure to the various steps in our food system value chain makes it challenging to understand just how damaged the system has become. Third, the cheapest and most available foods are also often the least healthy and sustainable. We need to start replacing calorie-dense, nutrition-devoid foods with plant-based, nutrition-rich alternatives to make the healthiest foods the most accessible and affordable. What gives you hope and optimism when you look at the future of our global food system? I am encouraged by the large number of medical professionals focusing on communicating and simplifying the complex science behind nutrition and health to empower people to make more informed food choices. There are fantastic sources of information available. To name a few: Dr. Michael Gregger’s NutritionFacts.org and Daily Dozen app as well as Dr. Will Bulsiewicz’s Fiber Fueled . There is also a great deal of momentum around regenerative agriculture with organizations such as the Land Institute , Regeneration International and RegenAg taking the lead. Interestingly, certain experts, like Dr. Zach Bush, have even begun to triangulate the concepts of health, nutrition and regenerative agriculture through efforts such as the Farmer’s Footprint . How can young sustainability leaders play a role in securing a nutritious and sustainable future of food? From a personal perspective, a few actions to consider: transition towards a plant-based diet; aim to grow our own food (start small with herbs) if possible; try to buy from local farmers; look for third-party certifications (RFA, organic, etc.). From a professional perspective, there are plenty of opportunities to drive action. For instance, aim to influence the spending habits of the organization you work for (catered events, cafeteria options), work for food manufacturers and retailers to help accelerate their transitions to more sustainable and regenerative models; participate in sustainable food advocacy groups or organizations. Pull Quote Sustainability leaders should vote those with strong environmental platforms into office. Leaders should also ‘vote’ with their wallets, supporting companies that are part of the solution and avoiding companies that are part of the problem. Companies are setting individual targets to try to solve a global challenge. By focusing on reducing their own impacts instead of looking at things holistically, they sometimes end up losing sight of critical pieces and actually driving change. We as sustainability professionals have a unique positioning in our organizations, networks and communities to serve as ambassadors or influencers to communicate these challenges and emphasize the opportunities … Topics Food & Agriculture 30 Under 30 VERGE 20 Collective Insight 30 Under 30 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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These changes to our food systems could improve human and planetary health

BP, Shell, oil giants fund research into mobile carbon capture from ships at sea

October 26, 2020 by  
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BP, Shell, oil giants fund research into mobile carbon capture from ships at sea Michael Holder Mon, 10/26/2020 – 00:05 A coalition of oil and gas majors are eyeing up the potential to capture carbon dioxide emissions from ships out at sea, teaming up with global tanker owner and operator Stena Bulk to evaluate the feasibility of technology they claim could play a key role in decarbonizing the hard-to-abate sector. The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) — which represents 12 of the world’s largest oil and gas companies including BP, Shell, Exxon, Chevron, Aramco and Petrobras — revealed recently it is funding research alongside Stena Bulk into mobile carbon capture on board ships out at sea. The project aims to evaluate the technical and economic challenges involved in capturing CO2 from ships cruising the oceans, and is in part an extension to OGCI member Saudi Aramco’s research which it claims has successfully demonstrated carbon capture on board heavy-duty trucks on roads, it said. “Carbon capture will play an important role in reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions, but there’s no reason it needs to be limited to stationary applications,” said Michael Traver, head of OGCI’s transport workstream. “Expanding carbon capture to long-distance marine shipping could help accelerate its use, while addressing a difficult to abate sector of the transport industry.” Expanding carbon capture to long-distance marine shipping could help accelerate its use. OGCI claims mobile carbon capture technologies aboard ships could help the global shipping sector reach its current climate target to cut emissions by 50 percent by 2050, from a 2008 baseline — a goal that has faced criticism from green groups for lacking ambition. The research itself is also likely to provoke renewed criticism of the OCGI’s priorities, given it focuses on CCS technologies that would in effect prolong the use of fossil fuels to power ships, rather than on alternative, low or zero carbon shipping fuels that could transition the sector away from fossil fuels altogether. But Stena Bulk President and CEO Erik Hånell argued it was “increasingly evident that we need to evaluate as many potential solutions as possible that might help decarbonize the industry.” “Carbon capture might be such a solution with the potential to play a key role in this transition, and this feasibility study presents a unique opportunity for us to work with some of our key customers to understand and assess the technical and economic challenges involved in making carbon capture work onboard vessels,” he said. The global shipping sector is responsible for around 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and has received flak over its failure to come up with a detailed, ambitious plan to decarbonize in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The global shipping sector is responsible for around 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In 2018 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) — the UN-affiliated body which oversees the global shipping sector — agreed on a draft target to cut global emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2008, alongside targets to cut the average carbon intensity by at least 40 percent by 2030. However, details of the strategy have yet to be fully thrashed out, and crunch negotiations over how the industry should go about meeting its near-term 2030 climate goals are set to kick off today at the IMO, amid concerns from green groups that current proposals amount to an “empty shell. ” Meanwhile, the OGCI today announced that its members collectively have reduced the cut their absolute upstream methane emissions by 22 percent since 2017, shrinking the methane intensity of members’ upstream oil and gas to operations to 0.23 percent. It surpasses its target to cut methane intensity to 0.25 percent by 2020, and as such the OGCI has set a stricter goal of 0.2 percent by 2025. Moreover, the group claims to have cut its carbon intensity by 7 percent collectively since 2017, as it pushes towards its target for a 13 percent cut.  However, carbon intensity targets have faced increasing criticism from green groups, as organizations potentially can still increase their overall emissions by expanding their business while reducing the CO2 intensity of their operations.  Pull Quote Expanding carbon capture to long-distance marine shipping could help accelerate its use. The global shipping sector is responsible for around 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Topics Oil & Gas Carbon Removal Shipping & Logistics BusinessGreen Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Stena Conqueror is a Oil and Chemical Tanker, built by Swedish tanker giant Stena Bulk. The company is participating in a novel carbon capture project for shipping. Flickr royvanwijk Close Authorship

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