Nestlé digs deeper into regenerative ag, puts $3.6B behind net-zero plan

December 7, 2020 by  
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Nestlé digs deeper into regenerative ag, puts $3.6B behind net-zero plan Heather Clancy Mon, 12/07/2020 – 02:00 The world’s largest food company, Nestlé, last week said it plans to spend roughly $3.6 billion over the next five years to meet its net-zero by 2050 aspirations. But CEO Mark Schneider took pains to position this investment as one that will be “earnings-neutral.” Speaking during a virtual media briefing detailing its ambitious new climate plan — which includes an interim goal of halving its baseline of 92 million metric tons in annual greenhouse gas emission by 2030 — Schneider said many of its investments would be offset by operational and structural efficiencies. Nestlé will discuss its climate-related progress and investments on an ongoing basis, with the long-term view in mind. Schneider noted that at least 50 percent of the company’s shareholders have owned their positions for more than four years. “It’s not only about the next quarter, it’s about what’s happening down the road,” he said. That said, “all of this should never be an excuse for a short-term miss.” Currently, some of Nestlé’s managers have incentives aligned to meeting climate actions as part of their compensation. Moving forward, the entire executive team will have part of their pay tied to these metrics to ensure that “they have teeth,” Schneider said. Media Source Courtesy of Media Authorship GreenBiz Close Authorship Almost one-third of the money that Nestlé intends to invest will be dedicated to cultivating regenerative agricultural practices that improve soil health and reduce dependence on synthetic fertilizer across 500,000-plus farms from which Nestlé sources ingredients. Nestle intends to pay those farmers, as well as 150,000 other ingredient suppliers, a premium for adopting these techniques in a verifiable way. “Our actions will boost demand,” Schneider said during the briefing. “We will create the market for these ingredients.” The remaining money will be used to support the company’s goal of planting 20 million trees per year over the next decade in areas where it sources its ingredients and in completing the company’s transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2025. Nestlé has pledged that its sources of “key” commodities, including palm and soy, will be deforestation-free by 2022. (It’s at 90 percent currently.) During the briefing, Schneider and several other executives underscored the weight of consumers’ increasing expectation that brands work to reduce the carbon footprint of their products. In the short term, this might be a differentiator but over time “all companies and brands are heading in this direction,” said Nestlé global CMO Aude Gandon. That said, Nestlé is aggressively expanding its plant-based product portfolio — it has 300 scientists working on dairy alternatives alone — with brands such as Garden Gourmet (burger and sausage alternatives), Sweet Earth Foods (burritos and breakfast sandwiches) and Sensational Vuna (its first fish alternative).  Here are three other noteworthy components of Nestlé’s evolving strategy, formulated to support the company’s commitment to the United Nations “Business Ambition for 1.5 Degrees C” pledge in September 2019: A plan to switch the company’s entire global vehicle fleet to “lower emission options” by 2022. A deeper commitment to biodiversity, through a multicropping initiative and the use of more grain varieties (such as spelt and oats) in its recipes. A pledge to pay more for recycled “food grade” plastic in order to help stimulate demand. (It actually made this commitment back in January to source up to 2 million tons by 2025, and allocated $2.24 billion to support those intentions.)  Cornell economics and management professor Chris Barrett predicted that Nestlé’s new strategy — as well as moves announced earlier this year by Unilever — would have a ripple effect among suppliers and competitors across the food system. “The actions of big firms carry disproportionate importance,” Barrett said in a statement. “Their multi-billion-dollar investments are significant in their own right. But those actions especially matter because market leaders compel other firms to follow suit. The contractual terms they set for their suppliers and the expectations they raise among consumers will impact other food manufacturers, retailers and restaurant chains.” Topics Food & Agriculture Food Systems Regenerative Agriculture Renewable Energy Procurement Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Pictures of a recipes made with the Sensational Burger from Garden Gourmet. Courtesy of Nestlé Close Authorship

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Nestlé digs deeper into regenerative ag, puts $3.6B behind net-zero plan

HSBC invests in world’s first ‘reef credit’ system

December 7, 2020 by  
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HSBC invests in world’s first ‘reef credit’ system Jesse Klein Mon, 12/07/2020 – 01:45 Traditionally, offset markets have been focused on credits for atmospheric carbon sequestration or restoration projects. But there are many other ways industrial and agricultural operations harm the planet. Australian-based environmental project developer GreenCollar decided to tackle one problem by creating a new type of credit to address an environmental issue very close to its country’s heart: the degradation of the Great Barrier Reef. Behind climate change, the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef is poor water quality. Agricultural runoff from The Great Barrier Reef Catchments, a rural area covering 163,700 square miles of coastal Queensland that drains directly onto the reef, causes high levels of nitrogen and sediment to seep into the ocean and damage the reef ecosystem.  GreenCollar’s new system creates a marketplace for “reef credits” aimed at mitigating those practices. Similar to carbon credits, these reef credits are sold by farmers or project developers to organizations and companies looking to offset their environmental footprints. Those sales help fund improved land management practices. But instead of removing or avoiding carbon in the atmosphere, reef credits go toward helping improve water quality in this very specific area to protect the reef.  One reef credit in the GreenCollar system is equivalent to one kilogram of nitrogen, or 538 kilograms of sediment avoided from the ocean. Unlike carbon credits, which are focused on helping companies or individuals make removal claims, reef credits are about the abatement of pollution at the edge of the system. There is no scheme for removing nitrogen currently in the water system. Behind climate change, the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef is poor water quality. GreenCollar said it worked with farmers and verification auditors, including the Reef Credit Secretariat and EcoMarkets Australia , as well as the Queensland government and private sector buyers. including financial services giant HSBC, to develop, authorize and sell these new credits. “It was really important that the farmers were part of building the process itself,” said Carole Sweatman, general manager of water quality at GreenCollar. “No point in building this beautifully shiny architecture if you roll it out on the ground and find out people just can’t use it or it just doesn’t make sense to them.” The thousands of farmers in the Great Barrier Reef Catchments use fertilizer to grow sugar cane, bananas, avocados, mangos and tomatoes. But the high degree of rainfall in the area produces intense agricultural runoff into the ocean near the reef. Selling the reef credits funds investments in more efficient fertilizer practices such as matching the application to the needs of specific crops and removing compact soil to decrease excess runoff, according to GreenCollar. “Sometimes that means restructuring your whole farm,” Sweatman said. “Buying new equipment, installing GPS. Those kinds of things can add considerable costs.” In the grazing and ranching areas near the wetlands, erosion and gullies have allowed nitrogen and sediment to bypass the wetlands drainage system and enter directly into the sea. The revenue from the reef credits will help repair the landscape, manage drainage systems and combat cattle overgrazing to protect these areas, GreenCollar said.  GreenCollar created the credit architecture, including a standard set of rules for the credits and three approved methodologies vetted by the audit firms. To ensure the standard meets goals for additionality, ensuring that the credits lead to pollution mitigation that would not have happened without the money from selling the credits; and leakage, the unintended consequences that could lead to higher pollution by shifting demand from a protected area to an unprotected area, GreenCollar said it worked with third parties to create the verification system. The goal is to create a system that makes a real and significant impact on the reef while creating a marketplace for corporations, farmers and environmental achievements to intersect. I think people were skeptical that we’d actually bring corporates in. Any of those pessimistic views we’ve been able to dispel quite quickly. “The auditors themselves draw up the framework that they utilize to undertake the audit,” Sweatman said. “We’ve shared our own technical work, but they have to create their own templates and run that [verification] process.”  For example, leakage is a big concern for GreenCollar. While a farmer is making improvements in some areas on the land, it is possible for reverse outcomes to occur on the rest of the property. According to Sweatman, GreenCollar requires farmers to record information across the entire property so auditors know what is happening all over the farm. GreenCollar is working with 50 farmers and hopes to increase that to 180 over the next three years This is the first credit system created specifically to protect a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and understanding how farming practices can affect the health of the reef isn’t always straightforward, according to GreenCollar. “People are used to forest-type credits,” Sweatman said. “You can go out and count trees or use aerial photography to really understand what the potential is in a landscape and then just go and physically count things. In the nitrogen space, it’s not countable in that sense.” Similar to the marketplaces that support soil carbon credits, the GreenCollar reef credits rely on farmers sharing the personal records of practices on their properties, including how much fertilizer they apply and the systems they use to calculate that fertilizer amount.   GreenCollar also is faced with educating buyers about this new concept, not a simple feat when you consider that the traditional carbon credit market is already extremely confusing to potential buyers.  “I think people were skeptical that we’d actually bring corporates in,” Sweatman said. “Any of those pessimistic views we’ve been able to dispel quite quickly.” The first corporation GreenCollar brought in as a buyer was HSBC. The financial services firm recently completed the purchase of the first tranche of reef credits and plans to continue buying them as part of its net-zero commitment. HSBC is targeting net-zero in operations and supply chain by 2030; it also seeks to align its portfolio of investments with the Paris Agreement goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. According to Greencollar and investment of $4 billion Australian is required to meet water quality targets for the Great Barrier Reef. “These nature-based solutions are going to become increasingly important,” said Hamish Kelly, managing director of global banking, Australia at HSBC. “We feel that these sorts of schemes are very clear demonstrations that nature-based solutions can support communities, and also facilitate the transition to net-zero carbon. And for us in Australia, what’s more, iconic than the Great Barrier Reef.” HSBC’s climate commitments include investing at least $750 billion in sustainable financing over the next 10 years. HSBC paid $36.40 per credit, and GreenCollar estimates that the market for reef credits could be worth over 6 million credits by 2030.  Pull Quote Behind climate change, the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef is poor water quality. I think people were skeptical that we’d actually bring corporates in. Any of those pessimistic views we’ve been able to dispel quite quickly. Topics Pollution Prevention Regenerative Agriculture Water Conservation Farmers Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off A new reef credit marketplace hopes to save the Great Barrier Reef with corporate and government investment.// Courtesy of GreenCollar.

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HSBC invests in world’s first ‘reef credit’ system

How 117-year-old Ford plans to curb carbon emissions by 2050

December 1, 2020 by  
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Effective action on climate change takes cooperation on all levels. From governments to the private sector to individuals, everyone must do their part to solve this collective problem, together. In the U.S., the biggest source of carbon emissions by sector is transportation, producing 28% of all greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, according to the EPA . As such, any pathway to reduced greenhouse gases and a comprehensive response to climate change must involve stakeholders from the transportation sector — thankfully America’s best-selling automotive brand is stepping up. As a major global and domestic player in the auto industry, Ford has the potential to make a major impact — and the company is aiming high. By 2050, Ford aims to achieve global carbon neutrality. How can one of America’s best-selling automakers in one of the most carbon-producing sectors go completely carbon neutral in less than 30 years? Ford developed an ambitious but actionable plan, starting with support at the top of the company and extending to every employee and vendor across its global supply chain. “We were committed to setting aspirational goals to start moving the needle, to start having a positive impact,” says Director of Global Sustainability for Ford, Mary A. Wroten . “It’s like setting a New Year’s resolution. If you don’t have a goal, you’ll never steer yourself toward whatever that resolution is.” Though the 117-year-old company released its first sustainability report in 1999, Wroten suggests that founder Henry Ford laid down the roots for sustainability before the idea as we know it existed. A self-described environmentalist, he was famous for eliminating waste at Ford manufacturing facilities. “ He used the wood from shipping crates for the floor pans of early vehicles,” explains Wroten. “Any wood that was leftover was turned into briquettes for barbecuing, and he eventually started a charcoal company called Kingsford Charcoal.” Setting targets and sticking to them, no matter what Even today, sustainability at Ford starts at the top. “These aspirational goals are a way to harness all the executives within the organization to tackle these issues, get buy-in and drive change throughout the company,” says Wroten. After the goals are set, executives then go to work developing metrics and tools to hit targets, according to Wroten. Meanwhile, the company is ensuring every employee gets sustainability integration training. At Ford, sustainability is key to every aspect of the business. Understanding that sustainability is part of their role helps ensure employee buy-in, according to Wroten. The company’s long-term goals reflect a committed approach. When the Trump Administration announced the end of U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Agreement in 2017 and then announced a rollback of auto emissions standards in 2020, Ford didn’t waver on its sustainability targets — as of June 23 of this year, Ford is the only U.S. automaker committed to doing its part to reduce CO? emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and working with California for stronger vehicle greenhouse gas standards. “All of our decisions build upon each other,” Wroten says, noting that the Paris Climate Accords call for carbon neutrality by the second half of the century. “We continue to believe that this path is what’s best for our customers, our environment and both the short and long-term health of the auto industry,” she says. So what’s inside the plan moving forward? Ford, along with third-party consultants, advisors and auditors, determined that three areas make up 95% of its carbon emissions : vehicle use, supply base and company facilities. First up, let’s look at how Ford is changing the way we drive. The electrification of Ford vehicles Over the next year, Ford is rolling out two new fully electric vehicles in the US, the Mustang Mach-E and the E-Transit electric work van. And while the launch of new electric vehicles is exciting, it’s the launch of North America’s largest charging network that Ford hopes will truly shift the paradigm of driving to electric. “We can’t just release great products,” says Wroten, “we also need to provide a great charging experience so our customers don’t worry about range anxiety and other concerns consumers have about electric vehicles.” The FordPass ™ Charging Network — the largest public charging network in North America* — will feature more than 13,500 charging stations with more than 40,000 charging plugs. However, simply switching to electricity doesn’t necessarily make for the greatest reductions of carbon emissions — that electricity must also come from a renewable source. Ford is taking a well-to-wheel approach, meaning that the company is working to ensure that the electricity originates from renewable sources . “The energy that’s used to propel our vehicles is very much part of our plan to reduce carbon emissions,” adds Wroten, noting that a green grid is essential to hitting carbon targets. It’s an initiative the brand is spearheading in its own facilities. Manufacturing for today and the future Within its own manufacturing facilities, Ford is working closely with local collaborators to ensure that they are running on 100% renewable , locally sourced energy by 2035. This will account for 80% of the carbon output of Ford facilities says Wroten. The company is releasing a plan for the remaining 20% of carbon emissions in the next year. Meanwhile, beyond carbon, Ford is making its facilities even more sustainable. Over the next 10 years, Ford is eliminating single-use plastics from all operations , with a long term goal of achieving zero landfill waste across the company. Longer-term aspirational goals include zero water withdrawals for manufacturing and zero air emissions. Based on third-party audits, the data suggests Ford is well on its way to meeting carbon targets. In 2019, all Ford facilities across the globe combined produced as much carbon as one coal-fired power plant . Building a more sustainable supply base Cutting emissions from Ford facilities and vehicles isn’t enough, and the brand knows it. Ford works with a complex network of suppliers across the globe, which Wroten suggests accounts for some 15% to 17% of the company’s carbon emissions . For its domestic efforts to matter, their partners need to pull their weight, too. To reach carbon neutrality across the board, Ford is sharing its learnings and tools with certain suppliers in hopes of replicating sustainable practices. And over the next five years, Ford estimates saving over 680,000 metric tons of carbon — the equivalent of consuming about 1.57 million barrels of oil — thanks to the supply base approach. The automaker’s desire to extend its carbon-neutral strategy to suppliers underscores a larger issue around climate change and any environmental initiative: collaboration is essential for success. “We know we can’t do this alone,” says Wroten, “reaching carbon neutrality is a team sport.” From innovative electric vehicles to a widening green grid to bringing all stakeholders in on the mission, the approach Ford is taking is nothing short of comprehensive. * Based on original equipment manufacturers(OEM)/automotive manufacturers that sell all-electric vehicles and have publicly announced charging networks. Department of Energy data used. FordPass, compatible with select smartphone platforms, is available via a download. Message and data rates may apply. + Ford Images via Ford

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How 117-year-old Ford plans to curb carbon emissions by 2050

ThredUP’s Chris Homer on how the company uses machine learning in its operations

November 14, 2019 by  
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CTO and Cofounder Chris Homer says the resale market has doubled in the last five years and expects it to double again over the next five to 10 years.

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ThredUP’s Chris Homer on how the company uses machine learning in its operations

Oracle Real Estate Facilities’ Francisco Ruiz on IoT and building efficiency

November 14, 2019 by  
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Data collected from AI and IoT technologies can empower companies to make better decisions about their energy consumption.

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Oracle Real Estate Facilities’ Francisco Ruiz on IoT and building efficiency

Microsoft’s Elizabeth Willmott on the company’s carbon neutrality commitment

November 14, 2019 by  
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Microsoft has been committed to reaching carbon neutrality in its operations since 2012. It has since set a goal to reduce its scope 3 emissions by 30 percent. Elizabeth Willmott manages the company’s carbon program, which partners with other internal teams and external supply chain companies to expand how it is reducing its climate impacts.

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Microsoft’s Elizabeth Willmott on the company’s carbon neutrality commitment

Electric bus fleets are the latest tool for improving air quality

October 8, 2019 by  
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And both North America and Europe are primed for market growth over the next decade.

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Electric bus fleets are the latest tool for improving air quality

Cargill pledges to tackle climate impact of beef business

July 31, 2019 by  
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Regenerative agriculture is central to new plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions by one-third over the next decade.

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Cargill pledges to tackle climate impact of beef business

Tips for making CO2 a KPI for freight transportation

July 16, 2019 by  
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Driven by increasing volumes of goods moving through supply chains across the globe, demand for freight transportation is expected to triple over the next few years. If we continue shipping goods as we do today, freight emissions will surpass energy as the most carbon-intensive sector by 2050, doubling carbon emissions by 2050.

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Tips for making CO2 a KPI for freight transportation

Shareable scooters may seem sustainable, but are they really?

July 16, 2019 by  
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Zipping around town on tiny two-wheelers seems like the green thing to do — but there’s more to sustainability than saving energy.

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Shareable scooters may seem sustainable, but are they really?

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