Celebrating Earth Day — even during quarantine

April 13, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

Celebrating Earth Day — even during quarantine Deven Patten Tue, 04/13/2021 – 00:05 This Earth Day, you might be thinking, “Hey, there’s a pandemic. Let’s sit this one out.” Probably no one would blame you. But journey back with me to last year, at the beginning of COVID-19, when the roads were clear and the air was pristine. If you were like me, it might have been the very first time you saw your city not wrapped in smog. That vision of what our earth could be inspired me, and if it inspired you, too, then don’t sit this one out: Make this Earth Day a chance to level up your commitment to our gorgeous planet. Without access to office recycle bins and other on-site programs, this is a perfect time to foster new habits with your employees that they can use at home. Here are a few tips to make this Earth Day engaging and transformational and instill lasting habits with your employees, even if life looks a bit different right now: Educate As many employees are accustomed to living their work lives online, this is the perfect time to develop trainings and virtual events around sustainability. At Young Living, we have developed several internal trainings to help educate employees about how to properly sort and recycle materials common in neighborhood recycling programs. These interactive trainings helped to define what is collected in mixed waste, metal, glass and organic recycling bins and where employees should place different materials. These trainings also help employees to understand that “wish-cycling” — throwing items in the recycle bin when unsure and hoping they will be recycled — is actually very harmful to the recycling process. You’ll likely find your employees will welcome a break from thinking about calendars and tasks to hear ways they can incorporate the values of Earth Day every day. These virtual events should be fun and light-hearted and useful. Even something like a virtual training on how to repair clothing and other items around the house to increase their longevity is useful. Reuse Encourage employees to adopt reusables into their lifestyles and boost morale while doing so with fun rewards such as branded gifts — from water bottles to shopping bags. Providing employees with a sustainable gift is a fun way to get employees more involved while at home. Some departments at Young Living have adopted reusable notebooks that allow the user to transform their notes into a PDF and erase the page once it is full. You can consider holding sustainability-themed contests, such as who can recycle the most soda cans or which family can throw away the least amount of waste during a week or who’s found the most creative way to reuse a non-recycling item. We also have contactless recycling at our headquarters, so employees can drop off even hard-to-recycle items such as batteries. Move Your employees can’t meet together in person, but that doesn’t mean they can’t take advantage of this day. Encourage them to get out and enjoy nature or try something new and start a compost bin. Give them gift cards to a local nursery to plant native plants that help pollinators or start a plogging (picking up litter while jogging) Slack channel where your employees can show off their cleanup adventures. At Young Living, we also give employees one floating PTO day per year to use on a day of their choosing for performing service in their communities. We encourage employees to find activities that restore the environment or help to protect it. Employees have performed a variety of services, including planting trees in parks, communities and other areas of the state, cleaning up trails and parks, removing invasive species and other restoration projects.  We’ve created a Global Stewards team internally to engage and brainstorm with passionate employees on topics of sustainability. The team is open to any that are interested and is used as a platform to proof ideas, look for new opportunities, survey opinions and share information. If your C-suite is still hesitant about making a concerted effort to become greener, real change isn’t likely to occur. Change has to begin at the top. If you have to, map initiatives back to the bottom line. Incorporating environmental sustainability projects makes sense from every angle, from cost to risk mitigation to reducing turnover and increasing loyalty. If your C-suite doesn’t know where to start, there are many organizations that can help. Utah, for example, has a Sustainability Business Coalition, where many competing businesses join together to work toward a common goal. That short experience I had at the beginning of the pandemic seeing what our environment could be like really changed me. I want clean air. I want to see the mountains not covered in smog. I want insects and cooler temperatures and healthier food. If companies take the lead, that could become a reality. Amid the tragic circumstances, this time away from normalcy is a gift in that it has given us a chance to reevaluate ourselves and reimagine the possibility of a future with a clean earth. Topics Corporate Strategy Employee Engagement Earth Day Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Young Living employees volunteer at one of the company’s lavender farms prior to the pandemic.

Read more from the original source:
Celebrating Earth Day — even during quarantine

Is COVID-19 slowing progress toward the SDGs? Yes, say experts.

March 30, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Is COVID-19 slowing progress toward the SDGs? Yes, say experts.

Is COVID-19 slowing progress toward the SDGs? Yes, say experts. Tove Malmqvist Tue, 03/30/2021 – 01:00 As we move into a crucial decade of action on achieving serious progress on sustainability, many are hoping the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic recession will serve to reset our priorities toward a greener future in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, many experts are not optimistic about the possibility of a green recovery. Over half of sustainability professionals believe that COVID-19 instead will slow the rate of progress toward achieving the SDGs, according to a new report,  Evaluating Progress on the SDGs , by GlobeScan and The SustainAbility Institute by ERM . Findings from the research also show that sustainability practitioners continue to report poor progress toward each of the 17 goals, as well as on sustainable development overall. Nearly 500 experienced sustainability professionals in 75 countries were asked to evaluate the progress that has been made, on sustainable development overall and on each SDG; to rank the relative urgency of each goal; and to share insights into the priorities within their own organizations. Experts also were asked how the pandemic will affect progress on the SDGs. The survey also tracked expert opinions polled in 2017 and 2019. Sustainability practitioners report poor progress toward each of the 17 goals, as well as on sustainable development overall. When asked to rate the progress to date on the overall transition to sustainable development, more than half of sustainability experts (54 percent) say progress has been poor, with most remaining respondents giving neutral ratings (41 percent). Only 4 percent are satisfied with society’s achievements so far. Those who have the most negative views on progress tend to work in the academic and research sector, with European experts being the most negative. Negative expert perceptions of our collective sustainability efforts so far are also apparent in their assessments of progress on individual SDGs, with majorities rating achievements as poor on 10 of the 17 Goals. Life Below Water (Goal No. 14), Reduced Inequalities (No. 10), Life on Land No. 15) and No Poverty (No. 1) are seen by experts as the SDGs where society’s level of achievement has lagged the most. Proportions of seven in 10 or higher see progress in these areas as being poor — particularly on Reduced Inequalities. In contrast, only around one-third of experts believe that there has been poor progress on Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (No. 9) and Partnership for the Goals (No. 17). Sustainability experts tend to believe that several goals where progress has been the most unsatisfactory are also the most urgent, which is a cause for some concern. When asked to assess which goals require the most urgent action, experts overwhelmingly choose Climate Action (No. 13) — a goal that fewer than one in 10 experts say we have made good progress on achieving. Reduced Inequalities, the goal with the lowest overall score in terms of our collective progress, also ranked as one of the most important areas for action — along with Life on Land and Responsible Consumption and Production (No. 12). The perceived urgency of Reduced Inequalities has increased compared to 2019 in the wake of the pandemic, highlighting the unequal impact experienced by poorer countries as well as more vulnerable populations within countries. Within their own work and organizations, sustainability professionals are most likely to be addressing Climate Action; almost half of experts surveyed (44 percent) and more than half of corporate sustainability professionals (52 percent) say this is one of the SDGs receiving the most attention within their own organizations or work. Climate Action is prioritized by respondents across most sectors and regions except the academic and research sector and among those based in Africa and the Middle East, both of which focus more on Quality Education (No. 4). Far fewer (6 percent) say they focus their work on Reduced Inequalities, despite the relative parallel urgency of this secondary issue. Other goals that are mainly overlooked include No Poverty, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (No. 16), and Zero Hunger (No 2). The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have further dampened experts’ views on our collective progress on the SDGs. Around one-third of those surveyed say that the pandemic will serve to accelerate headway on achieving the goals, perhaps placing their hope in the potential of Green New Deals or renewed faith in our potential to collectively solve great challenges such as developing vaccines to save humanity. But over half instead believe that the pandemic and its economic impacts will further slow our already dismal progress. Experts in the service and media sector are more optimistic about the potential impact of the pandemic, whereas respondents in the academic and research and NGO sectors, along with those based in Latin America and in Africa and the Middle East, are most prone to pessimism — possibly reflecting the limited resources available in many markets that may be directed away from long-term sustainability priorities to cover more immediate needs. This diversion from the SDGs toward other more immediate issues resulting from the pandemic and its economic impacts should be of great concern to all. At this crucial point in time, we need to ensure that our collective efforts on sustainable development are not only maintained but accelerated. Pull Quote Sustainability practitioners report poor progress toward each of the 17 goals, as well as on sustainable development overall. Topics Commitments & Goals Sustainable Development Goals / SDGs Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off GreenBiz photocollage

More:
Is COVID-19 slowing progress toward the SDGs? Yes, say experts.

Despite net-zero pledges, banks used $750 billion to finance fossil fuels in 2020

March 26, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Despite net-zero pledges, banks used $750 billion to finance fossil fuels in 2020

Despite net-zero pledges, banks used $750 billion to finance fossil fuels in 2020 Cecilia Keating Fri, 03/26/2021 – 00:05 Net-zero commitments may have ricocheted across banking sector over the last 18 months, but big banks’ attestations of climate concern did not stop many from expanding financing for the world’s top fossil fuel firms during the pandemic year. That is according to the latest edition of the Rainforest Action Network’s annual fossil fuel financing tracker, which reveals that while fossil fuel financing dropped by a record 9 percent during the pandemic-induced economic recession of 2020, the world’s top banks ramped up financing for the 100 largest fossil fuel expansion firms by 10 percent. The green groups behind the report have warned of an “alarming disconnect” between the global scientific consensus on climate change and the ongoing practices of the world’s leading banks. The analysis, ” Banking on Climate Chaos 2021 ,” underscores that while overall fossil fuel financing did tumble significantly in 2020, the total amount of financing provided to fossil fuel firms in 2020 was still more than $40 billion higher in 2020 than in 2016, at $750 billion. “Despite this significant drop from 2019 to 2020, the overall trend of the last five years is one heading definitively in the wrong direction,” the report states. Overall, the world’s leading banks have channelled $3.8 trillion to coal, oil and gas companies in the five years since the Paris Agreement was signed, it calculates. Lower levels of lending and debt underwriting to fossil fuel firms in 2020 were largely due to COVID-19 economic recession and not because banks are proactively distancing themselves from fossil fuels, according to the report. A separate score card ranking the banking sector’s climate policy commitments concludes that across the board, climate policies are “grossly insufficient” and out of alignment with global climate goals, with not a single bank surveyed racking up more than 94 points out of a total of 200. The overwhelming majority of fossil fuel financing goes unchecked by banks’ policies, it warns, given that climate pledges unveiled to date tend to focus on project-specific finance, which represents a mere 5 percent of all fossil fuel financing handed out by banks. Furthermore, the report underscores that more fossil fuel financing took place January through June than any six-month period since 2016, as large corporations around the world capitalized on low interest rates and central bank bond-buying programs to load up on cheap debt. This binge then was offset by record low financing in the second half of the year, it notes, leading to an overall fall of financing of 9 percent. Ginger Cassady, executive director of the Rainforest Action Network, one of the groups behind the analysis, said the banking sector faced a “stark choice” as it plotted its strategy for steering a global recovery from the coronavirus crisis. “The unprecedented COVID-19 dip in global financing for fossil fuels offers the world’s largest banks a stark choice point going forward,” she said. “They can decide to lock in the downward trajectory of support for the primary industry driving the climate crisis or they can recklessly snap back to business as usual as the economy recovers.” The report reveals that U.S. banks continue to be the largest drivers of global emissions, with JP Morgan Chase retaining its position as the world’s largest fossil fuel funder. U.K. bank Barclays is singled out as being the most prolific fossil fuel funder in Europe over the five-year period surveyed, with the analysis highlighting it increased fracking financing by 24 percent in 2020. Meanwhile, BNP Paribas shot up the scoreboard after increasing its financing to fossil fuel companies by 41 percent in 2020 to $41 billion, making it the fourth worst financer of fossil fuels in 2020. The analysis is the latest in a long line of reports led by the Rainforest Action Network which hammer home the banking sector’s deep ties with the fossil fuel industries fueling the climate emergency, but this year’s edition is somewhat more poignant. The past 12 months have been a calamitous period for the fossil fuel industry amid shrinking demand for oil and gas and depressed prices during the pandemic, and it is against this backdrop the banking sector finally has acknowledged the critical role it must play in ensuring that global temperature increases are capped at safe levels by ending its support of environmentally destructive sectors. “Net-zero financed emissions” pledges have swept the banking sector since January 2020, with the U.K.’s largest fossil fuel financiers —  Barclays and HSBC — and many of the largest U.S. investment banks — Goldman Sachs , Citi Group , Wells Fargo , Bank of America and Morgan Stanley — all vowing to align their lending and debt with global climate goals over the coming 30 years. And yet, even as these pledges were made, investment in fossil fuel infrastructure has continue to flow largely unimpeded. Beyond a welcome tightening of lending policies to coal and tar sand firms, many of the world’s largest financiers have failed to translate their net-zero pledges into a meaningful shift in their investment activities. Banks can decide to lock in the downward trajectory of support for the primary industry driving the climate crisis or they can recklessly snap back to business as usual as the economy recovers. As such, the green organizations behind the report have touted the latest findings as evidence of the “hollowness” of the wave of net-zero targets unveiled by the banking sector and have urged companies to match their 2050 goals with short term pledges to rapidly phase out financing for all fossil fuel infrastructure, including oil and gas projects. Policies are required to “lock in” the fossil fuel declines of 2020 and thus steer a managed decline of fossil fuel production over the coming decade, they warn. “Many of the world’s largest banks, including all six major U.S. banks, have made splashy commitments in recent months to zero-out the climate impact of their financing over the next 30 years,” said Ben Cushing, financial advocacy campaign manager at the Sierra Club. “But what matters most is what they are doing now, and the numbers don’t lie. This report separates words from actions, and the picture it paints is alarming: Major banks around the world, led by U.S. banks in particular, are fueling climate chaos by dumping trillions of dollars into the fossil fuels that are causing the crisis.” Lucie Pinson, founder and executive director of Reclaim Finance, said the numbers exposed “the hollowness of banks’ ever-multiplying commitments” to be net-zero or align with global climate targets. “BNP Paribas merits singling out as the world’s fourth-largest fossil financier in 2020, having funneled multi-billion-dollar loans to oil giants like BP and Total,” she said. “Nonetheless, it’s clear that all banks need to replace empty promises with meaningful policies enacting zero tolerance for fossil fuel developers.” The banking sector maintains that serious change is afoot, pointing to much more stringent lending policies for coal firms and the on-going development of new guidelines and policies that it is hoped will decarbonize their portfolios over the next three decades. They insist it will take time to shift investment practices in a way that delivers a managed transition for businesses and investors alike. Approached to comment on the report, spokespeople from Barclays and HSBC pointed to their respective 2050 net-zero commitments, despite the two banks being ranked the seventh and 13th largest most prolific fossil fuel lenders globally since 2016 by today’s report, having funneled $145 billion and $111 billion into coal, oil and gas, respectively. The banking sector maintains that serious change is afoot. “HSBC has announced it will propose a special resolution on climate change at its AGM in May which will set out the next phase of HSBC’s strategy to support its customers on the transition to net-zero carbon emissions,” the HSBC spokesperson said. “This includes to publish and implement a policy to phase out the financing of coal-fired power and thermal coal mining by 2030 in markets in the European Union and OECD, and by 2040 in other markets.” “We have made a commitment to align our entire financing portfolio to the goals of the Paris Agreement, with specific targets and transparent reporting, on the way to achieving our ambition to be a net-zero bank by 2050,” the Barclays spokesperson said. “We believe that Barclays can make a real contribution to tackling climate change and help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.” JP Morgan Chase declined to comment on the findings, and BNP Paribas and CitiGroup did not respond for a request for comment at the time of going to press. While it is clear the banking sector has reached a turning point on sustainability over the last 12 to 18 months, today’s report provides compelling evidence that net-zero pledges need to be swiftly backed up by credible strategies that will quickly wind down bank’s exposure to fossil fuel assets and ramp up their support for clean infrastructure. Promises to establish climate-responsible investment portfolio in 30 years’ time are clearly meaningless if banks continue to channel hundreds of billions of dollars into the industries that are locking in several more decades of carbon intensive infrastructure. And yet, today’s report comes within hours of the U.K. government demonstrating how ministers are wrestling with precisely the same tensions , as they both talked up plans to slash emissions form the oil and gas industry and left the door open for new exploration in the North Sea. As the global economy rebounds from the pandemic, all eyes will be on whether major banks and governments finally can match their rhetoric on climate action with a managed decline of fossil fuel financing. Pull Quote Banks can decide to lock in the downward trajectory of support for the primary industry driving the climate crisis or they can recklessly snap back to business as usual as the economy recovers. The banking sector maintains that serious change is afoot. Topics Finance & Investing GreenFin Coal Decarbonization Business Green Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Tar sands in Alberta, Canada. Flickr Dru Oja Jay, Dominio Close Authorship

See the original post:
Despite net-zero pledges, banks used $750 billion to finance fossil fuels in 2020

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

January 25, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

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

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

See more here:
Let’s rid our work environments of the toxic smoke of dysfunction

How Wall Street can win on climate In 2021

January 25, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on How Wall Street can win on climate In 2021

How Wall Street can win on climate In 2021 Ben Ratner Mon, 01/25/2021 – 01:00 This year, financial institutions must make a significant leap forward on climate — from pledges to progress. Even amidst a global pandemic, 2020 proved climate finance and a focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are more than passing fads, with net-zero financed emissions commitments from Morgan Stanley , JP Morgan  and a group of 30 international asset managers —  Net Zero Asset Management Initiative   — with $9 trillion in assets under management. At the start of 2021, leading investors openly recognize that climate change presents a massive systemic risk and a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity. But for the vast majority of firms, the real work of implementing climate and ESG integration is ahead. With increasing public, government and shareholder attention on climate, here are three ways sustainable finance leaders will emerge in 2021. 1. Integrate climate into core business A 2050 net-zero vision may be an inspiration, but it is not a plan. To realize its ambitions, Wall Street must integrate climate into its core business, evolving its approach to capital allocation and changing its relationships with carbon-intensive industries. Asset owners will demand no less of asset managers. This transition will require a far sharper focus on short-term, sector-specific benchmarks tied to decarbonization pathways — starting with the high-impact industries that matter most for solving the climate crisis.  For example, in the oil and gas sector, investors can assess progress and pace toward net-zero by monitoring companies’ methane emissions, flaring intensity, capital expenditures, lobbying and governance. Concentrating on five key metrics over a five-year period will allow investors to distinguish climate leaders from laggards. As with other core financial issues, monitoring metrics is just the start. To advance their climate commitments, investors should pair metrics with accountability. For asset managers, corporate climate performance should strongly inform investment stewardship, proxy voting and fund construction. For banks, climate benchmarks should influence loan eligibility, interest rates and debt covenants. Wall Street knows how to set quantitative targets and factor corporate performance and risk into financial decisions — now climate must become part of the new business as usual. 2. Align proxy voting with climate goals Advancing sustainable investing in 2021 will also necessitate a shift in proxy voting among the world’s largest asset managers. Last year, BlackRock and Vanguard voted against the vast majority of climate-related shareholder proposals filed with S&P 500 companies. BlackRock opposed 10 of 12 resolutions endorsed by the Climate Action 100+ , a coalition it joined last January, and later signaled an intention to support more climate votes in future years. There’s a better way. Both PIMCO and Legal and General Investment Management supported 100 percent of climate-related proposals filed with S&P 500 firms during last year’s proxy season, sending a powerful message to CEOs about the materiality of climate risk. As asset managers around the world unveil new ESG products and brand themselves as sustainability pioneers, proxy voting will become the litmus test for climate authenticity in finance for 2021.   3. Support regulations and policies required to decarbonize While the finance community has traditionally taken a hands-off approach to public policy advocacy, industry norms are changing . Investors understand that scaling the climate finance market depends on Paris-aligned government action, and some have proven willing to engage on issues ranging from carbon pricing to methane standards . With the incoming Biden administration prioritizing climate, investors should double down on climate-friendly advocacy , supporting both financial regulations and regulations of carbon-intensive sectors consistent with a 1.5 degrees Celsius scenario. As BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has emphasized, updated regulation of the financial system is needed to help monitor and manage economy-wide climate risks. As linchpins of capital markets, banks and asset managers have a crucial role to play in pushing federal agencies to safeguard the economy from climate-related shocks. For example, supporting rigorous mandatory climate risk disclosure from the SEC and appropriate ESG rulemaking from the Department of Labor can help investors build Paris-aligned portfolios. However, investor-led policy advocacy cannot end with financial regulation. As the Global Financial Markets Association noted , reaching net-zero by 2050 involves both financial regulation and environmental regulation of carbon-intensive sectors. The right mix of emission standards and incentives can slash pollution, drive technological innovation and improve the economics of low carbon investments. Given the rise of passive index investing, supporting government action in carbon-intensive sectors is essential, as leading financial firms favor continued investment over sector level divestment. In particular, policies and regulations to cut methane emissions and flaring, to accelerate vehicle electrification and to clean up the electric grid should be top priorities in 2021. Contributors Gabe Malek Topics Finance & Investing GreenFin Investing Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

View original post here:
How Wall Street can win on climate In 2021

2 gorillas at the San Diego Zoo test positive for COVID-19

January 13, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on 2 gorillas at the San Diego Zoo test positive for COVID-19

Two gorillas have tested positive for COVID-19 for the first time since the pandemic started. The gorillas showed symptoms, including coughing, at the San Diego Zoo last week. The staff took tests, which came back positive early this week. “Despite all our efforts and dedication from our team members to protect the wildlife in our care, our gorilla troop has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2,” said Lisa Peterson, executive director of the zoo. Related: WWF releases report on avoiding the next zoonotic disease pandemic Zoo officials indicated that the animals might have contracted the disease from an asymptomatic member of the staff. Specialists look at this incident as proof that the biggest risk in the transmission of the virus is proximity to the infected party. “The fact that we are just seeing the first evidence of ape exposure now after months of transmission potential for captive and wild apes underscores the importance of proximity, as opposed to contaminated surfaces, as the primary source of infection,” said Thomas R. Gillespie, a disease ecologist and conservation biologist at Emory University. Throughout the pandemic, there have been concerns about the possibility of humans infecting animals and vice versa. There have been some reports of humans passing the virus to pets such as dogs and cats, but there has been no conclusive report to ascertain the risk that animals face. The most severe cases were reported in Europe, where millions of minks on fur farms were culled . In another incident, a tiger at Bronx Zoo in New York City tested positive for the disease in April 2020. Later the same year, four tigers and three lions also tested positive for COVID-19. The news of the San Diego Zoo gorillas contracting the virus is already causing concerns among conservationists. The biggest risk lies in Africa , where the only remaining populations of wild gorillas, bonobos and chimpanzees are found. Given that gorillas and other great apes share approximately 95% of the human genome, they are likely to suffer similar effects of the virus as humans. “Confirmation that gorillas are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 does give us more information about how the pandemic may affect these species in native habitats where they come into contact with humans and human materials,” the zoo said in a statement. “By working with health officials, conservationists, and scientists to document this case, we will be expanding our knowledge about this potential challenge so that we can develop steps to protect gorillas in the forests of Africa.” + San Diego Zoo Via Mongabay Image via San Diego Zoo

More:
2 gorillas at the San Diego Zoo test positive for COVID-19

The year ahead for water: The Roaring ’20s and creative destruction

January 7, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on The year ahead for water: The Roaring ’20s and creative destruction

The year ahead for water: The Roaring ’20s and creative destruction Will Sarni Thu, 01/07/2021 – 01:00 A recent issue of the Economist featured an article titled ” The Plague Year: The Year When Everything Changed ” (subscription required). Few will be surprised by this title. However, aside from the COVID-19 reflections, the article provides insights about lessons learned from several events from the early part of the last century. The article explains, “The horrors of the first world war and the ‘Spanish Flu’ were followed by the Roaring Twenties, which can be characterized by risk-taking social, industrial and artistic novelty.” In the U.S., Warren Harding built his 2020 campaign around “normalcy.” What unfolded was not a return to normal. According to the Economist, the survivors of the Spanish Flu and the first world war left survivors with “an appetite to live the 1920s at speed.” While making predictions for 2021 would be a fool’s errand, I am willing to place a bet that our view of water, including the more traditional view of the water sector — think utilities, solutions providers, NGOs — will not return to normal. And, frankly, we shouldn’t go back. The water sector from a technology, business model and funding perspective will be transformed, driven by lessons learned from the pandemic but also due to the natural rhythm of “creative destruction.” 2021 and creative destruction I believe this is the year where creative destruction will transform the water sector and our view of water. In the early 20th century, economist Joseph Schumpeter described the dynamic pattern in which innovative entrepreneurs unseat established firms through a process he called “creative destruction.” According to Schumpeter, and discussed in detail in ” The Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction ,” the entrepreneur not only creates invention but also creates competition from a new commodity, new technology, new source of supply and a new type of organization. The entrepreneur creates competition, “which commands a decisive cost or quality advantage and which strikes not at the margins of the profits and the outputs of the existing firms but at their foundations and their very lives.” This innovation propels the economy with “gales of creative destruction,” which “incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.” Schumpeter’s view of creative destruction was applied to the emerging trend of sustainability in 1999 by Stuart L. Hart and Mark B. Milstein in their article, ” Global Sustainability and the Creative Destruction of Industries.” This is the article that got me curious about the cycles of creative destruction and its relevance to the water sector. For me, the key point from Hart and Milstein is that with technological innovation there is a dramatic transformation in institutions and society. The technology innovation — and, in turn transformation in institutions and in society — create profound challenges to incumbent businesses. Historically, these incumbents (the installed base) “have not been successful in building the capabilities needed to secure a position in the new competitive landscape.” One additional point about disruption, a term used frequently without distinction from innovation. Disruptive innovation “describes a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge the incumbent business.” Innovative companies disrupt incumbents by successfully gaining a foothold by delivering functionality frequently at a lower price while incumbents chase higher profitability in more demanding segments and tend not to respond effectively.   Advancing the water sector with disruptive innovation What does creative destruction and disruptive innovation mean for the water sector? I believe it will, in general, be the democratization of water. It will be an “end run” around the public sector, infrastructure and traditional financing of innovations to deliver universal and equitable access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. The creative destruction of water will include real-time and actionable information on water quantity and quality and increased access to capital to scale innovative solutions. A few examples of disruptive innovations we might anticipate for 2021 and this decade include: Digital technologies such as earth observation systems (satellite data analytics) for real-time water quality and quantity evaluations for watersheds, source water and asset management; real-time water quality monitoring at the tap; and artificial intelligence, inexpensive sensors and virtual reality/augmented reality applications to improve the management of utility and industrial assets and resource use Innovative business models and financing such as water as a service for outsourcing water conservation and treatment; or crowdfunding startups, projects and programs to supplement or serve as an alternative to traditional sources of investment capital Democratizing access to safe drinking water such as air moisture capture Decentralizing water treatment and reuse systems at the residential and community scale The water sector is poised to undergo a “gale of creative destruction” to a large degree by the pandemic. The accelerated transition to using digital technologies is also an enabling tool, in addition to providing readily accessible actionable information to the general population. I believe we are now entering the Roaring ’20s for water. Topics Water Efficiency & Conservation Innovation Featured Column Liquid Assets Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

Original post:
The year ahead for water: The Roaring ’20s and creative destruction

4 alternative protein trends to watch in 2021

January 4, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on 4 alternative protein trends to watch in 2021

4 alternative protein trends to watch in 2021 Jesse Klein Mon, 01/04/2021 – 01:30 It is highly probable your children will be vegans eating a Christmas ham Dec. 25, 2050. Alternative proteins will be the norm very soon and we might look back at this decade as the time when real shift in diets occurred.  Don’t believe me? Here are a few stats. Venture capital invested $1.5 billion in alternative proteins in 2020. The plant-based meat market is predicted to grow from $3.6 billion in 2020 to $4.2 billion by 2021 . And by 2040, 60 percent of meat sales will be plant-based or cultured meat products.  Every movement has the trends that significantly shape its future and others that quickly die and are forgotten. Here are four trends for 2021 that are expected to last beyond the initial excitement.  1. Fermentation is king  Fermentation, using genetically engineered microbes to mass-produce plant-based proteins, is on the verge of dramatically altering our protein food system. The value of fermentation lies in the system’s simplicity, effectiveness and flexibility to be used across food categories. Perfect Day uses fermentation to make dairy-like products while startups such as Clara Foods are focusing on egg substitutes . And there is about to be even more competition. According to a Prepared Foods report , 44 new fermentation companies launched in late 2019 and early 2020, a 91 percent increase compared to 2018.  But it looks like there will be plenty of money to go around. Even as COVID-19 upended global markets, alternative protein companies focusing on fermentation raised $435 million in venture capital by July, 58 percent more than in 2019. High-profile investors such as Al Gore and Bill Gates got in on the 2020 action, leading an $80 million investing round for Nature’s Fynd in March. And in December, Nature’s Fynd added $45 million from Oxford Finance and Trinity Capital. The company uses microbes found in Yellowstone National Park’s famous geysers to grow a protein with all nine amino acids. As we move to 2021 and beyond, fermentation technology likely will become a pillar of the alternative protein supply chain.  2. A move to direct-to-consumer In early 2020, some premier alternative protein companies had restaurant-only strategies. Impossible Foods had chefs such as David Chang serving the burger at its trendy restaurants. Soon after, the focus expanded into fast-food chains. But when the pandemic shut down restaurants, it expedited a shift to grocery stores and even direct-to-consumer purchasing.  You can buy Impossible’s ground “beef” at 15,000 Safeways, Krogers, Trader Joe’s and many other grocery stores across the country. Beyond Meat, which was in grocery stores before Impossible, can be shipped directly to your door. Impossible Foods also created a shop section on its website, bypassing the grocery store middlemen completely.  Eclipse , a vegan ice cream company based in the Bay Area, shifted from partnerships with popular ice cream shops such as Salt & Straw to chef collaborations on limited-edition pints ice cream lovers can buy directly from Eclipse online. Next year, alternative protein companies will continue to take the pandemic’s lessons to heart by giving consumers the convenience of direct purchasing while the companies get to rake in dollars without the help of restaurants or grocers. Atlast and Meati are two companies using precise mushroom cultivation to produce whole cut substitutes that taste and act like the real heterogenous meat versions. Photo by  Ksenia Lada  on Shutterstock. 3. An opportunity in whole cuts  While the alternative protein industry has made huge strides in the areas of ground beef and processed products such as chicken nuggets or fish sticks, a huge section of the meat market that has yet to be successfully tapped into is whole cuts. In fact, according to a USDA agricultural marketing and economic report , about 80 percent of meat purchases are whole cuts such as chicken breasts, steaks and loins. In 2021, the alternative protein industry will need to focus on innovating in this very valuable part of the market. Some are already doing it and planning on coming to market with consumer products next year. Atlast and Meati use precise mushroom cultivation to produce whole cut substitutes that taste and act like the real heterogenous meat versions.  “The way we make bacon is the equivalent of making mushroom pork belly,” said Eben Bayer, CEO of Atlast. “We grow this blob of mushroom like a big piece of meat, and we run it right through a conventional pork slicer.” To create bacon that has different layers and doesn’t act like a standard mushroom, Atlast tightly controls and changes environmental factors such as airflow and temperature during the growing process to create mushroom sections that taste fattier and other sections that get crispy to create that true bacon experience. While the industry inches towards whole cuts in 2021, the companies that figure out how to make convincing plant versions of steaks, chicken breasts and hams at scale will have cracked the alternative protein market wide open. 4. A focus on non-allergenic substitutes  Many standard ingredients for alternative proteins are soy, oats, legumes and nuts. These are also some common allergens. One percent of the U.S. population is allergic to nuts. And estimates suggest up to 6 percent of the population has a gluten sensitivity, along with the many who have jumped on the trend of cutting out gluten without any intolerance. Legume allergies, such as peanuts and soy, are also frequent. In 2021, the industry will need to start creating products that cater to this demographic. Going vegan or vegetarian for people with allergens can be extremely difficult and limiting. Soy and gluten-free vegan options such as Sophie’s Kitchen seafood products or Atlantic Natural Foods’ Neat Meat will be important in making alternative proteins accessible to everyone.  Topics Food & Agriculture Alternative Protein Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off The plant-based meat market is predicted to grow from $3.6 billion in 2020 to $4.2 billion by 2021 . Photo by Line Tscherning for  LikeMeat on Unsplash .

Go here to read the rest:
4 alternative protein trends to watch in 2021

5 sustainable packaging developments to watch in 2021

January 4, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on 5 sustainable packaging developments to watch in 2021

5 sustainable packaging developments to watch in 2021 Meg Wilcox Mon, 01/04/2021 – 01:15 For companies with sustainable packaging goals, 2025 is fast approaching. That’s the year when many have pledged to become zero waste, or to use 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging. But COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in those plans, with single-use packaging skyrocketing, low fossil fuel prices and disrupted recycling systems, already weakened by China’s 2018 plastics waste ban.  Yet, at the same time, the pandemic has led to a surge in environmental and sustainability awareness by showing how much carbon emissions can drop, or wildlife can flourish, when the world’s economic engine slows down.  As TerraCycle founder and CEO, Tom Szaky, put it, “The world is waking up, but the systems that are there that allow them to act are going the other way. There’s this divergence, which is a great opportunity for anyone who can bridge the gap.” Bridging that gap with novel solutions and collaborations, in a race against the clock, is one of five key themes to keep an eye on for sustainable packaging in 2021.  1. A year for reckoning — and opportunity In September, Waste Management published a report identifying gaps in the plastics recycling system, in response to shareholder pressure from As You Sow and Trillium Asset Management. The report provided a bit of a roadmap for 2021, according to Nina Goodrich, director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and executive director of GreenBlue. It was critical for helping stakeholders understand the system, the supply chain, and the role that emerging tech will play, and it “provided the environment for everyone to buckle down and say, ‘Uh-oh, how are we going to do this?’” she said. That is, how will stakeholders meet their recycling goals? Noting, for example, that the report revealed that only 30 percent of PET is collected, and most of that goes into fiber, Goodrich queried, “How does one create a system where there’s 100 percent recycled content and recyclability when you have more than one market demanding that material?” Clearly, stakeholders will have to get out of their silos and collaborate across sectors.  Although it’s a challenging time, with companies’ 2025 sustainable packaging goals coming due and the recycling market in disarray, Szaky said he believes that 2021 will be an interesting year: “We’re going to see a lot of people leaning in on these topics in a way they haven’t before.”  For Loop, the reusable packaging platform that allows consumers to buy goods in durable packaging and return it to producers after use, that means opportunity. “It’s a pretty exciting time for us,” Szaky told GreenBiz. “We’re booming.”  2. Reuse models will continue to grow Loop is fast growing, raising $25 million last year. It’s moving into quick service restaurants including Burger King, McDonald’s and Tim Hortons in 2021. “The big theme for next year is retailers are starting to do in-store quite aggressively,” said Szaky. Carrefour already has begun in France. Many of the other 15 retailers that Loop works with are starting store rollouts in six countries in 2021, according to Szaky. Loop isn’t the only reusable packaging platform seeing strong growth. Algramo expanded into New York City last summer. Media Source Courtesy of Media Authorship Algramo Close Authorship Plenty of new reuse pilots are springing up, such as Good Goods, a New York City startup that incentivizes customers to return their wine bottles to the point of sale, or the dozens of other projects summarized in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation report, ” Reuse — Rethinking Packaging .”  In fact, experimentation is the name of the game with reuse models, according to Kate Daly, managing director at Closed Loop Partners.  “We’re very much in an age of experimentation, and need to continually interrogate what are the unintended consequences when you switch from one system to another,” said Daly. “We really want to make sure that sustainable choices like reusable packaging aren’t just limited for people who can pay extra for their goods.” Also key is ensuring that reusables get the longest life and largest recapture rate, and that they’re recyclable and recoverable at the end of their life. To foster learning about what works and doesn’t work, Closed Loop Partners will release a report this month on its 2020 pilot initiative with Cup Club, a NextGen Cup Challenge awardee, and its experience marketing reusable cups across multiple cafes in the Bay Area.   3. Compostable packaging finds a niche with food waste Biopolymers and compostable materials are quickly becoming an alternative to disposable packaging, but there’s a confusing array of materials being developed. Some bio-based materials such as bio-PET are derived from biological materials, but are not biodegradable. Meanwhile, other bio-based materials such as PLA, (polylactic acid), a natural polymer made from corn starch or sugar cane, is biodegradable, although not in the way a consumer might assume it to be.  To help brands and others understand the fast-evolving landscape of bio-based materials, Closed Loop Partner’s released ” Navigating Plastic Alternatives in a Circular Economy .” We’re very much in an age of experimentation, and need to continually interrogate what are the unintended consequences when you switch from one system to another. Among its conclusions, the report finds that compostable alternatives are not a silver-bullet solution, in part because there is not enough recovery infrastructure to recapture their full value efficiently. Plus, among the 185 commercial composting facilities that exist, many don’t accept compostable-certified packaging.  “We have to rethink where composting is appropriate and where it isn’t. It is a really good solution where you have food waste,” Goodrich said. Daly agrees: “What we wouldn’t want to see is any format that is being successfully recycled being converted to a compostable format when there isn’t the infrastructure possible. That would create a misalignment between the material and infrastructure that would exacerbate the challenges already in place today.” 4. Extended producer responsibility takes off Last month, the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) and Product Stewardship Association (PSI) released a joint statement calling for extended producer responsibility at the end of life for flexible packaging and paper. The statement lays out eight policy elements that could go into legislation, including a mechanism for producer funding for collection, transportation and processing of packaging, among other critical funding needs for municipal recycling facilities.  “With this agreement, FPA member companies and PSI member governments, companies, and organizations have started down a path together to provide desperately needed fiscal relief for municipalities while fixing and expanding our national reuse and recycling system,” said Scott Cassel, PSI’s chief executive officer and founder, in a press release.   Goodrich called it “groundbreaking.”  Remarkably, FPA wasn’t the only industry association to step up on extended producer responsibility. The Recycling Partnership released ” Accelerating Recycling ,” a policy proposal outlining fees that brands and packaging producers would pay that would help fund residential recycling infrastructure and education. A proposed per-ton disposal fee could be required at landfills, incinerators and waste-to-energy plants, with the revenue going to local governments for recycling programs. The American Chemistry Council also came out with a position paper supporting packaging fees across multiple material types, in addition to disposal fees to equalize the costs of disposal versus recycling. “Two years ago, you couldn’t even mention this, and now you have a series of industry proposals being put on the table. That is incredibly significant,” said Goodrich.  5. Rising action to eliminate toxics from food packaging Amazon was the latest among more than half a dozen major food retailers — from Whole Foods to Trader Joe’s to Ahold Delhaize — to announce a ban on certain toxic chemicals and plastics in food packaging materials. The new restrictions apply to Amazon Kitchen brand products sold through the tech giant’s various grocery services, but not to other private-label or Amazon brand-name food contact materials, such as single-use plates.  Still, it’s a good start. And Amazon’s actions “send a strong signal to competing grocery store chains that they need to get their act together, and also tackle some of the same chemicals of concern that scientists are sounding the alarm on,” Mike Schade, campaign director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, Mind the Store, told GreenBiz. We really see a sense of urgency around these issues, as plastic production continues, as more and more materials are lost to landfill that we’re not able to recapture as a valuable resource. Schade has seen rising attention over the past few years on the part of both food retailers and fast casual restaurants, such as Sweet Green, towards not only banning specific chemicals, but also restricting classes of chemicals.  Getting toxics out of packaging, in flexible films in particular, was also on the agenda at a 2020 RCD Packaging Innovation workshop that brought together 80 representatives from consumer brands, waste managers and the plastics industry over a nine-month period. Such attention on toxics is critical, as a comprehensive report on the health impacts of endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in packaging and other plastics materials underscored last month. Bisphenol A, phthalates, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and dioxins are among the chemicals that disturb the body’s hormone systems, and can cause cancer, diabetes and reproductive disorders, and harm children’s developing brains. Expect more food retailers and fast casual restaurants to ban or restrict endocrine-disrupting chemicals from their packaging. But, as Schade point out, those chemicals are just the “tip of the toxic iceberg.” Much more work is needed to get to the larger universe of chemicals.  More work is needed all around in 2021 to advance a circular economy. “We really see a sense of urgency around these issues, as plastic production continues, as more and more materials are lost to landfill that we’re not able to recapture as a valuable resource,” said Daly. “And the approaches must be collaborative and systemic. None of us can do this alone.”  Pull Quote We’re very much in an age of experimentation, and need to continually interrogate what are the unintended consequences when you switch from one system to another. We really see a sense of urgency around these issues, as plastic production continues, as more and more materials are lost to landfill that we’re not able to recapture as a valuable resource. Topics Design & Packaging Circular Economy Circular Packaging Packaging Plastic Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Shutterstock Rawpixel.com Close Authorship

Read more here:
5 sustainable packaging developments to watch in 2021

3 circular economy trends that defined 2020

December 21, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on 3 circular economy trends that defined 2020

3 circular economy trends that defined 2020 Lauren Phipps Mon, 12/21/2020 – 00:15 As the year comes to a (welcome) close, it’s worth taking a moment to consider how the circular economy concept has emerged and evolved during this very particular year. Here are three trends that defined the circular economy in 2020, and what they might mean for the year to come.  1. Reuse is on the rise. Despite some setbacks posed by the pandemic (including misinformation about the safety of reusables peddled by industry lobbying groups), the transition from single-use to reusable packaging is building real momentum. With such proof points as Loop’s continued growth and recent $25 million Series A , Algramo’s New York expansion and the launch of the Beyond the Bag initiative, to name a few, it’s clear that reuse is taking hold at scale.  In 2021, I’ll be watching CPG and food and beverage companies, which have been scrutinized for one-off pilots and an overall failure to move quickly enough towards commitments to make all packaging recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025. If brands and retailers intend to fulfill their public commitments, we’ll need to see real investment in reuse platforms and systems in the year ahead.  2. Metrics begin to materialize. This year saw the launch of new tools and standards to calculate and track the circular nature of products, business and systems. Notably, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development released the Circular Transition Indicators and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched the Circulytics tool; GRI established a new standard on waste ; and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute released the fourth version of its product standard . The bright and shiny narrative of the circular economy’s promise will lose its luster without verified data and material evidence to show that circular is indeed better, and these tools are a step in the right direction.  Next year, I expect to see an emphasis on reporting and consistency of data behind various claims, as well as an effort to fold circular economy metrics into existing sustainability and ESG frameworks. I also will be looking for more actionable datasets and analysis on the link between climate change and the circular economy, and opportunities to mitigate carbon emissions using circular economy strategies.  3. It’s (still) all about plastic. Plastic continues to be the star of the show when it comes to the global conversation about materials management and circular economy solutions. The topic is top of mind for most of us given the increased demand for single-use everything amid the pandemic, which has led to a surge in plastic waste entering into waterways and oceans. But this year also offered a collective leveling-up of our data-backed knowledge and understanding about the flows and intervention points that could stem the tide on plastic pollution.  While source reduction continues to be the No. 1 solution to the global plastic waste crisis, many companies continue to solely address end-of-life management — notably in chemical recycling technologies for plastics packaging and synthetic textiles .  2021 is sure to bring continued tension between the problem of plastic waste and the problem of plastic production and use. I’ll be keeping my eye on the policy landscape and the balance between upstream action and accountability alongside downstream solutions.   This article is adapted from GreenBiz’s weekly newsletter, Circular Weekly, running Fridays. Subscribe here . Topics Circular Economy Reuse Plastic Featured Column In the Loop Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

Original post:
3 circular economy trends that defined 2020

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1688 access attempts in the last 7 days.