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China’s ESG iceberg: sustainability in the age of technological disruption

It may be hard to imagine China as an emerging leader in sustainable business practices as it remains one of the world’s top carbon emitters. However awareness of ESG best practices is growing among Chinese companies, largely driven by changes in regulatory policies as part of China’s structural shift toward sustainable growth. As with other

For energy transition, the key word is sustainability, not politics

Two words — sustainable and transition — are frequently used when we talk about energy these days and unfortunately, the definitions are at best inconsistent and at worst, misleading. That makes agreeing on not just what we need to do, but how, especially difficult. Nevertheless, doing nothing is not an option. The transition to a

Here’s how much it would cost to move every home in the U.S. to zero-carbon energy

A typical American household runs on fossil fuels: natural gas for heat, hot water, and the kitchen stove, gas or diesel to power the cars in the driveway, and coal and natural gas still powering the majority of the electricity flowing in the home, even as the amount of wind and solar on the grid

Future of the workplace: Sustainability, climate change and COVID-19

Environmental and sustainability professional, Dr Leyla Acaroglu, and next generation employee experience platform and intranet provider, Unily, have launched the Future of Workplace Sustainability Report, which explores how sustainability, climate change and COVID-19 are shaping the future of the workplace. We are living in a time of great and immediate change, and COVID-19 and climate change are just two of

The Link Between Climate Finance and Building Resilience after COVID-19

In 2020, the world’s poor find themselves at the nexus of two crises: COVID-19 and climate change. The people most vulnerable to COVID-19 – low-income individuals, women, workers in the informal economy, and ethnic and racial minorities – are the same citizens that are most vulnerable to weather and climate crises. The poor disproportionately face

Planetary ‘safety net’ could halt wildlife loss and slow climate breakdown

World leaders are preparing to join a key summit on biodiversity being hosted in New York amid mounting evidence that governments are failing to halt the unprecedented loss of species around the world. Earlier this month, a UN report revealed that the international community had failed to fully achieve any of the 20 biodiversity targets

The sustainability success stories of Climate Week NYC 2020

On Monday (21 September), hundreds of representatives from policy, business, science, academia, thought leadership and the third sector were meant to be descending on New York City for the ninth Climate Week. In light of Covid-19, the event was moved online. But this didn't stop corporates from making a string of new commitments, policymakers for setting

The world has already passed “peak oil” demand

The world has already passed “peak oil” demand, according to Carbon Brief analysis of the latest energy outlook from oil major BP. The 2020 edition of the annual outlook reveals – albeit indirectly – that global oil demand will not regain the levels seen last year. It adds that demand could soon fall rapidly in the face of stronger climate action

True sustainability means building future-focused infrastructure

The ‘great reset’ post-Covid will be shaped by the infrastructure we plan, design and construct. And infrastructure development is likely to take a leading role in national economic recovery efforts in the wake of the pandemic. Historically, it has been a significant factor in catalysing economic growth. There is also a tide of opinion swelling

What are the challenges in making technology more sustainable?

Technology can accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals – or exacerbate inequalities. Responsible technology governance can help ensure innovation is inclusive. More work needs to be done to provide universal and affordable access to the internet and close the digital skills gap. Technological innovation…it’s complicated. On the one hand, technology can accelerate progress on

Here’s how sustainability can make you stand out from the crowd

The COVID-19 crisis has heightened awareness of the importance of addressing environmental challenges. Companies are seeking to increase the environmental and social resilience of supply chains. To make the case for investment, they need to understand how to use sustainability as a competitive advantage. Whether making collective commitments on biodiversity or developing alternatives to the

Unsustainable policies and their remedies

How will the global economy recover from the Covid-19 shock? Most observers wish for a rapid and sustained recovery and expansion. However, this wish is unlikely to be granted. Prior to the pandemic, the global economy had ‘preconditions’ implying that it was already on an unsustainable path. While stocks of debt and greenhouse gases were

Is Plastic Recycling A Lie? Oil Companies Touted Recycling To Sell More Plastic

Laura Leebrick, a manager at Rogue Disposal & Recycling in southern Oregon, is standing on the end of its landfill watching an avalanche of plastic trash pour out of a semitrailer: containers, bags, packaging, strawberry containers, yogurt cups. None of this plastic will be turned into new plastic things. All of it is buried. "To

Closing the loop between the perception and practice of sustainability

Consumers are no longer choosing where to shop based on price, product quality and brand recognition alone but instead, are making conscious choices based on a brand’s commitment to sustainability. What started out as a trend around taking more responsibility in individual consumption patterns, has now firmly become mainstream, with almost 80% of consumers actively changing their

How to Measure a Company’s Real Impact

In recent years, most major international airlines have reported healthy profitability. But our calculations show this to be a mirage. In the case of Lufthansa and American Airlines, for example, accounting for their environmental costs of $2.3 and $4.8 billion respectively would make both companies unprofitable. What explains this discrepancy? To date, there has been

Amid The Pandemic, It’s Time To Double-Down On Sustainability

In the ongoing pandemic crisis, organizations are reviewing each aspect of their tech spend to help them stay afloat. However, sustainability initiatives must be exempt from this scrutiny. This is because continuity is paramount to its success and, more importantly, its specific initiatives are often synonymous with saving money and reducing waste. Sustainability must remain on the list because its specific initiatives are often synonymous with saving

The rise (and rise) of sustainability-linked finance

One of the silver linings of this horrific moment is the rise of loans, bonds and other financial instruments linked to sustainability outcomes. In this sense, “sustainability” is broadly defined to include environmental issues as well as social ones. And, more recently, a new subcategory of, yes, pandemic-related issues. Indeed, the pandemic response is being

Good News! Wind And Solar Just Hit a New Record in 2020 as Coal Declines

Wind and solar produced a record 10 percent of global electricity in the first half of 2020 as the world's coal plant fleet ran at less than half its capacity, analysis recently published showed. Despite a near-record drop in power demand due to the pandemic, renewables accounted for 1,129 terawatt-hours in January-June, compared with 992 in

The U.S. can be powered 100% by renewable energy. How do we get there?

A study by Stanford scholar Mark Z. Jacobson and a team of researchers at both Stanford University and the University of California at Berkley in 2015 created a road map for a 100% renewable future. Ambitious? Sure. Unlikely? Perhaps. Skeptics shot it down, optimists pointed to it for inspiration. Since 2015, it’s been basically debunked. (It