Apple Invests in Clean Energy to Address Emissions Impact of Powering Devices

Apple announced today a new renewable energy investment in Australia, aimed at helping the company address the climate impact of the electricity used by customers to charge their Apple devices. The announcement forms part of Apple’s ambition to become carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain, and product life cycle by 2030, a […]

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WTW Appoints US Climate Finance Negotiator Sarah Conway as Head of Ecosystem Resilience Practice

Global advisory, broking, and solutions company WTW announced today the appointment of Sarah Conway as Head of its Ecosystem Resilience practice and Director in the Disaster Risk Finance / Parametrics unit within the company’s Climate and Resilience Hub.

Conway served at the U.S. Department of State as Lead Climate Finance Negotiator for the U.S delegation to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including at COP21 in Paris. She also supported U.S. involvement with the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility, and helped to design and launch the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance and the Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Change Mitigation.

Most recently Conway ran her own consultancy, focusing on climate and conservation finance solutions, including for systematic observations and early warning systems, climate-smart urban infrastructure, ecosystem conservation and livelihood protection working with leading international institutions.

Simon Young, Senior Director, Climate and Resilience Hub, WTW, said:

“Sarah takes us to the next level, bringing a wealth of experience across climate, nature, finance and policy, making her a perfect fit for our growing Disaster Risk Finance and Parametrics team and the pioneering work we are doing on ecosystem resilience, helping to further advance WTW’s role in shaping the global agenda for private sector efforts for a sustainable blue economy.”

Conway, added:

“This new role presents a unique opportunity to design, deploy and scale financial instruments that offer a triple win, benefiting people, nature and climate. I look forward to working with the hugely experienced and talented CRH team and the wider WTW business, supporting our clients and other stakeholders to further strengthen their ecosystem resilience capabilities.”

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California Sets Goal to Ramp Offshore Wind to 25GW, Powering 25 Million Homes

The California Energy Commission (CEC) announced a series of goals to dramatically scale the stated renewable energy capacity through the deployment of offshore wind. The new goals include reaching 2 to 5 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and 25 GW by 2045.

Achieving the long-term goal would deliver enough renewable electricity to power 25 million homes by mid-century.

CEC Chair David Hochschild, said:

“These ambitious yet achievable goals are an important signal of how committed California is to bringing the offshore wind industry to our state. This remarkable resource will generate clean electricity around the clock and help us transition away from fossil fuel-based energy as quickly as possible while ensuring grid reliability.”

The new targets were adopted in a report by the CEC, responding to a state directive to “evaluate and quantify the maximum feasible capacity of offshore wind to achieve reliability, ratepayer, employment, and decarbonization benefits” and to establish offshore wind planning goals for 2030 and 2045. The initiative is part of California’s policy to transition its electricity system to 100% renewable and zero-carbon energy sources by 2045.

According to the CEC, with some of the best offshore wind resources in the country, California has the potential to become carbon neutral and achieve 100% clean electricity, with offshore providing an essential renewable energy source at night that complements solar energy by day.

Next steps for the CEC following the publication of the report include studying the economic benefits of offshore wind in relation to seaport investments and workforce development needs, and creating a roadmap to develop a permitting process for offshore wind energy facilities and associated electricity and transmission infrastructure. The entire plan is set to be submitted to the Legislature by June next year.

CEC Vice Chair Siva Gunda, said:

“The success of our state’s climate goals requires all-hands-on deck and we are committed to ongoing consultation with other agencies and those most impacted by the scale-up needed to achieve 100 percent clean electricity.”

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Burberry’s Net Zero Emissions Goals Approved by SBTi

Luxury brand Burberry announced today that its climate goals have been approved by the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) as meeting the criteria to keep global warming to 1.5°C in line with the Paris Agreement. Burberry is the first luxury fashion brand to receive approval by the initiative for its net zero emissions target.

SBTi is one of the key organizations focused on aligning corporate environmental sustainability action with the global goals of addressing and limiting climate change. Last year, the organization launched its Net Zero Standard, setting stringent criteria which it uses to assess and certify corporate commitments to achieve net zero emissions. SBTi also tightened its criteria for approved climate targets, announcing that it will only accept targets aligned with its 1.5°C warming ambition, as required to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.  

Luiz Amaral, Chief Executive Officer of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), said:

“Climate science tells us that we need rapid and deep emissions cuts if we are to achieve global net-zero and prevent the most damaging effects of climate change. Burberry’s net-zero targets match the urgency of the climate crisis and set a clear example that their peers must follow.”

Burberry first set science-based targets in 2019, and last year the company pledged to go beyond net zero, to become “climate positive” by 2040. The company’s short- and long-term climate commitments include a goal to cut absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 95% by 2023 from a 2017 base year, and absolute scope 3 GHG emissions by 46.2% by 2030, from a 2019 baseline.

In the longer term, the company aims to maintain at least 95% scope 1 and 2 GHG reductions from 2023 through 2040 against a FY 2017 base year, while reducing absolute scope 3 GHG emissions by 90% by 2040 from a 2019 base year.

Scopes 1 and 2 encompass emissions generated by Burberry’s operations, such as electricity and gas in stores, manufacturing hubs, and offices. Scope 3 includes emissions in Burberry’s extended supply chain such as energy usage by manufacturing and material sourcing partners. 

Caroline Laurie, VP of Corporate Responsibility, Burberry, said:

 “Rooting our commitments in science has always been a priority at Burberry, so we can ensure the steps we are taking will have the necessary impact and bring about lasting change. We continue to challenge ourselves to drive measurement, improvement and transparency across our operations and we are committed to continue working with our suppliers and partners to accelerate the adoption of more sustainable practices. We hope this encourages others to do the same.”

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Guest Post: ESG for the IRO

Over the past several years, environmental, social and governance (ESG) has moved to the forefront of investment strategies, making it critically important for corporate investor relations (IR) teams to communicate their sustainability story through roadshows, investor meetings and annual sustainability reports. Michael Stiller, Head of ESG Advisory and Engagement at Nasdaq, spoke with Nasdaq Investor […]

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United Airlines Deposits $10 Million for Purchase of 100 Electric Aircraft from Archer

United Airlines announced today that it has placed a $10 million deposit to purchase 100 electric initial production aircraft from vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) developer Archer.

Archer’s eVTOL aircraft are designed to use electric motors and have the potential for future use as an ‘air taxi’ in urban markets. The aircraft are made to fly at speeds of up to 150 mph and distances of up to 60 miles, with future models projected to travel faster and farther. The aircraft also has the potential to cut CO2 emissions by 47% per passenger on a trip between Hollywood and Los Angeles International Airport.

The pre-delivery payment follows United Airlines’ agreement with Archer in 2021 to assist in the development of its battery-powered, short-haul aircraft, which included plans for United and Mesa Airlines to acquire a fleet of up to 200 of the electric aircraft once the aircraft are in operation and have met United’s operating and business requirements.

Adam Goldstein, Archer’s CEO, said:

“I am incredibly proud of the entire Archer team as we reach this milestone in our partnership with United Airlines. To receive a cash deposit is validation of Archer’s achievements to date, not only with flight testing and product development, but also a great signal of confidence in our roadmap to commercialization.”

United Airlines has committed to fully reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 without relying on carbon offsets and it plans to continue to invest in the development and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Other initiatives and investments include the completion of United’s first passenger flight with a 100% SAF-powered engine, and the agreement to purchase 300 million gallons of SAF produced from CO2 from CO2 utilization company Dimensional Energy.

The eVTOL aircraft are expected to provide a low-carbon way to get to the airline’s hub airports and commute in dense urban environments within the next five years.

Michael Leskinen, President of United Airlines Ventures, said:

“This announcement marks a new important phase in our relationship with Archer, and our commitment to EVTOL technology. We are witnessing an inflection point where consumers,businesses, and policymakers are all aligned to prioritize technology that reduces the impact of climate change. United Airlines Ventures has invested in a diverse roster of companies working in support of our goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, without the use of traditional carbon offsets.”

United stated that it recently formed a joint eVTOL Advisory Committee with Archer, enabling the companies to collaborate more closely on eVTOL maintenance and operations. Committee members include Archer’s operations and maintenance leadership, as well as leadership from United’s maintenance, materials, and engineering groups.

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Deloitte Launches End-to-End Sustainability Solutions Suite with SAP

Global professional services firm Deloitte announced today the launch of a suite of sustainability solutions built on SAP technology, aimed at helping clients shape and manage their sustainable business strategies, with end-to-end offerings from ESG integration and reporting to sustainable finance and supply chain sustainability. The new solutions include ESG Strategy, enabling the integration of […]

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Nuveen Appoints Kelly Hagg as Head of Responsible Investing Strategy & Solutions

Investment manager Nuveen has appointed Kelly Hagg to the newly created position of Senior Managing Director and Head of Responsible Investing Strategy & Solutions, according to an internal memo from the firm’s Global Head of Responsible Investing Amy O’Brien, seen by ESG Today. In his new position, Hagg will assume management of the Nuveen’s responsible […]

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India Passes Bill to Accelerate Industrial Clean Energy Adoption, Ban Export of Carbon Credits

India’s parliament passed the Energy Conservation Amendment Bill 2022, enabling a series of moves by the government to regulate and mandate the transition from fossil-based energy to clean and renewable sources in industry, transportation and buildings. The legislation also allows for the creation of a carbon market in the country, centralizing the trading of carbon […]

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IBM, SMBC and Persefoni Partner to Deliver Carbon Accounting Solutions in Japan

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), IBM Japan and climate management and accounting platform (CMAP) provider Persefoni announced today a new partnership to deliver a comprehensive decarbonization solution to Japanese customers, aimed at enabling companies to analyze and support their global carbon footprint management.

According to the companies, the collaboration aims to address the growing need by enterprises in Japan increasingly for digitally-enabled services to meet regulatory and investor sustainability compliance requirements. The Tokyo Stock Exchange recently launched a requirement for some listed companies to disclose information substantially aligned with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Information Disclosure (TCFD), which mandates calculations with significant amount of data collection and the use of complex formulas.

Launched in 2020, Persefoni’s  SaaS platform enables companies and institutional investors to measure, analyze, plan, forecast, and report on their carbon footprint, leveraging AI to provide users with contextual sustainability performance scores for their organization and allowing them to manage their carbon transactions and inventory with the same rigor as their financial ones. The company helps banks, asset managers and others to calculate their financed emissions footprint in compliance with standards. Through the agreement, Persefoni will deliver the CMAP to the Japanese market.

IBM offers a tool to support the automatization of the data input process into Persefoni and the emission calculation output and reporting processes. The solution is built on an integrated data application infrastructure that supports the large amount of data collection and processing needed for calculating emissions.

IBM and SMBC recently started providing climate change risk and opportunity analysis services to support corporate climate change disclosure. Through the collaboration with Persefoni, the two companies will be able to provide customers with a decarbonization solution that features carbon footprint monitoring as well as climate change risk and opportunity analysis.

SMBC also stated that that it is the first multinational financial institution in Japan to sign a multi-year contract with Persefoni to use the CMAP for its own operations.

Kentaro Kawamori, CEO and Co-Founder of Persefoni, said:

“This decarbonization ecosystem is the first of its kind in Japan, with a top bank positioning it side-by-side with its green financial products. Moreover, with a three year commitment. This has the very real potential to materially drive down the country’s total emissions.”“Persefoni works with a number of global banks and few are as proactive at leading as SMBC. They will continue to shape decarbonization in Japan.”

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