Will BlackRock’s Climate Move Cause a Domino Effect?

This isn’t the first time that BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s annual letters to CEOs and clients addressed climate risk and the need for urgent action from the public and private sector. But it is the first time we’ve seen a commitment and a plan for making climate change and sustainability central to the way that BlackRock manages risk, designs products and portfolios, and engages with companies to improve disclosure and accelerate progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement.

This week’s news is encouraging, but it’s also just the beginning of a critical next chapter. Real results for investors, the economy and the planet hinge on how ambitiously and transparently BlackRock uses its capital and influence to accelerate climate progress and policy – and whether other leading asset managers do the same. Read more

Plant-based foods are booming, but we need sustainable meat, too.

The statistics on plant-based proteins are eye opening: Beyond Meat’s shares have more than tripled in value since its IPO in May, Impossible Foods can now be found in about 10,000 restaurants, and the market for meat substitutes is expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2023. In fact, dollar sales of plant-based products are growing double digits across the country, and you can now find meat alternatives in Burger King, White Castle and Carl’s Jr, among other chains. Read more

A Low Carbon World Requires Corporate Leadership

“Without business, … we will never achieve the goals of keeping temperature increases below 1.5 degrees (Celsius). This is only the beginning – we are just getting on track.”

-Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, the UN Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Action Summit

In the wake of the failure of the UN Climate Conference in Madrid, it is even more urgent and critical that global business lead the way – showing a path forward for prosperity and a thriving planet.

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2019 in review: Top 3 corporate sustainability trends

This blog is a follow up to an earlier blog published: Top 3 Trends in Corporate Sustainability for 2019.

Earlier this year, I identified the top 3 corporate sustainability trends that all business leaders should be watching in 2019. Those trends were: mobility projects gaining popularity as a strategy to reduce emissions, longstanding sustainability champions being joined by the majority and greater industry diversity for Science-Based Targets.

I’m revisiting those trends to give an update on where they stand as the year comes to an end, using real-world company examples to back up my insights.

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Digital innovation: how National Oil Companies can meet the methane challenge

National Oil Companies (NOCs) produce more than half of the world’s oil and gas, and control nearly 90% of proven reserves still in the ground. Owned and overseen by national governments,

As such, it is in both their commercial and national interest to minimize waste – particularly of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is responsible for a quarter of the climate warming we’re experiencing today. Methane is the main ingredient in natural gas, and the global oil and gas industry leaks more than $34 billion of natural gas annually.

Not all oil and gas facilities, however, are created equal. Many of the solutions used to detect methane leaks today were designed for U.S. onshore infrastructure: a patchwork quilt of individual well pads owned and operated by thousands of different companies. However, in many of the largest producing countries oil and gas facilities can be the size of towns, in some cases over 20 miles wide.

So how can an NOC manage and mitigate their methane emissions most efficiently? The answer: by embracing digital methane innovation. Read more

The businesses that are – and are not – leading on climate change

When President Trump announced his plans to withdraw from the Paris Agreement in 2017, businesses spoke out en masse in opposition to this plan – conveying that long-term, global competitiveness demands climate action. Soon after, the We Are Still In Coalition was born to showcase widespread commitment to the Paris Accord.

This week, as the Trump administration cedes global leadership on climate by formally withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, We Are Still In membership now stands at more than 2,200 businesses and investors – including big names like Walmart, Hewlett Packard, Dropbox, and Apple.

Continued commitment to the Paris Accord is critical – but it’s also only one part of what is needed to fill the climate leadership void, build the clean energy economy, and remain “in.”

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5 Companies Where Tech & Sustainability Go Hand in Hand

We use tech in just about every aspect of our lives. It’s changed how we communicate, shop, travel, to how we get the food on our plate. It’s also changed how companies do business.

Technology like artificial intelligence (AI), sensors and blockchain are enabling companies to provide cutting-edge products and services for consumers – from virtual gyms to smart water dispensers – and increase operational efficiency as they do. But the bulk of companies are missing out on a big opportunity: using tech that’s already at hand to meet their sustainability goals and reduce climate-related risk.

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How tech deployment can turn climate commitments into action – and profits

Fueled by a surge in employee, customer and investor pressure to act on climate, and the near universal recognition of how a warming planet threatens the global economy, businesses are stepping up their climate commitments in a big way. This was especially true in September, when hundreds of companies announced their intentions at Climate Week, and in August when the Business Roundtable unveiled its new take on the purpose of a corporation: to “serve all its stakeholders” and “protect the environment by embracing sustainable practices across our businesses.”

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New Technologies Are Allowing Business To Tackle Climate And Clean Air As One

For too long, air pollution has been an invisible problem. That is until now. New technologies are exposing the presence of air pollution and connecting it back to sources and health impacts.

For the most part, cities across the globe have led the efforts to deploy innovative solutions for tackling air pollution and climate together. But they can’t do it alone. Companies can invest in solutions that address air pollution, protect the climate, and add value to their business.

Business leaders are being called on to align climate and clean air plans. And just as we saw momentum build from the business community to set serious, science-based targets to tackle climate change, the same ambition needs to happen for measuring and monitoring air pollution. Fortunately, new innovations and technological breakthroughs are enabling companies to work with cities on scaling solutions.

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We know heavy metals are in food. Here’s how the Baby Food Council is taking on that challenge.

This week, a new investigative report by Healthy Babies Bright Futures, a children’s health advocacy group, revealed that there is still more work to do in eliminating contaminants of concern, including lead, arsenic, and cadmium, from infant and toddler food. As noted in the report, at least one of these toxic heavy metals was detected in 95 percent of the 168 baby food samples tested. The good news: earlier this year, leaders in the sector supported by academic, government, and NGO partners and advisors started working together on the issue via the pre-competitive Baby Food Council.

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