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Posts tagged 'Sustainability Report'

Arcadis – Sustainable Cities Index 2016

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The Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index has been published.

Sustainable Cities 2016

“Cities are under pressure from all angles; some pressures are easily forecasted while others are more difficult to predict. Balancing the immediate needs of today without compromising the demands of tomorrow is at the heart of sustainability, and of this report. The 2016 Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index ranks 100 global cities on three dimensions, or pillars, of sustainability: People, Planet and Profit. These represent social, environmental and economic sustainability to offer an indicative picture of the health and wealth of cities for the present and the future.

Well-established European cities dominate the top of the overall ranking making up 16 of the top 20 positions. They are joined by the advanced Asian cities of Singapore (in second place), Seoul (7th) and Hong Kong (16th) as well as Australia’s capital, Canberra (18th). Cities around the world are living at extremes, not balancing these pillars of sustainability. While taking the lead in some areas, cities often sit lower in one area of sustainability. How can cities do more to ensure that as they develop and implement strategies and policies to address the considerable challenges they face – from environmental to socio-economic – they do so in a way that puts people first and at the forefront of their sustainability?”

 

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Setting the pace: Northern England’s low carbon economy

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Low Carbon Economy - AGToday marks the launch of Aldersgate Group’s new report – Setting the pace: Northern England’s low carbon economy.

The Aldersgate Group is an alliance of leaders from business, politics and civil society that drives action for a sustainable economy.

The report spotlights a number of low carbon case studies in the North of England to demonstrate that low carbon investment can play a significant role in bolstering the Northern economy whilst helping the UK meet its carbon targets.

This report is part of their activities to influence the development of an ambitious environmental policy by the new government and in particular that of a detailed emissions reduction plan to meet the fifth carbon budget.

Businesses, communities and local authorities in the North of England are seizing the opportunity to develop a local low carbon economy, bringing much needed investment and jobs to the region. And there is signifcant potential for further growth.

“Climate change represents a major challenge to the UK, but developing the means to mitigate our carbon emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change presents an enormous commercial opportunity. In the North of England, low carbon investment has already had a significant impact on regional regeneration. It has created thousands of skilled jobs, developed local supply chains, encouraged innovation and produced clean energy generation. In 2013 there were already 136,000 people working in the low carbon economy in the North. 

This report makes the case for greater local government support and a clear national industrial strategy to strengthen the low carbon economy in the North, create further jobs in the sector and ultimately help the UK to meet its climate change targets on time and on budget. Case studies from across the North of England show that low carbon initiatives in sectors as diverse as manufacturing, energy infrastructure, biofuels, natural assets, smart heat, resource efficiency and offshore wind are doing just this and bringing knock-on benefits for their supply chains and the wider economy.”

 

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Climate Change – A Risk Assessment

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The Centre for Science and Policy has recently released this report assessing the risks around climate change. The CSaP helps the sciences and technology to serve society by promoting engagement between researchers and policy professionals.

“The most important decision any government has to make about climate change is one of priority: how much effort to expend on countering it, relative to the effort that must be spent on other issues. This risk assessment aims to inform that decision.”

As you would expect, the report is direct in its findings, with some press outlets comparing the threat to that of nuclear in the cold war era. It clearly lays out the risks and the who, where, how and when for the most affected – Global temperatures are rising, as are sea levels with widespread drought and famine. Across the globe it’s not looking great for us, with the developing nations faring worst.

Surface Temp Change Over Time

The risk assessment was informed by a series of meetings, held at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts in November 2014; Tsinghua University in Beijing in January 2015; the Council on Energy, Environment and Water in Delhi in March 2015; and Lancaster House in London in April 2015. These were attended by experts in energy policy, climate science, technology, finance, international security, politics and economics.

The report was commissioned by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office as an independent contribution to the climate change debate. Its contents represent the views of the authors, and should not be taken to represent the views of the UK Government. Sponsorship for the project was also generously provided by the China National Expert Committee on Climate Change, the Skoll Global Threats Fund, the Global Challenges Foundation, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, and the Willis Research Network.

The report was edited and produced by the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) at the University of Cambridge.

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RobecoSAM’s Country Sustainability Ranking

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Sweden and several neighbours did well in this year’s RobecoSAM sustainability ranking report. The UK came 4th.

The report which came out earlier this month covers 60 countries and grades them against 17 criteria – a broad range of environmental, social and governance factors that they consider to be key risk and return drivers relevant for investors. For each of the indicators and their corresponding weights, a country sustainability score ranges from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. The resulting scores offer insights into the investment risks and opportunities associated with each country, allowing investors to better compare countries to each other.

The top and bottom 10 countries appear as follows:

Sustainability top 10

Sustainability bottom 10

 

You can download the full report here.

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Combat Climate Change And Grow The Economy – Possible?

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This report from Global Commission on the Economy and the Climate outlines how to grow the economy and stave off climate change. Watch this video for more detail.

New Climate Economy

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, and its flagship project The New Climate Economy, were set up to help governments, businesses and society make better-informed decisions on how to achieve economic prosperity and development while also addressing climate change.

The New Climate Economy was commissioned in 2013 by the governments of seven countries: Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The Commission has operated as an independent body and, while benefiting from the support of the seven governments, has been given full freedom to reach its own conclusions.

“2015 is a year of unprecedented opportunity. This year’s landmark intergovernmental conferences – the International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July, the United Nations Summit to adopt the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals in New York in September, the G20 Summit in Antalya in November, and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris in December – have the potential to advance a new era of international cooperation which can help countries at all income levels build lasting development and economic growth while reducing climate risk.”

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An Economy That Works

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An Economy That Works LogoUK business coalition backs “better growth” roadmap to get economy working harder for the environment and society.

A coalition of some of the UK’s biggest businesses today backed a new macro-economic roadmap for Britain and launched a new independent campaign called “An Economy That Works” based on the findings of a major report.

Campaign founders the Aldersgate Group and its progressive alliance of NGOs and UK businesses argue in their first report that the UK economy risks becoming detached from the long-term needs of society. It says that GDP growth is an important tool in creating prosperous societies, but warns that on its own growth is unable to define a path to lasting prosperity and competitiveness. It says an economy that works for the UK is one that will be low carbon, will deliver high employment and equality of opportunity, and place wellbeing and regard for natural resources at its core.

Sir Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive, Kingfisher plc said: “The last seven years have shown us that we urgently need an economy that contributes to society and strengthens it. GDP is not a comprehensive measure of prosperity: it is an important tool, not a goal in itself. Instead of maximum linear growth in GDP, we need to start thinking of maximum wellbeing for minimum planetary input.”

Launching the new campaign, Sir Richard Lambert, former Financial Times editor and former Director-General of the CBI said: “Single-issue policymaking is struggling to address the complex social and environmental challenges of our time.  The Economy that Works coalition has a relentlessly positive vision and its systemic blueprint for creating decent jobs, delivering equal opportunity, and enhancing wellbeing across the UK is exciting and galvanising.”

Peter Young, Chair of the Aldersgate Group said: “Despite encouraging UK growth figures, we risk getting stuck with reduced wellbeing, rising inequality, continued loss of natural capital and rising resource pressures. Policymakers urgently need to look beyond GDP to define successful growth – setting far more coherent policy goals which strengthen the links between our economy, our society and the environment.”

Oliver Dudok van Heel, Director of “An Economy That Works” said: “Our coalition wants to see an economy that works harder for our society and our environment. Many of our member companies are championing best practice and progressive social and environmental policies that will keep our economy in the fast lane. This campaign is an ambitious attempt to draw these strands together into a joined-up roadmap for policymakers that will help insulate UK society from future economic shocks.”

The organisations behind the campaign – including Aviva Investors, BT, Friends of the Earth, Interface, Kingfisher, M&S, National Grid, Nestlé, RSPB, Sky, the TUC and WWF – hope to spark informed political debate about what UK citizens and businesses want from their economy and inspire policymakers to develop solutions that will keep the UK prosperous, competitive and sustainable for generations to come. Many of them have long been at the forefront of driving progressive ethical and sustainable business practices.

The growing coalition behind the new campaign will work with the UK government over the coming years to identify the key policy levers for change, support their adoption, and encourage wider uptake of innovative business practices that together are needed to guarantee a competitive and successful UK economy now and in the future.

An Economy That Works Infographic

Click here to view the downloadable infographic.

KEY REPORT FINDINGS:

Moving beyond ‘growth’ and defining six core characteristics of ‘An Economy that Works’:

1. High employment 
- investment in job generation and skills development, promoting flexible and part-time working, investing in lifetime educational support to increase financial independence and create fulfilling work opportunities.

2. Equality of opportunity – unlocking a ‘double dividend’: reducing inequality and boosting social and economic mobility for all; cutting the cost of employment and introducing living wage levels.

3. Wellbeing at the core
 – ensuring everyone has confidence their material needs will be met, supported by strong healthcare & education systems, strong social networks & democratic institutions.

4. Low carbon 
– there is no such thing as a high carbon low cost future; effective carbon pricing and policy support for innovation and deployment of low carbon technologies are essential. The environmental goods and services sector is growing and already represents £122bn (9.3 per cent) of the UK economy.

5. Zero waste
 – promotion of a circular economy to cut landfill and promote re-use of materials; UK could cut its reliance on raw materials by 20 per cent by 2020 and unlock a £5.6bn opportunity in UK re-manufacturing.

6. Enhancing nature – The UK’s diverse natural capital provides the economy and society with food, clean air, wildlife, energy, wood, recreation and protection from hazards. Measuring this value to the UK economy and preventing its exploitation makes sound business sense.

Notes

The ‘An Economy That Works’ report is available at www.aneconomythatworks.org

Click here to view the downloadable infographic.

Organisations that support the ‘An Economy That Works Campaign’ include: Anglian Water; Asda; Aviva Investors; Bank of America Merrill Lynch; BT; CDP; Energy Saving Trust; The Equality Trust; Forum for the Future; Friends of the Earth; Grant Thornton; Green Alliance; IEMA; Interface; Johnson Matthey; Kingfisher; Landmark; Lucideon; M&S; National Grid; the National Union of Students; Nestlé; New Economics Foundation; Reed Elsevier; RSPB; Share Action; Sky; Thames Water; Trade Union Congress; the UK Green Building Council; Willmott Dixon; the Woodland Trust; WSP and WWF.

For more information and interviews please contact:

Tom Howard-Vyse on 07920 269 477 or media@aldersgategroup.org.uk

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Climate Change: Implications for Cities

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CISL have released The Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and it is the most up-to-date, comprehensive and relevant analysis of our changing climate. Urban centres account for more than half of the world’s population, most of its economic activity and the majority of energy-related emissions. This briefing explores the roles cities will play in the fight against climate change.

Click on the image to see the infographic at full size and download the full report here:

Changing Climate Cities

More about Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

“Over 25 years CISL has brought together business, government and academia to deepen leaders’ insight and understanding through our executive programmes, build deep, strategic engagement with leadership companies, and create opportunities for collaborative enquiry and action through our business platforms.

As we begin our second quarter-century, this small but significant change to our name symbolises our renewed focus on working with Cambridge’s world-class, multidisciplinary expertise to find solutions to critical sustainability challenges – to support business leadership for a sustainable world.

CISL has a leadership network with more than 5,000 alumni from leading global organisations and an expert team of Fellows, Senior Associates and staff. HRH The Prince of Wales is the Patron of CISL and has inspired and supported many of our initiatives.”

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GlobeScan and SustainAbility’s 20th Anniversary Corporate Leaders Report

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GlobeScan and SustainAbility have just released their 2014 survey of expert stakeholders from business, government, NGOs, and academia, across 87 countries.

I’m proud to say that Interface is the only company to be ranked top 5 every year since 1997 by top sustainability experts. That says quite a lot. Firstly, it’s not a consumer survey, it’s the real experts. Secondly, many companies appear in the ranking when they launch a sustainability initiative, but then vanish the next year because it was too difficult to deliver on the performance and strategies set. Interface was recognised when we launched Mission Zero and still people today are recognising us for its performance, which is the most challenging part.

Click on the image to view the report:

Globescan Sustainability Report 2014

More about GlobeScan and SustainAbility:

SustainAbility is a think tank and consultancy that for over 25 years has catalyzed and supported business leadership on sustainability. Through our agenda-setting research and advocacy, we chart new territory and help business leaders and their stakeholders understand what’s next. Through our advisory services, we help clients understand the shifting landscape of risk and opportunity, develop practical strategies and initiatives, and foster authentic, impactful engagement and collaboration with a range of stakeholders. Learn more at www.SustainAbility.com

GlobeScan is an international opinion research consultancy.  We provide global organisations with evidence-based insights to help them set strategy and shape their communications. Companies, multilateral institutions, governments and NGOs trust GlobeScan for our unique expertise across reputation management, sustainability and stakeholder relations.

GlobeScan conducts research in over 90 countries and is a signatory to the UN Global Compact.  Established in 1987, GlobeScan is an independent, management-owned company with offices in Toronto, London and San Francisco. For more information, please visit www.GlobeScan.com

 

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The Maersk 2013 Sustainability Report

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The Maersk Group operates in the shipping and energy industries. It has four core businesses which include Maersk Line, APM Terminals, Maersk Oil and Maersk Drilling.

The Sustainability Report 2013 concludes the three-year journey Maersk undertook in 2010 to integrate sustainability its business. It communicates the progress made as well as the challenges faced by the Group.

Maersk Sustainability Report

“We have come a long way integrating sustainability into business processes, setting minimum standards and increasing transparency about our performance. Our new strategy will focus on unlocking growth for Maersk and for the societies in which we operate.” – Annette Stube, Head of Group Sustainability, Maersk Group

Its 2013 Sustainability Report covers all aspects of the Group’s 2013 sustainability performance including human rights, anti-corruption, responsible procurement, diversity, as well as performance and efforts within safety and the environment.

Key highlights:

* 17% CO2 efficiency improvement since 2010 across the Group
* 34% CO2 reduction per container in Maersk Line (2007 baseline)
* More than 33,000 people trained in anti-corruption since 2010
* 2,600 suppliers committed to Maersk’s Third Party Code of Conduct.
* 97% of the measures of business integration completed or in the process of completion

Maersk Container ShipMaersk Container Ship

The report also gives key findings of an impact study on China that Maersk undertook in 2013 to broaden its understanding of the impacts and opportunities within transports and logistics in the country – a nation that is better connected by container shipping than any other.

The report serves as Maersk’s Communication on Progress (COP) to the UN Global Compact and has been assured by an external assurance provider.

The report is available for download here www.maersk.com/Sustainability

 

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It’s about product standards

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Great report from Tom Turnbull and Dustin Benton on the incredible power of regulating through product standards.

Instead of investing huge amount of money on subsidizing renewable energy, you decrease demand and without bothering consumers. How? Through better product design, all ‘forced’ through product standards.

Boilers, TVs, cars, washing machines…

All with little of the local self-serving, rent-seeking politics at national level. Because the seemingly ugly, obscure technocrats from Brussels are doing the job for us. Dont expect this great story to make it into the Daily Mail…

Some outstanding figures from the report:

– 42 per cent of energy bill cost reductions are expected to come from product policy, saving £158 off the average energy bill

– we are using appliances which are 59 per cent less efficient than the best available technologies

– The UK is relying on product policy to deliver 51 per cent of CO2 emissions savings expected from energy efficiency

– it takes four years to set up a regulation and producers usually have three to five years before they have to fully comply with it. Overall, it takes between seven and nine years for a regulation to come into force

 

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