Carbonplace attracts more backers
Carbon offsets technology platform Carbonplace
has been joined by three more banks – BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered and UBS – joining NatWest, Itau Unibanco, NAB and CIBC. Underpinned by Blockchain, Carbonplace is a settlement platform being developed to facilitate reliable, secure and scalable trading of high-integrity carbon credits. It’s expected to be fully operational by the end of 2022.
Once up and running, the platform is designed to provide robust settlement infrastructure for marketplaces and exchanges, encourage increased delivery of high-quality carbon credit projects and develop a strong ecosystem for the voluntary carbon market. On its website, Carbonplace argues that the voluntary carbon market has a critical role in supporting the transition of companies to net zero emissions as part of their climate action strategies. Only credits verified under internationally agreed and science-based standards, including credits from REDD+ projects, will be listed on Carbonplace.
Coke shareholders push container targets
Global drinks giant Coca-Cola has announced plans to boost the share of its products that come in returnable or refillable containers from the current 16% to 25% by the end of the decade
. The company had been asked in a shareholder resolution from activist group As You Sow and Green Century Capital Management to establish stronger refillable goals. As ever, definitions are important. Reusable packaging in this context refers to refillable or returnable glass and plastic bottles, and also dispenser stations where consumers bring their own container.
Coke’s refillable and returnable rates vary significantly between markets – returnable glass and refillable PET represents half of sales in 20 markets already. As highlighted by industry website Beverage.com, Coca-Cola has already some innovative schemes in place including its so-called universal bottle that was introduced in 2018 in Brazil, and then across a number of South American markets. This reusable PET bottle is used across Coke’s brands. Customers return the bottle to point of sale, and receive a discount on their next purchase. Bottles are stored by the retailer and returned to Coke, then cleaned and refilled with fresh branding. These bottles are used up to 25 times and have reduced plastic use by 90% according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
The Brazilian soy sector continues to attract a great deal of attention. A new piece of research involving academics, Greenpeace’s Unearthed and the Burea of Investigative Journalism, alleges that over 1,000 sq km of Amazon forest
has been taken over by expanding farms between 2009 and 2019. The Amazon soy moratorium came into force in 2008, banning the sale of soy on deforested land. And researchers found that while the moratorium had indeed halted the conversion of rain forest into soy, farmers were clearing the land to grow other crops and for cattle ranching. This allowed farmers to sell soy as deforestation free while in fact cutting down trees for other commodities.
Allegations that the soy moratorium has been violated are of course nothing new – some studies have linked over 1m tonnes of soy in UK farmer supply chains to deforestation. Industry groups have called for the moratorium to be tightened with strengthened legal teeth to make it harder to get around.
Suppliers dropped because of ESG risks
UK retailers are cancelling contracts with suppliers on the basis of ESG standards, according to new research
from Barclays Corporate Banking. Over the period from January 2021 to January 2022, 21% of the UK’s 302 largest retailers withdrew from arrangements with suppliers because products supplied were not meeting sustainability standards, or down to poor staff labour conditions. Barclays concludes that increasing focus among investors, employees and consumers has driven supplier divestment decision making. Another factor, the report says, is that the pandemic has focused attention on supply chain frailties and increased awareness of social inequalities more generally.