Unilever warns it will sell off brands that hurt the planet or society (article in The Guardian, July 2019)

Unilever has warned it will sell off brands that do not contribute positively to society, with British favourite Marmite and Magnum ice-cream among the big names thought to be vulnerable to a cull linked to the company’s sustainable business agenda.

Unilever’s chief executive Alan Jope said it was no longer enough for consumer goods companies to sell washing powders that make shirts whiter or shampoos that make hair shinier because consumers wanted to buy brands that have a “purpose” too.More

New York State has set ambitious decarbonization goals. What needs to happen to reach them? (article by McKinsey, July 2019)

The below is an extract of an article by McKinsey.

You can read the entire article at McKinsey’s homepage here.

“The global relevance of New York State’s clean-power targets

In the past year, several US states have announced 100 percent clean-power targets—meaning complete reliance on low-carbon sources such as wind and solar—to be achieved over the next 20 to 30 years. The European Union hopes to go even further: it wants to decarbonize almost its whole economy—not just the power sector—by 2050. Meeting these targets will require extensive efforts across sectors (including power, transportation, industry, and building heating), successful bets on technology, and complex policy changes that incorporate market incentives, costs, customer acceptance, and electrical interconnections with adjacent regions.More

Denmark, Sweden and Finland – top the SDG Index 2019 (Bertelsmann Stiftung, June 2019)

From the report’s Executive Summary:

“The Sustainable Development Report 2019 presents an updated SDG Index and Dashboards with a refined assessment of countries’ distance to SDG targets.

Once again, Nordic countries – Denmark, Sweden and Finland – top the SDG Index.

Yet, even these countries face major challenges in implementing one or several SDGs. No country is on track for achieving all 17 goals with major performance gaps even in the top countries on SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14 (Life Below Water) and SDG 15 (Life on Land). Income and wealth inequalities, as well as gaps in health and education outcomes by population groups also remain important policy challenges in developing and developed countries alike.

The Sustainable Development Report 2019 generates seven major findings

1. High-level political commitment to the SDGs is falling short of historic promises In September 2019, heads-of-states and governments will convene for the first time in person at the UN in New York to review progress on their promises made four years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. Yet, our in-depth analyses show that many have not taken the critical steps to implement the SDGs. Out of 43 countries surveyed on SDG implementation efforts, including all G20 countries and countries with a population greater than 100 million, 33 countries have endorsed the SDGs in official statements since January 1st, 2018. Yet in only 18 of them do central budget documents mention the SDGs. This gap between rhetoric and action must be closed.

2. The SDGs can be operationalized through six SDG Transformations SDG implementation can be organized along the following Transformations: 1. Education, Gender, and Inequality; 2. Health, Wellbeing, and Demography; 3. Energy Decarbonization and Sustainable Industry; 4. Sustainable Food, Land, Water, Oceans; 5. Sustainable Cities and Communities; and 6. Digital Revolution for Sustainable Development. The transformations respect strong interdependencies across the SDGs and can be operationalized by well-defined parts of governments in collaboration with civil society, business, and other stakeholders. They must be underpinned and guided by the principles of Leave No One Behind and Circularity and Decoupling of resource use from human wellbeing.

3. Trends on climate (SDG 13) and biodiversity (SDG 14 and SDG 15) are alarming On average, countries obtain their worst scores on SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14 (Life Below Water) and SDG 15 (Life on Land). No country obtains a “green rating” (synonym of SDG achieved) on SDG 14 (Life Below Water). Trends on greenhouse gas emissions and, even more so, on threatened species are moving in the wrong direction. These findings are in line with the recent reports from the IPCC and IPBES on climate change mitigation and biodiversity protection, respectively.

4. Sustainable land-use and healthy diets require integrated agriculture, climate and health policy interventions Land use and food production are not meeting people’s needs. Agriculture destroys forests and biodiversity, squanders water and releases one-quarter of global greenhouse-gas emissions. In total, 78% of world nations for which data are available obtain a “red rating” (synonym of major SDG challenge) on sustainable nitrogen management; the highest number of “red” rating across all indicators included in the report. At the same time, one-third of food is wasted, 800 million people remain undernourished, 2 billion are deficient in micronutrients, and obesity is on the rise. New indicators on nations’ trophic level and yield gap closure highlight the depth of the challenge. Transformations towards sustainable landuse and food systems are required to balance efficient and resilient agriculture and forestry with biodiversity conservation and restoration as well as healthy diets.
x Sustainable Development Report 2019 Transformations to achieve the SDGs

5. High-income countries generate high environmental and socio-economic spillover effects Domestic implementation of the SDGs should not undermine other countries’ ability to achieve the goals. International demand for palm oil and other commodities fuels tropical deforestation. Tax havens and banking secrecy undermine other countries’ ability to raise the public revenues needed to finance the SDGs. Tolerance for poor labor standards in international supply chains harms the poor, and particularly women in many developing countries. New evidence presented in this report shows that high-income countries generate negative impacts on fatal accidents at work, typically by importing products and services from low- and middle-income countries with poor labor standards and conditions.

6. Human rights and freedom of speech are in danger in numerous countries Under SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), fair and transparent institutions are recognized as objectives in themselves but also as important levers for sustainable development. Yet, conflicts in many parts of the world continue to lead to reversals in SDG progress. Modern slavery and the share of unsentenced detainees in prison remain high, in particular in low-income countries. Trends on corruption and freedom of press are worsening in more than 50 countries covered in the report – including in a number of middle and high-income countries.

7. Eradicating poverty and strengthening equity remain important policy priorities Eradicating extreme poverty remains a global challenge with half of the world’s nations not on track for achieving SDG 1 (No Poverty). More timely data is needed to inform policy interventions. In middle- and high-income countries rising income inequalities and persistent gaps in access to services and opportunities by income or territorial areas remain important policy issues. Women in OECD countries continue to spend an average of 2 hours more than men a day doing unpaid work.”

Read more here or use this link to Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Sources: All texts, content, quotes and graphics by Bertelsmann Stiftung. All credits and rights to Bertelsmann Stiftung.

UN Global Compact: Report on global goals and ocean’s opportunities (January 2019)

Quote from UNGC report “Global goals, Ocean Opportunities” foreword by Lise Kingo:

“The rapid deterioration of ocean health, which deeply affects biodiversity, coastal communities and the health of the planet, must be urgently addressed. As this report shows, this deterioration is, like climate change, caused by human activity. We need the capacity and competence of the business community to solve this challenge.More

Jordens Vänner: Det svenske olieselskab Preem bedst til greenwashing 2019! (Juli 2019)

Citeret fra artikel i Aktuell Hållbarhet, 3/7 2019:

“Greenwashpriset blir Preemwashpriset

Jordens Vänner anser att kombinationen hög svansföring inom hållbarhetsområdet och planer som fördubblar koldioxidutsläppen vid raffinaderiet i Lysekil gör att Preem förtjänar Svenska Greenwashpriset 2019.

Preem tilldelas årets skampris nummer ett i Almedalen, Svenska Greenwashpriset. Utdelare är som vanligt Jordens Vänner som anser att Preems grönmålning består av att företaget planerar en utbyggnad av raffinaderiet i Lysekil samtidigt som företaget hävdar att deras “verksamhet bedrivs med utgångspunkt att bevara miljön för fratida generationer”. Utbyggnaden av Preemraff i Lysekil innebär att utsläppen därifrån fördubblas från 1,7 miljoner ton koldioxid till 3,4 miljoner.

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UK becomes first major economy to pass net zero emissions law (Gov.UK, June 27, 2019)

New target will require the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

The UK today became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050.

The target will require the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, compared with the previous target of at least 80% reduction from 1990 levels.

The UK has already reduced emissions by 42% while growing the economy by 72% and has put clean growth at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy. This could see the number of “green collar jobs” grow to 2 million and the value of exports from the low carbon economy grow to £170 billion a year by 2030.

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Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures: 2019 Status Report (June 2019)

“This is the second status report on adoption of the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) has delivered to the FSB. The Status Report provides an overview of the extent to which companies in their 2018 reports included information aligned with the core TCFD recommendations published in June 2017.More

More CEOs Sacked For Ethical Failure Than For Poor Financial Performance (Article by Andreas Rasche, June 2019, CBS)

From article, June 5th, 2019 by professor Andreas Rasche:

“According to a recent study from Strategy&, for the first time more CEOs have been dismissed for ethical lapses than for poor financial performance (in 2018).

What is the lesson?

I think that we overvalue compliance and undervalue the effects of a corporate culture on sustainable business decisions…”More

Finland pledges to become carbon neutral by 2035 (The Guardian, June 2019)

New left-leaning government sets ambitious target as it plans major rise in public spending

Quatiation from article June 4th, 2019 by: Jon Henley Europe correspondent, The Guardian

“Finland’s new left-leaning coalition government has pledged to make the country carbon neutral by 2035 as part of a policy programme that includes a major increase in public spending on welfare and infrastructure.

The Social Democratic party leader, Antti Rinne, who formed the five-party alliance of centrist, leftist and Green parties after narrowly beating the nationalist Finns party in an election in April, said it was time to “invest in the future” after years of austerity.More

Danskerne: “Vestas, Ørsted og Coop er de mest bæredygtige virksomheder” (analyse fra Advice, maj 2019)

Uddrag af analysen, side 18:

“Der er altså ingen tvivl om, at danskerne har taget virksomhedernes bæredygtigheds­ dagsorden til sig. Men hvem, mener de så, skiller sig positivt ud? I Bæredygtigheds­ barometeret har vi spurgt respondenterne om, uhjulpet, at nævne virksomheder, som de mener gør meget for en bæredygtig udvikling. Det er interessant, at danskernes top tre dækker virksomheder, som er bæredygtige på tre forskellige måder.

Vinderen er Vestas!More