EU’s new Circular Economy Action Plan (published by EU Commission, March 2020)

Foreword from the report from the EU Commission, published March 2020:

“There is only one planet Earth, yet by 2050, the world will be consuming as if there were three1. Global consumption of materials such as biomass, fossil fuels, metals and minerals is expected to double in the next forty years2, while annual waste generation is projected to increase by 70% by 2050.

As half of total greenhouse gas emissions and more than 90% of biodiversity loss and water stress come from resource extraction and processing, the European Green Deal4 launched a concerted strategy for a climate-neutral, resource-efficient and competitive economy. Scaling up the circular economy from front-runners to the mainstream economic players will make a decisive contribution to achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and decoupling economic growth from resource use, while ensuring the long-term competitiveness of the EU and leaving no one behind.More

New climate report: “Ten Years to Deliver the Paris Agreement” (Globescan SustainAbility report March 2020)

From the report’s foreword:

“We are entering the climate decade. A ten year period where our collective actions will determine the kind of world our children and grandchildren will inherit.

Since the launch of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, every two years we have asked global experts to assess progress towards reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. In the time since our second report was released in 2017, urgency has grown. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has declared that we have just ten years to halve emissions in order to avoid dangerous impacts from climate change, and that the threshold for dangerous warming is lower than previously predicted, at 1.5°C.More

Klimarådets rapport: “Kendte veje og nye spor til 70 procents reduktion” (marts 2020)

I en ny rapport præsenterer Klimarådet en række anbefalinger, der skal få Danmark i mål med 70 procent reduktion i 2030. Omstillingen kræver både hurtige implementeringer af de allerede kendte teknologier og en mere langsigtet, strategisk indsats.

“Et bredt flertal i Folketinget besluttede i december 2019 at indgå en aftale om en ny klimalov, som indebærer, at Danmark skal have reduceret sine udledninger af klimagasser med 70 procent i 2030 og være klimaneutralt i 2050. I rapporten Kendte veje og nye spor til 70 procents reduktion viser Klimarådet en vej til målet i 2030.

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EU’s taxonomy on Sustainable Finance: Final report of the Technical Expert Group (March 2020)

March 2020 – Final expert report released:

The EU Taxonomy is a tool to help investors, companies, issuers and project promoters navigate the transition to a low-carbon, resilient and resource-efficient economy.

The Taxonomy sets performance thresholds (referred to as ‘technical screening criteria’) for economic activities which:

• make a substantive contribution to one of six environmental objectives (Figure 1)
• do no significant harm (DNSH) to the other five, where relevant
• meet minimum safeguards (e.g., OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights).More

WEF, Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC: Suggestion for common metrics for reporting on sustainable value creation (report January 2020)

Report lanuched January 2020:

This report proposes a common, core set of metrics and recommended disclosures that IBC members could use to align their mainstream reporting and, in so doing, reduce fragmentation and encourage faster progress towards a systemic solution, perhaps to include a generally accepted international accounting standard.More

Mark Kramer: 5 advice on how to align business strategy with the SDGs (article in Harvard Business Review, June 2019)

Business as Usual Will Not Save the Planet

The  United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) were explicitly designed to engage the private sector in addressing the world’s most pressing challenges. Four years into the UN’s 15-year timeline, the question is whether companies are advancing serious solutions or are simply embarking on a massive global public relations charade. Unfortunately, our internal research points to the latter. A dramatic and immediate change in direction by both companies and the UN will be essential if there is to be any chance of avoiding an embarrassing failure. The plan we describe in this article offers the necessary steps to reverse course and deliver urgently needed progress.

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Davos Manifesto 2020: The Universal Purpose of a Company in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (December 2019)

The Davos Manifesto 2020: The Universal Purpose of a Company in the Fourth Industrial Revolution:

A. The purpose of a company is to engage all its stakeholders in shared and sustained value creation. In creating such value, a company serves not only its shareholders, but all its stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers, local communities and society at large. The best way to understand and harmonize the divergent interests of all stakeholders is through a shared commitment to policies and decisions that strengthen the long-term prosperity of a company.

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Microsoft will be carbon negative by 2030 (announcement from Microsoft, January 2020)

Microsoft: Carbon negative by 2030

While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint.

By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050 Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.

We recognize that progress requires not just a bold goal but a detailed plan. As described below, we are launching today an aggressive program to cut our carbon emissions by more than half by 2030, both for our direct emissions and for our entire supply and value chain. We will fund this in part by expanding our internal carbon fee, in place since 2012 and increased last year, to start charging not only our direct emissions, but those from our supply and value chains.More

2020 Global Trends in Reputation: 5 of 10 are CSR-related! (report from Reputation Institute, January 2020)

The trends reputation leaders cited as being the 10 most important for 2020 are:
1. Higher purpose – Companies need to deliver on a corporate brand purpose and embrace cultural values, at an emotional level that transcends the products and services they sell.
2. Data protection – Cyber and data breaches are an everyday reality and a growing threat for all major companies.
3. Responsible investing – Considering ethical and environmental concerns before making financial decisions.More