Report Report: Carbon accounting, SDG roadmaps, 4th wave environmentalism
The Report Report is a monthly wrap-up of recent research on sustainable business and clean technology, produced by Corporate Eco Forum, a by-invitation membership organization comprised of large, global companies that demonstrate a serious commitment at the senior executive level to sustainability as a business strategy issue.
Building Pressure (CDP) ranks 13 large publicly listed cement companies, representing 15 percent of global cement production, on their business readiness for a low-carbon transition. Dalmia Bharat, Ambuja Cement and Cementos Argos were ranked the highest; Taiheiyo Cement, Cementir Holding and Asia Cement Corporation the lowest. In addition, the report finds that cement companies need to more than double their emissions reductions to keep in line with international climate goals.
Business and the Fourth Wave of Environmentalism (Environmental Defense Fund) analyzes survey responses from more than 500 executives to better understand how top executives view and use emerging technologies. Key findings included:
- 70 percent of executives say their company is already actively investing in technologies that help solve environmental problems.
- 78 percent believe that new technologies will compel businesses to improve their environmental impact on their own, regardless of pressure from regulators, consumers or investors.
- 75 percent of companies consider the environmental impact of a technology when deciding to implement it.
- 80 percent of business leaders believe consumers will start holding businesses more accountable for environmental impact due to the ubiquity of new technologies.
Extending Our Horizons: Assessing Credit Risk and Opportunity in a Changing Climate (UN Environment, Oliver Wyman and Mercer) sets out a methodology for assessing risks and opportunities associated with the transition to a low-carbon economy. The methodology is based on input from 16 global banks.
Global Carbon Account 2018 (Institute for Climate Economics) finds that 46 countries and 26 provinces/cities have adopted carbon pricing policies. The report also estimates that carbon pricing initiatives generated $32 billion in revenues in 2017 — up from $22 billion in 2016.
Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 (UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance) finds that global investment in renewables exceeded $200 billion for the eighth year in a row, with China investing a record $126.6 billion — up 31 percent compared to 2016 levels. The report also finds that a record 98 GW of new solar capacity was installed globally last year, outpacing fossil fuel power generating capacity additions.
The Production and Use of Renewable Natural Gas as a Climate Strategy in the United States (World Resources Institute) explores renewable natural gas (RNG) production trends, climate benefits, economic feasibility and more. The report concludes that renewable natural gas could serve as a viable climate change strategy in the United States when it meets two conditions: It is produced from waste; and its use reduces methane emissions to the atmosphere.
SDG Sector Roadmaps (WBCSD) lays out a methodology to help companies establish their sector’s current level of interaction with the SDGs across the value chain; identify their sector’s top opportunities for impact, as well as barriers, potential solutions and impact accelerators; and establish key action items and monitoring systems that chart a course towards the sector’s 2030 vision.
The Work Ahead: Machines, Skills, and U.S. Leadership in the Twenty-First Century (Council on Foreign Relations) assesses the impact that technological advances will have on jobs and workers in the U.S., as well as the implications for the U.S. economy and national security. The report also lays out seven recommendations to help U.S. leaders meet the workforce challenges of the 21st century.
Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report (International Energy Agency, the International Renewable Energy Agency, United Nations Statistics Division, the World Bank and the World Health Organization) provides an update on the world’s progress against global energy targets on access to electricity, clean cooking, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Key findings include:
- 1 billion people — or 13 percent of the world’s population — still live without electricity; an estimated 674 million people are projected to still live without electricity in 2030.
- 3 billion people — or more than 40 percent of the world’s population — do not have access to clean cooking fuels and technologies.
- As of 2015, the world obtained 17.5 percent of its total energy consumption from renewable sources; the global renewable share is expected to reach 21 percent by 2030.
Why Carbon Pricing Matters: A Guide for Implementation (WBCSD) makes recommendations to policymakers on how to best implement a carbon price. The guide also draws on business insight to identify the top-5 reasons why policymakers should adopt carbon pricing: lowest-cost pathway; technology neutrality; flexibility; transparency and burden sharing; and long-term signals encouraging development.