Report Report: Low-carbon banking, plant-based economics, private-sector collaboration

Report Report

Report Report: Low-carbon banking, plant-based economics, private-sector collaboration

Banking on a Low-Carbon Future (Boston Common Asset Management) assesses the progress made by 59 of the world’s largest banks to better manage climate change risks and opportunities. Key findings include:

  • 54 percent of banks support the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures(TCFD).
  • 49 percent of banks are implementing climate risk assessments or 2 degrees Celsius scenario analysis.
  • 46 percent of banks have set explicit objectives/targets to increase or promote low-carbon products and services.
  • 61 percent have not restricted the financing of coal. The global banking sector provided $600 billion in financing for the top 120 coal plant developers between 2014 and September.
  • 95 percent have adopted some degree of governance for climate issues internally, and 95 percent provide some disclosure on low-carbon products and services.

Business and the Sustainable Development Goals: Best Practices to Seize Opportunity and Maximize Credibility (WWF and Gold Standard) offers best practices for impact quantification and reporting, aligning core business and strategies to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and more. The report also highlights the business benefits of setting ambitious strategies for achieving the SDGs and explores the common challenges and pitfalls that companies are grappling with.

BP Energy Outlook — 2018 Edition (BP) projects that oil, gas, coal and non-fossil fuels will each account for around 25 percent of the world’s energy in 2040, with renewable energy meeting more than 40 percent of the overall increase in energy demand globally. The outlook also projects that renewable energy will grow over 400 percent by 2040 and account for over 50 percent of the increase in global power generation.

Electric Vehicles for Smarter Cities: The Future of Energy and Mobility (World Economic Forum and Bain & Company) calls on forward-thinking business leaders and policymakers to follow three general principles to unlock the environmental and economic benefits of the energy and mobility transformation: Take a multi-stakeholder and market-specific approach; prioritize high-use electric vehicles; and deploy critical charging infrastructure today while anticipating the mobility transformation.

From Sustainability to Business Value — Finance as a Catalyst (ING Group) analyzes survey responses from more than 200 U.S.-based finance executives to better understand how financing and lending can support the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable society. Key findings include:

  • Nearly half (48 percent) of firms state that sustainability concerns have some level of influence on their business's growth strategy.
  • 43 percent of firms with a mature enterprise-wide sustainability framework in place state that revenue growth is a main driver for acting.
  • 87 percent of the most mature firms have experienced better revenue and 65 percent have improved their credit rating, compared with 67 percent and 51 percent of less mature firms.
  • Over half (52 percent) highlighted difficulty in identifying sustainability-led business opportunities as the biggest barrier to greater investment in sustainability initiatives.
  • 48 percent of firms with more than $10 billion in revenue have issued a green bond in the last two years.

Plant-Based Profits: Investment Risks and Opportunities in Sustainable Food Systems (FAIRR initiative) analyzes 16 multinational food companies to determine their readiness to capitalize on the rising demand for alternative plant-based proteins. The report finds that Nestlé and Tesco are best positioned to benefit from a transition to alternative plant-based proteins. The report also finds that M&S, Nestlé and Unilever have set goals to increase their portfolio of alternative proteins.

Private-Sector Collaboration for Sustainable Development (BSR and Rockefeller Foundation) draws on insights from expert interviews, group discussions and lessons learned to identify five key success factors that have enabled impactful private-sector collaborations: A compelling, common purpose;  the right partners in the right roles; good governance; an organizational design that is fit for purpose; and accountability.

Sustainable Energy in America Factbook 2018 (Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy) finds that renewables (including hydropower) accounted for 18 percent of total U.S. power generation in 2017 — up from 15 percent in 2016. Additional key findings include:

  • The renewable energy, energy efficiency, and natural gas sectors employed about 3 million Americans in 2016.
  • Corporations signed new deals for 2.9 GW worth of offsite renewable capacity in 2017.
  • Since 2008, primary energy usage in the U.S. has declined 1.7 percent, while GDP has increased by 15.3 percent.
  • The energy productivity of the U.S. economy has grown 17.3 percent since 2008.
  • Renewables accounted for most new installations in 2017, with more than 18 GW of new additions.
  • Emissions from the electricity sector fell 4.2 percent in 2017 to the lowest level in more than 27 years.

Turning Point: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability (Ceres) evaluates the sustainability progress made by more than 600 companies on governance, disclosure, stakeholder engagement, environment and social. Select key findings include:

  • 65 percent of companies evaluated hold senior-level executives accountable for sustainability performance — up from 42 percent in 2014.
  • 64 percent have commitments to reduce GHG emissions. However, 98 percent of companies with time-bound and company-wide targets to reduce GHG emissions hold senior executives accountable for sustainability.
  • 8 percent link executive compensation to sustainability issues beyond compliance — up from 3 percent in 2014.
  • 51 percent of companies disclose risks related to climate change within the 10-K — up from 42 percent in 2014.
  • 32 percent conduct materiality assessments — up from 7 percent in 2014.
  • 32 percent have committed to increase renewable energy sourcing.
  • 55 percent have committed to managing water use.

World's Renewable Energy Cities (CDP) finds that more than 100 global cities reporting to CDP get at least 70 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. The report also finds that more than 40 cities are sourcing 100 percent of their electricity from renewables.