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Report Report

Report Report: Purpose, protein, carbon and boards

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.

2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study (Cone and Porter Novelli) provides insight into the expectations and behaviors of Americans towards purpose-driven companies compared to traditional brands. Key findings included:

  • 78 percent of Americans believe companies must do more than just make money; they must positively affect society as well.
  • 77 percent feel a stronger emotional connection to purpose-driven companies over traditional companies.
  • 66 percent would switch from a product they typically buy to a new product from a purpose-driven company.

The Carbon Scorecard (S&P Dow Jones Indices) provides carbon production and efficiency data from across the S&P global indices to help inform investors of carbon risks and their potential financial impact. Key findings included:

  • Absolute emissions decreased for the S&P Asia 50, S&P Europe 350, S&P Global 1200, S&P Latin America 40, S&P/ASX All Australian 50, and S&P TOPIX 150.
  • In 2017, all indices increased their share of renewable power generation and decreased their share of fossil fuel power generation, with the exceptions of the S&P/ASX All Australian 50 and S&P Asia 50.
  • The S&P/TOPIX 150 had the smallest coal exposure score and is well positioned in the face of punitive climate legislation.
  • The carbon intensity of every index assessed increased in 2017, except for the S&P Asia 50, which decreased its carbon intensity by 26 percent.
  • In 2017, the index with the highest carbon intensity was the S&P/TSX 60.

The Circular Economy: A Powerful Force for Climate Mitigation (Material Economics) explores how building a more circular economy for the four largest materials in terms of emissions (steel, plastics, aluminum and cement) and two large use segments for these materials (passenger cars and buildings) could deliver emissions reductions globally. The report estimates that a more circular economy for these materials could cut global emissions by 3.6 billion metric tons annually.

The Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index (Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return network) rates 60 global companies in the livestock sector based on their management of environmental and social risks, including climate change, deforestation and biodiversity loss, food safety and more. Key findings included:

  • 60 percent of companies are ranked "high risk" on their overall management of sustainability.
  • 77 percent of companies are ranked "high risk" on antibiotics management.
  • 43 percent of companies are ranked "low risk" on waste and pollution management.
  • More than 72 percent of companies showed poor or no reporting on GHG emissions.
  • Only 5 of the 60 companies are prepared to capitalize on opportunities in the rapidly growing alternative proteins sector.

Corporate Sourcing of Renewables: Market and Industry Trends (IRENA) finds that companies sourced 465 terrawatt hours of renewable power in 2017. The report also finds that more than 50 companies source 100 percent of their power from renewables; more than 200 source at least 50 percent of their power from renewables.
Deloitte Resources 2018 Study (Deloitte) analyzes survey responses from more than 1,500 U.S. residential consumers and 600 U.S. businesses to uncover insights into their attitudes and actions on energy management. Select key findings included:

  • 7 out of 10 businesses say their customers demand that they procure a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources.
  • 21 percent of business respondents cited the need to meet supplier/business partner requirements as a primary motivation for their companies’ resource management efforts.
  • 48 percent of business respondents say they are working to procure more electricity from renewable sources.
  • 68 percent of residential consumers said they are very concerned about climate change and their personal carbon footprints — up from 65 percent in 2016.
  • 47 percent of respondents found time-of-use rates to be extremely/very motivating in making them want to change the way they use electricity — up from 33 percent in 2017.

Getting Climate Smart: A primer for corporate directors in a changing environment (Ceres and The B Team) provides guidance to help corporate directors better understand why climate change belongs on their agenda and how they can oversee climate-related risks and opportunities within their companies.

Got it covered? Insurance in a changing climate (Asset Owners Disclosure Project) rates 80 of the world’s largest insurers based on their management of climate-related risks and opportunities. The top-rated insurance firms included AXA, Aviva, Allianz and Legal & General.

In Sight of the Clean Trillion: Update on an Expanding Landscape of Investor Opportunities (Ceres) highlights key clean energy market developments to help investors better understand and take advantage of expanding clean energy opportunities. The report projects that a significant portion of global clean energy investment will be allocated to the transportation sector to advance low emissions vehicles, such as electric vehicles.

Investing in the Global Green Economy: Busting Common Myths (FTSE Russell) The "green economy" is worth about $4 trillion, representing 6 percent of the market capitalization of globally listed companies. The report also finds that about 3,000 global, listed companies have exposure to the green economy — up about 20 percent since 2009.

Mission Possible: 2018 (edie and E.ON) features insight from 200 sustainability, energy and resource professionals on the key drivers, challenges and opportunities related to the five "Mission Possible" campaign pillars: energy; resources; infrastructure; mobility; and business leadership.

Playing for Our Planet (UEFA, WWF and the Green Sports Alliance) highlights 25 innovative solutions that have enhanced the environmental and sustainable performance of sports in Europe and beyond. The report features VF Corporation subsidiary The North Face’s "Clothes the Loop" program, which allows consumers to drop off their unwanted clothing and footwear at retail and outlet stores for proper recycling.

Renewables 2018 Global Status Report (REN21) finds that a record 178 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power capacity was added globally in 2017 — up 9 percent from 2016 levels. Select key findings included:

  • Renewable power accounted for 70 percent of net additions to global power generating capacity in 2017.
  • More than two-thirds of investments in power generation were in renewables in 2017.
  • China, Europe and the United States accounted for nearly 75 percent of global investment in renewables in 2017.

Renewable Energy and Jobs — Annual Review 2018 (International Renewable Energy Agency) finds that the renewable energy industry employed 10.3 million people globally in 2017 — up 5.3 percent from 2016. The report finds that solar PV employed the most people, with 3.4 million jobs globally — up nearly 9 percent compared to 2016. Jobs in the wind industry dipped slightly to 1.15 million in 2017, compared to 1.7 million in 2016.

Systems Rule: How Board Governance Can Drive Sustainability Performance (Ceres) examines 475 publicly held companies listed on the Forbes Global 2000 to determine the impact that board governance systems have on overall sustainability performance. Key findings included:

  • While most large companies state that they oversee sustainability at the board level, only a minority of companies evaluated had formal mandates and demonstrate board-management engagement on sustainability.
  • Most boards do not have directors with demonstrable sustainability expertise.
  • A third of the companies analyzed state that they link executive compensation to sustainability, but most do not give details on which specific goals are incentivized.
  • Companies that were able to demonstrate stronger board governance systems were more likely to have established sustainability commitments.
  • Companies that showed the best performance on sustainability were more likely to have established all three board governance systems that our report examined.

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