New tool released to help institutional investors take climate action

Read the full story at IP&E.

An alliance of investor groups has released a new framework aimed at enabling institutional investors to step up action to help the fight against climate change and accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy. 

An output of the Investor Agenda, which includes the Principles for Responsible Investment and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), the “Investor Climate Action Plans (ICAPs) Expectations Ladder” provides investors with clear expectations for issuing and implementing comprehensive climate action plans.

New tool helps banks, investors take immediate action to reverse biodiversity loss

Read the full story at Sustainable Brands.

A new ENCORE biodiversity module by the Natural Capital Finance Alliance — a collaboration between the UN Environment Program (UNEP) World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the UNEP Finance Initiative and Global Canopy — enables banks and investors to analyze the potential impact of their investment activities in agriculture and mining on biodiversity loss, with focus on species extinction and loss of ecological integrity.

Unilever scales up refillable packaging trials with household brands

Read the full story at Packaging Europe.

Unilever has announced that it is expanding its refillable packaging trials across the UK, including its first ‘return on the go’ refill trial, in selected Asda supermarket and Co-op convenience stores.

New data tool explores trends in wholesale power prices and renewable energy supply

Read the full story from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

A new visualization tool from Berkeley Lab allows users to explore trends in wholesale electricity prices and their relationship to wind and solar generation. Variable renewable generation can have important impacts to pricing patterns at the local level, but those patterns are often obscured when looking at regional average annual pricing trends.

The Renewables and Wholesale Electricity Prices (ReWEP) tool allows users to compare pricing trends across locations, regions, and a number of different timeframes, down to the nodal level. These comparisons illustrate the ongoing interactions between wind and solar generation and wholesale energy prices.

Nature-based solutions for adaptation are underfunded — but offer big benefits

Read the full story from the World Resources Institute.

Nature-based solutions are key to advancing climate adaptation. These are approaches that work with nature, not against it — from restoring wetlands, which can protect against storms, to conserving forests that stabilize soil and runoff during floods. Mangrove forests, for example, save an estimated $80 billion per year in avoided losses from coastal flooding globally, and protect up to 18 million people. Additionally, nature-based solutions can provide many co-benefits — for nature, economies, communities, culture and health.

But despite these extensive benefits, new research finds that as little as 1.5% of all public international climate finance has gone to support nature-based solutions for adaptation in developing countries. Just a handful of major bilateral donors and multilateral institutions have driven public funding for these approaches.

‘The kind of thing you dream about’: Arctic loon spotted for the first time in Wisconsin by birders

Read the full story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Lake Superior is famous for being the biggest and deepest of the Great Lakes. It’s also the least fertile.

That lower productivity and large surface area can sometimes make Gitche Gumee seem like a blue desert.

Late Monday morning was proving to be one of those times for Ryan Brady of Washburn, Betsy Bartelt of Appleton and Tim Oksuita of Moquah.

The three friends had gathered to spend part of Memorial Day birding at spots on the Bayfield Peninsula.

As they trained their spotting scopes northward from a beach in Herbster, Brady quipped “Just look at all those gallons of water.”

The group knew the joke from Brady, an expert birder who works as conservation biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, belied another fact: the Superior shore might not have the highest numbers of birds, but it often has very interesting and rare species.

These gorgeous vases are made from discarded plastic bags

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Seoul-based designer Jisun Kim is making beautiful, translucent vases out of the plastic bags for Lexus Korea’s Creative Masters series, which explores the creative vision behind the craft of various artists. Kim’s project takes plastic bags, which are both ubiquitous and bad for the environment, and reincarnates them as a beautiful piece of home decor.

Toward disability justice: Don’t forget the plastic that gives me freedom

Read the full story at Common Dreams.

Many disabled people want to live plastic-free. However, doing so can be an insurmountable task for them.

Map data is shockingly easy to fake, from ‘Pokémon Go’ to satellite images

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Zhao and colleagues from Oregon State University and Binghamton University began to look into satellite imagery, a major source of geospatial data used in applications ranging from climate observation to global shipping. In a recent paper, they explore the potential—and, as they show, the very real threat—of people using artificial intelligence to create convincing but fabricated satellite imagery. Like AI systems that have been created to generate realistic faces or malicious pornographers who’ve used cruder systems to make fake explicit videos using the likenesses of celebrities, Zhao and his colleagues have shown that deepfake satellite imagery can also be made.

Target commits to new sustainability, equity goals

Read the full story at Retail Dive.

In response to growing consumer demand for more sustainable products and business practices, Target unveiled a list of environmental and equity goals for the next two decades through an initiative dubbed “Target Forward.”

Target plans to make 100% of products under its private labels “designed for a circular future” by 2040, including by producing more recyclable, durable and sustainably sourced items, according to a press release Tuesday.

By that time, Target said it also plans to be a “net zero enterprise,” which means producing net-zero emissions throughout its operations and supply chain, and zero waste to landfill in its U.S. operations, per the release.