Read the full story in the New Yorker.
Travellers arriving in an unfamiliar city used to worry that they’d climb in a taxi and be driven to their destination by the most circuitous route possible, racking up an enormous bill. That’s pretty much what Big Oil and its allies in government and the financial world are doing with the climate crisis—in fact, at this point, it’s the heart of the problem.
Read the full story in The Irish Times.
The Greenwatch Project, which launched last year, is developing artificial intelligence-based methods to detect greenwashing, in order to improve the measurement of progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Read the full story in the Washington Post.
Environmental activists, researchers, lawmakers and others are haunting corporate social media feeds to push back against greenwashing.
Read the full story at CFO Dive.
Sustainability-related financing has tripled since 2015, with a tenfold increase in flows to environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds, an eight-fold increase in sustainable debt issuance and a doubling in the value of ESG-related deals by private equity and venture capital firms, according to a report by Generation Investment Management.
Yet “failure to tackle greenwash poses a serious risk to the sustainable transition,” Generation said, noting “growing unease at the low quality of some net zero commitments, the gap between goals and actions and the absence of guardrails for those utilizing natural solutions, including as offsets.”
“The time for celebrating vague, distant goals on net zero or ‘nature positive’ has long passed,” Generation said, adding “investors need clarity over how companies will turn goals to actions in the next few years.”
Read the full story at Treehugger.
Organizers say the Tokyo Games have set a new standard for sustainability, but critics beg to differ.
Read the full story from Nerd Wallet.
“All natural,” “eco-friendly” and “green” — we’ve seen it all before. Food, home goods and clothing companies have all jumped on the sustainable bandwagon, and it’s not just because of their undying devotion to the environment.
According to the 2019 Accenture Chemicals Global Consumer Sustainability Survey, more than half of consumers surveyed would pay more for sustainable (meaning recyclable or reusable) products. Turns out, there’s good money in going green.
But not every company is genuine in its pursuits of a cleaner planet or more equitable society. And making false or misleading claims about “greenness” can affect investor trust.
Read the full story at GreenBiz.
Goals, targets and commitments are worthless without accountability and enforcement — and that goes for countries as well as companies.
Read the full story at ESG Today.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the conduct regulator for financial services firms and financial markets in the UK, announced today the publication of a letter to authorised fund managers indicating that applications for ESG-focused funds are frequently not meeting expectations, often making assertions about the sustainability aspects of funds not backed up by actual strategy or composition.
Read the full story at Smart Cities Dive.
Of the United States’ top 100 companies, only 40% lobby lawmakers at the state and federal level for climate-friendly legislation despite setting lofty sustainability goals, according to a new report.
Seventy-six percent of companies have said publicly they believe in climate science and 92% have said they plan to make their operations greener with sustainability and emissions reduction goals, according to a report released Tuesday by sustainability nonprofit Ceres. Meanwhile, 20 of the companies have lobbied against climate-friendly policies in the last five years, according to Ceres, 17 of which had set emissions reduction targets of their own.
And of those surveyed, 51% see policies and legislation that look to address climate change as a short-term financial risk, even as 74% say they believe climate change will threaten their assets long-term. Ceres said the short-term concerns show that companies are still too focused on the near-term impacts and not on the “systemic impact of climate change.”
Read the full story at Earther.
Earther has found at least two oil and gas companies—Shell and Phillips 66—have launched campaigns with different types of Instagram influencers. Shell is the second-largest investor-owned source of historical carbon pollution on the planet. Phillips 66 doesn’t have quite that historic footprint, but a staggering 80% shareholders recently voted for the company to address its carbon emissions tied to users. Clearly both companies could use a little image boost in the public’s eyes.