This Week’s Green Business Headlines

Ford revs up 2050 carbon neutrality target

Ford has become the first maintream US carmaker to vow to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The US automaker unveiled its new ambition in its annual sustainability report, explaining that it would be focusing on slashing emissions from the vehicle use, supply base, and company facilities that comprise 95 per cent of its carbon emissions.

Ford, which has been collaborating with the state of California to deliver stronger vehicle greenhouse gas standards, confirmed that in support of the new long-term net zero emissions target it would implement science-based targets for its Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions, including interim targets.

Bob Holycross, vice president, chief sustainability environment and safety officer, said: “We can develop and make great vehicles, sustain and grow a strong business and protect our planet at the same time – in fact, those ideals complement each other. We don’t have all the answers yet but are determined to work with all of our global and local partners and stakeholders to get there.”

‘Go for it’: Climate advisors urge government to deliver green recovery blitz

The UK government must immediately embark on a major green investment drive to upgrade homes and buildings, plant trees and restore peatland, upskill the workforce, and roll out low carbon transport infrastructure if it is to deliver a resilient recovery from Covid-19 and lay the foundations for a net zero economy, the UK’s top climate advisors have today warned Ministers.

In a “bumper” edition of its annual assessment of progress towards the UK’s decarbonisation targets, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) called on the government to move without delay in supporting a raft of ‘no-regrets’, shovel-ready, and labour-intensive net zero projects that could help get the economy motoring again after the devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 196-page report lays out “strong evidence” that ‘green stimulus’ measures – which have garnered widespread support from businesses, NGOs, academics, and civil society over the past two months – would support both the UK’s short and long term economic needs, in addition to furthering climate goals.

Workforce strategy in the time of coronavirus: The role of ESG

As unemployment soars during the coronavirus pandemic, a key challenge for business is how to ensure a strong workforce pipeline for when the crisis recedes.

Companies with satisfied staff and high attractiveness to prospective hires will have an advantage when the competition for talent heats up. New research from Marsh & McLennan suggests these firms are likely to demonstrate strong performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

In recent years, ESG investing has gone from niche to mainstream, but it has not stopped there. The value of ESG data is increasingly recognized by a range of stakeholders.

For example, rating agencies are incorporating ESG into their assessments of creditworthiness and racing to provide ESG scores alongside their credit ratings; financial regulators and policymakers are incorporating ESG into supervisory frameworks and reporting requirements; and clients are considering ESG when making procurement decisions.

What’s more, consumers are placing a growing emphasis on companies’ ESG performance, with nearly two-thirds of customers around the world choosing or avoiding brands based on their stance on social or political issues.

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