Innovative investing app Moneybox launches its first socially responsible fund as it is revealed that Britain’s growing ‘lunch on the go’ habit generates a shocking 11 billion items of packaging every year. Meanwhile BP investors demand tougher targets on carbon dioxide emissions, the CFA UK launches the first-ever environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing qualification,”sustainable” crickets are on the menu in a UK sushi chain and the ‘Attenborough effect’ sparks a surge in award-winning clean beaches across Britain. Lori Campbell rounds up the top sustainable stories of the week.
Moneybox launches first socially responsible fund
In response to rapidly growing demand, particularly from its younger clients, innovative app Moneybox – which helps consumers to invest their spare change – has launched a Socially Responsible fund to allow customers to invest more in line with their values.
The new fund tracks the MSCI World ESG Leaders Index and invests in a range of global companies, considering environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors such as how companies respond to climate change, treat their workers and manage their supply chains.
Ben Stanway, co-founder of Moneybox, says: “Young people are changing the way we invest. Most of our customers are under 40 years old and they’ve been telling us they want a socially responsible investment option for some time.”
The Socially Responsible fund will be available across all the investment options offered by Moneybox and ongoing fees will be 0.18 per cent. The fund will also be available as part of the company’s upcoming pensions service.
‘Lunch on the go’ habit generates 11 billion items of packaging waste a year
The UK’s growing ‘lunch on the go’ habit is generating nearly 11 billion items of packaging waste a year, with most not being recycled, a new study has found.
Busy workers are buying takeaway and fast food lunches more than they did five years ago, according to research from the environmental charity Hubbub. The habit is generating 10.7 billion separate items of waste over a year, from sandwich boxes and crisp packets to plastic bottles and napkins.
The survey of more than 1,200 workers found an average lunch purchase included four packaged items, with 76 per cent of shoppers picking up a main item such as a boxed sandwich, 70 per cent a packet of crisps or another snack and 65 per cent a napkin.
The majority (64 per cent) said they bought lunch on the go more now than they did five years ago, spending £13.6 billion a year.
Meanwhile, supermarket giant Tesco has published its annual food waste figures, revealing that it wasted 17 per cent less food by weight during 2018 to 19 than in the previous 12-month period.
Investors demand BP do more in fight against climate change
BP investors are demanding tougher targets to combat climate change after the oil major’s carbon emissions rose to their highest level in six years.
BP is being lobbied by activists and an increasing number of shareholders to ensure its operations are in line with goals set by the 2015 Paris climate deal to curb global warming.
It has already backed a resolution being put to investors at a meeting on Tuesday for it to be more transparent about its emissions, link executive pay to reducing emissions from BP’s operations and show how future investments meet Paris goals.
It comes as levels of carbon dioxide reached an alarming new milestone this week at the world’s oldest measuring station in Hawaii.
The Mauna Loa Observatory, which has measured the parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in the atmosphere since 1958, took a reading of 415.26ppm in the air on 11 May – thought to be the highest concentration since humans evolved.
CFA UK to launch first-ever ESG investing qualification
CFA UK is to launch the first-ever qualification for environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.
The new ‘Certificate in ESG Investing’ is set to start later this year and will be recognised and supported by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
It will be the first formal qualification on ESG investing available sector-wide to investment professionals in the UK.
Its launch is a response to the surge of interest in ESG investing over the past few years and aims to provide investors with better education, guidance and standards around the subject.
The qualification, which is designed for investment professionals in all roles, sets out the fundamentals for ESG investing and aims to equip professionals with the skills and knowledge to integrate ESG issues into their day-to-day work.
Crickets have hit the high street – can they save the planet?
A UK sushi chain has put crickets on the menu as a “healthy” and “sustainable” option.
Abokado’s managing director Kara Alderin said:”In a few years, insects will be a normalised food in our everyday diet.”
Last year, Sainsbury’s started selling grubs as snacks in 250 of its stores. Packets of Eat Grub’s smoky BBQ crunchy roasted crickets are also now sold in Ocado at £1.50 a packet. They are marketed as a healthy, protein heavy, environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional meat and fish options.
A 2013 UN report suggested that eating insects could help boost nutrition and reduce pollution. Dr Tilly Collins from Imperial College London said: “I hope that eating insects will become more normalised because they have such enormous environmental benefits. In the Western world we have a sustainability crunch looming where we simply can’t eat the amount of meat we do.”
‘Attenborough effect’ sparks rise in award-winning clean beaches in UK
The ‘Attenborough effect’ has sparked a rise in the number of award-winning clean beaches, according to charity Keep Britain Tidy.
An impressive 71 beaches were given Blue Flags while 137 received Seaside awards, which are a mark of litter-free sands, clean bathing water and good facilities such as toilets and bins.
This has risen by 18 beaches since last year, and includes new entries for Saltburn in North Yorkshire, Exmouth in Devon and Southwold Pier in Suffolk.
Keep Britain Tidy, which organises the awards, said there had been a significant upsurge in litter picks and people disposing of rubbish correctly since programmes like Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II showed the damage that plastic was causing to coastal areas.
The charity found that most beach-goers feel a sense of guilt, or ‘eco-anxiety’, when they go to a beach or other tourist destination and see rubbish lying around.
More than half (54 per cent) of the 2,000 people surveyed said nature documentaries fronted by Sir David has encouraged them to personally clear up discarded litter.
In the Indian Ocean, however, close to a million plastic shoes have washed up on a paradise island. Scientists estimate that the beaches of Australia’s Cocos (Keeling) Islands are now strewn with around 414 million pieces of plastic pollution. They believe around 93 per cent of it lies buried under the sand.