ShareAction launches a ‘declaration’ calling for urgent reforms to personal finance that could achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals as a new analysis reveals that most of world’s biggest firms are ‘unlikely’ to meet Paris climate targets. Meanwhile, Pennine Wealth Solutions achieves a Good Egg mark for the second year, retail investment platform interactive investors launches the UK’s first ‘rated list’ of ethical funds, and a new study reveals a delicate wash releases far more plastic microfibres than a standard wash. Lori Campbell rounds up the top sustainable stories of the week.
ShareAction calls for bold finance reforms to meet SDGs
Responsible investment group ShareAction will launch a ‘declaration’ at the UN General Assembly calling for bold reforms of private finance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Meeting the SDGs and the Paris Agreement could cost up to $7 trillion (£5.68 trillion) each year up to 2030, according to the UN. ShareAction is working with the Make My Money Matter campaign to highlight the huge role private finance has to play in making this happen.
A ShareAction spokesperson said: “As we enter 2020 – a year which must launch a decade of delivery to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and meet the Paris Climate Agreement – urgent course-correcting action must be taken to end extreme poverty, avert catastrophic climate change and beat back inequality.
“Transforming the way investment works is in the best interests of our planet and of all people. Global finance is everyone’s business. Its influence – for good and ill – reaches every community and corner of our planet.”
ShareAction is calling on its supporters, individuals and organisations to sign the Declaration. The spokesperson said: “We are asking everyone, young and old, to ask whether their finances are sustainably invested.”
It comes as a major new UN report warns that climate change is devastating our seas and frozen regions as never before.
Most of world’s biggest firms ‘unlikely’ to meet Paris climate targets
More than four fifths of the world’s biggest companies are unlikely to meet the targets set out in the Paris climate agreement by 2050, according to a new analysis of their climate disclosures.
A study of almost 3,000 publicly listed companies found that only 18 per cent have disclosed plans that are aligned with goals to limit rising temperatures to 1.5C of pre-industrialised levels by the middle of the century.
The report, by investment data provider Arabesque S-Ray, covers companies across the global economy. Each company was assigned a temperature score based on its publicly disclosed plans.
The companies are scored based on their publicly disclosed emissions-intensity today and scientifically accredited plans to reduce their emissions in future.
The analysts found more than a third of the world’s top 200 companies still do not disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, despite rising concern that urgent action is needed to avert dangerous levels of global heating.
Pennine achieves Good Egg renewal
Pennine Wealth Solutions has been awarded a Good Egg mark for the second year.
The mark is the only accreditation in the UK designed to make it easier for consumers to find financial providers that use finance to benefit people and planet, as well as offering a good deal for their pockets.
Lancashire-based Pennine Wealth Solutions has achieved impressive growth in its ‘Positive Pennine Portfolios’ since it was first awarded a Good Egg in 2018. They are up from three per cent of Assets Under Management (AUM) to six per cent in the last year.
Positive Pennine Portfolios invest in a range of companies and projects that make an environmental and social difference. These include clean energy, environmental services, sustainable food, education and healthcare.
The Good Egg mark is based on a rigorous matrix of criteria and determines how well a provider measures up against a range of different environmental, social and industry impact factors, taking into account the size and history of the firm and its performance.
UK’s first ‘rated list’ of ethical funds
Retail investment platform interactive investors has launched the UK’s first ‘rated list’ of ethical funds.
The new ethical ‘ACE 30’ rated funds list is broken down into three key interactive ‘ethical investment styles’: Avoids, Considers and Embraces.
Compiled by interactive investor’s Investment Committee, the ACE 30 includes actively managed and passive funds across major markets and asset types. interactive investor has selected 30 funds, investment trusts and ETFs from its own long list of 140 ethical funds that it believes offer the highest-quality choices for investors.
Richard Wilson, CEO of interactive investor, says: “We are immensely proud to have launched the UK’s first retail rated list of ethical funds for those who wish to better align their investments with their own ethical values.”
Delicate wash releases more plastic microfibres
Delicate wash cycles release hundreds of thousands more plastic microfibres into the environment than standard wash cycles, according to a new scientific report.
Researchers at Newcastle University ran tests with full-scale machines to show that a delicate wash, which uses up to twice as much water as a standard cycle, releases on average 800,000 more microfibres than less water-hungry cycles.
“Our findings were a surprise,” said Prof Grant Burgess, a marine microbiologist who led the research. “You would expect delicate washes to protect clothes and lead to less microfibres being released, but our careful studies showed that in fact it was the opposite.”
“If you wash your clothes on a delicate wash cycle the clothes release far more plastic fibres. These are microplastics, made from polyester. They are not biodegradable and can build up in our environment.”