Wealth emissions gap shock as Burberry goes green

Written by Lori Campbell on 21st Sep 2020

The world’s richest one per cent cause DOUBLE the C02 emissions of the poorest 50 per cent, finds a new study, as Burberry launches luxury fashion’s ‘first ever’ green bond. Meanwhile, Formula E racing becomes the first sport to achieve a certified net zero carbon footprint, Coca-Cola and other drinks giants fail to meet their own plastic pledges, and Lego is to ditch plastic bags after children call for change. It’s the Good With Money weekly news brief. 

World’s richest 1% cause double CO2 emissions of poorest 50%

The wealthiest one per cent of the world’s population were responsible for more than TWICE as much carbon dioxide emissions as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new research.

Carbon dioxide emissions rose by 60 per cent over the 25-year period, but the increase in emissions from the richest 1 per cent was three times greater than the increase in emissions from the poorest half.

The report, compiled by Oxfam and the Stockholm Environment Institute, warned that rampant overconsumption and the rich world’s addiction to high-carbon transport are exhausting the world’s “carbon budget”.

The richest 10 per cent of the global population, comprising about 630 million people, were responsible for about 52 per cent of global emissions over the 25-year period, the study showed.

Globally, the richest 10 per cent are those with incomes above about $35,000 (£27,000) a year, and the richest one per cent are people earning more than about $100,000.

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Burberry launches luxury fashion’s ‘first ever’ green bond

Luxury fashion brand Burberry is aiming to raise £300 million in funding through the issue of its first Sustainability Bond.

The five-year bond, the first of its kind by a luxury fashion brand, will be used to fund eligible environmental and social projects laid out in Burberry’s Sustainability Bond Framework.

It will focus on three areas – ‘green’ buildings, sourcing more sustainably grown cotton through the Better Cotton Initiative, and sustainable packaging.

Bonds designed to finance environmental, social or governance projects have risen from 2.8 per cent of the total bond market in the first quarter to 4 per cent, according to credit rating agency Moody’s, even at a time of mammoth debt issuance.

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Formula E becomes first sport to achieve net zero

Formula E has become the first sport to achieve a certified net zero carbon footprint in its efforts to combat climate change.

The electric racing series has been calculating its carbon output since its inaugural season in 2014 and implementing measures to reduce emissions, based on a framework set out by the UN.

Reduction measures have included enhanced recycling of Formula E cars’ battery cells, cutting out single-use plastics on race sites, and the serving of 100 percent locally sourced and seasonal food at events.

It has also optimised its transport and logistics during the championship season, which involves global travel. Formula E aims to drastically cut carbon emissions from its transport, from 75 per cent of its current total to 25 percent before the 2022/23 season by replacing air transport with shipping where possible.

Coca-Cola and rivals fail to meet plastic pledges

Coca-Cola and other drinks giants have repeatedly failed to meet their own targets on recycling and the use of recycled plastic, according a new report. The findings cast doubt on industry pledges to cut the use of virgin plastics made directly from fossil fuels by 2025.

Coca-Cola is one of the worst offenders among consumer goods groups for missing its own targets, according to the study by campaign group Changing Markets Foundation.

In 1990, the world’s largest drinks company committed to making its bottles from 25 per cent recycled content by 2015, but has only reached 10 per cent in the three decades since, despite setting several new versions of the goal, the foundation said.

The company, which also makes Fanta, Sprite and Schweppes, has failed to meet other targets including recycling the equivalent of half the bottles it uses by 2010.

Other drinks groups, which are among the world’s biggest plastic polluters, also fell short. PepsiCo failed to achieve a target of increasing the overall US beverage container recycling rate to 50 per cent by 2018, while Nestlé’s North American water division failed to double recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles to 60 per cent by 2018.

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Lego to ditch plastic bags after children call for change

Lego is to replace plastic packaging with paper bags from 2021 after youngsters called for the toy brick maker to be more sustainable.

“We have received many letters from children about the environment asking us to remove single-use plastic packaging,” Lego Group chief executive Niels B Christiansen said. “We have been exploring alternatives for some time and the passion and ideas from children inspired us to begin to make the change.”

Lego has pledged to invest up to $400 million (£310 million) over three years to improve its sustainability efforts. Lego bricks themselves are made of plastic, although the company is exploring alternative materials.

From next year the toy company will start introducing recyclable paper bags, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, to package its loose bricks.

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