Business flyers go Zoom as vegan firm in record funding

Written by Lori Campbell on 12th Apr 2021

Two thirds of British business travellers will cut their flights after the pandemic, a new poll reveals, as TheVeganKind delivery service gets £3.5 million in funding to capitalise on booming demand for plant-based products. Meanwhile, climate change investment app Clim8 Invest goes live, a new study finds the Paris Agreement has the power to save most endangered species from extinction, and the Bank of America commits $1 trillion to global sustainability initiatives. It’s the Good With Money weekly news brief.

Most UK business travellers to cut flying after pandemic

Two thirds of UK business travellers will fly less often when pandemic-related travel restrictions are lifted, a new survey has found.

With videoconferencing technologies such as Zoom becoming widely used during Covid-19, 56 per cent of travellers said they would now significantly cut down on corporate travel. Across Europe, the figure was 42 per cent.

Nearly half (49 per cent) of UK business travellers polled said that the shutdown of air travel had not impacted on their productivity or happiness at work at all, with one in five saying it had a positive impact.

The survey also highlighted growing environmental concerns. More than half of UK business travellers (62 per cent) think jet fuels’ tax-free status should be ended, while over 50 per cent said that governments should legislate for airlines to decarbonise their operations.

It comes after a report from environmental charity Possible showed an ‘elite minority’ of frequent flyers cause most of the climate damage from aviation’s emissions.

TheVeganKind delivery service raises £3.5m

TheVeganKind, an online plant-based supermarket and subscription delivery box service, has raised £3.5 million in the ‘biggest ever’ funding round for a vegan retailer in the UK.

Husband and wife co-founders, Scott and Karris McCulloch, started the company in 2013 after finding it difficult to find vegan options on the high street. It now stocks 4,500 different vegan and plant-based products, ranging from household and beauty to vegan cheese, plant-based bacon and doughnuts.

Having launched in a two-bedroom flat in Glasgow, TheVeganKind moved to a 35,000 sq ft warehouse in October 2020. The new funding from Literacy Capital will allow the company to expand further to meet soaring demand for vegan products.

Mr McCulloch, CEO, said:  “We are so proud to announce this monumental day in our history. In Literacy Capital we have found incredible partners and a value-aligned fund which operates with an added charitable mission.”

Top 7 vegan subscription boxes

Climate change investment app Clim8 Invest goes live

Sustainable investment platform Clim8 Invest – which enables people to invest in companies that tackle climate change – has launched its mobile app.

Clim8 Invest makes it simple for anyone to invest their money in publicly-listed businesses that are actively helping to tackle the climate crisis and bring about positive change. The app offers investments in six themes: clean energy, clean technology, sustainable food, clean water, smart mobility and the circular economy.

Over the last 12 months, based on a mixture of simulated and actual past performance, Clim8 Invest says its balanced portfolio has returned an impressive 25.35 per cent. This is significantly ahead of its benchmark (50 per cent MSCI World Equities, 50 per cent Barclays Bloomberg Global Aggregate Bond). The comparative benchmark performance over the past 10 years is 7.76 per cent.

CEO Duncan Grierson said: “We are launching at an exciting time for sustainable investing. 2020 was an exceptional year for environmentally-focused investment offerings such as ours, as investors looked harder at climate related opportunities. Sustainable investments have continued to outperform markets since the beginning of the Covid-19 Crisis and we believe this will continue.”

See the Good With Money interview with Clim8 Invest CEO Duncan Grierson


Paris Agreement could save most endangered species, report says

Around half the world’s plant and animal species will face extinction if the current global warming trajectory continues, a new study has revealed.

However, it finds that almost all species could be saved if the world delivers on the landmark Paris Agreement.

The report published in the Biological Conservation journal, says that if the planet heats by 3C or more above pre-industrial levels, 95 per cent of land-based species and 95 per cent of marine species will face negative consequences.

The UN estimates that the world will be 3.2C warmer in 2100 than pre-industrial levels in a business-as-usual scenario.

The paper states that all regions and habitat types will see native species facing extinction on this trajectory. However, mountains and islands face greater risks. In these locations, 84 per cent and 100 per cent of endemic animals and plants will face extinction by 2100 respectively.

While the findings are bleak, they do also offer hope. The paper reveals that, if the world delivers the Paris Agreement’s more ambitious 1.5C trajectory, just 2 per cent of endemic land and marine species will face extinction. This proportion rises to 4 per cent under the 2C scenario.

Top 5 green ISAs for your climate-friendly cash

Bank of America commits $1tn to global sustainability initiatives

The Bank of America has committed to invest $1 trillion (£700 billion) by 2030 in initiatives that will support the transition to net zero.

This expands on the $300 billion (£218 billion) it had initially announced for the same project, the Environmental Business Initiative, two years ago. The funding will support businesses working on sustainable themes including renewables, transport, resource efficiency, water stewardship and improvements to agriculture and forestry.

The second largest US bank says the latest announcement puts its total commitment to sustainable finance by 2030 at $1.5 trillion (£1.09 trillion).

“The private sector is well-positioned to ensure that the capital needed – at the scale it is needed – can drive the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy,” Bank of America’s vice chairman Anne Finucane said.

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