Net zero transition – the latest signals of change: March 10, 2023We Mean Business Coalition
Signals of change in the net zero transition this week include a major industrial decarbonization project in Germany and carbon-capturing tequila in Mexico.
Net Zero Economy
In Canada this week, the financial industry regulator published a set of guidelines for banks, insurance companies and other regulated firms that will help them assess and disclose climate risks. Firms will need to release climate-related financial disclosures at least once a year, according to principles that will come into effect at the end of fiscal year 2024 for larger institutions and in 2025 for smaller firms.
CLG UK has shared a new policy brief setting out seven key areas the country must prioritize in the net zero transition. Leading the Way: How government can accelerate UK climate action across the economy includes a checklist ranging from investment to infrastructure, with the group arguing that ministers must take a holistic view of how to remove barriers to climate action.
And the Sustainable Apparel Coalition has unveiled guidance for the textile and fashion industry to help organizations set and commit to science-based targets and develop climate transition action plans. The group is urging its members – 270 leading fashion brands and clothing manufacturers with combined annual revenue of $845 billion – to ramp up efforts to deliver a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030. Luiz Amaral, CEO of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) said the guide “provides a blueprint for other sector trade bodies to follow.”
A new study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory argues that Japan can achieve 90% clean power in its energy share by 2035. Japan, alongside the other G7 countries, committed last year to largely decarbonize their power sectors by 2035, but Tokyo has yet to map out a clear path for the goal. The study finds that raising the renewables share to 90% would cut electricity costs by 6% and reduce power sector emissions by 92% from 2020 levels.
UK oil and gas workers have signaled support for a just transition in the energy sector, calling for a government-backed job guarantee and a scheme for workers to retrain in renewables. A new report titled Our Power: offshore workers’ demands for a just energy transition, shares findings from a survey of 1,000 fossil fuel company employees, formulated as ten demands backed by workers and major unions.
And the latest annual report from Climate Group’s EP100 energy efficiency initiative shows that its 125 members have reduced more emissions than the combined annual emissions of Denmark, Italy and Portugal to date, saving $1.2 billion. In 2022, three of the members – Danfoss, JSW Cement, and Mahindra Heavy Engines Ltd – reported hitting their stated energy efficiency targets, doubling their energy productivity.
Siemens has announced construction of a $220 million train carriage factory in North Carolina, USA. The facility, due to open in 2024, is the company’s response to anticipated growth in demand for commuter and intercity trains across the country. Its first phase will create 500 jobs, and the factory will bring in $1.6 billion to the state’s economy over the first ten years. “This is not the limit – we are targeting more because we know that America is transforming its transportation system into a greener, more sustainable one,” said Siemens CEO Roland Busch.
To Japan, where automaker Nissan has unveiled its development strategy to ramp up electric vehicle (EV) production. By using the same components across models and reducing use of expensive rare materials, the company said development and manufacturing costs will be reduced by 30% in 2026 compared to 2019 levels. By 2030, Nissan’s EV offerings will cost about the same at dealers as the equivalent regular gasoline-engine models.
And cleantech startup ClearFlame Engine Technologies announced that it has raised $30 million aimed at bringing to market its solutions to power heavy-duty engines with renewable fuels. Patented in 2016, ClearFlame’s technology enables heavy duty diesel engines to run on cleaner burning renewable liquid fuels such as ethanol.
Land & Nature
In Denmark, dairy producer Arla has confirmed that its sustainability incentive scheme for farmers will go live in August this year. The initiative, announced late last year, sets aside €500 million per year to pay suppliers more per kilogram of milk if they can demonstrate reduced emissions across their value chain. Farmers will be scored across areas such as renewable energy procurement, efficient fertilizer use and nature impacts.
Staying in Scandinavia, IKEA has joined the CanopyStyle initiative to ensure that it only purchases viscose for its home textiles product ranges from producers that have achieved the highest ranking for environmental practices. The company will work with suppliers that focus on deforestation-free approaches and practices that protect ancient and endangered woodland.
Multinational drinks giant Beam Suntory, meanwhile, has launched a regenerative agricultural pilot in Mexico, which aims to halve emissions from its Casa Sauza tequila brand by 2026. The project will explore methods of maximizing carbon capture in agave fields by introducing additional plants that absorb carbon during the day between the rows of agave, which absorb carbon at night.
Built Environment & Heavy Industry
In Bangladesh, 186 factories are now certified by the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard, up from just three in 2014. Ratings are based on progress toward lowering carbon emissions, water and energy use, and making transport and materials more sustainable. Points are also awarded for improvements in worker health and the quality of indoor work environments. The article notes that factory owners have responded to pressure from international buyers for more worker-friendly and climate-smart products.
Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Steel has ordered a hydrogen-powered direct reduced iron (DRI) plant from engineering firm SMS alongside two innovative smelters, launching one of the world’s largest industrial decarbonization projects. Installation of the DRI plant, which is set to come online by the end of 2026, is expected to reduce the Duisburg steelworks’ emissions by 20% per year. It’s a significant step on ThyssenKrupp’s journey towards achieving 100% hydrogen-based steel production by 2045.
Finally, in Senegal, the International Finance Corporation – the World Bank’s private sector financing arm – has signed a partnership with cement manufacturer Sococim to mobilize a €242 million investment in low-carbon cement. The company will use the funds to replace part of its existing clinker production lines with a new, more fuel-efficient line.
2 companies joined RE100:
Samsung Fire & Marine – Korean insurance company
Samsung Life Insurance – Korean insurance company
15 companies committed to set science-based targets through the SBTi Net Zero pathway:
All for One Group SE – German software company
Bravida Holding AB – Swedish engineering company
Brisa – Auto-estradas de Portugal,SA – Portuguese logistics company
Chaity Composite Ltd – Bangladeshi textile company
Destia Oy – Finnish construction company
Endress+Hauser AG – Swiss electronics company
Envision Digital International – Singaporean software company
Far Eastern New Century Corporation – Taiwanese chemicals
GRUPO TRANSFESA LOGISTICS – Spanish logistics company
IOI Corporation Berhad – Malaysian food company
Kyndryl – US-based tech company
Nan Shan Life Insurance Company, Ltd. – Taiwanese insurance firm
Oriental Industries (Suzhou) LTD. – Chinese textile company
Técnicas Reunidas S.A. – Spanish engineering company
Vestum – Swedish construction company
5 companies committed to set science-based targets through the SBTi standard pathway:
AB Tingstad Papper – Swedish manufacturer
Danæg Holding A/S – Danish food company
HALO Branded Solutions, Inc. – US-based manufacturer
Kayser Automotive Group – German auto component manufacturer
Sparks Marketing LLC – US-based marketing agency
13 companies had their science-based targets approved:
AB SKF – Swedish manufacturer
AptarGroup Inc. – US-based manufacturer
Bank Australia – Australian banks
Ficosa International, S.A. – Spanish auto component company
Galliker Transport AG – Swiss logistics company
Hager SE – German electronics company
hummel A/S – Danish fashion company
FRONT RETAILING Co., Ltd. – Japanese retailer
J.Crew Group – US-based fashion company
MIRAIT ONE CORPORATION – Japanese engineering company
SAVENCIA Fromage & Dairy – French dairy company
The Weir Group PLC – UK-based engineering company
Tubex Tubenfabrik Wolfsberg GmbH – Austrian manufacturer
14 SMEs had their science-based targets approved:
Advance Residence Investment Corporation – Japanese real estate company
Amarant Bakkersholding B.V. – Dutch food company
engcon AB – Swedish machinery manufacturer
Godt Smil Holding ApS – Danish healthcare company
Hurst Peirce & Malcolm LLP – UK-based construction company
Modino – Norwegian furniture company
Nippon PS Co., Ltd – Japanese construction company
Peter Herres Wein- und Sektkellerei GmbH – German drinks company
Planwerkstatt GmbH – German construction company
Rokkyo Co., Ltd. – Japanese construction company
Schuller Eh’klar Nordic ApS – Danish retailer
TERADA CO.,Ltd – Japanese electronics company
The Carbon Trust – UK-based consultancy
TOKUKURA Co.,Ltd. – Japanese food company
Total number of companies committed to RE100: 401
Total number of companies committed to EP100: 126
Total number of companies committed to EV100: 127
Total number of companies committed to SteelZero: 31
Total number of companies committed to ConcreteZero: 28
Total number of companies and SMEs committed to SBTi: 4,665 (2,311 committed, 2,354 approved)
Total number of SMEs committed to SME Climate Hub: 5,646
Total number of companies committed to The Climate Pledge: 400
Webinars & Events
NCS Gamechangers in the Voluntary Carbon Market: February 28-March 24
FT Climate Capital Live: March 15-16
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Eurelectric EVision: March 21-22
Ceres Global: March 22-24
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Economist Impact Sustainability Week Europe: March 29-31
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Transport Manager at We Mean Business Coalition
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