June business round-up
- Mitigation ,
- Generation ,
The latest business news from Unilever, Lego, Tesco and SAP.
Unilever has reported that 15 of its sites in the UK are now using electricity from renewable sources as part of its plans to become carbon positive by 2030. Since April, the company has purchased 165GWh (87% of output) from a 23-turbine wind farm in Lochluichart in the Scottish Highlands. Unilever said that across its entire business, 63% of its grid energy was generated from renewable sources.
LEGO Group has achieved its ambition to balance 100% of its energy use from renewable sources, three years ahead of schedule. Since 2012, the Danish firm has invested in more than 160MW of renewable energy capacity, most recently taking at a 25% stake in the Burbo Bank Extension wind farm off the coast of Liverpool. It takes the total output from investments by LEGO in renewables to more than the energy consumed by its factories, stores and offices. In 2016, more than 360GW hours of energy were used by LEGO to produce the more than 75 billion plastic bricks sold during the year.
Tesco has announced its intention to use only renewable electricity in its operations by 2030. The message was accompanied by updated climate change targets for its stores and distribution centres. The new targets, based on 2015 levels, are to achieve absolute carbon reductions of 35% by 2020, 60% by 2025 and 100% by 2050. The company has set an interim milestone to source 65% renewable electricity by 2020 and said its UK and Ireland operations will all move to using renewable electricity this year.
Software business SAP has announced that it is planning to become carbon neutral by 2025. Achieving the target involves a three-step strategy: avoid – wherever possible, SAP will aim first to steer clear of creating of emissions, such as by using virtual telecommunications; reduce – where emissions cannot be avoided, it will seek to cut emissions, for example, through building efficiency, datacentre operations, carpooling and car sharing; and compensate – SAP will extend existing compensation models, such as embedded internal carbon pricing model for CO2-free train and air travel.
The Green Homes Grant is set to deliver only a fraction of the jobs and improvements intended, leading to calls for more involvement from local authorities in future schemes.
COVID-19 recovery packages have largely focused on protecting, rather than transforming, existing industries, and have been a “lost opportunity” for speeding up the global energy transition.
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.
The UK will no longer use unabated coal to generate electricity from October 2024, one year earlier than originally planned, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced.
The UK government is not on track to deliver on its promise to improve the environment within a generation and is failing to stem the tide of biodiversity loss, a damning new report from MPs has revealed.