While you don’t see plumes of black smoke being released by the GAFAs (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), you’d be wrong to assume they don’t have a significant environmental impact. Every search, click, or streamed video consume a huge amount of energy and sending a simple email has in reality a whole energy-intensive journey.
Shopping streets around much of the world are lined with Christmas decorations, ready to welcome the hordes of shoppers in what is usually the busiest shopping period of the year. But there is a backlash emerging in response to our growing consumerism and the clothing industry is under increasing scrutiny. Not long since the flight shaming movement started, a new trend is gradually emerging in Nordic Countries: the Köpskam – literally the shame of buying, and mainly aimed at the fashion industry.
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The social factors included within ESG analysis are wide-reaching, taking into consideration the relationship the corporation strikes with the multiple stakeholders involved in its business: customers, employees, suppliers and local communities.
One area of interest is how employee relations affect corporate value. For every company that we analyse from an ESG perspective we aim to understand employee satisfaction. KPIs reported by the firm such as employee training hours, staff turnover, and outcomes from staff satisfaction surveys can be valuable, as well as third party employer-rating platforms such as Glassdoor.
Last week the financial sector and the international development sector gathered in Geneva to discuss how asset managers, asset owners and banks can contribute to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Here is why one should resist the temptation of cynicism.
Last month, the Quaero Capital ESG team attended the annual PRI event, this year held in Paris. The event was the largest responsible investment conference ever held, with over 1600 attendees from the industry.
Last month the UN Climate Summit took place in New York, arguably the most significant event for global cooperation on climate change since Paris 2015.
“Flygskam”, a new expression in Swedish, refers to the movement that originated in Sweden last year. It literally translates as ‘flight shame’ and is used to encourage people to shift towards more sustainable transportation options. It’s also given birth to another concept – ‘tagskryt’ or ‘train brag’.
As it’s often the cheapest form of transportation, more than 90% of all world goods, from raw materials to finished products, are carried by sea. Spurred by worldwide population growth and increasing globalisation, global trade has grown by 85% in the last 18 years. The shipping industry merchant fleet has grown to c.100,000 vessels producing an estimated 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually. According to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the UN agency responsible for the safety and security of the shipping industry, emissions will increase between 50 and 250% by 2050 under a business-as-usual scenario, if no drastic measures are taken.
Global deforestation is at a very high level, losing five million hectares a year or the equivalent of 15 football pitches of forest every minute. The election of the new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in January led to a rapid reacceleration in Brazil; the Brazilian Space Agency found that deforestation had increased by 88% in June this year relative to last. In the past forty years, the Amazon rainforest has lost about 18% of its territory.