Markets working to support sustainable development

In the News: 24th October 2014

24 Oct 2014

Here you will find a round-up of all the latest news and events in mechanisms from around the world. 

Better business

  • Generation Fairtrade: Fairtrade products are particularly popular among young people, according to a recent survey. The research found that UK teens are highly sensitive to global issues and want to see businesses taking action to end poverty, inequality and climate change. “They have grown up with fairtrade products at home… so they are aware that by taking a simple actions such as buying fair trade… they can persuade businesses and governments to act more ethically,” says Michael Gidney, Chief Executive of the Fairtrade Foundation.
  • A new index by CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) maps out those companies that show a ‘superior’ approach to tackling climate change, saving money and gaining investors’ trust. The index, entitled, The A List: The CDP Climate Performance Leadership Index, saw 187 of the world’s largest companies achieving an ‘A’ grade for their efforts, specifically in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. These include: BMW AG, Samsung Electronics, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Unilever.
  • Global food demand is expected to outpace the availability of water by 2050. But a new study by Washington State University shows that consumers, whose spending power can have a significant impact on the water used in livestock production, favour food certified by eco-labels. The study also finds that this is key to creating incentives for water-saving livestock production.
  • The European Council have voted to adopt a directive requiring certain companies to publicly report on their environmental and social activities. Member states will have two years to transpose the directive into national legislation and companies are expected to begin reporting in 2017. “Companies, investors and society at large will benefit from this increased transparency because companies that already publish information...often have lower financing costs, attract and retain more talented employees, and tend to be more successful,” says GreenBiz’s Michael Hower.
  • Lora Verheecke from the Equal Times argues that legal enforcement is needed to reduce illegal logging effectively rather than voluntary mechanisms. Verheecke uses an example: In 2012, the US Department of Justice demanded Gibson Guitar Corporation pay over $600,000 in penalties for illegally importing rare wood from protected forests, despite having committed to buying from FSC certified sources. Since this judgement, Gibson has introduced a new purchasing policy featuring additional staff members that are directly responsible for the contracts with producers, enabling Gibson to have more control over the supply chain.

Forest in Madagascar, where Gibson illegally imported timber. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Better finance

Rice farm in California, US. Source: Frontier AG.

Better extractives