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FFI’s Annual Report shows carbon emissions remain over 460% of World Carbon Budget

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United States of America by NASA Goddard Space Flight via Flickr

The report on 200 of the largest fossil fuel companies focuses on investors, proving carbon emissions remain over 460% of world carbon budget

 

FFI, a provider of financial research and products for investors seeking to understand, measure, and act on climate risks, today launched their third annual report, The Carbon Underground 2016: Managing the Climate Risks of Fossil Fuel Companies. The report analyses the past year’s changes to The Carbon Underground 200TM (CU200), FFI’s list of the top publicly-traded coal, oil, and gas reserve owners ranked by the potential carbon emissions of their reported reserves. An analytical piece for investors and for anyone concerned about climate change, the report states that the CU200 companies own reserves that equate to 474 gigatons (Gt) of potential CO2 emissions. Although this number is down from the February 2015 number of 555 Gt, FFI emphasises that the potential future reserve-based emissions from CU200 companies remain over 460% of their allocated carbon budget to the year 2050¹. FFI collaborator and leading advisor on sustainability-related portfolio risks, South Pole Group, has provided a discussion of carbon footprinting for the report, including a carbon footprint of the CU200 based on estimated emissions from operations.

The report highlights that investor activity motivated by the financial risks of climate change has surged, accelerated by the success of the 21st UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 21) and other high-profile climate actions. The report details recent actions in the areas of divestment and shareholder engagement, and provides an overview of several other strategies that climate-focused investors can utilise to manage risk and generate returns. FFI CEO and report co-author Christopher Ito observes: “As more investors assess the impacts of a transition to a low-carbon economy, divestment, engagement, risk management, and active portfolio management will all be viewed as appropriate and even complementary responses to climate risk.”

South Pole Group’s Partner for the Financial Industry and report co-author Maximillian Horster adds: “We are pleased to complement The Carbon Underground annual report with an in-depth emission analysis of the assessed companies and a carbon footprint measurement. It is important to offer the investment community as many tools as possible to fully embrace and combat the intricate risks posed by climate change — understanding one’s carbon footprint is a first step for every climate impact assessment.”

It is important to offer the investment community as many tools as possible to fully embrace and combat the intricate risks posed by climate change.

Specific report findings on the fossil fuel industry show:

  • Most of the decline in potential future emissions has been in coal, as a result of significant coal reserves becoming uneconomic. Oil and gas emissions declined only slightly on the oil side and rose slightly on the gas side.
  • Coal usage appears to be on a permanent, steady decline in the US and Europe, but the picture in Asia is much more complex and uncertain. While clean energy use is growing in China and India and China has announced mine closures and permit moratoria in some provinces, coal production across Asia has increased overall.
  • Oil and gas emission trends demonstrate that a shift in emissions away from oil and towards natural gas is in progress.
  • The largest Russian oil companies have shown an increase in production and exploration overall.

The top 10 coal and top 10 oil and gas companies in the CU200 are listed in the report. The entire 2016 CU200 list is available for non-commercial purposes to asset owners, not-for-profit organizations, and members of the media at no cost, and is available quarterly by paid subscription for asset managers and consultants. Eligible users can download the list on the company website. For more information, visit http://www.fossilfreeindexes.com/.

 

¹This is the number required for the world to have an 80% chance to stay below a 2°C (3.6° F) temperature, according to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models.

Environment

4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again

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reuse reduce recycle plastic bottles etc
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Vanatchanan | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/vanatchanan%20buahom

As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.

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Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.

Jars and Containers

Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.

Soda Bottles

An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.

Plastic Bags

Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!

Seeds

If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!

Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!

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Environment

These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money

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eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/cyano

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

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