Global environmental challenges
Indonesia’s Sinar Mas came under heavy fire last week from non-government organization Greenpeace as a report named and shamed some of its biggest clients for their role in the destruction of rainforest and peatlands.
Following is a breakdown of the companies that made headlines July 3 to 16 for winning or losing credibility based on environment-related activity, led by Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas.
Selections of companies were made by Christopher Greenwald, director of data content at ASSET4, a Thomson Reuters business that provides investment research on the environmental, social and governance performance of major global corporations. These ratings are not recommendations to buy or sell.
Greenpeace has named these companies as sourcing products from Sinar Mas’ APP subsidiary, which the NGO has demonstrated in a recent report is responsible for extensive deforestation in Indonesia through the destruction of rainforest and peatlands. Deforestation is responsible for 20 percent of CO2 emissions globally, and Greenpeace has called on international companies to ban sourcing from Sinar Mas. In response to the report, HSBC indicated last week that it has divested all of its shares from Sinar Mas.
Forget the BP oil spill for a moment. An international PR war is heating up this week between environmentalists and the oil industry over an entirely different sore spot: The Alberta oil sands in northern Canada.
Billboards targeting the region with the largest crude reserves outside the Middle East sprang up in four major U.S. cities this week in the launch of a multi-million dollar, multi-year campaign led by NGO Corporate Ethics International.
Avoid mopping your floor, laundry and washing your dishes during the day and save energy in the process – that’s what power utilities in the U.S. are telling customers this summer.
Heard this before?
The difference is this year, heat waves have already caused blackouts and power-grid strain across the country, and it’s only mid-July. This begs the question: Do power utilities want less of your business?
With all the comparisons to the Exxon Valdez spill of 1989, there’s at least one arena where BP appears to be head and shoulders above its oil-spill predecessor — suffering public mockery.
They can thank the age of social media.
There’s the fake Twitter account, BPGlobalPR, posing as the public relations mouthpiece for an arrogant powerhouse. Today it tweeted its 184,466 followers: “Attention lazy fishermen! If you won’t clean our mess, we’re taking your money. Fair is fair.” They also produced this fake press conference.
BP’s vast and spreading oil disaster is killing ever more birds and other wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico — but one of the worst spills for birds was a harmless-sounding 5 tonnes of oil in the Baltic Sea in 1976.
That spill from a ship killed more than 60,000 long-tailed ducks wintering in the area after they fatally mistook the slick for an attractive patch of calm water, according to Arne Jernelov, of the Institute for Futures Studies in Stockholm, writing in today’s edition of the journal Nature.
from The Great Debate UK:
There's nothing new or unusual about the idea of using bicycles to replace cars to help combat the effects of climate change on the environment. Neither is there anything new or unusual about it taking so long to put the concept into practice.
Oliver Lowenstein has spent several years in pursuit of what he says could become an environmentally sustainable network structured around economically viable "cyclestations" or covered rest points, which would help make long-distance travel more feasible for cyclists.
from The Great Debate UK:
How can human production be transformed and harnessed to save the planet? Can the market economy really help solve the environmental crisis?
Author Heather Rogers argues in a new book that current efforts to green the planet need to be reconsidered.
– Dr. David Suzuki is a Canadian scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. Any views expressed here are his own. –
For the past two years, the global economy has been at the top of peoples’ minds. And so has the environment.
from The Great Debate:
Maryland Public Service Commission highlighted the political resistance smart-metering advocates must overcome when it shot down proposals for compulsory smart metering submitted by Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE).
Smart grids are essential for the Obama administration's and power industry's plan to meet rising electricity demand while integrating more renewable generation into the grid.
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico strikes close to home for Chevron as it faces a $27 billion lawsuit brought on by the indigenous people in the Amazon region of Ecuador for water pollution, and a fresh Chevron oil spill in Utah, a bi-weekly analysis of companies in the news by ASSET4 data providers shows.
Company selections were made by Christopher Greenwald, director of data content at ASSET4, a Thomson Reuters business that provides investment research on the environmental, social and governance performance of major global corporations. These ratings are not recommendations to buy or sell.