Shell and the new era of climate risk

Over the past few years, the term “climate risk” has risen to the fore, taking up residency inside the world’s biggest banks and investors. Today, it is part of many companies’ toolkit as they seek to understand the impacts of climate change on their business and society. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change — the folks who organize the annual COP events — defines “climate-related risks” as those: …created by a range of hazards. Some are slow in their onset (such as changes in temperature and precipitation leading to droughts, or agricultural losses), while others happen more suddenly (such as tropical storms and floods). It’s time to update that definition to include sudden, dramatic swings among judges and juries.

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Biological innovation is key to indoor & vertical farm sustainability

As the global population rapidly urbanizes, we need to move our agricultural production to within urban and peri-urban areas. The environmental and social costs of large-scale, industrial farming are huge, and include the fallout from widespread pesticide and chemical use, the depletion of land resources, and the progressive depopulation of rural areas. In regions where land is at a premium or climatic conditions are not favorable for outdoor farming, the only alternative is the controlled environment agriculture (CEA) ‘plant factory’ – whether an indoor, vertical, or greenhouse-based facility. The advantage of CEA is clear: safer, standardized, pesticide-free produce with short delivery ‘circuits’ that are less polluting.

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The rush to ‘go electric’ comes with a hidden cost: destructive lithium mining

The Atacama salt flat is a majestic, high-altitude expanse of gradations of white and grey, peppered with red lagoons and ringed by towering volcanoes. It took me a moment to get my bearings on my first visit, standing on this windswept plateau of 3,000 sq km (1,200 sq miles). A vertiginous drive had taken me and two other researchers through a sandstorm, a rainstorm and the peaks and valleys of this mountainous region of northern Chile. The sun bore down on us intensely – the Atacama desert boasts the Earth’s highest levels of solar radiation, and only parts of Antarctica are drier.

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Sustainable Fashion Pledge

Fast fashion is one of many major threats to our planet. From the carbon and microplastic pollution involved with the creation, to the 81 pounds of clothing the average American throws away yearly. And this is not all, synthetic fabrics that are used to make cheaper clothing are plastic and can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. By signing this pledge, you are committing to living more sustainably. Whether that means donating clothes rather than throwing them away, or supporting sustainable fashion brands, any level of commitment greatly helps the planet. This pledge is created by Young Activists for Change. Young Activists for Change is a high school run non-partisan non-profit based on a 50-year-old campaign model created by the Student PIRGs.

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Sustainability – an essential driver of the business of the future

Sustainability is now core to the business strategy of industry leaders. Beyond the sustainability function, more and more areas of businesses are getting involved to shape sustainability strategies and execute them to achieve measurable goals. We asked our Retail & Consumer clients – who typically do not have a sustainability title – to provide their perspective on a range of sustainability-related topics, including the extent to which they are involved in helping shape and execute their organisation’s sustainability strategies and tactics.

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