Eco Progress: Sustainability news for 10th June

Eco Progress: Introduction

Welcome to your weekly dose of positive sustainability news where we bring you the latest Eco Progress from around the world! Unlike mainstream media, we like to focus on the good. 

At Play It Green, our aim is to inspire you, our members. By sharing uplifting stories, we create ripples of change. Every small action contributes to a bigger impact and together, we can all make a difference.

Please, read on to discover our first inspiring story of the week.

Co-op Sets Ambitious Sustainability and Social Targets

In your first story of eco progress, we see that the Co-op has announced ambitious new sustainability targets. These are linked to the 2023 amendment of its £442 million Revolving Credit Facility. Furthermore, these targets are in line with their commitment to achieve Net Zero across all operations by 2035 and for the entire business by 2040. This announcement follows their early achievement of the original greenhouse gas target ahead of their 2025 goal.

In April 2024, the Co-op significantly improved its financial strength, with notable gains in net debt and cash generation. Although the Revolving Credit Facility is currently undrawn, it provides essential liquidity for future growth. These new targets emphasise the Co-op’s dedication to integrating sustainability into its financial strategy.

The Co-op’s sustainability-linked facility is supported by Lloyds Bank, Barclays, NatWest, ING Bank, Handelsbanken, and Bank of Ireland.Lloyds Bank led the structure and coordination. It advised the Co-op in achieving all lender agreements to the new sustainability metrics. Key targets include reducing carbon emissions, cutting operational food waste, and doubling contributions to the Co-op Levy Share.

Eco Progress - The Co-Op has set even more ambitious sustainability targets in 2024 than it has in previous years
The Co-Op has set even more ambitious sustainability targets in 2024 than it has in previous years

Initially, 37% of Scope 3 emissions were covered by suppliers adhering to the Science Based Targets initiative. The Co-op aims to increase this to 50% by the end of 2024 and 67% by the end of 2025.

Rachel Izzard, CFO at Co-op, stated, “These new targets reflect our commitment to the issues which matter most to our member-owners, including environmental stewardship and the reduction of carbon emissions and food waste across our business and supply chains.”

Read on to discover your next story of eco progress.

Uber Boosts London EV Drivers with Free Charging and Grants

In your second story of eco progress, Uber is providing drivers with a £5,000 grant and additional discounts of up to £17,000 to switch to electric vehicles (EVs). These incentives are part of a £145 million fund aimed at helping London drivers transition to EVs more efficiently.

Amazingly, London is Uber’s leading city for EVs globally, with 25% of miles driven being fully electric. However, Uber believes that more incentives are necessary to achieve its goal of being all-electric in London by the end of 2025.

Andrew Brem, general manager of Uber in the UK, stated: “Now is the time to accelerate electrification, not slow down. We cannot reach our zero-emission goals without continued action from policymakers and investment across the industry.”

Beginning on May 21, Uber’s package includes the £5,000 grant through its Clean Air Plan and additional discounts of between £12,000 and £17,000 on select models, offering up to £22,000 off an EV. Accordingly, EV drivers will also receive up to three months of free charging credits worth £750 and an exclusive rate through BP Pulse.

Eco Progress Uber has announced grants and support for electric vehicles in London
Uber has announced grants and support for electric vehicles in London

Redbridge Council in London is rolling out 34 dual chargers, funded by Uber, as part of a £5 million investment to install 700 chargers across three London boroughs. Drivers can use their grant for a purchase, rental, or rent-to-buy deal.

Read on to discover our next eco progress story.

Fashion Leaders and Ellen MacArthur Foundation Collaborate on Circularity

Some of the world’s leading fashion brands are exploring ways to make money without making new clothes, as part of a new initiative announced by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation on May 21, 2024. Launched at the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen, The Fashion ReModel unites industry frontrunners to make circular business models the norm.

Incredibly, participants include Arc’teryx, ARKET, COS, H&M Group, Primark, Reformation, WEEKDAY, and Zalando. This initiative aims to decouple revenue from the production of new garments, advancing the journey towards a circular economy for fashion.

Sadly, today’s fashion industry largely operates on a take-make-waste model, producing, wearing, and discarding millions of tonnes of clothing each year. With 100 billion new clothes entering the market annually, many end up in landfills or are incinerated. Circular business models such as rental, resale, repair, and remaking aim to keep products in use. Alarmingly, a recent study from the Foundation estimates that these models could grow to 23% of the global fashion market by 2030. This represents a USD 700 billion opportunity.

Eco Progress - Fashion leaders along with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation are investigating circularity for the industry
Fashion leaders along with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation are investigating circularity for the industry

Jules Lennon, Fashion Lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: “Through their participation in The Fashion ReModel, these organisations are taking the next step towards a circular economy for fashion. Brands must decouple revenue from production by redesigning future products and rethinking business models to keep clothes in use.”

Eco Progress: Wrap Up

That’s a wrap for today’s edition of your sustainability news focusing on Eco Progress.

We’ve seen how the Co-op is leading the way with ambitious sustainability targets. Following that we heard and how Uber is driving electric vehicle adoption in London. Finally we explored the innovative circular economy initiatives in the fashion industry.

These stories showcase the positive strides businesses are making towards a greener future. Let’s continue to be inspired and take action in our own ways.

Stay tuned for more uplifting sustainability news next week. Together, we can make a difference.

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