Green Steps: Sustainability News for 26th Feb 2024

Green Steps: Introduction

Welcome back to Play It Green’s Weekly Sustainability News where we look at the amazing green steps being taken across the world! Here, we’re not just sharing stories; we’re building a community dedicated to making a difference. At Play It Green, we believe in the power of collective action. Every week, we highlight positive actions and green steps being taken around the world. Hopefully, inspiring change one story at a time.

Our community is a testament to how small changes, when powered up by collective enthusiasm, can lead to significant impacts. Not only that, but we’re here to show that every effort counts and that together, we can create a more sustainable future. So, let’s dive into this week’s stories, each a beacon of hope and action in the journey towards a greener planet.

Green Steps: Barclays to End Direct Finance for Oil and Gas Expansion

Barclays has announced a significant shift in its financing policy, ceasing direct finance for new oil and gas projects. This move is part of Barclays’ updated “Climate Change Statement.” The bank’s new policy aligns with a broader ambition to facilitate $1 trillion in sustainable and transition finance by 2030. 

This change makes Barclays the latest in a series of major European-based banks committing to exit new fossil fuel financing.

Moreover, the policy introduces several restrictions for Barclays’ energy sector clients. These include ending project finance for new upstream oil and gas expansion projects and related infrastructure. Also, from 2024, Barclays will not finance new clients where more than 10% of their total oil and gas capital expenditure is focused on expansion.

Furthermore, by 2025, energy clients will be required to present transition plans or decarbonisation strategies. In addition, from 2026, to access financing, these clients must have 2030 methane emissions reduction targets and commitments to end routine flaring by 2030. 

Green Steps Barclays has taken the bold step of stopping direct finance of Oil and Gas expansion
Barclays has taken the bold step of stopping direct finance of Oil and Gas expansion

Laura Barlow, Group Head of Sustainability at Barclays, highlighted the bank’s commitment to supporting the energy transition and addressing climate change. She emphasised working with energy clients as they decarbonise and support their transition in a just and orderly manner​.

Green Steps: Veganuary Racks Up Record 25 Million Participants for 2024

Veganuary 2024 has marked a new record with around 25 million people globally participating in the campaign. Incredibly, this remarkable achievement includes over 1.8 million individuals who received direct support from Veganuary. Support came through emails, videos, social media posts, and podcasts.

The organisation suggests that the actual number of participants is likely even higher. This is because many engage in the campaign without officially signing up.

To estimate the true number of participants, Veganuary commissioned YouGov surveys in its core campaign countries. These surveys indicate that the total number of participants could be as high as 25 million. Awareness of Veganuary continues to grow, with 75% of UK survey respondents having heard of it. Furthermore, this is even if they have never participated. On TikTok, the Veganuary tag has been viewed over 1.1 billion times.

The 2024 campaign also celebrated the tenth anniversary of Veganuary. What’s more, milestones include the opening of an office in Spain and a significant increase in participation in the US. 

25 Million people took part in Veganuary this year, making it a record breaker
25 Million people took part in Veganuary this year, making it a record breaker

Amazingly the US now has more participants than any other nation worldwide. Veganuary India is also expected to have seen record figures in 2024. The campaign’s impact extends beyond the month. Incredibly, surveys indicate that 80% of 2023 participants had reduced their meat consumption by at least 50% six months later. “It is incredibly inspiring to see Veganuary’s participation and influence continue to grow around the world,” said Veganuary Head of Communications, Toni Vernelli.

Green Steps: Maersk Aligns Climate Goals with SBTi Net-Zero Standard

Maersk, a global leader in container logistics, has made a significant commitment towards environmental sustainability. The company has accelerated its net-zero emission targets to 2040, a decade ahead of its initial goal of 2050.

This ambitious plan is set to align Maersk with the Net Zero criteria of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Vincent Clerc, CEO of A.P. Moller-Maersk, emphasises the strategic necessity of extending their net-zero ambition to the entire business footprint. He asserts the importance of acting now to achieve substantial progress this decade. Maersk’s targets encompass all direct and indirect emissions across their business. Not only that, but they go beyond previous efforts focusing only on ocean fleet emissions.

By 2030, Maersk aims to achieve significant emissions reductions. These include a 50% reduction in emissions per transported container in the Maersk Ocean fleet. Following this they aim for a 70% reduction in absolute emissions from fully controlled terminals. 

Green Steps Maersk has taken a bold step and aligned its climate goals with the SBTi Net Zero standard
Maersk has taken a bold step and aligned its climate goals with the SBTi Net Zero standard

Additionally, Maersk is committed to investing in natural climate solutions. They project around five million tons of CO2 savings per year by 2030. The company is also setting ambitious 2030 targets for its range of green product offerings. This includes ocean transportation, air cargo, contract logistics, and cold chain businesses. These efforts reinforce Maersk’s position as an industry leader in providing green supply chain solutions.

Green Steps: Wrap Up

This week’s stories from Barclays, Veganuary, and Maersk underscore the powerful impact of collective action in sustainability. At Play It Green, we’re dedicated to showcasing these transformative steps. Our community is a driving force in this journey, proving that when small changes are powered up collectively, they lead to significant impacts.

These stories inspire us and reaffirm the power of community action in shaping a sustainable future. Join us again next week as we continue to celebrate and support the progress being made in sustainability, driven by innovative actions and the collective power of our community.

Play It Green: Empowering Your Sustainability Journey

Ready to take your commitment to sustainability to the next level? Play It Green stands as your partner in creating positive environmental change. From educational resources on sustainable practices and signposting to sustainable services to initiatives like tree planting and social giving, Play It Green offers a holistic approach to environmental stewardship. 

Join us in the journey toward sustainability—embrace eco-conscious practices and be a force for positive change in our world. All whilst staying relevant, meeting legislation and aligning with the values of today’s consumers and employees.

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