Sustainable Strides: Eco News for 11th March 2024

Sustainable Strides: Introduction

Welcome to another edition of your weekly sustainability news where we focus on the Sustainable Strides being taken around the world! This week, we delve into three inspiring developments that are pushing the boundaries of sustainability.

From the launch of the world’s first Just Transition Finance Lab in London to the UK’s booming electric bus sales and Walmart’s early achievement of its supply chain emissions goal, these stories highlight the innovative efforts in creating a greener future.

These milestones demonstrate the power of collaborative efforts and forward-thinking strategies in driving significant environmental changes. Let’s explore how these initiatives are shaping our journey towards sustainability.

Sustainable Strides: World’s First Just Transition Finance Lab Launches in London

The world’s first Just Transition Finance Lab has launched in London at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). This innovative hub aims to integrate social considerations into financial decisions, particularly during the net-zero transition. It will develop practical financial tools, metrics, and strategies for public and private financiers.

This initiative comes as more than 90% of global GDP is covered by net-zero targets. The lab focuses on ensuring that the transition to net-zero also addresses social inequalities. Professor Nick Robins emphasised the importance of considering social opportunities and risks in climate financing. He said: “The vast majority of financing decisions for climate action do not explicitly consider the social opportunities, social risks or social dialogue needed to ensure success.

If this is not remedied, the world could miss out on the huge potential for social advancement in terms of more and better jobs, gender equality, community renewal and universal access to key goods and services such as energy.”

Sustainable Strides - The world's first just transition finance lab has opened in London
The world's first just transition finance lab has opened in London

He also warned that neglecting these aspects could hinder climate progress and exacerbate social disparities. The lab proposes integrating just transition principles into all green and sustainable bonds, emphasising the need for financial systems to evolve to meet climate and social goals effectively.

This is great work and is backed up by new forecasting which suggests that green sustainably linked bonds could exceed $1TRN for the first time in 2024! Simply incredible news!

Sustainable Strides: UK’s Electric Bus Sales Boomed in 2023, SMMT Confirms

In our next amazing news about sustainable strides we hear about another record broken around sustainability! In 2023, the UK saw a remarkable increase in electric bus sales, with a notable rise in zero-emission double-decker buses. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This surge, which was particularly strong in double-deck models, has made the UK home to Europe’s largest zero-emission bus fleet.

The growth is partly attributed to government funding, including the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme, which significantly subsidised the costs of zero-emission buses. The SMMT also noted that technological advancements and local air quality mandates have driven the rise in electric bus registrations. However, the minibus sector lagged, with challenges such as the absence of specific subsidies and licensing requirements for drivers.

The SMMT emphasises the potential for further growth in this sector, pending policy changes. This transition to electric buses represents a significant step in sustainable strides, enhancing air quality and reducing carbon emissions.

Sustainable Strides - Sales of electric buses hit record highs in the UK in 2023
Sales of electric buses hit record highs in the UK in 2023

A spokesperson for the body said: “Given their depot-based, circular routes, decarbonising bus fleets can be less complex than some other use cases – plus, the added halo effects of mass zero emission mobility, lower noise and improved air quality all prove highly attractive”.

This is amazing news and another sustainable stride towards a greener future!

Sustainable Strides: Walmart Achieves Supply Chain Emissions Goal Ahead of Schedule

Our final story of sustainable strides sees Walmart achieve its ambitious Project Gigaton goal well ahead of its 2030 target. This is a significant accomplishment in the company’s sustainability journey. Launched in 2017, Project Gigaton aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one billion metric tons across Walmart’s value chains.

The initiative involved collaboration with over 5,900 suppliers, who played a crucial role in this achievement. Walmart’s successful strategy included setting science-based targets, improving emissions disclosures, and implementing practical projects to address emissions hotspots. The company also encouraged suppliers to improve their environmental performance annually, offering recognition for outstanding achievements.

This progress is part of Walmart’s broader commitment to environmental sustainability, aligning with their goal of net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2040 and compliance with the Science-Based Targets Initiative’s Net-Zero Standard. Walmart’s achievement in Project Gigaton underscores the significant role of corporate action in driving environmental change and represents a major stride in sustainable practices.

Sustainable Strides - Walmart has achieved it's ambitious sustainability targets well ahead of its 2030 target
Walmart has achieved it's ambitious sustainability targets well ahead of its 2030 target

Walmart’s chief sustainability officer Kathleen McLaughlin said: “By engaging and supporting thousands of suppliers who span product categories and regions around the world, we aim to spark innovation in practices and infrastructure that can accelerate and expand emissions reduction and avoidance across the industry”.

This is an incredible feat and sets the framework for other global companies to do the same – great work Walmart!

Sustainable Strides: Wrap Up

This week’s Sustainable Strides stories highlight the innovative and collaborative efforts towards sustainability. The launch of the Just Transition Finance Lab, the UK’s electric bus sales boom, and Walmart’s early achievement of its emissions reduction goal are all testament to the significant strides being made in sustainable development.

These initiatives showcase the power of strategic partnerships and proactive measures in addressing environmental challenges. As we continue to witness these transformative efforts, we are reminded of the importance of sustainability in shaping a better future for all. Stay tuned for more inspiring updates as we continue on this journey towards a greener, more sustainable world.

Play It Green: Empowering Your Sustainability Journey

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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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