Why are such important and valuable issues ignored by government

Green home upgrades could also create 140,000 new jobs by 2030, analysis by Cambridge Econometric finds

Greenpeace urged Kwarteng to devote £7bn to insulation and heat pump installations over the next two years. Photograph: Andrew Aitchison/Alamy

Insulating homes in Britain and installing heat pumps could benefit the economy by £7bn a year and create 140,000 new jobs by 2030, research has found.

But the uptake of these energy-saving measures depends heavily on government policy, according to analysis by Cambridge Econometrics, commissioned by Greenpeace.

Read more … https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/20/energy-saving-measures-could-boost-uk-economy-by-7bn-a-year-study-says

Coca-Cola among brands greenwashing over packaging, report says

The Changing Markets Foundation, along with Zero Waste Europe, is calling for closed-loop recycling systems and effective deposit return systems to tackle the plastic pollution problem. “We must embrace systemic solutions, such as absolute reductions in plastic packaging and mandatory deposit return systems,” they said.

Plastic packaging in the UK makes up nearly 70% of all of the country’s plastic waste. Less than 10% of everyday plastic, including plastic packaging, gets recycled.

Tesco said: “All of the soft plastic we collect will be sorted in the UK from later this year, ensuring it stays out of landfill and is recycled into a range of items. We welcomed recent legislative measures to increase the consistency of kerbside collections for plastic recycling.”

Tesco said it was not the case that its soft plastic ended up in landfill or incinerated. The company said since 2021 it was finding a use for the soft plastic packaging it collects in stores, and has trialled recycling soft plastic into cheese packaging.

Coca Cola said: “We don’t want to see any of our packaging end up where it shouldn’t and we are working hard to be part of the solution.

“All of our bottles in Great Britain are 100% recyclable and we aim to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one we sell by 2030 globally. In 2019, about 300 sample Coca-Cola bottles were developed using recovered and recycled marine plastics, with the aim to demonstrate that one day, ocean debris could be used in recycled packaging. Innovative trials like this are essential to finding scalable solutions to reduce the amount of packaging we use.”


Procter & Gamble said: “Our Head & Shoulders ocean clean bottle was one of the first steps on our ongoing responsible beauty journey and helped us to learn about the use of PCR within our products. This pack is no longer available to buy in the UK but we can confirm that it was recyclable. We don’t yet have all the answers but remain committed to ensuring Head & Shoulders is a force for good within beauty.”

A spokesperson for Perfetti Van Melle was not available to comment. The other brands named did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Claims about plastic packaging being eco-friendly made by big brands, including Coca-Cola and Unilever, are misleading greenwashing, according to a report.

The Changing Markets Foundation says claims that companies are intercepting and using “ocean-bound” or “recyclable” plastic to tackle the plastic pollution crisis are some of the most common examples of greenwashing.

 

The claims are made with little proof about how the products address the crisis in plastic pollution, their report says. It says this is done to obscure the real impact of plastic from consumers.

George Harding-Rolls, campaign manager at Changing Markets Foundations, said: “Our latest investigation exposes a litany of misleading claims from household names consumers should be able to trust. This is just the tip of the iceberg and it is of crucial importance that regulators take this issue seriously.

“The industry is happy to gloat its green credentials with little substance on the one hand, while continuing to perpetuate the plastic crisis on the other. We are calling out greenwashing so the world can see that voluntary action has led to a market saturated with false claims.”

The analysis, which is being presented on the CMF website, says claims by Kim Kardashian’s clothing company Skims on its compostable underwear packaging, which states “I am not plastic”, are undermined by the small print saying the product is plastic type 4 or LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene).

Coca-Cola, the report says, has spent millions promoting an innovation which says that its bottles are 25% marine plastic, but does not mention that the company is the world’s biggest plastic polluter.

The makers of Mentos mints, Perfetti Van Melle, make grand eco claims about new cardboard box packaging, the report says. But they fail to mention the packaging is an unrecyclable composite material made out of card, aluminium and plastic.

In Spain, after the EU ban on plastic cutlery, the biggest supermarket chain, Mercadona, rebranded the cutlery as “reusable” instead of providing alternatives.

The report singled out Tesco for its claims that its flexible plastic packaging is new, improved and “recyclable”. But to be recycled, customers have to take the packaging back to larger stores – and even then it is unlikely to be recycled. Instead, it will almost certainly be exported, incinerated or sent to landfill, the report says.

Bottles of Procter & Gamble’s Head and Shoulders shampoo are being promoted as made out of “beach plastic”, but the bottle is dyed blue, meaning it cannot be recycled further, the report says.

Unilever has replaced recyclable PET bottles of washing liquid with pouches as part of its push to encourage refills. But the pouches are not recyclable and only contain two refills, the report says.

The examples show brands are presenting materials and selling products claiming they are better for the environment when they are either difficult to recycle, not recyclable at all, or are using just a small fraction of “ocean-bound” plastic collected through various clean-ups.

Sian Sutherland, A Plastic Planet co-founder, said: “Plastic is now a very powerful and emotional word. We all feel the plastic guilt when we fill our shopping baskets. Brands have been exploiting this over recent years, using age-old marketing techniques that are totally misleading or downright fake, pretending that the problem is being fixed when actually it is getting worse, with plastic production set to treble by 2040.

“Greenwash.com exposes these false green claims for what they are: daylight robbery of the consumer’s right and ability to judge the product.”

The Changing Markets Foundation, along with Zero Waste Europe, is calling for closed-loop recycling systems and effective deposit return systems to tackle the plastic pollution problem. “We must embrace systemic solutions, such as absolute reductions in plastic packaging and mandatory deposit return systems,” they said.

Plastic packaging in the UK makes up nearly 70% of all of the country’s plastic waste. Less than 10% of everyday plastic, including plastic packaging, gets recycled.

Tesco said: “All of the soft plastic we collect will be sorted in the UK from later this year, ensuring it stays out of landfill and is recycled into a range of items. We welcomed recent legislative measures to increase the consistency of kerbside collections for plastic recycling.”

Tesco said it was not the case that its soft plastic ended up in landfill or incinerated. The company said since 2021 it was finding a use for the soft plastic packaging it collects in stores, and has trialled recycling soft plastic into cheese packaging.

Coca Cola said: “We don’t want to see any of our packaging end up where it shouldn’t and we are working hard to be part of the solution.

“All of our bottles in Great Britain are 100% recyclable and we aim to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one we sell by 2030 globally. In 2019, about 300 sample Coca-Cola bottles were developed using recovered and recycled marine plastics, with the aim to demonstrate that one day, ocean debris could be used in recycled packaging. Innovative trials like this are essential to finding scalable solutions to reduce the amount of packaging we use.”

Procter & Gamble said: “Our Head & Shoulders ocean clean bottle was one of the first steps on our ongoing responsible beauty journey and helped us to learn about the use of PCR within our products. This pack is no longer available to buy in the UK but we can confirm that it was recyclable. We don’t yet have all the answers but remain committed to ensuring Head & Shoulders is a force for good within beauty.”

A spokesperson for Perfetti Van Melle was not available to comment. The other brands named did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Guardian article

Asset managers urged to ‘step up’

UK pensions minister issues warning as schemes lack detail on voting, disclosure and engagement.

Serious improvements in pensions transparency are required as two reports released this week show most asset managers were unable to provide details of how they exercised their voting rights, and the UK ranked behind Canada, Australia and many European countries in terms of the quality of pensions disclosures.

Read this here

Corporate Governance

I have been urging people to look at better investments for the past 15 years and finally the theory has been tested.  Would Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investments do better in a crisis? 

Yes, they did.

Most of the good performance has come by always adhering to Environmental, Social and Governance standards (ESG).

I know that my clients and most other investors understand the benefit to the environment and society.  What I do not know is if other investors and their advisers understand that a fundamental change has already taken place.

The changes will continue, and it is going to be difficult to spot the difference between ‘greenwash’ and the real deal, now that the flood gates have opened.

The shift started during the financial crisis a decade ago.  At the time I was asked to comment on BBC Bristol Radio on Ethical investing. 

My strongest memory is of the journalist who expressed disbelief that it was possible to question your adviser, bank, or pension manager about the assets they held. 

For my part, the idea that you hand over your savings without understanding what it was financing was unacceptable and contributed to the financial crash. 

MORE ON THIS HERE

Powering a low-carbon future

UK local authorities have pledged to work towards cleaner air and greener energy, but with limited government investment, they are having to resort to other funding sources

This week The Times published this article in association with UKSIF & Raconteur. For clients & friends interested in getting a copy of this simply use the form below and I will eMail one to you.

UK green investors can drive net zero

Former governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney believes the UK is uniquely positioned to transform pensions and work towards a net zero
future

Investing to generate genuine impact

With a lack of standardisation around criteria and a passive approach to screening, sustainable investing is yet to reach its potential. A change of mindset is needed.

Signposting a priority pathway to Paris

A new type of green finance has emerged and, rather than simply blacklisting “bad” companies, it is offering even the heaviest polluters a pathway to a greener future.

Sustainable Drivers

Investors’ interest, enthusiasm and passion for sustainable investing have been growing steadily over recent years, but what are the key drivers of more conscious investments?

How the City of London can keep its green crown

As Brexit threatens the UK’s pre-eminence as a financial hub, spearheading sustainable finance offers a welcome lifeline

Picking a green winner

There is compelling evidence that environmental, social and governance funds
can outperform their less sustainable counterparts, but what’s driving superior returns

Debunking six ESG myths

From low returns to a lack of interest among the elderly, there are many misconceptions around environmental, social and governance investing. Here are our top six myths


Request your copy of the Sustainable Investment Article
First & Last
Town, County

Our ESG Commitment

Environment :
Our Environmental responsibilities are personal. 
We care about our businesses impact on our neighbours, our community, nature and the world we inhabit. 
We commit to Net Zero by 2030.

Social :
We believe in the ability of business to do good in our local, national and global communities, avoiding all investments that do harm. 
We pay our taxes and additionally contribute to local charities.

Governance :
We are transparent in all our transactions. 
We charge an agreed fixed fee for initial advice and no additional “adviser facilitated initial fee”. 
We are small, we are local, we have a Global view.

Is your pension a quiet one?

It’s always the quiet ones you have to watch, so Mum used to say: “What are they not telling you? What have they got to hide? Never trust the quiet ones.”

Your pension is probably a quiet one – and it’s keeping schtum for a reason. The last thing it wants you to do is start taking an interest. Because then you’d know its (probably dark) truth and you’d start meddling and creating a lot of work for your pension and those managing it.

It’s even more tempting though, isn’t it, when you know it doesn’t want you to… Of course, you should. Because you need to know: is yours the right pension for you?

If you are in a Company Pension you should ask the person responsible for this – how and where is my money invested? Have you asked your employer how they manage your pension?

And, if you have a personal pension does your adviser talk about how your investment meets your preferences?

You can talk to me – a free initial meeting to learn more about this
– or read this to get started: Hot off the press,
the new Good Guide to Pensions 
will intimately acquaint you with your pension, with the hope that you can see its marvellous potential to change the world – and all the places it might currently be invested in that are definitely NOT helping the planet.

Sustainable funds outperform market

Sustainable funds outperform market

This Good Money Week, the latest Good Investment Review reveals that sustainable funds have outperformed the sector average over the last FIVE years – and in particular throughout the coronavirus crisis.

Since 2015, the ethical UK equity funds monitored have brought average returns of 25.76 per cent compared with 16.52 per cent for the sector. Meanwhile, the ethical global equity funds studied returned an average of 85.23 per cent compared with 76.12 per cent for the sector.

In the eight months to October 2020, 12 of the 15 ethical UK equity funds studied performed better than the market average (80 per cent), as did 41 out of the 56 global ethical funds (73 per cent).

The October 2020 review from Good With Money reveals that despite the financial turmoil of the global pandemic, assets held in funds with an ethical or sustainable label in the UK have continued to rise, reaching a whopping £158 billion. This is up 14 per cent from the previous six months.

John Fleetwood, Director of Responsible and Sustainable Investing at Square Mile, says: “positive impact need not come at the expense of financial returns, and if anything, investing for positive impact can improve returns.”

The Good Investment Review October 2020

As Good Money Week 2020 begins, the ninth Good Investment Review finds that sustainable funds have outperformed the sector average over the last five years – and in particular throughout the coronavirus crisis.

Since 2015, the ethical UK equity funds monitored in the review have brought average returns of 25.76 per cent compared with 16.52 per cent for all funds in the sector. Meanwhile, the ethical global equity funds monitored have returned an average of 85.23 per cent compared with 76.12 per cent for the sector.

In the eight months to October 2020, 12 of the 15 ethical UK equity funds studied performed better than the market average (80 per cent), as did 41 out of the 56 global ethical funds (73 per cent).

The October 2020 review reveals that despite the financial turmoil of the global pandemic, ‘assets under management’ held within funds with an ethical or sustainable label in the UK have continued to rise, reaching a whopping £158 billion  – up 14 per cent from the previous six months.

The rise represents further evidence of the surge in interest in investing for positive impact or with environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in mind.

John Fleetwood, founder of 3D Investing (now part of Square Mile Consulting and Research), said: “The evidence shows that positive impact need not come at the expense of financial returns, and if anything, investing for positive impact can improve returns.”

The latest review covers developments in methodology for measuring ethical and sustainable funds, and attempts to clear up some of the confusion over the different terminology used to describe them.

There is must-read commentary from some of the UK’s top ethical and sustainable fund managers.

The Review rates funds that have an ethical or sustainable approach according to how well they do what they say on the tin.

NEW LAMPS FOR OLD

A bad outcome for Aladdin . . .
. . . but what if you could change your old pension for new?

What if that new pension had fairer charges and better outcomes?

Fairer charges: 
Many are still holding on to old pension funds, unaware of the amount of charge being taken every year to cover the administration of the funds or what exactly that charge is paying for. 
Often annual valuations sit gathering dust, unreadable and a mystery to most except the people who produced them.
Is the pension giving value for money or is it just a neglected asset that only has meaning when we decide to start withdrawing money. 
Often the pension fund is our second most valuable asset after our home and, like our homes, if no regular maintenance is done, it fails to achieve its highest value. 

Keeping informed about old pension funds, particularly where you have several from different providers, is not remotely interesting to most people and at best takes you away from more interesting pursuits.

However, just like house maintenance or a regular visit to the dentist it can make a big difference later. 
It can be more pleasurable than a visit to the dentist, once you understand what you are looking at and how to judge it. 
Knowledge, in this case, is to have the means of control.
You could even learn to love your annual review.

Better outcomes:
They come in two ways, better financial returns for you and understanding of what you are investing in and that those investments are technologies of the future, for example not oil and gas but alternative energy. 
Not only would that represent better social outcomes but better returns as the world abandons old lifestyles and embraces the post COVID-19 world of remote working, medical research and better care facilities.

The City woke up to the challenges of climate change when the insurance claims started to build.

Many of us started to take notice when David Attenborough spoke of the damage done from plastic waste and now we know that pandemics are the result of us invading the wild world and turning it into a place of production to satisfy humanities constant need for more and more consumption.

As a member if the Ethical Investment community since 2005, an Independent Financial Adviser since 1992 and someone committed to better outcomes for each of my clients, can I help you exchange your old pensions for new?