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Walmart targets zero emissions by 2040, won’t rely on offsetting

US retail giant Walmart has committed to becoming a zero emissions business by 2040 by pledging to become carbon neutral across its global operations without relying on carbon offsets.

Walmart has also pledged to protect, manage or restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030

Walmart has also pledged to protect, manage or restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030

Walmart’s zero-carbon goal will be met by powering its facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2035, electrifying and introducing zero-emissions vehicles for all of its fleet, including long haul trucks by 2040 and transitioning to low-impact refrigerants and cooling and heating for its stores and data and distribution centres by 2040.

“We want to play an important role in transforming the world’s supply chains to be regenerative. We face a growing crisis of climate change and nature loss and we all need to take action with urgency,” Walmart’s president and chief executive Doug McMillon said.

“For 15 years, we have been partnering to do the work and continually raising our sustainability ambitions across climate action, nature, waste and people. The commitments we’re making today not only aim to decarbonize Walmart’s global operations, they also put us on the path to becoming a regenerative company – one that works to restore, renew and replenish in addition to preserving our planet, and encourages others to do the same.”

Announced as part of Climate Week NYC, Walmart has also pledged to protect, manage or restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030 as part of the work of its Foundation arm.

To date, around 29% of Walmart’s operations are powered by renewable energy. With more than 90% of its total emissions come from the supply chain, Walmart is also working with suppliers through its Project Gigaton initiative to avoid a gigaton of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. More than 2,300 suppliers have signed on since the project was launched in 2017. Walmart reports that a total of 230 million metric tonnes of carbon emissions have been avoided as a result.

As part of a partnership with HSBC, Walmart has developed a green finance initiative that rewards suppliers for setting, meeting or exceeding ambitious sustainability aims.

Commenting on the announcement, Helen Clarkson, CEO of the Climate Group – organisers of Climate Week NYC, said: “As the largest retail company in the world, the scale of this commitment is momentous, and sets the tone for one of the most important Climate Week’s we’ve ever run. This is exactly the level of ambition we need to see across the board. It shows that in spite of the pandemic, business commitment to tackling climate change can and will remain on the agenda – and it has to if we’re to be in with a fighting chance of securing a healthy, fair and sustainable future. 

“By driving this scale of climate ambition through its supply chain, Walmart is making a big, global contribution to the transition to clean energy and transport. It won’t be easy, but given the progress we’ve seen Walmart make on renewable electricity through our RE100 program, we have no doubt it’ll achieve this.”

Matt Mace


Build Back Better – Renewables

Special Issue “Accelerating Renewable Energy Transition Post Major World Events”: The world economy is currently facing the most extreme economic shock since the Second World War. Against this dire macroeconomic situation, the aim of the current Special Issue is to examine how to build back better and to accelerate renewable energy transition in order to withstand the next big shocks coming our way: climate and ecological breakdown. The global lockdown has meant severe changes in our life and particularly our transport patterns but has only given us a small reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions. Millions of people have also lost their jobs. With a focus on green growth, the circular economy, energy efficiency and clean renewable energy post major word events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, this Special Issue seeks to stimulate critical debate on business leadership and government policy innovations in renewables and fossil fuels energy transition.

MDPI (accessed) 21st Sept 2020 read more »


EVs – Scotland

Scottish ministers have been urged to introduce better incentives for motorists to buy electric vehicles (EVs) if an ambitious target to remove petrol and diesel cars from Scotland’s roads is to be met. The UK government aims to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2035, and the Scottish government has pledged to “phase out the need” for them by 2032. It has stopped short of setting a national target for the number of EV drivers in Scotland, but opposition politicians — who want the target brought forward to 2030 — say uptake of EVs needs to rise dramatically. An estimated 2.9m motorists in Scotland run petrol and diesel cars. If most are to use electricity by 2035, then an average of 540 drivers need to make the switch each day.

Times 20th Sept 2020 read more »


Offshore Wind – Jobs

All of the turbine jackets for Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm will be fabricated thousands of miles from the North Sea despite a Government-supported bid by Fife’s BiFab. BiFab has failed to win any work on the multi-billion pound Seagreen offshore wind farm project, located just a few miles from its yards in Burntisland and Methil. A Chinese yard will fabricate 84 of the 114 turbine jackets for the project, which will then be shipped to the North Sea. The Scottish Government campaigned for BiFab to win the work, but operator SSE Renewables said the gap between BiFab’s submission and the foreign rivals was “too significant to close”.

Energy Voice 19th Sept 2020 read more »

Dundee Courier 19th Sept 2020 read more »

Hundreds of jobs could be created on the South Humber Bank after an international manufacturer in the offshore wind supply chain selected Able Marine Energy Park for a UK base. South Korean monopile producer SeAH is looking to create 400 jobs at the North Killingholme site, after confirming its intention to establish a facility. One of the leading pipe manufacturers in the world, it would bring the first such production to the UK.

Grimsby Telegraph 18th Sept 2020 read more »


Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Talking net-zero for World Green Building Week 2020

Episode 91 of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast delivers three exclusive interviews with experts across the built environment sector to mark World Green Building Week 2020. With buildings accounting for around 40% of global energy consumption and 33% of emissions, this sector is a key focus in the transition to net-zero.

The edie Podcast is now streaming on Soundcloud, Spotify and iTunes

The edie Podcast is now streaming on Soundcloud, Spotify and iTunes

Developed to reflect the theme of the event – #ActOnClimate – this episode sees edie’s senior reporter Sarah George exploring the ways in which businesses are going beyond their own operations and engaging policymakers and the value chain to deliver a just transition to net-zero. edie’s content editor Matt Mace also dials in to provide his insight. 

First up, Sarah speaks to the UK Green Building Council’s chief executive Julie Hirigoyen for an overview of the sector’s major opportunities and challenges on the road to net-zero. Julie discusses activism in lockdown and policy engagement for a truly green recovery, among other topics. 

Our second interview is with Joseph Homes’ co-founder and chief innovation officer Paul Dipino, who gives his view on the Future Homes Standard and the Green Homes Grant, while outlining his vision for energy-positive housing. 

Last but by no means least is an interview with Mott MacDonald’s global sustainability and climate change leader Davide Stronati. Davide discusses the importance of collaboration to deliver the sustainable towns, cities and communities of the future. 

The edie podcast is now available to listen to on Spotify. You can also subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and bookmark this page to see the full list of podcast episodes as they appear. 

Have a question about this podcast or a suggestion for future episodes? Email us at

Hear from UKGBC, Lendlease & Kier Group at edie’s green recovery webinar sessions

During this episode, Sarah and Matt make reference to edie’s series of free green recovery-themed webinars and masterclasses taking place on Wednesday 23 September. 

Hosted as part of edie’s brand-new Mission Possible: Green Recovery campaign of digital content and events, the Green Recovery Inspiration Sessions offer up an afternoon of live, interactive webinar presentations and discussions – all dedicated to delivering a socially and environmentally sustainable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Access the full agenda and register to attend here. Sessions will be made available on-demand after the event. 

edie staff


Tate & Lyle has carbon goals approve by Science Based Targets initiative

Food and drink ingredient supplier Tate & Lyle has had goals to reduce operational and value chain emissions approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The targets have now been approved by the SBTi as consistent with levels required to meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement

The targets have now been approved by the SBTi as consistent with levels required to meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement

Tate & Lyle’s new environmental targets and commitments are set for 2030, confirming a 30% absolute reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions, with a 25% reduction set for 2025. Additionally, the company will aim to deliver an absolute reduction in Scope 3 emissions of 15% by 2030. These targets were announced in May 2020.

The targets have now been approved by the SBTi as consistent with levels required to meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.

Tate & Lyle’s chief executive Nick Hampton said: “At Tate & Lyle, we are passionate about making our contribution to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and minimising the worst effects of climate change.

“That’s why, inspired by our purpose Improving Lives for Generations, we have set ourselves ambitious environmental targets that are aligned to what the latest climate science is telling us we need to do. We are committed to working actively across our supply chain to help improve our environment and shape a better world.”

As part of edie’s ongoing #SustyTalk interview series, Tate & Lyle’s director of sustainability Anna Pierce discussing the firm’s environmental targets and why an approach to value chain emissions is crucial in building back better.

The interview, which took place during the national lockdown in the UK saw Pierce discus the support that can be provided to growers to help the value chain become more sustainable. Watch the interview here.

As for the SBTi, the companies overseeing the initiative – CDP, UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and WWF – have issued its first guidance on what will ultimately lead to the development of a new global standard to ensure that corporate net-zero carbon targets are aligned with climate science.

The Foundations for Science-Based Net-Zero Target Setting in the Corporate Sector paper has been released by the SBTi earlier this week. The paper was created following consultation with businesses, financial organisation, conservation organisations and the scientific community. The paper is the first step in an effort to ensure that corporate net-zero targets are aligned to climate science and efforts to deliver a net-zero world by no later than 2050.

Already, 270 companies have made commitments in line with reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 through the SBTi’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign, led by the SBTi in partnership with the UN Global Compact and the We Mean Business coalition. 

edie’s Green Recovery online sessions

The first raft of speakers has been confirmed for edie’s series of free green recovery-themed webinars – which will have a heavy focus on net-zero strategies – taking place on Wednesday 23 September, with sustainable business experts from Aldersgate Group, BT, Bank of England, Ella’s Kitchen, UKGBC all among the line-up. 

Click here to find out more information and to register for the sessions.

Matt Mace


Solar – Scottish Water

Scottish Water has completed another solar site, as it continues its push to reach net zero by 2040. Its Inverness Water Treatment Works, by Loch Ashie, now has 1,300 solar panels, thanks to a £450,000 investment by the utility. The panels are expected to provide a third of the energy needed for the site, which is located just five miles south-west of the Highland Capital. This is the third largest installation by Scottish Water Horizons, the publicly-owned water company’s commercial subsidiary created to invest in renewable technologies. Project manager Ian Piggott said that harnessing solar energy was just one of many ways the company can tackle climate change and contribute to Scottish Water’s net zero target.

Solar Portal 17th Sept 2020 read more »


edie’s next masterclass to focus on energy data on the road to net-zero

edie’s next masterclass will take place on Tuesday 6 October and will explore how businesses can improve energy data monitoring and measurement and how this can assist with the wider net-zero transition.

A recording of the masterclass will be available watch on-demand for those who have registered

A recording of the masterclass will be available watch on-demand for those who have registered

Energy data management is a crucial piece of the net-zero puzzle. Done well, it can unlock significant carbon and cost savings and help to underpin investment in key projects. But gathering and optimising data is no easy task – especially in the wake of Covid-19, which has caused major changes in building use and employee habits. This 45-minute masterclass, delivered in support with Inspired Energy will explore all the key talking points.


So, what does great energy data management now look like? Has the pandemic presented an opportunity to measure and optimise energy data more effectively? And what tools, techniques and policy frameworks can be used to support your energy data strategy?

This masterclass will seek to answer all of those questions and more. The masterclass will be split into two parts: the first part will see industry experts deliver presentations on how to optimise your energy data on the road to net-zero emissions; and the second part will be an open Q&A, allowing the live audience to have their questions answered by our presenters.

It is recommended that all registrants download edie’s free edie Explains guide to energy data optimisation before tuning into this masterclass session. Download the guide here.

Masterclass chair:

Matt Mace, content editor, edie

Masterclass presenters:

Dan Crowe, optimisation manager, Inspired Energy

Dan is an Optimisation Manager at Inspired Energy, where he helps customers comply with carbon-related legislation, develop cost effective net-zero strategies and make the most of schemes such as CDP, Science Based Targets and ESOS. He has 15 years of energy & carbon management experience and has worked with many of the UK’s largest brands and energy users.

Emma Hird, client optimisation manager, Inspired Energy

Emma Hird is an accomplished Client Optimisation Manager and a CIBSE qualified Low Carbon Consultant, ESOS Lead Assessor, and Heat Networks Consultant. She has personally managed CRC compliance for over 20 corporate clients since the start of Phase 2, as well as taking a lead role in developing ESOS and SECR compliance services.

A recording of the masterclass will be available to watched on-demand for those who have registered. Click here to register.

edie staff


Nespresso targets carbon neutrality by 2022

Nespresso has outlined plans to reduce supply chain emissions, invest in insetting at coffee farms and purchase carbon offsets to reach carbon neutrality by 2022.

A more in-depth analysis of Nespresso's carbon footprint will also be conducted by teams in the UK & Ireland

A more in-depth analysis of Nespresso’s carbon footprint will also be conducted by teams in the UK & Ireland

The coffee giant achieved carbon neutrality across its Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions sources back in 2017, after undertaking a two-pronged approach consisting of reductions and offsetting. Meeting the firm’s new target will require further reduction work, greater engagement with the supply chain and its first foray into insetting – creating carbon sequestration opportunities in communities where it operates.

In order to meet the new target, Nespresso has pledged to switch to 100% renewable energy in all boutiques, following the installation of modern energy management systems at these locations. It is already sourcing 100% renewable electricity through a tariff at its offices in York and Gatwick. Manufacturing locations will also be supported to decarbonize their heat by investing in biogas.

Aside from internal reductions, Nespresso has partnered with ecosystem services provider Pur Projet to triple the number of trees planted at coffee farms across its supply chains and in the surrounding landscapes. Nespresso, which sources from nations including Colombia, Guatemala, Ethiopia and Costa Rica, said in a statement that trees “are the best way to capture carbon from the atmosphere while investing in nature and building a regenerative agricultural system”. In other words, trees bring not only carbon sequestration benefits but a boost for soil health and biodiversity.

Offsetting is listed by the coffee giant as its last step to meeting its new 2022 target – a process to be used to tackle residual emissions only. It intends to invest in a mixture of forest conservation, reforestation, afforestation and clean energy projects which benefit farming communities across the globe.

“Climate change is a reality and our future depends on going further and faster on our sustainability commitments,” Nespresso’s chief executive Guillaume Le Cunff said. “I truly believe that both our business and the coffee industry can be a force for good in the world by tackling this pressing issue.”

Wake up and smell the coffee

Some 60% of wild coffee species are estimated to be at risk of extinction due to the twin climate and nature crises, including Arabica, which accounts for almost two-thirds of global production. This is because the primary regions of production are disproportionately affected by temperature rise and nature loss.

Fairtrade International has been working to help farmers mitigate and adapt to the impacts of these trends for several years, providing them with education, minimum prices and price premiums for sustainable production. It also serves to ensure farmer voices are heard by policymakers on a national and state level and at key international discussions.

Corporate efforts to tackle the issue seem to have accelerated in recent times. After vowing to halve its emissions footprint by 2030, Starbucks recently joined eight other multinational businesses in a new initiative which will provide businesses with the roadmaps they need to achieve net-zero emissions by or before 2050. Similarly, Costa Coffee is part of the British Retail Consortium’s coalition developing a net-zero roadmap for the UK’s retail sector, with a target more ambitious than the national 2050 requirement.

There are, of course, smaller businesses which have been able to go further and faster. Lincoln & York has aligned its business model with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), for example, while Taylors of Harrogate is striving to reach carbon neutrality by the end of 2020.

Sarah George


Renewables – Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is squandering its position as a global leader in renewable energy, writes Patrick Keatley, lecturer in Energy Policy and Infrastructure at Ulster University. Hindsight is wonderful. It makes it easy to mock predictions which seemed believable when they were made, but which appear ludicrous after time and events have done their confounding work. The long list of examples from the energy sphere includes the Chairman of the US Atomic Energy Agency’s claim in 1954 that nuclear energy would be “too cheap to meter”; or the sceptical senior BP executive who said, “I’ll drink all the oil in the North Sea”, when the company began exploratory drilling in the late 1960s. While policy here has been successful in connecting a supply of renewable energy, it has failed to address the other side of the equation; creating the incentives for flexible demand to complement it. The consequence is that massive amounts of wind energy are currently being wasted. In the first six months of 2020, 17 per cent of Northern Ireland’s available wind energy was dumped because there was no flexible demand available for it. In terms of retail value, this represents over £50 million worth of clean electricity that was thrown away. We are currently on track to dump around £100 million worth of clean electricity this year. In an economy which has suffered from being among the highest levels of fuel poverty in the UK and Europe, that is shockingly wasteful. Instead of exploiting our advantages, obsolete policy is locking us in to dependence on fossil infrastructure which consumers will have to finance for decades to come. A green Covid recovery like that just announced by the Scottish Government, linking clean energy with a properly funded campaign to bring our draughty, poorly insulated housing stock up to 21st Century standards, could rapidly create jobs and reduce fuel poverty. But by continuing to support the construction of outdated, polluting technology in the vague hope that we can clean it up later, Stormont may well be leading us down the same path that led to the RHI disaster.

Agenda NI 16th Sept 2020 read more »

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