Welcome to another two weekly review of energy and environmental events and development issues from both here in New Zealand and around the world. We endeavour to compile stories we hope are of interest to you, in this era of environmental threats, conflict and opportunity.

How would an investor account for sustainability together with financial value of investment? Peyton reports on effort being made by Ceres and BlackRock amongst others, to have a global standard for sustainability reporting for stock exchanges around the World. It appears a uniform reporting system would help level the playing field for all participating exchanges. Social sustainability, environment protection and governance are now subjects of corporate reporting with growing demand for transparency, consistency and uniform global participation. It is also, now, time for considering technical issues surrounding reporting corporate sustainability.

Becque asks a question whether Environmental Profit and Loss Accounting could be made workable. Natural Capital Accounting puts the environment on the balance sheet as an integral part of business and governance. Environmental Input Output tables are a possible tool for achieving this, but they need to account for cross border impacts since the supply chain for the large corporates usually covers more than one country.

In another article, Clinton Moloney addresses the issue of measuring total impact as it is critical for assessing business risk. Impact of business on the value chain communities, economic growth and impact on the environment and society at large are the main headings to cover in assessing total impact. Top CEO’s are now aware that these risks are quite decisive on the future of business. Is this stuff all a new imposition on business, or additional detail in a known, but more refined and transparent, approach to risk assessment?

BMW and Volvo have led an initiative to define standards for the automotive industry supply chain. Given the range of inputs and the long supply chains that are sometimes necessary, it is important that social or environmental malpractices are detected before they harm the business, given the sharper intelligence that consumers are now able to access and apply in choosing products and service suppliers.

According to Caroline Bartlett choices of fashion are not all about price. The whole range of impacts in the value chain, that include competition for water, rights of workers and local pollution, are all in the matrix. As Jean Pasternak writes, consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the benefits of sustainable products. Legislation and proactive actions by corporates seeking to clean-up their supply chains are aiding the consumer move towards more sustainable products. The investor is also being careful about the destination for capital.

Harvard University has just signed onto the Responsible Investment Movement. With a $33 billion endowment fund this move is not about making small waves. ExxonMobil is well advised to revalue carbon assets due to climate risk as either lack of capital or climate impacts will render some of them inaccessible. Emission limits will restrict consumption of fossil fuels, and some ecosystem products may just cease to be available.

Desmond Tutu is encouraging passive resistance against climate injustice. He asks people to make their choices for investment and business based on emission reduction. He likens the actions to what worked against apartheid. He says everyone has something they can do to reduce emissions.

Located in the Western Pacific is a newly discovered atmospheric hole that allows ozone depleting compounds and other chemicals to bypass the atmospheres natural ‘washing machine’ layer. The lower part of the atmosphere known as the troposphere is full of hydroxyl(OH) radicals which are highly effective at breaking down all sorts of pollutants. The large hole allows pollutants to escape this process. This discovery certainly highlights that we are living in an ever changing world.

Measures to respond to environmental threats are, however, numerous. In Jakarta, Indonesia, a 99 story high building will, when commissioned, be the first net zero energy skyscraper. A series of vertical wind turbines will provide 25% of the buildings electricity. Other buildings in the complex will be covered with solar panels, and it will also use geothermal energy. This is certainly an exciting project indeed.

Did you know there are at least ’10 places to visit before they’re gone: A bucket list for a warming World’? Imagine not being able to visit a family favorite holiday destination because it simply was no longer there or accessible due to climate change. Jim Meyer lists these for us. What could be a list of those in New Zealand? Keri Keri (Orange capital, Paeroa (L&P), Tirau (Corrugated capital), Naseby (Curling capital) and who can forget Tuatapere (sausage capital). Big or small they would certainly be missed!

Thanks for taking the time to read this issue and look forward to catching up with you again. If you have any items of interest you would like to submit, then please feel free to forward them.

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