Today, about 75 percent of seafood sold is not certified or rated as ‘sustainable’. However, the number of retailers and consumers who are concerned about the sustainability of their fish is increasing – at a pace faster than the supply of sustainably labelled stocks are available to them.
Traceability, the ability to systematically identify seafood products, track their location and reveal any treatments or transformations they undergo, could be the key to resolving this imbalance. Industry-wide implementation of traceability would not only help to verify sustainability claims, but also to increase overall profitability within the seafood sector, explores François Mosnier, Financial Research Analyst at Planet Tracker.
In light of this, Planet Tracker urges investors in the seafood industry – and particularly in seafood processing companies, positioned as a key source of traceability along the seafood supply chain – to engage with the companies in question on this issue.
Read the full article here.
S&P Global Ratings has today published the latest edition of Infrastructure Finance Outlook, the newsletter bringing together in-depth sector analysis and research from across the Infrastructure practice.
This edition focuses on the energy transition and the growing importance of ESG, as well as how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated existing trends in the sector. The economic disruption caused by the pandemic is also likely to prompt a new cycle of sustainable infrastructure investment, especially now that the outcome of the US election has become clear.
Read the full newsletter here.
UK cod fishing is on an unsustainable course. Not only is the industry is feeling the squeeze from depleting fish stocks due to unsustainable overfishing practices, but also from retailers and consumers who want certified sustainable fish. And if this is not enough of a problem, UK export markets hang in the balance as Brexit trade negotiations continue.
The UK has the opportunity to recover and to reap the benefit from its natural resources – but only if there is successful intervention with sustainable and traceable solutions, says John Willis, Director of Research, Planet Tracker.
To read the full article, click here
In its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the United Nations outlines 17 objectives to safeguard the longevity of the planet and fair access to its resources. The second, “SDG2”, is “Zero Hunger” – a mission which does not just entail ensuring that there is sufficient food, but also that global food and agriculture systems provide food that meets nutritional requirements, while allocating it equitably.
Writing in Responsible Investor, Robin Millington, CEO, Planet Tracker, explains that achieving SDG2 is more critical than ever, as the world’s population stays firmly on track to surpass 10 billion by 2050. At the same time, over-farming to feed this booming population is degrading the long-term quality of natural resources. Critically, she warns, we will not be able to feed a population of this size under a business-as-usual scenario.
Millington points out that investors, however, are very well-positioned to drive SDG2 commitments through direct engagement, proxy voting and shareholder resolutions to influence management teams to operate more sustainably. They can also send a message by choosing to divest from companies with unsustainable agricultural methods, redirecting their capital to SDG2 initiatives and demanding enhanced transparency and independent, third-party verification on a company’s sustainability objectives.
The full article is available here.
Though environmental concerns from retailers and consumers continue to mount, almost 75% of seafood sold today is not certified or rated as “sustainable”. While sea-to-plate traceability would go a long way to bridge this gap, it is not yet widely implemented. Is this because traceability is not feasible?
In an interview with The Economist World Ocean Initiative, Matthew McLuckie, Director of Investor Relations, Planet Tracker, explains that this argument does not hold.
According to McLuckie, the maturation of technology, including radio-frequency identification, remote electronic monitoring, blockchain and artificial intelligence, makes it easier for buyers to trace seafood products. Meanwhile, controversies related to high antibiotic use and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing increase their desire to do so.
If retailers start making demands on suppliers to prove traceability and provenance of seafood products, then blockchain could play a role, he explains.
The full article is available here.
Food loss and waste (FLW) is a relatively well-publicised issue for the global food retail sector – and with good reason. Indeed, 30% of total crop land and 23% of fresh water worldwide is used to grow food that is never eaten. The global direct economic cost for FLW currently stands at US$940 billion per year – not only representing lost earnings potential and reduced operating profit margins for food retailers, but also contributing significantly towards greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions.
In a commentary article for Euractiv, Planet Tracker’s Matthew McLuckie explains how European food retailers need to widen the scope of their greenhouse gas reporting in order to account for FLW emissions across their supply chains – to protect themselves, their investors, and the environment.
The article is available here.
In its annual Sustainable & ESG Investment Awards, Investment Week has named S&P Global Ratings as a finalist in two of its hotly-contested 2020 categories.
The first is for “Best Thought Leadership Paper” for its report entitled “Space, The Next Frontier: Spatial Finance And Environmental Sustainability” authored by S&P Global Ratings’ Beth Burks, in which she explores the use of satellite imagery and machine learning to identify shifting climate risk patterns and the potential effects on creditworthiness of US public water utilities.
The credit ratings agency’s Sustainable Finance team is also in the running for Best Sustainable & ESG Research & Ratings Provider, following a year of extensive work developing its suite of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) offerings and timely, essential research throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The winners will be announced on 26th November 2020.
Sustainable finance had already been gaining momentum prior to the pandemic, but the current situation has prompted a greater sense of urgency around the need to transition towards a greener global economy. Long Say Huan, senior banker for financial institutions at Commerzbank, explores the role of financial institutions in driving this change in Renewables Investor.
The recent oversubscription of the Kookmin Bank’s COVID-19 Response Sustainability Bond, — the first COVID-related issuance by a non-sovereign institution in Asia — provides tangible evidence of growing interest among financial institutions in prioritising sustainable outcomes. Transitioning to a greener economy, argues Long, requires financial institutions’ perspectives to be adjusted to look beyond immediate commercial gains towards longer-term sustainable profitability.
Read more in Renewables Investor.
On 24th July, the EU approved a new plastic waste levy as part of the bloc’s seven-year recovery package. Buried deep inside the plan, the “Bottle Deposit Law” set the levy at €800/tonne and will come into force in January 2021 – despite the fact that recycling infrastructure in the EU is insufficient to provide an adequate alternative.
Markets were muted in their response, most likely unaware of this key detail, but non-profit financial think tank Planet Tracker’s latest report examines how the move will push the industry to expand recycling and embrace circular economy principles.
Speaking to the FT, Gabriel Thoumi, Director of Financial Markets, Planet Tracker commented: “It’s a very clear signal that markets need to pursue circular economy objectives and outcomes, and they’re going to get financially supported to do so.”
The full article was published in FT Moral Money and is available here.
As COVID-19, and the measures implemented to slow its spread, continues to impact economies around the globe, the link between Islamic finance and the social aspect of environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-focused investing are coming to the fore, according to S&P Global Ratings.
While the similarities between Islamic finance and the environmental and governance aspects of ESG have long been recognised, the social aspect of Islamic finance has until now been somewhat secondary. Now, with COVID-19 hampering core Islamic finance markets – and unemployment rates rising – the Islamic finance industry has been exploring the possibility mitigating the damage with social instruments.
S&P Global Ratings believes Islamic finance social instruments can support core Islamic countries, banks, and corporates in navigating today’s uncertain economic landscape.
Following outreach by Moorgate, the report was covered by The Peninsula Qatar, ZAWYA, Khaleej Times, Al Bawaba, Trade Arabia, Gulf News, Gulf Times, MENA FN, Al Khaleej Today, and Pakistan Observer