How the Chemical Industry Joined the Fight Against Climate Change

companies including Honeywell and Chemours, a DuPont spinoff, were among the most active backers of a move away from a profitable chemical that has long been the foundation for the fast-growing air-conditioning and refrigeration business.

“They learned that without a rule change, their new products couldn’t compete,” said David Doniger, director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, based in New York. “They woke up and said, ‘The science is real.’”

The rest of the story from the New York Times

Thanks for sending, Katie Doherty!

Patagonia’s Sustainability Strategy: “Don’t Buy Our Products”

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From the Harvard Business Review:

In 2005, Patagonia launched the Common Threads Recycling Program. The goal was to reduce the number of products Patagonia customers purchased through a two-fold effort.

The first part was to encourage customers to fix damaged clothing. Patagonia began publishing do-it-yourself repair guides to assist customers in repairing their clothing. To provide an alternative for customers who were unable or unwilling to repair their clothing themselves, Patagonia charged an affordable fee to have garments shipped to their repair facility.

The second aspect of the Common Threads program was to create a second-hand market for Patagonia garments that did not fit or that were no longer worn. Patagonia collaborated with eBay to develop a storefront and also created an online marketplace on its main website. Patagonia also offered to cover the shipping costs for garments that were beyond repair, which Patagonia would then break down and repurpose. To promote its Common Threads initiative, Patagonia created “Worn Wear,” a program that highlights thousands of videos and pictures from customers around the globe who treasure their worn, patched-up Patagonia garments with pride.  While most companies would encourage customers to repeat their purchases, Patagonia prides itself and its customers on waste-free purchases. Patagonia’s next step was to launch a campaign in 2011 to dissuade customers from purchasing clothing that they did not really need.

On the busiest weekend for retailers in the US, a 2011 New York Times ad from Patagonia featured a picture of one of Patagonia’s highest grossing fleece jackets below the words: “DON’T BUY THIS JACKET.” Underneath was a detailed description that defended Patagonia’s rationale based on the negative environmental impacts caused by consumerism. Despite Patagonia’s efforts, sales increased by approximately 30% in the nine months following the ad. The case concludes with the business dilemma facing Chouinard: What should Patagonia do?

https://hbr.org/product/patagonia-s-sustainability-strategy-don-t-buy-our-products/IMD790-PDF-ENG

2016 – Largest number of shareholder resolutions now concern social and environmental issues

Rethinking activist investors from the Harvard Business Review:

Ask someone to name the demands that activist hedge funds make of companies, and they’ll likely list corporate governance issues such as board changes and executive compensation, or perhaps some form of restructuring. In fact, the largest number of shareholder resolutions filed by investors — the method through which activists work — now concern social and environmental issues. This is a recent phenomenon, according to my research: The number of these resolutions has increased dramatically over the past five years. Political spending, climate change, diversity, and human rights are now some of the most frequent resolutions that investors file.

https://hbr.org/2016/07/the-fastest-growing-cause-for-shareholders-is-sustainability

 

The $13.5 Trillion Paris Climate “Fund”

At the Paris Climate Conference, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. The International Energy Agency evaluated the deal at $13.5 trillion.

From Bloomberg:

The global energy industry needs to invest $13.5 trillion through 2030 in efficiency measures and low-carbon technologies in order to meet climate-protection pledges by world leaders, the International Energy Agency said.
The expenditure, which includes deployment of nuclear, wind and solar power as well as carbon capture and storage, needs to average $840 billion every year from 2015, the IEA said Wednesday in a report. It said the growth in energy-related emissions “will slow to a relative crawl by 2030” if nations follow through with their pledges.

As of Tuesday, 154 countries representing 86 percent of global emissions had submitted their plans, Christiana Figueres, the UN’s top climate diplomat, told reporters at UN talks in Bonn.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-21/climate-pledges-need-13-5-trillion-investment-by-2030-iea-says