The sustainable development success stories of the week


As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly roundup of five of the week’s top sustainable business success stories from around the world.

Published weekly, this series shows how companies and sustainability professionals are striving to achieve their “Mission Possible” through the campaign’s five key pillars: energy, resources, infrastructure, mobility and business management.

With the dust now settled on COP26, companies are keen to show that they can turn their environmental ambitions into action – potentially going further and faster than national governments. Here we round up five positive sustainability stories from this week

ENERGY: Global clean energy investment hit a record $755 billion in 2021

In this section of this feature, the edie team typically highlights a new renewable energy installation or a new commitment from a company that sources energy.

This week, however, we’d be remiss not to mention BloombergNEF’s new 2022 Energy Transition Investment Trends Report. Released Friday, January 28, the report reveals that global investment in clean energy and related technologies hit a new high in 2021, with nations pumping over £560 billion ($750 billion) into such solutions.

The report covers investments made in renewable energy, storage, electrified transport and heat, nuclear, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and sustainable materials. In all of these sub-sectors except CCS, investments in 2021 increased year-over-year, proving that clean energy as a sector has weathered the economic fallout from Covid-19 well.

BloombergNEF chief analyst Albert Cheung said the increase in investment “is an encouraging sign that investors, governments and businesses are more committed than ever to the low-carbon transition and are considering it. as part of the solution to the current turmoil in energy markets”. .

RESOURCES: Launch of new grant scheme for circular economy businesses in London

Last week, Circle Economy released its annual report to coincide with the original dates of the World Economic Forum’s Davos summit, revealing that a record 101.4 billion tonnes of virgin raw materials were used globally. last year, reuse and recycling rates stagnated. If this trend continues, the report warns, key climate targets will not be met.

Although this is a global mega-problem, local solutions are emerging and evolving. In London, for example, Islington Council has partnered with ReLondon to help provide £120,000 in grants to micro and small businesses seeking to reduce their waste and emissions footprints as part of their Covid recovery -19.

Each business whose application is successful will receive a grant of between £5,000 and £10,000. The funding will be used by companies to implement or scale circular business models such as refill, repair, reuse or rental and to fund related training. Islington Council said business engagement will be crucial to achieving London’s net zero target in 2030.

Islington Environment and Transport Council Executive Member Cllr Rowena Champion said: “We are supporting local businesses with the financial support and expert advice they need to adopt environmentally sustainable practices from the start. the beginning, so that they are integrated into their mode of operation as they grow.

“This advice and grant scheme will benefit everyone who lives, works, shops and does business in Islington. The more we can avoid throwing away items that could be reused, recycled, shared or repaired, the better. .”

MOBILITY: Launch of a 100% electric ferry in New Zealand

edie’s editorial team has covered several electric ferry launches in recent years, including the Stena Line fleet in Oslo, Norway. But, to date, progress in commercially launching these technologies has been limited to the northern hemisphere.

In a first for the southern hemisphere, transport operator East by West Ferries has launched an all-electric, zero-emission ferry in the port of Wellington, New Zealand. The 19-meter-long ferry, called Ika Rere, will enter full passenger service by the end of March after final testing. It was supplied by Danfoss and will be able to carry up to 132 passengers at a time.

Wellington has notably pledged to become net zero by 2050. According to Net Zero Tracker, 90% of GDP is now covered by nation and region net zero pledges, which Danfoss says is increasing demand for its electric ferries.

Image: Stellar Studio

THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: Rainwater harvesting hospital crowned best building in the world

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) this week announced the winner of its international award – a small hospital in Satkhira, Bangladesh.The district is located on the bank of the Arpangachhia River and is one of the most humid regions of Asia, receiving an average of nearly 14 inches of precipitation each July. It also deals with coastal erosion.

Architecture firm Urbana, which designed the hospital, used water as a starting point for the design of the facility. The site includes a zigzag channel that collects rainwater for use in the hospital – much of the groundwater in the area is too saline for general use. The canal also helps cool courtyards in hot weather, minimizing the urban heat island effect.

All roofs and courtyard surfaces drain into the channel, which feeds two storage tanks – one at each end of the site.

Picture: Urbana

CORPORATE MANAGEMENT: Deutsche Bank forges new partnership to accelerate climate finance flows to developing countries

COP26 provided a platform for the amplification of discussions on international climate finance and the need for a dramatic increase in the level of finance provided by governments and the private sector in rich countries to projects in low-income countries. To date, rich countries have failed to honor a pledge of $100 billion in international climate finance in this way.

Fixing this long-standing problem will require action from governments and all parts of the private sector, and, in addition to increasing funding, issues around reimbursements and ensuring that funding is spent on the adaptation as well as decarbonization must be resolved.

In this regard, it is positive that Deutsche Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Development Guarantee Group, which will allow the latter to set up its Green Guarantee Company. (GGC) will act as a specialist guarantor for climate change adaptation and mitigation projects in developing countries.

“As we work towards the critical goal of keeping warming to 1.5°C, there is a real need for greater mobilization of private capital to emerging and developing countries,” said Claire Coustar, Head of ESG and Deutsche Bank Fixed Income and Currencies (FIC). “The GGC ensures that the GGC provides green bonds and loans issued to fund green projects in developing countries that are investment grade, and therefore more attractive to a wider group of global investors.”

Image: WaterAid/Genaye Eshetu

Sarah Georges


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