Environmental Forum readers, here is the latest version of our ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) Notes compiled each week. If you have any questions or comments about Nelson Capital's ESG notes, please visit our website.
Carbon levels hit record high.
For the first time in human history, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached 400 parts per million (ppm). Climate scientists say this threshold represents a powerful symbol of the growing human influence on the Earth's climate. Manmade emissions of carbon dioxide have increased the atmospheric concentration of CO2 from around 270 to 280 ppm in the late 1700s to today's record high level - a 43 percent increase. Measurements of CO2 trapped in air bubbles from ice cores in Antarctica indicate today's levels are unsurpassed in at least 800,000 years. "[The] increase is not a surprise to scientists," said NOAA senior scientist Pieter Tans. "The evidence is conclusive that the strong growth of global CO2 emissions from the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas is driving the acceleration." Global CO2 emissions soared to a record high of 35.6 billion tons in 2012, up 2.6 percent from 2011 according to Climate Central's Andrew Freedman. It's possible the current CO2 levels haven't been matched in millions of years. Scripps Institution of Oceanography estimates the last time the concentration was at least 400 ppm occurred 5 to 3 million years ago, during the Pliocene Epoch.
Coca-Cola's safe drinking water mission.
WaterAid, a leading international non-profit dedicated to
making clean water and toilets accessible for the world's poorest people,
announced today that it is joining forces with The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation
to make safe drinking water a reality for people living in one of the poorest
suburbs of Burkina Faso's capital city, Ouagadougou, and in two rural
communities in southern Ethiopia. WaterAid and Coca-Cola will work with the
local community and water utility in Burkina Faso to extend existing water
pipelines and install new water points that provide residents with clean,
treated drinking water. This will help residents reduce the risk of contracting
waterborne diseases that are highly prevalent in the area, such as bacterial
diarrhea, Hepatitis A and Typhoid fever.
In Ethiopia, Coca Cola and WaterAid will help provide safe drinking
water, sanitation and hygiene services to the Dita and Kemba Districts of the
vast, impoverished Gamo-Gofa zone in the southern part of the country. Water
and sanitation-related diseases are rampant in these two districts due to
severe seasonal water shortages. Greg Koch, director, global water stewardship,
The Coca-Cola Company said in a statement, "At Coca-Cola, water stewardship is
a strategic sustainability priority as so much of our business depends on
water. It is the main ingredient in our products and it sustains the
communities that form our markets. A key element of our strategy is helping
communities gain access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene".
READ MORE: http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/35551-WaterAid-Joins-Forces-with-The-Coca-Cola-Africa-Foundation-to-Bring-Safe-Drinking-Water-to-Burkina-Faso-and-Ethiopia-
From up above to down under.
Australia has reached a milestone for solar - there are now over a million homes with solar on the roof! That means solar is providing power to about 2.5 million people in the country - about 10% of the 23 million populace - and it's saving them about $500 million on energy bills, according to the country's Clean Energy Regulator. The total is about 2.5 gigawatts (GW) of solar across 1,011,478 systems. Growth in consumer Solar home systems has risen quickly. In 2008, there were only 20,000 solar systems in Australia. It costs about $1,500 to $2,000 for 1500 kilowatts, a payback period of about four years. Over 8,000 Australians are employed by the solar industry. Australia has set targets National targets (and incentives) to get 20% of energy from renewables by 2020.
Did you know?
According to says the Nation Asphalt Pavement Association 99% of all asphalt is recycled and used to fix and build roads over and over again. A variety of recycled materials are in that pavement - recycled roof shingles, ground rubber from tires, glass, foundry sand, slag and even pig manure. In 2011, US taxpayers saved $2.2 billion by using recycled materials to pave roads. 66.7 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement and 1.2 million tons of reclaimed asphalt shingles went into paving projects.