TBLI Weekly - October 4th, 2022

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TBLI Weekly - October 4th 2022

Your weekly guide to Sustainable Investment


Upcoming TBLI events

 

 

Upcoming featured event:



This event - TBLI Talk : The Sustainable Network: Transforming the Start-up Ecosystem - free to attend for all!

Click here for more information & to register

Click below for an overview of all upcoming TBLI events


Past TBLI events

Click on the image below to subscribe to the TBLI Talk Circle for access to every single recording of our virtual TBLI events, this includes our past virtual TBLI Conference events.


The TBLI BETTER WORLD PRIZE is a new initiative to recognize the Best ESG Measurement System.

30 November 2022

The TBLI Better World Prize event page is live - sign up to attend for free!

Click here to view it and see all the confirmed organizations and speakers that will be presenting their measurement system

Would you like to apply to present on behalf of your organization and discuss why your system for ESG measurement is the best?
Then Register here

There are no costs involved in this award.

For more info on this initiative click here

Radical Truth - TBLI Podcast


How to access 95 billion euros for startups?

There is a lack of finance for breakthrough and disruptive innovators in Europe, with an estimated equity funding gap of about Euros 70 billion. Many European start-ups can't find high risk capital needed to get to the stage where private sector investors gets involved. To address the challenge, the EU launched the European Innovation Council (EIC), The EIC can help innovators from the stage of idea and invention to investments and scale-up of their companies.Funding up to 2.5 million in Grants and 15 million euros in equity, is availalble. TBLI has invited an expert in this field, Mauro Andriotto to explain the program and the process to apply.
What will you learn?

  1. The EU has launched one of the largest startup investment fund in the world
  2. What companies can apply for 2.5 m Euros in grants or 15m in equity?
  3. What is the chances of getting funded by EU-European Innovation Council?

Click here to listen to the episode on Anchor.

You can find also find our podcast here:

 

How carbon credits are driving sustainable agriculture, agroforestry

Farmers have an opportunity to secure carbon credits and make additional income by them

Drip irrigation, a method by which a farmer uses a lot less water, has been around for a long time, but still farmers flood their fields with water. Why? Because, there has never been a reason for them to give up the traditional, easier and cheaper, flood irrigation and opt for drip irrigation.

Drip irrigation is but one example of climate-friendly agriculture; others include practices that result in less use of various inputs and measures that can increase soil carbon. These practices include conservation tillage, growing ‘cover crops’ to reduce soil erosion and water run-off and other cropping practices that sustain soil nutrients. But climate-friendly agriculture, or sustainable agriculture, had no reason to figure in a farmer’s playbook. Enter carbon markets. Things are changing now, as farmers have an opportunity to secure carbon credits and make money by selling them.

Santosh Singh, Managing Director, Climate and Agri Solutions, Intellecap, a company of the Aavishkaar group, which helps onboard farmers into sustainable practices, says that carbon markets are giving farmers that critical additionality of revenue to spur them to adopt climate-friendly agriculture and agroforestry.

Intellecap is now working with a million farmers. The projects include planting trees, including on berms and ridges, bamboo plantations etc. Singh says that earlier such projects held no charm for farmers; even if they grew some trees, the survival rates were low because of lack of attention.

Gaining momentum

Today, a carbon credit earned from an agroforestry project sells for anywhere between $8 and $20 – the big range is because the buyers pay a price depending upon the social impact a project has. This additional income matters. Further, earlier the small farmers had neither awareness about carbon markets nor even if they did, they had no means to participate in it. But now, a number of companies like Intellecap have come up and are working with farmers.

VNV Advisory is another company that works in this area and is advising on many projects. One of the more interesting of them is one that aims to restore an entire broad-leaved oak forest in Uttarakhand, replacing the pine trees. The idea is to plant a native species of oak, called Banj Oak, on parcels of community forest lands. Alongside, the project includes fire prevention activities and cultivation of fodder grasses for livestock.

Read full article

 

Mirova CEO Zaouati on the weaknesses of the ESG market

Opponents 'are doing this to continue to do business as usual. But they use arguments that are sometimes irrelevant'

Philippe Zaouati, chief executive officer of Natixis Investment Managers subsidiary Mirova, said he sees valid points in the criticism ESG has been getting in the US. But the current environment provides opportunities to reduce greenwashing and for truly sustainable investment managers to show their worth, he says.

Zaouati recently spoke with ESG Clarity about the firm’s take on sustainable investing and where the business is going.

Tell us a little bit about your background and why sustainable investing is important, personally, to you.

So, all my career has been in asset management. I started 32 years ago, and I was first a quantitative analyst and then a quantitative portfolio manager. So I was part of a lot of engineers who came into the asset management business at the beginning of the 90s. We did good work at the beginning reshaping the asset management business, but then during the financial crisis, I started to change my views and understood that maybe we had gone too far in complexifying the game, and that we should come back to something closer to the to the real economy – more simple, more easy to understand to everybody. That maybe more a little bit more boring, but probably more useful and positive for the economy, for the environment and for society.

I started to think about this when I joined Natixis in 2007 – it was just a couple of weeks before the financial crisis started. And then I started to look at how we could integrate sustainability as the core of our positioning. It was early stages – it was really difficult to implement this at large scale at that time. So, we decided to start a kind of proof of concept I would say – and Mirova is this proof of concept. We started Mirova at the end of 2012, so we are going to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its creation in November.

Read full interview

Did Europe Move To Renewables Too Fast Or Too Slow (Or Just Right?)

There’s a popular narrative circulating—particularly around the fossil-fuel and nuclear industries—that Europe is facing an energy crisis because it moved to renewables too fast.

A keynote speaker circled the idea last week at the Baker Institute’s Annual Energy Summit in Houston. The economist Robert Kaplan, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, cited the soaring cost of energy amid a slew of economic headwinds, including the aging population, slowing workforce growth, high government debt, and a reversal of globalization that makes it harder to source rare metals and semiconductors.

“If you're in the middle of this kind of crisis and dilemma, you have to think with a clean sheet of paper: what are all the options you have to deal with this crisis?” Kaplan said. “And I'm just saying let's put a few more back on the table, including in Europe, and yes, (Europe) should be a warning sign to us that we need to put a few more variables on the table, because this is a very challenging situation we're facing, very challenging.”

A moderator clarified: “So you're basically talking about leveraging the full portfolio of energy options.”

“Including nuclear,” Kaplan agreed. “I'm asking the question should we be producing more oil and gas in the next five years understanding, yes it will phase out, these will be stranded assets,” he said. “But I think I'm finding out there there's not really a safe space to have that debate.... I don't have the answers but I think you have to be free to honestly ask the questions, and I'm talking about a more integrated plan that gets us through the next five or ten years until alternatives become more viable, battery storage becomes more advanced, and we get farther along in this curve.”

At a panel afterward, Meghan McElvy, a partner in the law firm of Baker Botts, was more blunt:

“We sort of look around and see what's happening in Europe, and like Mr Kaplan said it is scary—it should scare us—and it should be a warning maybe they swung the pendulum too far too fast and you know we're seeing them pay the price for that.”

She asked the renewables representative on the panel: “What is a sensible yet aggressive approach to achieve these energy transition goals in a way that it balances things with energy security?”

Read full article

Millions More People Depending on Coral Reefs

According to recent data on population increase in coastal areas, millions more people than 20 years ago depend on severely threatened coral reefs.

According to research from the University of Essex, there are now about one billion people living in coastal regions near coral reefs, an increase of 250 million since 2000, and these populations are growing faster than the global average.

Concerningly, the human density has increased to a level that is now four times the global average in places closest to the coral reefs, where people’s direct livelihoods depend on these important ecosystems.

This new study, which was published in the journal Global Change Biology, offers the most comprehensive and recent data on disparities in coastal population trends between 5–100 km from coral reefs on a global, regional, and national level.

The presence of human populations close to ecosystems is used to highlight both the threat to and dependence on those ecosystems.

The greatest threat to coral reefs is climate change, and in these coral-adjacent coastal areas, a balance needs to be struck between the valuable services coral reefs offer to people, such as storm protection, food supply, and livelihoods, and the potentially harmful human activities that take place there, such as overfishing, pollution, and the destruction of corals for construction.

Read full article

Queensland’s renewable energy plan confirms the politics of coal have changed for good

Most now see opportunity instead of job losses – but Labor will have to match ambition with action if it’s to deliver on 80% renewables by 2035

The mayor of Mackay, Greg Williamson, wasn’t convinced by renewable energy. About four years ago, I asked him about the energy transition; specifically, whether mining hubs like Mackay should start planning early to prevent the sort of economic shocks that would come as fossil fuel industries decline.

“Well, mate, hang on,” he said. Williamson supported building a new coal-fired power station. He said solar was unreliable at night; that renewables provided only a small percentage of the state’s power grid. “The industry has got a lot to prove yet.” On Thursday, Williamson stood on the shop floor of a Mackay steelworks and said green energy would be “the future saver, the job protection” for regional Queensland.

This sort of scene was unimaginable four years ago; even 18 months ago. Williamson looking on approvingly as the premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, sold a (relatively) ambitious plan to curtail coal-fired power stations. To do so in Mackay, the regional hub for Queensland’s coal country, and in front of a group of enthusiastic blokes in hi-vis, seemed surreal. Finally, the reality of Queensland energy politics has become connected to reality.

In the bad old days of 2021, even talking about planning for the energy transition would provoke a fierce reaction from a cabal of deniers – from newspaper columnists to politicians – who could effectively stoke fear about job losses in the regions.

Read full article

What Investors Should Know About Investing In Food Innovation And Agricultural Technology

Summary

  • Food innovation and agricultural technology (AgTech) offer potential solutions to meet growing demand and greater supply chain risks.
  • Alternative proteins and lab-grown meats are offering substitutes to consumers with evolving preferences for ingredients, environmental impact and economic costs.
  • Innovations in AgTech, including precision agriculture, controlled environment agriculture and robotics, are leveraging technology to increase agricultural productivity and reduce costs.
  • Food waste reduction technology and sustainable packaging can help limit food loss and improve food safety.
  • Investors looking at food innovation and AgTech may want to consider ETFs that provide exposure to pure-play stocks across the theme’s value chain.

THE NEXT FOOD REVOLUTION

Lab-to-table for a healthier future

Food innovation and AgTech solutions can bridge the food production and consumption gap, while combatting climate change and food insecurity.

Unsustainable production and consumption practices have pushed global food systems to the brink. Global food production failed to nourish 811 million people in 2020,1 while contributing 34% to global carbon emissions.2 Farmers have experienced extreme weather causing crops to wither and incomes to dwindle, while consumers lament soaring prices.

Meanwhile, feeding the growing population is a critical issue. The global population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050,3 while the middle class is expected to grow to more than half of the world’s population by 2030, driving increased consumption.4 Can the world feed that many people? It is imperative that our food systems of the future evolve to keep pace with growing populations and a rising middle class that demands more well-rounded diets and nutrient-rich foods. At the same time, food production needs to become more resilient and efficient to withstand climate events and inflationary pressures.

Fortunately, there’s precedent. From the 1960s to the 1990s, the first “food revolution” transformed global agriculture. Over that period, rice and wheat yields in Asia doubled and the population increased by 60%, but grain prices remained low.5

Can future crop production keep pace with population growth?

Read full article

 

How Norway Plans To Stay Ahead In The Climate Tech Game

Norwegian startup stakeholders met this week during Oslo Innovation Week to discuss how to scale impactful solutions and overcome bottlenecks in order to stay ahead in the climate tech game.

The Oslo Innovation Week is a collaboration between public and private, startup organisations and corporates, local and global companies. The conference has since 2005 been supported by the City of Oslo, with the aim of bringing sustainable business solutions to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the data aggregator website Datawrapper, Norway is the country with the lowest vulnerability to climate change, while being the most skilled at managing to protect itself from dire climate disasters. This can imply climate mitigation policies and initiatives, but also to increase investment to finding technological solutions to avert climate change.

Climate tech and cleantech refers to technologies that address the climate crisis with projects geared towards reducing emissions and waste, climate mitigation and adaptation. As the world moves towards renewable energy sources, clean tech is attracting increasing investments as the country shifts capitals away from the oil sector. “Cleantech received more than three times as much capital in 2020, as in 2019, attracting almost twice the number of investments,” said Victoria Marie Everssen, Vice Mayor for public ownership and business development at the the city of Oslo, during the opening ceremony of Oslo Innovation Week.

“New companies play a vital role in the green shift. And if we're going to reach our goals, we are dependent on new solutions and innovation,” she continued.

This year's central topic is ‘Scaling for Global Success’: the aim for Norwegian companies is to find ways to expand beyond the national borders.

Read full article

 

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