We can’t quite believe we’re onto our penultimate news round up of 2023, but here we are.
We are firm believers in using positive communications as a tool to inspire and drive action. Sharing ‘feel good news’ is part of this commitment. Here are some of our favourite stories from the past month.
First transatlantic flight using 100% SAF was a success
Funded in part by the UK government, Virgin Atlantic‘s VS100 flight used fuel made mostly from tallow and waste products. The UK transport secretary called it a step toward decarbonising transport, while Virgin Atlantic’s CEO emphasised the need for increased investment and regulatory support for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
Critics express scepticism, highlighting the limited availability of SAF compared to total jet fuel consumption worldwide. However, the flight marks a milestone for the aviation industry’s efforts to cut net emissions.
Source: The Guardian
UK bans vague ‘sustainability’ fund labels in greenwashing crackdown
November saw big action from the finance sector in tackling greenwashing. The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has introduced anti-greenwashing rules prohibiting vague references to “sustainability” in marketing by asset managers.
Being bought in from May – December next year, marketing of financial products and services should be ‘correct, clear, complete and fair’, adhere to one of four specific fund labels, with claims supported by a published two-page summary for retail clients of their evidence-based stewardship strategy and “theory of change”. The move aims to enhance transparency and combat greenwashing, aligning with global efforts to ensure clarity in sustainable finance marketing.
Source: Financial Times
Crocs is taking its used shoes back in 10 US states
Stepping into circular strategies across stores, Crocs has initiated a shoe take-back program in 10 US states, aiming to prevent old shoes from ending up in landfills, and also exploring ways to reuse materials.
Having set a Net Zero target for 2040, Crocs plans to accept shoes in any condition, donating gently used ones to nonprofit Soles4Souls and experimenting with ways to reuse materials from well-loved or unwearable shoes. This initiative looks to support Crocs in understanding social and operational challenges and opportunities around the circular economy, and is the first step in plans to roll out globally!
Source: Green Biz
University of Southampton receives £15m AI funding from UK government
The University of Southampton will use new government funding to make big investments in climate-facing technology, establishing a training centre focused on developing AI to address climate change. The centre will train at least 70 PhD students in SustAI, an AI technology for sustainability.
The university was also awarded £31 million in June for the development of trustworthy AI. SustAI director, Professor Enrico Gerding stated that AI is crucial for achieving environmental sustainability goals, and the centre aims to nurture the next generation of engineers and technologists using AI. We love to see technology harnessed in this way, and the backing to measure up!
Lidl and By Rotation Team Up on Christmas Jumpers
The conscious initiatives the festive period needs – Lidl has introduced a Christmas jumper rental service in collaboration with By Rotation. The service allows customers to rent any of Lidl’s Christmas jumpers from 2020 to 2023, with three new jumpers created from upcycled materials.
This initiative aims to address the environmental impact of fast fashion, particularly the Christmas jumper, which Hubbub has identified as a significant contributor to clothing waste. The jumpers can be rented through the By Rotation app for £2 a day, and all profits will be donated to the NSPCC.
Source: Sustainability Beat
Portugal Runs on Renewables for One Week
Portugal achieved a significant milestone by running on 100% renewable energy for six consecutive days. From October 31st to November 6th, the country generated 1,102 GW of power from renewable sources, surpassing national consumption by 262 GW.
During this period, Portugal set two additional records: 131 consecutive hours without resorting to thermal power generation (fossil fuels) and 95 consecutive hours without the need for natural gas combined cycle plants. These achievements highlight Portugal’s commitment to sustainable energy sources and its progress in integrating indigenous renewables. This is an exciting glimpse of what’s possible to achieve in so many cities.
We round up the best stories around each month – so make sure you subscribe to our newsletter and don’t miss out!