ESG Efforts Ramp Up, Tesla Semis Hit The Road And Reaping Billions From Clean Energy Bonds

This week’s Current Climate, which every Saturday brings you the latest news about the business of sustainability. Sign up to get it in your inbox every week.

A new survey from Deloitte finds that more companies are working to prioritize ESG in their business. For example, last March, when Deloitte ran a similar survey, only 21% of the executives surveyed said their companies had built cross-functional teams geared towards ESG. Just a few months later, that number is now 57%—nearly triple what it was. Challenges lay ahead for these types of efforts, however. The survey also found that over a third of respondents said that a major obstacle for these efforts is the accuracy and completeness of data. As both regulators and stakeholders around the world look more closely at companies’ ESG activities, demand for this kind of data–and action based on what that data says–is likely to increase. That said, a majority of executives surveyed also expect efforts to meet these ESG disclosure and action demands as worth the effort, as they expect ESG efforts to yield stronger stakeholder trust, better employee retention and improved returns on investment.

The Big Read

How Wall Street Banks Will Reap Billions From Tax-Free Renewable Energy Bonds

One of the hottest trends in finance is prepaid muni bonds structured to help local utilities buy decades worth of renewable electricity. They’re good for the environment, but even better for the banks that will profit from cheap financing, trading profits and federal tax breaks.

Read more here.

Discoveries And Innovations

An air purifier developed by Harvard spinoff company Metalmark is inspired by the nanostructure of butterfly wings and organisms like the self-cleaning lotus flower–and it produces beyond HEPA-grade results.

A small study suggests that air-circulating indoor green or “living” walls can improve the skin quality and immune system of office workers in less than a month.

New research from McKinsey suggests that action by corporations using existing technology could put the world on a sustainable environmental trajectory by 2050–and make them money in the process.

Sustainability Deals Of The Week

Greener Steel: Green iron company Electra announced a partnership with steel manufacturer Nucor to scale development of Electra’s low-emissions technologies.

Meat Alternative: Black Sheep Foods, which is creating plant-based meat alternatives for more niche products such as lamb, announced it has raised a $18.05 million series A round.

Improved Clothing Resale: Archive, which helps fashion brands resell returned clothing, announced it has raised a $15 million series A round, reports Crunchbase.

On The Horizon

Last year, the world lost over 11 million hectares of forest in the tropics. And while the rate of deforestation is declining, the world is still losing a lot of its trees. That’s not just a problem for ecosystems – it also raises the risk of people catching different types of disease.

What Else We’re Reading This Week

Indigenous ‘sea gardens’ could protect shellfish in an acidifying ocean (Popular Science)

Renewables Are on Pace to Beat Coal as the Largest Power Source by 2025 (Scientific American)

Rebel Farmers Are Pushing Back on Climate Action. This is Why (Bloomberg)

Green Transportation Update

The COP27 climate talks were a breakthrough, with wealthier countries mainly responsible for climate change agreeing for the first time to compensate emerging economies for climate damage. But despite this historic agreement, there was little progress toward strengthening pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions—especially in transportation. Electric vehicle sales are primed to take over the roads, but without greater policy ambition it won’t happen quick enough to save the climate—here’s how policymakers can cut emissions and costs.

The Big Transportation Story

Tesla’s New Semi-Truck Will Be Great, If You Get Your Electricity Wisely

Tesla recently delivered its first electric big rigs to Pepsico/Frito Lay. The Tesla Semi shows some impressive statistics for power and range, though its biggest benefit will be low emissions. But at 1.7kWh/mile, it may cost more than desired to charge it, unless you make sure to charge it at good prices.

Read more here.

More Green Transportation News

China’s Electric Car Assault On Europe Will Accelerate In 2023, Then Hit Top Gear

Two Tiny EVs From Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Win Japan Car Of The Year

First Of 40,000 New Community EV Chargers From GM Installed In Wisconsin And Michigan

Brompton Wheels Out One Millionth Folding Bicycle From London Factory

Einride Bucks Tide, Wins Half-Billion Financing

Italy’s Far-Right Transport Minister Urges EU To Halt 2035 Ban On Fossil Fuel Car Sales

Brightdrop Starts Electric Van Production In Canada, Adds DHL As Customer

From Emissions Cheater To Climate Leader: VW’s Journey From Dieselgate To Embracing E-Mobility

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