The Triple Bottom - 🌱 Finland's smelly energy

Happy Tuesday.  “Corporate ESG is the Devil Incarnate” E. Musk, 2022 - you heard it here first, find out why Elon’s not an ESG fan below…

In today's edition: 

⚡️ A handful of energy updates

🚽 Finland uses sewage for clean energy

🛰 Mapping plastic from space

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💼 Big Business (2-minute read)

UK postal service (The Royal Mail) rolls out drone deliveries 
Over 500 drones will be deployed across the UK over the next 3 years to deliver post. The drones will target coastal and island routes, such as the Isle of Scilly, Orkney Islands, and the Hebrides which currently rely on deliveries via ferry or plane. The reason behind the move is twofold; firstly, it will improve the reliability of the service by allowing delivery no matter the location or weather. While drones will also lower the Royal Mail’s carbon emissions. The initiative comes off the back of a successful 18 month trial between the Royal Mail and logistics drone company - Windracers.

The Body Shop campaign for young people to have a bigger say in politics 
The global campaign, “Be Seen, Be Heard”, is a partnership with the UN advocating for lower voting age requirements and reduced barriers to voting. 
Why? A better chance for the world to address environmental and social challenges. Research suggests 75% of people under 30 believe incumbent political leaders aren’t moving fast enough for people, climate and the environment - but U30’s only make up 2.6% of parliamentarians.

Energy updates galore

  • Portugal just plugged in Europe’s largest floating solar power plant. They benefit from cooler temperatures near the water’s surface, which allow floating solar panels to operate up to 15% more efficiently than their land-based counterparts.

  • The UK government has opened a £120m “Future Nuclear Enabling Fund” to help meet its goal of approving eight new reactors by 2030

  • The US government cancelled three oil and gas lease sales scheduled in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, removing millions of acres from possible drilling.
🤖 Future of Tech (1-minute read)

World's plastic waste mapped from space for the first time 
Global Plastic Watch (GPW) is a digital platform that maps the world’s plastic pollution in near real-time using a unique combination of satellite imagery and artificial intelligence. Using the images from the European Space Agency the platform helps inform site clean-ups and better enforcement of laws against dumping. It also helps provide risk indicators for existing plastic waste sites, such as proximity to water, to highlight priority areas for investment into recycling infrastructure. Finally, it allows for ongoing monitoring to demonstrate visible progress towards waste management targets - a starting point for governments in the fight against plastic.

Finnish city + sewers = clean energy
Turku, Finland’s oldest city, is striving to be one of the world’s first carbon-neutral cities by making use of its sewers. A sewage treatment plant has been installed into the caverns beneath the city. The plant uses heat pumps to extract energy from the waste flowing through drains - generating enough heat to warm 12,000 homes. In addition, sewage sludge from the treatment plant is trucked to an industrial facility to produce biogas - a replacement for natural gas. 
Why? Urban areas account for 70% of global carbon dioxide emissions - so harnessing climate tech innovation to improve legacy systems is crucial to reaching net-zero.

🤿 Deep Dive (2-minute read)

A busy week for ESG ratings

The challenge…Various ESG ratings providers have differing methodologies, reflected in the low levels of correlation between the ratings they provide. 
A lack of alignment: MIT research found the correlation between six major ESG rating agencies to be 0.61 (with 1.00 = perfect correlation). In comparison, the largest credit rating agencies are correlated between 0.94-0.96 = Investor confusion and potential corporate greenwashing.

This week alone…

  • We saw fresh calls from the UK Government for ESG rating oversight. The UK Green Finance Unit said financial markets are facing growing risks of greenwashing due to the “unregulated” nature of ESG rating agencies. 

  • Tesla, and CEO Musk, said ESG metrics are ‘Fundamentally Flawed’. They argue ratings are based on how corporate profits are affected by ESG-related factors, rather than gauging companies’ real-world impact.

The Way Out: 

1) Improving the quality of data provided by companies being rated. Mandatory disclosures on climate risks and opportunities will help (done in the UK and coming to the US).

2) Improving transparency of rating methods. Rating providers to clearly state all factors leading to their ESG scores to allow scrutiny by investors AND regulators

💭 Little Bytes

Quote: “With energy prices continuing to rise, creating energy-efficient homes that are affordable to build is more vital now than it ever has been.” St Modwen Homes’ managing director Dave Smith

Stat: There are 4 times more male than female characters in books

Watch: A US Foodbank goes digital to feed more people

🗞 In other news...
  • A new highway is set to ease congestion on the busy beltway in Rotterdam, Netherlands, while also being eco-friendly and energy neutral.

  • Cheap, gigaton-scale carbon capture using algae.

  • Kraft Heinz is set to develop a paper-based variant of its ketchup bottles, made from 100% sustainably sourced wood pulp.

  • An Alliance of global manufacturers, retailers and chemical firms has unveiled a new $500m “circular plastic” fund aimed at supporting the collection, recycling and design solutions for plastics.

  • UK Government have promised the first ‘net-zero’ transatlantic flight in 2023.
💰 The Deal Room
  • Arcadia who aggregates energy data for companies to build climate-friendly products raises $200M in Series E funding

  • Carbon Clean raises $150m in record carbon capture funding round (Series C)

  • Indian e-scooter maker rides to $128m raise in Series E funding 

  • Startup Solfácil Raises $100M in Series C funding, Aims at Hardware to Be ‘Solar Alexa’

  • SkySpecs Raises $80 Million in Series D funding for Its Renewable Energy Asset Management Solution

🎣 Gone Phishing

3 of these stories are true, and 1 is not, can you guess which?

How did you enjoy today's newsletter?
Written by @Ollie and @Colin 

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The Triple Bottom newsletter reflect the opinions of only the authors who are associated persons of The Triple Bottom LLC and do not reflect the views of any of its subsidiaries or affiliates. They are meant for informational purposes only, are not intended to serve as a recommendation to buy or sell any security in a self-directed account. They are also not research reports and are not intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision. Any third-party information provided therein does not reflect the views of The Triple Bottom LLC, or any of their subsidiaries or affiliates. All investments involve risk and the past performance of a security or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. 

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