The Triple Bottom - 🌱 Africa's Hydrogen Superpower

Happy Tuesday… and Happy New Year. Before you delve into the post-Christmas work inbox, give yourself 5 mins to catch up on the best sustainability news since you've been away...

In today's edition: 

⚖️ Shell ordered to stop searching for oil

🥩 3D printed meat hits the UK

🍇 Protecting grapes from wintery weather

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💼 Big Business (2-minute read)

The African nation aiming to become a green hydrogen superpower
The situ: Namibia is positioning itself as a leader in the emerging market for green hydrogen (Hydrogen fuel produced by splitting water using renewable energy like wind or solar, as opposed to fossil fuels) announcing the construction of a $9.4bn project led by Hyphen energy
Why Namibia? Sun 300 days a year and vicious winds that rip along a 1,000-mile coast = extensive solar and wind resources and the proximity to the ocean, both as a water source and an export hub. An abundance of low-cost green electricity will reduce the price disparity between green hydrogen and polluting alternatives (and aid adoption!)
Benefits: 

  • For Namibia: construction is predicted to create 15,000 direct jobs and 3,000 more during full operations -  90% will be filled by locals. 

  • For the planet: export agreements are already signed with Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands to provide them with clean, green hydrogen fuel.

South African court halts Shell's search for oil
We're all aware of the dangers of oil extraction from the ocean. But did you know that just looking for oil can put underwater ecosystems at risk due to ‘seismic testing’? 
What is seismic testing? Blasts of sound waves from air guns penetrate the ocean floor and provide data about what lies beneath the surface - specifically reserves of oil. 
The issue… is these sound waves increase noise levels to twice the normal level which disturb the communication, navigation and eating habits essential to marine life. 
The Ruling: by the South African high-court blocked Shell from conducting seismic testing off the country's coast due to a lack of environmental approvals. 
It’s not the end of the story… Despite global efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, South Africa has seen a flurry of oil discoveries, and these activities are supported by government ministers due to South Africa’s dwindling domestic oil supplies.
 

Crawley Town showing how professional sport can fight food waste
Crawley town has become the first professional sports club in England to team up with Too Good To Go to prevent food waste on matchdays. Leftover food has started to be collected from the club's kiosks on matchdays then sold to locals using Too Good To Go app at a discount. The 'Magic Bags', will cost £3 but will have up to £10 worth of food and drink inside - a bargain for app users and an additional revenue stream for the club.

🤖 Future of Tech (1-minute read)

3D printed meat launches in the UK
During COP26, world leaders committed to eliminate all deforestation by 2030 - a goal that requires a significant reduction in global meat consumption. Israeli food-tech company, Redefine Meat, is 3D printing vegan meat alternatives to better replicate the taste, texture and make-up of traditional meat products using soya, pea protein and coconut oil. But what sets Redefine Meat apart from their competitors is the level of versatility for different recipes their produce provides. The results speak for themselves - Marco Pierre White’s steak houses have started serving Redefine Meat on their menus.

Microsoft helping European Grape Farmers adapt to climate change
In 2017, late-season frost damage cost Austrian vineyards and fruit orchards an estimated 70 million euros. These damaging frost events are about 60% more likely due to human-caused climate change. 

The solution: Microsoft created a pilot project that places sensors in vineyards and orchards to record information including temperature, humidity and topography. The data is sent to the Cloud where it is combined with weather prediction models to provide growers with detailed 48-hour forecasts and alert them when late-season frost is expected. This gives growers time to protect their grapes. A great example of how tech is critical to climate change adaptation - not just prevention!

🤿 Deep Dive (2-minute read)

Green financial investment creates more jobs. But, why?

According to new analysis, dollar-for-dollar, clean energy and green investments create more jobs than unsustainable investments. For example, investment into ecosystem restoration projects creates 3x as many jobs as oil and gas production per dollar. 

So why do green investments create more jobs? 

  1. Labour needs: Green jobs, such as installing solar panels and restoring degraded ecosystems, are labour intensive and hard to outsource to other countries. This means they create local jobs and support local economies. 

  2. Automation & Capital: The fossil fuel industry is now highly automated and capital intensive due to past investments in machinery to reduce the role of humans. For example, traditional road construction now relies largely on automation and material inputs.

Job creation is one part of the story… jobs also need to be high-quality. This is especially true in low-income countries where many jobs are in informal sectors such as the Gig Economy which are often associated with poor working conditions. It is critical that Governments introduce policies to ensure green jobs formalise workforces (see why formalisation is important here)

💭 Little Bytes

Quote: “I absolutely think it (ESG) has an impact. When you think about the environment, when you think about social pressures and what’s happened with the murder of George Floyd, for example, and how that’s changed the conversation.” Bonnie Gwin, CEO, Heidrick & Struggles.

Stat: Americans report that physical health and mental health are the top causes of unemployment in the country - a Mckinsey study: America 2022 in chart

Watch: 9 women who made history in 2021

🗞 In other news...
  • A Swedish company is hoping to kick-start Italy's offshore floating wind farm market with its innovative dual-tilted turbines

  • Ed Sheeran plans to ‘re-wild as much of the UK as he can’ to make up for the carbon footprint created by his job.

  • French car adverts told to ‘tell people to walk or cycle instead of driving for short trips.’

  • Amazon increase renewable energy procurement by 40% - equaling the usage of 9 million European homes

  • The cost of lab-grown chicken more than halved in 2021

🎣 Gone Phishing
Highlights from our recent editions

🍄 Ikea’s mushroom-based packaging 

🏭 Rolls-Royce’s mini-nuclear power plants

⛽️ Bets are placed on Hydrogen fuel

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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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