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Snippets for 22 December 2022



Thanks for reading our Snippets newsletter this week. We have once again included a mixed selection of articles we hope you find interesting.


A historic deal has been struck at COP15 to halt biodiversity loss by 2030, with Governments signing a once-in-a-decade deal to halt the destruction of Earth’s ecosystems. Why is this deal so important? There is now greater certainty about the human-driven decline of biodiversity, with species dying off as much as 1,000 times more frequently than before the arrival of humans. The UN’s environment chief has urged citizens, businesses, and governments to “not pause for a second. Embrace the history we have made in Montreal and let’s get down to the business of delivering the framework. Nature is very forgiving and if given half a chance, it will bounce back”.

And what can companies do to restore natural capital? Firstly, assess their nature footprint - that is, the types, magnitude, and materiality of their impacts and dependencies on nature. Second, identify which activities have the potential to reduce impacts on nature. Third, set targets for nature and levels of commitment, with one of the more significant areas requiring urgent change being the agriculture sector.

Another sector requiring urgent attention is plastic waste. Although in its early stages, a new global plastics treaty is being developed. This treaty must be successful as of the roughly 10,000 chemicals used in producing plastics, more than 2,400 are harmful.


South Korea has almost zero food waste. With clear government regulations and clear processes, along with cost-effective bagging requirements, South Korea has gone from 2.6% recycled food waste in 1996, to close to 100% today, something much of the rest of the world could learn from. Energy is another sector requiring a transition, but it needs to be managed to ensure the burden does not disproportionately fall on developing nations requiring planned financing and supporting local communities. A new energy revolution within our lifetimes will put us on a path of global stability and security.


Are companies doing what they are saying when it comes to carbon reduction? Here we discuss how to unpick a company’s net zero targets in 7 steps. And as if to prove steps in detecting greenwashing are needed, we showcase 18 brands called out for greenwashing in 2022, from banks to big oil and even a rock group. And as we approach the end of 2022, there have been numerous environmental achievements worth celebrating, as we review nine of the best this year. There were some big sustainability winners in 2022, from the UN plastic treaty to a regime change in Brazil, and Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.


We end 2022 with gaslighting. The term, which is the word of the year, describes a type of lie that leaves the target doubting their perception of reality, and saw a 1,740% increase in searches on the dictionary’s site in 2022.

At COP15, Governments signed a significant and historic deal to halt biodiversity loss by 2030. Amid plummeting insect numbers, acidifying oceans, and rampant overconsumption of the planet’s resources, the agreement, if implemented, could signal major changes to farming, business supply chains and the role of Indigenous communities in conservation. The deal includes targets to protect 30% of the planet for nature by 2030, reform $500bn of environmentally damaging subsidies, and restore 30% of the planet’s degraded terrestrial, inland water, coastal and marine ecosystems. Read more...


And it is just as well, as nature is under threat as never before. According to the most recent figures, wildlife populations have plunged by an average of 69% between 1970 and 2018. The abundance of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles is falling fast, as populations of sea lions, sharks, frogs and salmon collapse. Human domination of the planet has also meant that livestock and humans far outweigh wild animals. Of mammals, livestock comprises 60%, humans 36% and wild animals just 4%. We have become a biodiversity cancer. Read more....

The United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) ended in Montreal, Canada with a landmark agreement to guide global action on nature through to 2030. It resulted in the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) on the very last day of negotiations. The GBF aims to address biodiversity loss, restore ecosystems, and protect indigenous rights. It also contains proposals to increase finance to developing countries – a major sticking point during talks. Read more....

Economic activity fundamentally depends on natural capital, the world’s stock of natural assets. But today, natural capital is being rapidly depleted, which has increasingly tangible consequences, from water shortages in California to a nitrogen crisis in the Netherlands. So what can companies do to restore natural capital? Firstly, assess their nature footprint - that is, the types, magnitude, and materiality of their impacts and dependencies on nature. Second, identify which activities have the potential to reduce impacts on nature. Third, set targets for nature and levels of commitment. Read more....

The world is choking on plastic trash, and the UN wants to do something to fix it. After a weeklong meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution, a plethora of countries agreed on standards to reduce plastic production and increase plastic recycling. Though uptake is far from universal, it is a promising step in the right direction to minimise the environmental and health impacts of plastic. Read more....


One country taking waste minimisation very seriously is South Korea. In the 1990s, with landfills in the capital area approaching their limit, the South Korean government implemented a slate of policies to ease the trash crisis. It banned organic waste from going to landfills, and now almost 100% of organic food waste is processed into either biogas, animal feed, or fertiliser. The world could learn a lot from what South Korea is doing. Read more....

Speaking of what the world can do, it needs to ensure the burden for the energy transition does not disproportionately fall on developing nations. Developed nations will need to assist developing nations in phasing out fossil fuels, financing change, and supporting manufacturing. It will be a complex change, requiring both public buy-in, and private backing. But if done correctly, all countries should come out the other end better off. Read more....


Net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. We reach net zero when the amount we add is no more than the amount taken away. This article explains the ease of deciphering net-zero targets. It is as easy as answering “yes” to 7 questions based on the method used by the NewClimate Institute in their Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor and other publications. Read more....


Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or misleading information about how a company’s products/services are environmentally sound. Greenwashing involves making an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly or have a greater positive environmental impact than they do. This article talks about companies like HSBC, H&M and a few others that were caught greenwashing. Read more....

Amidst the increasingly obvious effects of climate change, there have been numerous environmental achievements in 2022 worth celebrating. Here we are reminded of nine of the best this year. These include the UN Plastics Treaty, The Youth envoy at COP 27, Brazil and Australia’s leadership changes and Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, amongst others. We need to celebrate success! Read more....



Our final article this week, and year, brings us the “word of the year” Gaslighting (which describes a type of lie that leaves the target doubting their perception of reality) and its interesting origins… who would have thought. Read more....











This week we have a few innovation articles we hope you find interesting:










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