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Forest Credits Approved for Airlines’ Compliance with ICAO Carbon Market


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EDF statement from Ruben Lubowski, Associate VP for Climate & Forests and Chief Natural Resource Economist

November 20, 2020

This week, the governing Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) — the United Nations agency that sets standards for global aviation — took an important step forward on climate progress: it approved select tropical forest protection programs for airlines’ use in offsetting carbon dioxide emissions of international flights. ICAO’s decision means that reductions in emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, known as REDD+, certified by these programs are now eligible credits for airlines to use in accounting for their emissions in ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). 

“ICAO’s decision connects limits on aviation carbon pollution with investments in tropical forest protection and restoration, and is a win for nature, countries, companies and communities. After more than a decade of work on REDD+ frameworks under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and other fora, this marks the first time that REDD+ credits have been approved for use within a global compliance carbon market system.

“ICAO’s decision to include large, jurisdictional-scale REDD+ programs in CORSIA sends a critical signal to companies and policymakers about the value of tropical forest protection to meet climate goals. It shows forest countries that there is tangible demand for emissions reductions of the highest environmental and social integrity. Approval of these programs will drive progress in reducing emissions at the scale needed to achieve the climate goals set by the aviation industry and in the Paris Agreement.”  

  • Ruben Lubowski, Associate Vice President for Climate and Forests and Chief Natural Resource Economist 

Ending tropical forest loss, along with restoration and reforestation efforts, can reduce overall global greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent and is indispensable for meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Jurisdictional-scale forest protection and restoration programs can provide highest quality emissions reductions, at scale. 

As EDF analysis shows, global climate cooperation through carbon markets can enable double the emissions reductions under current Paris pledges for the same cost as countries acting alone. REDD+ accounts for a majority of this potential to increase global climate ambition in the coming decades. 

The inclusion of jurisdictional REDD+ credits in CORSIA will provide a secure supply of high-quality offsets to help the global aviation sector achieve its goals. It will also catalyze critical finance flows for forest protection and restoration and, in doing so, help protect biodiversity and support local livelihoods.  

The forest-carbon credits approved by the ICAO Council are based on emissions reductions  measured at the level of entire countries or subnational jurisdictions, rather than of stand-alone projects, with some exceptions made for the smallest projects. “Jurisdictional” scale frameworks provide incentives for national and subnational governments to work alongside the private sector, communities, producers, and civil society to protect forests across entire landscapes. The approved jurisdictional programs include the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) and the Verified Carbon Standard’s Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (JNR) methodology. 

ART uses as its standard The REDD+ Environmental Excellency Standard (TREES), which  sets a high bar for environmental and social integrity for credits from REDD+ at a jurisdictional and national scale. EDF has helped to establish the Emergent Forest Finance Accelerator, a non-profit finance intermediary to facilitate large-scale REDD+ transactions, using the ART framework, and is collaborating with ART, Emergent, the UN REDD Programme, and Forest Trends on the Green Gigaton Challenge: Bringing REDD+ to Scale. This initiative seeks to set a demand signal that can scale up to at least a billion tons per year in emissions reductions transacted from high-integrity jurisdictional REDD+ by 2025.

ICAO has clearly moved forward on accounting, as well. The focus of the Technical Advisory Body and ICAO Council on ensuring that programs obtain from host countries written attestations that the host countries will properly account for the transferred reductions, should put wings to the efforts of Parties in the climate treaty talks to finalize clear guidance to assure environmental integrity and prevent double counting of emission reductions, so that carbon markets can do what they do best: catalyze ambitious action to achieve environmental goals.

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Environmental Defense Fund (, a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF VoicesTwitter and Facebook.

ISAP – International Forum for Sustainable Asia and the Pacific

On 30 November, IGES will hold the Plenary Session of its annual “International Forum for Sustainable Asia and the Pacific” (ISAP2020), in an online format. This year’s theme is “Just Transitions Toward Sustainable Societies in Asia and the Pacific: Building Forward Better for Our Future Beyond COVID-19”.

Sessions will be held from 10:30-17:30 (JST), at:

The distinguished guest speakers include: Achim Steiner (UNDP Administrator), who will give a Keynote Speech, following Opening Remarks by KOIZUMI Shinjiro (Minister of the Environment of Japan) and Yuji Kuroiwa (Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture). In the first Plenary session, Kazuhiko Takeuchi (IGES President) will hold a discussion about biodiversity, climate, and the SDGs with representatives from leading environmental organizations, For the following sessions, IGES researchers and additional invitees will provide perspectives from Asia, and explore topics of international science, policy and implementation, as well as knowledge on SDG actions by business. The final session is a debate hosted by Yasuo Takahashi (IGES Executive Director), before closing remarks by Nobutoshi Miyoshi (IGES Managing Director).

The Plenary day is also an occasion to reflect on what was discussed during the Thematic Tracks held from 9 to 13 November. A wide range of topics were covered that week, and all were streamed for guests, and recorded to make them accessible to a broader audience. The Thematic Track archives are available here, and please check some of them out, in order to make the 30 November plenary even more meaningful!

This year’s forum also features a virtual exhibition, where participants can see publications, watch videos, and chat with other avatars (automatically generated for visitors upon entering the forum via this link) in the venue. The virtual venue can be accessed here:

With the need for a swift response and recovery from COVID-19, as well as the chance to think about how we can redesign our societies and transform them to be more sustainable, resilient, just and inclusive, ISAP2020 showcases IGES’ position on current and future risks, and makes a call for stronger partnerships with relevant stakeholders.

The IISD Community Lists are changing over to a new system hosted by Google Groups. Starting 1 December 2020, list submissions will no longer be sent through the old system. For more information and links to join the new Community Lists, please visit�

L&D Four: Values, Skills, Attitude, and Knowledge

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Learning and Development has been a very essential unit to build the human capital capacity, to make the companies grow and sustain. However, the facts that many companies still collapse despite their costly and extravagant programs in L&D got us thinking. Have these companies been doing the right thing? 

Business People

Introducing the L&D Four

Corporate training and development is an essential part of human resources, to develop their human capital capacity, to gain profit, and to keep the company going. They spend an extensive amount of money to conduct courses that merely focus on improving skills on using the most recent technology, applying marketing approaches, analysing big data, to gain as high profit as possible.

As stated by Bryan Casey, Growth Strategist at Ironpaper, in 2018, the trends of corporate eLearning from 2018 are around Reporting, Big Data Analysis, User-generated content (UCG), Work-Life Skills, and Leadership and Management Training. All of those types of focus points in learning and development in corporate contexts revolve around knowledge and skills and are intended to grow and strengthen the companies mostly from inside/within.

However, what companies cannot ignore is the fact that all industries also involve people from outside the companies and relationships with people and that is why the induction of values and attitude should be a part of the learning and development core elements. Therefore, an ideal learning and development program should cover VSAK (Values, Skills, Attitude, and Knowledge).

Incorporating values and attitude along with skills and knowledge matters because companies, people/society, and surroundings/environment should create good synergy in order to sustain. This article would give some contexts on how VSAK would be taken into action in learning and development.

VSAK: Too Cool for (Only) School

Most companies’ goals are to maximise profit, but upholding/to uphold values and principles is also as important. James Franklin, the 16th head football coach in the storied 127-year history of the Nittany Lion program, in his talk, stated that the sustainability of companies and corporates lie in relationships with people.

“We should hold values and respect others’ and act upon them in forms of attitude.”

However, being knowledgeable with values should somehow be learned and nurtured in the learning environment and must be further ingrained culturally and professionally. Therefore, the concept of VSAK (Values, Skills, Attitude, and Knowledge must be taken into account to empower and build relationships that happen within the company and between company and society to create beautiful synergy that leads to sustainability and profitability.

The framework of VSAK was first formulated by NIE (National Institution of Education) in Singapore, whose desired outcome is to generate/shape the child-centred teacher – one who is accustomed to the child’s needs as a learner corresponding to their individuality, improvement and diversity. This goal can be achieved by creating a role-modelling environment which goes beyond a classroom setting and embraces the teacher as a facilitator of learning, a mediator of the knowledge milieu and a designer of learning environments.

The highlights of the concept are evolved around skills that nurtures ones’ potential to become active contributors to the community, including company and society. The term VSAK can be perceived with other names like value education, or social learning that leads to a fruitful community with social literacy; a community which is socially conscious and is knowledgeable of social skills and human values that reinforce people’s capacity to act positively and responsibly in their social and professional roles; as family member, worker, citizen and lifelong learner.

This invaluable concept seems to be challenging to be applied in a corporate context, but by identifying the culture and core values of a company and by examining the existing learning and development in a company, incorporating VSAK would not be as effortful.

The Divergence between L&D and Corporate Culture

In order to incorporate VSAK in a corporate eLearning context, one should revisit the core of corporate culture. In his article in Investopedia, Evan Tarver defines corporate culture as the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. The essential points of any corporate cultures should cover the following things: beliefs and behaviors of the employees and management, company size, culture and traditions, economic trends, international trade, and products, as well as ideology and practice.

Those elements highlight collective mentality, that depends upon the quality of relationships among people, because good relationships will definitely lead to positive mentality and would create a positive atmosphere in the company, which will result in company/corporate sustainability.

However, the big question remains on how VSAK can be incorporated in corporate learning and development programs.

LSA Global released an article that highlighted the facts that there has been some disconnection and gaps between existing training and on-the-job behavior and performance. The article quoted the facts given by Gartner, 24×7 Learning, and McKinsey that (1) almost three-quarters of employees do not believe they have mastered the skills they need to do their jobs; (2) only 12% of learners apply the skills from corporate training back on-the-job; and (3) only 25% feel that the training they receive makes a measurable difference in the on-the-job performance.

Most learning and development programs rely merely on transferring skills and knowledge that are expected to be effectively used when the learners are giving their on-the-job performances and generating profit for the company, yet participants are unable to consistently apply the new skills and knowledge on-the-job.

The article also stated the facts that many Learning and Development practitioners often flounder in communication, problem-solving, decision making, time management, delegation, workload management, goal setting, coaching, and giving feedback. In short, the programs have not created enough opportunities to maximize both individual and group experiences; how the employees conduct themselves in a community, how they practice their values and beliefs, how they compete, how they build relationships with others.

The gaps are caused by the fact that what they value and what they do are not in line and the companies somehow forget that those values, which would shape the collective mentality, can be used to guide a company, to be the compass to guide co-workers, and customers, to create innovation, integrity, profitability, in the ways that the employees understand since they use their values.

Therefore, inserting VSAK in learning and development programs of a company is essential, since it would certainly lead to expanding network and gaining public trust as well as improving social cautious initiatives like programs in CSR.


Injecting values and attitudes in a corporate context is often directed to the Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) programs, but actually it is much more than that, but CRS can be the perfect platform to “inject” the elements of values and attitude after the transfer of skills and knowledge and also build brand value to the target market.

Since CSR usually aims to be socially accountable and aims at building brand value and spurging positive/beneficial social changes and one favorable way to do both is by building stronger relationships with others.

Take an example on how The Coca Cola company perceives a value of “Believing that all people can grow and contribute” and has observed that in some developing countries, women have not had as many opportunities as men have. Therefore, using the tagline that “Women are key to the world’s shared success”, they focus on empowering women both in the workplace and throughout the world and created an initiative called 5by20, aiming to economically empower 5 million women across our value chain by the end of 2020.

What The Coca Cola Company has done to act on this initiative is by providing business skills training, access to financial services and assets, and connections with peers and mentors and as from 2018, 5by20 has empowered more than 3.2 million women across 92 countries. However, The Coca Cola company is aware of the fact that achieving the women’s empowerment vision depends on building adaptable models and powerful partnerships. They collaborate with hundreds of partners and organizations around the world to develop local programs and then scale the most successful programs to make the initiative last, and to make a positive and locally relevant impact.

By looking at the example of The Coca Cola Company, it can be drawn conclusion that CSR programs should be able to engage people by having awareness of the cultural, social, and environmental issues, observing and identifying the values that are embraced by society and adhering them with company’s core values so they are able to build good relationships with as many people as possible.  VSAK should be a part of the framework for a company’s CSR model, and should be carefully acted on.

Not only limited to CRS programs, Learning and Development Unit can implant VSAK in other types of training by highlighting social literacy skills and implementing some of VSAK elements like empathy, belief that all people can grow and contribute, commitment to nurturing the potentials of self and others, embrace and power of diversity, passion, strive to improve, collaboration and communication, mentorship and social responsibility.

For this reason, as an effort to build social literacy skills, incorporating VSAK in corporate eLearning modules must be taken into high consideration. The modules can involve task-based or project-based strategies in their social learning as a part of their training.

When properly implemented, the elements of social literacy should be ingrained in the values and culture of a company, and positively affect the way the company does business and those certainly lead to public trust gain, good branding, good publicity, overall profitability and success of a company.

Image: © kasto –

Simplifying Stop New Fossil Fuel Extraction to Achieve Climate Targets?

Hi all, 

I’m writing to share a new animated video from the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Oil Change as part of HBF’s “Radical Realism” series, highlighting the urgent need for governments to step in and manage the phase-out of oil and gas production to meet our climate goals and protect communities. 



As the video explains, Oil Change’s research shows that burning just the oil and gas in already operating fields would blow the world’s carbon budget for 1.5ºC. In other words, it’s not enough to simply stop new fossil fuel extraction to achieve climate targets. Governments and investors must take action to close oil and gas fields and coal mines early, while implementing just transition measures at every step of the way.
Thanks, Collin

Collin Rees // Senior Campaigner, Oil Change International & Oil Change U.S. // @collinrees // +1 308 293 3159

Carbon speeds crop growth but often for little gain


More carbon dioxide speeds up crop growth with some key food harvests, but extra heat can hit the yield.

Rice fields in Bali, Indonesia
Rice fields in Bali, Indonesia. The world depends on rice, one crop less likely to thrive on increased carbon. Image: mrippCC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Paul Brown, Climate News NetworkNov. 13, 2020

Thirty years of experiments in testing crop growth, and notably the effects of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) on some human staples like rice, wheat and soya, have found that − given perfect growing conditions − they would increase yields by 18 per cent.

But sadly, in “real world” conditions, any gains from carbon fertilisation are lost − because of the stress caused to crops by the 2°C temperature rise that the gas causes in the atmosphere. Even worse, the fact that crops grow faster does not mean that their nutritional value is greater – many showed lower mineral nutrients and protein content.


Under-nutrition will grow in warmer world

 Read now

The work, 30 years of “free air carbon dioxide enrichment” (FACE), carried out by 14 long-term research facilities in five continents, is a blow to the hope that in a world with more atmospheric CO2 more people could be fed with less land under cultivation. Earlier results had held out the hope that this “fertiliser effect” would feed more people.

While commercial growers of plants like tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers have used increased CO2 to boost production in controlled conditions in greenhouses, it does not work so well in open fields where temperature and moisture content are affected by climate change.

When you have other stresses, you don’t always get a benefit of elevated CO2. The last 15 years have taught us to account more for the complex interactions from other factors.

Lisa Ainsworth, research plant physiologist, US Department of Agriculture

Some crops do get a boost from more carbon in the atmosphere because it makes photosynthesis more efficient, but this is only if nutrients and water are available at optimum levels. This group includes soybean, cassava and rice, all vital in feeding some of the hungriest people in the world.

The author of the study, Stephen Long from the University of Illinois,  said that while it seemed reasonable to assume “a bounty as CO2 rises” this was not the case, because “CO2 is the primary cause of change in the global climate system. The anticipated 2°C rise in temperature, caused primarily by this increase in CO2, could halve yields of some of our major crops, wiping out any gain from CO2.”

His co-author Lisa Ainsworth, a research plant physiologist with the US Department of Agriculture, said: “It’s quite shocking to go back and look at just how much CO2 concentrations have increased over the lifetime of these experiments.

“We are reaching the concentrations of some of the first CO2 treatments 30 years back. The idea that we can check the results of some of the first FACE experiments in the current atmosphere is disconcerting.

Need for nitrogen

“Lots of people have presumed that rising CO2 is largely a good thing for crops, assuming more CO2 will make the world’s forests greener and increase crop yields,” Ainsworth said.

“The more recent studies challenge that assumption a bit. We’re finding that when you have other stresses, you don’t always get a benefit of elevated CO2. The last 15 years have taught us to account more for the complex interactions from other factors like drought, temperature, nutrients and pests.”

The poor quality of some of the grain, with less mineral and protein content, is also a blow to add to the crop growth doubts. The potential increased yield is also much smaller under conditions where there is low nitrogen fertiliser, typical of the world’s poorest countries.

However, the researchers are not all gloomy. Genetic variations in crops show that some strains can still benefit despite increased temperatures. If new crop cultivars are developed, then the future could be brighter, but work needs to start now, the scientists say. 

This story was published with permission from Climate News Network.

EU budget: European Commission welcomes agreement on €1.8 trillion package to help build greener, more digital, and more resilient Europe

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The European Commission has today welcomed the agreement between the European Parliament and EU Member States in the Council on Europe’s next long-term budget and NextGenerationEU, the temporary recovery instrument. Once adopted, the package of a total of €1.8 trillion will be the largest package ever financed through the EU budget. It will help rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe, which will be greener, more digital, more resilient and better fit for the current and forthcoming challenges.

President Ursula von der Leyen said: “I welcome today’s agreement on our Recovery Plan and the next Multiannual Financial Framework. We now need to move forward with finalising the agreement on the next long-term budget and NextGenerationEU by the end of the year. Help is needed for citizens and business badly hit by the coronavirus crisis. Our recovery plan will help us turn the challenge of the pandemic into an opportunity for a recovery led by the green and digital transition”.

European Commissioner Johannes Hahn in charge of the budget, who worked to facilitate the deal since the beginning of the mandate, said: “Today’s agreement will allow to reinforce specific programmes under the long-term budget for 2021-2027 (including Horizon Europe, Erasmus+, EU4Health). All in all, the EU long-term budget together with NextGenerationEU will amount to more than €1.8 trillion. It will play an essential role to support the recovery and make sure traditional beneficiaries of EU funds receive the sufficient means to continue their work during these very challenging times for all”.

Main elements of today’s compromise include:

  • More than 50% of the amount will support modernisation through policies that include research and innovation, via Horizon Europe; fair climate and digital transitions, via the Just Transition Fund and the Digital Europe Programme; preparedness, recovery and resilience, via the Recovery and Resilience Facility, rescEU and a new health programme, EU4Health.
  • Traditional policies such as cohesion and common agricultural policy also continue to receive significant financial support, so much necessary to ensure stability in times of crisis and their modernisation that should contribute to the recovery and the green and digital transitions.
  • 30% of the EU funds will be spent to fight climate change, the highest share ever of the largest European budget ever. The package also pays a specific attention to biodiversity protection and gender equality.
  • The budget will have strengthened flexibility mechanisms to guarantee it has the capacity to address unforeseen needs. This is making it a budget fit not only for today’s realities but also for tomorrow’s uncertainties.
  • As proposed in May 2020 and agreed by EU leaders on 21 July 2020, to finance the recovery, the EU will borrow on the markets at more favourable costs than many Member States and redistribute the amounts.
  • A clear roadmap towards new own resources to help repay the borrowing. The Commission has committed to put forward proposals on a carbon border adjustment mechanism and on a digital levy by June 2021, with a view to their introduction at the latest by 1 January 2023. The Commission will also review the EU Emissions Trading System in spring 2021, including its possible extension to aviation and maritime. It will propose an own resource based on the Emissions Trading System by June 2021. In addition, the Commission will propose additional new own resources, which could include a Financial Transaction Tax and a financial contribution linked to the corporate sector or a new common corporate tax base. The Commission will work to make a proposal by June 2024.
  • In terms of EU budget protection, now, for the first time, the EU will have a specific mechanism to protect its budget against breaches of the rule of law as agreed on 5 November. At the same time, final beneficiaries of EU funding in the Member State concerned will not be negatively affected by this mechanism.

Next steps

The MFF Regulation and the Interinstitutional Agreement endorsed today must now be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, in line with their respective roles and procedures.

In parallel, work must continue towards a final adoption of all other elements of the package, including the sectoral legislation and the Own Resources Decision.

In the case of the Own Resources Decision, which will enable the Commission to borrow, ratification by all Member States in line with their constitutional requirements is also needed. The European Parliament, at the September plenary, has already provided its positive opinion on this piece of legislation. The adoption by the Council is the next step.

In parallel, negotiations on the annual budget for 2021 have to take place. The 21-day conciliation period, during which the European Parliament and the Council should reach an agreement, runs between 17 November and 7 December this year.  

The Commission remains fully committed to accompany the process.


The Commission put forward its proposal for the EU’s next long-term budget on 2 May 2018. The framework proposal was immediately followed by legislative proposals for the 37 sectoral programmes (e.g. cohesion, agriculture, Erasmus, Horizon Europe, etc). Between 2018 and the beginning of 2020, the Commission worked hand in hand with the rotating Presidencies of the Council, and in close collaboration with the European Parliament, to take the negotiations forward.

On 27 May 2020, in response to the unprecedented crisis caused by the coronavirus, the European Commission proposed the temporary recovery instrument NextGenerationEU of €750 billion, as well as targeted reinforcements to the long-term EU budget for 2021-2027.

On 21 July 2020, EU heads of state or government reached a political agreement on the package. Since then, the European Parliament and the Council, and with the participation of the European Commission, held 11 trilateral political trilogues on the deal with the aim of fine-tuning the final parameters of the deal.

For More Information


MFF website

Questions and Answers

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EU budget: European Commission welcomes agreementEnglish (49.026 kB – PDF)Download (49.026 kB – PDF)

Government sets out world-leading new measures to protect rainforests

Press release

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Legislation will make it illegal for larger businesses to use products unless they comply with local laws to protect natural areas.Published 11 November 2020From:Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

A tropical rainforest
A tropical rainforest. Credit: Getty images

The UK will go further than ever before to clamp down on illegal deforestation and protect rainforests, the government has confirmed today, thanks to world-leading new laws being introduced through the landmark Environment Bill (11 November).

The move coincides with the publication of a new report setting out government’s approach to tackling deforestation linked to UK demand for products such as cocoa, rubber, soya, and palm oil. The report responds to the recommendations from the independent Global Resource Initiative Taskforce, which consulted over 200 leading businesses and organisations.

Combined, the package of measures will ensure that greater resilience, traceability and sustainability are built into the UK’s supply chains by working in partnership with other countries and supporting farmers to transition to more sustainable food and land use systems.

There were more than 60,000 responses to the government’s consultation, with 99% in favour of legislating on this critical issue.

One of the leading new measures is the introduction of a new law in the Environment Bill which will require greater due diligence from businesses, and make it illegal for UK businesses to use key commodities if they have not been produced in line with local laws protecting forests and other natural ecosystems.

80% of deforestation is linked to the expansion of agriculture, with land being cleared to make way for grazing animals and to grow crops. The UK imports over half of the food it consumes, and while in global terms the UK is a relatively small consumer of forest risk commodities such as cocoa, rubber, soya, and palm oil, we are leaving an ever-larger footprint on the world’s forests.

International Environment Minister, Lord Goldsmith, said:

In every conceivable way we depend on the natural world around us. Rainforests cool the planet, provide clean air and water, and are a haven for some of the most endangered species on Earth – and so protecting them must be a core priority.

Our new due diligence law is one piece of a much bigger package of measures that we are putting in place to tackle deforestation. Our intent is not just to take world-leading domestic measures, but to build a global alliance of countries committed to working together to protect the world’s precious forests.

Last month, nearly 80 countries signed the Leader’s Pledge for Nature, committing to reverse the destruction of nature by 2030. The UK played a key role in crafting the pledge, and as hosts of the next and all important UN Climate Conference, we have a chance to turn those powerful words into action.

CEO of Tesco UK & ROI, Jason Tarry, said:

Due diligence has an important role to play in halting deforestation, fighting climate change and protecting communities.

We welcome these new measures as an important first step towards creating a level playing field in the UK, aligned with Tesco’s goal of zero deforestation. We hope this encourages all businesses to do the right thing.

Sir Ian Cheshire, the chair of the independent taskforce, said:

We are at an extraordinary inflection point – governments are having to invest in recovery and have choices about how to invest to build back better. One of the ways we can do this is through our supply chains and what we buy.

The Government’s Response to our GRI Report recognises the responsibility of the UK to ensure we are not importing deforestation and contributing to further environmental crisis, but doing so in partnership with other countries to help them make this transition to sustainability.

The GRI Taskforce will continue to support and advise Government towards ambitious outcomes as it delivers on these commitments in the run up to the UN Climate Change Conference next year.

Executive Director of Tropical Forest Alliance, Justin Adams, said:

We welcome the recommendations of the GRI report which recognise both the importance but also the complexity of addressing tropical deforestation.

It’s heartening to see the UK Government already adopting some of the recommendations with the inclusion of due diligence legislation in the upcoming Environment Bill and building a new approach to partnership with forest countries with the Sustainable Land Use and Commodity Trade Dialogue as the leading component of the UK’s Nature Campaign for the upcoming UN Climate Summit in Glasgow next year.

CEO of the Green Finance Institute, Rhian Mari Thomas, said:

The success of this portfolio of initiatives from the GRI provides the UK with the opportunity to demonstrate global leadership and to catalyse much-needed change. Reversing tropical rain forest loss is essential to avoiding global temperature increases and biodiversity loss in the near future. The Green Finance Institute welcomes the ambition of the GRI recommendations and encourages government, business and the financial sector to match this ambition with action.

Through private and public sector collaboration we can support the transition away from supply chains which contribute to deforestation and land conversion, and move to a system which rewards the protection and restoration of forests and biodiversity – whether that be the advancement of the Environment Bill or government-backed financial solutions which enable UK businesses and banks to support sustainable supply chains.

The Environment Bill, the UK’s landmark legislation to transform our environment, returned to Parliament on Tuesday 3 November. The Bill sets out a world-leading vision to allow our environment to prosper for future generations and ensure that we maintain and enhance our world-leading environmental protections.

Today’s report also details the Government’s wider package of measures to support countries and companies looking to reduce commodity drive deforestation, including through future trade policies, public procurement, and the development of a sustainable Food Service Sector Action Plan. Igniting change in the financial sector also features heavily in the government’s approach, including scaling up investment in sustainable land-use.

Alongside the domestic measures set out in today’s report, the UK Government will capitalise on its forthcoming presidency of the UN Climate Change summit next year in Glasgow to accelerate a global transition to more sustainable supply chains by bringing together producer and consumer countries of forest risk commodities to share perspectives and take action.

Today’s announcement sets the tone for the ambitions of COP26 whilst driving forward a transition to sustainable patterns of production and consumption, a key commitment in the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, signed at the UN General Assembly in September this year.

Further background  

  • The law will also mean businesses will need to be more transparent about where they source key commodities from, and businesses that fail to comply will be subject to fines, with the precise level to be set at a later date through secondary legislation.
  • We will move swiftly to bring this legislation into force, laying the necessary secondary legislation shortly after COP26, where we will be forging an alliance of governments from around the world to agree a new approach to tackling this problem.
  • Almost 50% of all recent tropical deforestation was caused by illegal deforestation for commercial agriculture and timber plantations – but this is much higher in some regions, with over 90% of deforestation being illegal in some of the world’s most important forests.
  • Defra, BEIS and FCDO jointly commissioned the Global Resource Initiative (GRI) in 2018 and in March 2020, delivering on a commitment in the 25 Year Environment Plan to find ways of reducing the UK’s environmental footprint. The taskforce published its final report in March 2020, which featured 14 recommendations for ambitious actions to reduce the climate and environment impacts of key UK supply chains. 
  • The GRI Taskforce has looked at ways in which the production, trade and consumption of commodity agricultural and forestry products needs to change to ensure it is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable for all including farmers, foresters, communities and indigenous peoples, and in particular, women. There is a specific focus on the impacts of deforestation linked to key commodities for the UK including soya, palm oil, timber, pulp & paper, beef & leather, rubber, and cocoa.

Stora Enso and Tetra Pak to explore the building of a recycling line for used beverage cartons

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PUBLISHED 10 NOVEMBER 2020Stora Enso and Tetra Pak are joining forces to explore the possibility of building a new recycling line to significantly increase the recycling of used beverage cartons in Central and Eastern Europe.

The two partners are initiating a feasibility study to assess the viability of building a large-scale recycling line for Used Beverage Cartons (UBC) at Stora Enso’s Ostrołęka Mill in Poland. In the model Stora Enso would pulp and separate the fibers from used beverage cartons at its Ostrołęka Mill and use the recycled fibres as a raw material, while Tetra Pak would secure the recycling and reuse of polymers and aluminium which shall be processed by a dedicated partner. If realised, the annual capacity of the new recycling line would be 50 000 tonnes of UBC. This would be a significant increase in recycling capacity for beverage cartons across Europe, boosting the European beverage carton recycling rate from the current 51%. In the first stage the recycled post-consumer beverage carton material would come from countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

“A new line would be the next step in the circularity of packaging materials, in helping make our customers’ brands circular. Beverage cartons are widely recycled in Europe today and we want to use our knowledge of fibers and board to promote and accelerate the recycling and collection of beverage carton materials. Our process at Ostrołęka Mill already uses recycled (OCC) materials. We are interested in developing the already well functioning recycling system and using high-quality UBC fibers,” says Markku Luoto, VP LPB Aseptic and CUK, Stora Enso.

“Working with partners along the value chain is our number one priority when it comes to driving collection and recycling of used beverage cartons. We are confident that this partnership will allow us to improve Europe’s recycling infrastructure and further increase the recycling rate of UBC in the region. It is through synergies like this one that we will be able to lead the sustainability transformation and achieve a low-carbon circular economy,” says Guillaume Latourrette, Managing Director, Tetra Pak East Europe.

The feasibility study is expected to be completed in six months, after which the possible decisions about the project and timeline would be confirmed.For further information, please contact:
Mandi Alaterä
SVP Communications, Stora Enso Packaging Materials division

A Toxic Work Culture is forcing your Best Employees to Quit!


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Whenever a boss acts like a dictator – shutting down, embarrassing, or firing anyone who dares to challenge the status quo – you’ve got a toxic workplace problem. And that’s not just because of the boss’ bad behavior, but because that behavior creates an environment in which everyone is scared, intimidated and often willing to throw their colleagues under the bus, just to stay on the good side of the such bosses.

A toxic company culture will erode an organization by paralyzing its workforce, diminishing its productivity and stifling creativity and innovation. Now more than ever business leaders need to be addressing issues of workplace toxicity. It makes the difference in retaining good staff and also whether your company fails or succeeds. Employees aren’t afraid to jump ship when faced with a toxic workplace—and it’s usually your high performers who will go first.

The biggest concern for any organization should be when their most passionate people become quiet.

10 Signs your workplace culture is Toxic

  • Company core values do not serve as the basis for how the organization functions.
  • Employee suggestions are discarded. People are afraid to give honest feedback.
  • Micromanaging -Little to no autonomy is given to employees in performing their jobs.
  • Blaming and punishment from management is the norm.
  • Excessive absenteeism, illness and high employee turn over.
  • Overworking is a badge of honor and is expected.
  • Little or strained interaction between employees and management.
  • Gossiping and/or social cliques.
  • Favoritism and office politics.
  • Aggressive or bullying behavior.

What’s the cure for a toxic work culture?

While toxic work cultures are the end result of many factors, it’s generally a combination of poor leadership and individuals who perpetuate the culture. It starts with those at the top. Leaders must show – Respect, Integrity, Authenticity, Appreciation, Empathy and Trust.

Toxicity in the workplace is costly. Unhappy or disengaged employees cost companies billions of dollars each year in lost revenues, settlements and other damages. Once you identify the major problems by gathering information. Develop a plan and follow through. It may mean training, moving or simply getting rid of bad bosses who are the root cause of toxicity in the work place. Show employees you care and are committed to improving their workplace environment. Your employees can be your greatest asset but it all depends on how you treat them.

 Leading the Workforce of the Future