Sancroft Monthly Insight: December Edition

Sancroft Monthly Insight: December Edition
17th December 2020 Judy Kuszewski
In Insights

It’s finally here! Nearly time to turn the page on 2020, and not a moment too soon. And what better way to look back on the year that was than with Sancroft’s holiday-edition newsletter?

The drive to a net zero-emissions future by 2050 – in line with the Paris agreement – shows no sign of slowing down. Just this week, a group of 30 of the world’s largest investors, with over US$9trn in assets under management, announced a joint commitment to set targets for their portfolios to achieve the 2050 ambition. But even as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Paris agreement, making substantial progress can be much harder – with ongoing concern that businesses are falling short of what is truly necessary.

So this month’s newsletter features an article by our director, Dom de Ville, who asks: Is carbon offsetting a viable tool in a company’s transition to net-zero emissions? Dom examines the different types of offsets available, the challenges and pitfalls in using them as part of a robust net zero strategy, and offers a few hints about how to get started.

Global commodities supply chains continue to be the focus of so many efforts to eradicate poor practices and secure sustainable credentials for a vast array of the products we buy – and this week’s headlines focusing on alleged slave labour in cotton production demonstrates why. Most textiles and other products made from cotton come from multiple sources, constantly mixing, making it exceedingly difficult to know with certainty whether the products we buy are the products of forced labour.

Businesses need much better information about the provenance of the materials they purchase, and governments and society generally need accountability for the basic standards these materials meet. The last few months have seen a flurry of activity towards upcoming legislation that would make it mandatory for businesses using certain materials to conduct environmental and/or social due diligence to provide that accountability. Our Analyst Rachel Horigan dived into the subject to help you answer the question: How prepared is your business for mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence measures?

And while we are on the subject, my letter in the FT last week argues that sustainability reporting is an essential complement to financial reporting, and must also become a mandatory exercise. Do you agree?

To close out the year, our Senior Analyst Robyn Lockyer has a round-up of 2020 in sustainability news and we share our recommendations from what’s been on our reading and listening lists lately.

We’ll have lots more for you when we return in 2021. On behalf of Sancroft, I wish you all a safe, healthy, peaceful and sustainable holiday.

At Sancroft we seek to challenge business to think differently and to make sustainable profits they can be proud of. I hope our insights inform and inspire you to drive change in your organisation. Please do get in touch to find out how we can help.

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