Each week, the Erb Institute shares a collection of news and updates regarding business sustainability. This month, the Erb Institute blog and social media are focusing on one of the Erb Institute thought leadership areas: Global change.

Sustainable Business News – 4/7/2018 – 4/13/2018

Global Change

It’s time to double down on decarbonization efforts


“The Easter bank holiday heralded bright news for green businesses and environmentalists in the United Kingdom.

Not only did new data reveal renewable’s share of electricity generation hit a record high of almost 30 percent in 2017, but provisional government statistics showed overall greenhouse gas emissions fell 2.6 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year.”

Climate resilience and agricultural prosperity

Erb Perspective Blog

“Climate change will continue to create enormous challenges for farmers, especially those that do not have the resources to adapt and rebuild. I recently spent 10 weeks as a summer associate with BSR in San Francisco and learned how crucial the prosperity of agriculture is to global businesses and their customers.

As a BSR intern, I had the opportunity to consult for multinational corporations leading a shift in how they act on the realities of climate change. BSR is a nonprofit organization that works with a network of more than 250 member companies to build a just and sustainable world. From offices in Asia, Europe and North America, the organization develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research and cross-sector collaboration.”

Counter Culture Coffee, Twin release climate adaptation toolkit for coffee farmers

Sustainable Brands

Climate change is predicted to reduce the amount of arable land suitable for growing coffee by 50% by 2050. Climatic changes are already impacting coffee production around the world, threatening the global supply, and the endangering the livelihoods of the 25 million families who depend on its production.

Sustaining these livelihoods and the supply of coffee requires farmers to adapt to these changes. To aid in that effort, Counter Culture Coffee teamed up with UK NGO Twin and Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University in North Carolina to produce an open-source toolkit that helps users plan and facilitate a climate change adaptation workshop with coffee farmers.”

The world faces a future of floods, famine, and extreme heat — here’s what it’ll take to bounce back

Business Insider

As the ocean becomes warmer and more acidic, fragile environments like coral reefs that huge proportions of ocean life depend on could collapse entirely. Scientists at institutions like Mote Marine Laboratory are coming up with ways to regrow coral reefs — fragile environments that take up less than 1% of the sea floor but provide habitats that a quarter of marine life depends on at some point. They’ve developed ways to regrow corals that take a century to form in just a few years.

Wind and solar power are also becoming cheaper and more efficient, something that’s essential to transition away from fossil fuels and to more stable power grids that will withstand the impact of huge storms.”

Massachusetts court rules in favor of attorney general in Exxon climate change case


“ExxonMobil Corp. lost its bid to block Massachusetts’ attorney general from obtaining records to look into whether the company concealed its knowledge of the role fossil fuels play with climate change.

In its decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Friday affirmed a lower court’s ruling that state Attorney General Maura Healey (D) has authority to investigate Exxon. The court ordered the oil company to hand over documents to the attorney general’s office as part of her investigation into the company’s history of climate deception.”

Why more businesses should reassess the voluntary carbon market


“Two years on from the Paris Agreement in 2015, one of the most encouraging developments has been the engagement of the corporate world in tackling climate change. Dozens of private-sector initiatives have sprung up or accelerated. Hundreds of leading global companies have proposed, or are working on, science-based targets in line with the climate goals enshrined in Paris. Billions of dollars are being invested in low-carbon technologies.”

Farms could turn to robots to cope with climate change

Bloomberg Technology

“Agribusiness companies may be on the cusp of a buying spree in technology as climate change emerges as the biggest disrupting element for the business.

Technological improvements from boosting crop yields to data-tracking systems will be required in coming decades as companies adapt to shifts in weather patterns, according to BMI Research. That may increasingly push agribusiness companies, especially grain handlers and input firms, into acquiring agritech startups.”Do you want to contribute to the conversation? Tweet us @erbinstitute!