Active Super and Vision Super Sign Merger MOU

Active Super and Vision Super have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and will undertake due diligence to decide if a merger is in the best financial interests of members of both funds. The two superannuation funds are profit-to-member funds of a similar size that service current and former local government employees in NSW and Victoria. 

Active Super is one of six Australian funds to be certified carbon neutral by Climate Active and has won the SuperRatings Infinity Award seven times for its environmental and ethical responsibility. If a merger proceeds, the fund will manage around $26 billion on behalf of around 169,000 member accounts.

NSW Circular becomes an independent not for profit

NSW government research and innovation network NSW Circular has transitioned into a new independent not for profit Circular Australia. The government-funded body ??is created by the office of NSW chief scientist and engineer and hosted by UNSW Sydney to support change away from waste and towards a circular economy.

Green bonds exceed forecasts in emerging markets 

A new report has revealed that the global market for green bonds exceeded most forecasts in emerging markets and developing economies in 2021. European asset manager Amundi and World Bank GRoup member IFC published the Emerging Market Green Bonds Report 2021 that flags the rebound as a result of rising demand from both domestic and international investors, combined with expanded issuance by new and existing issuers. The value of green bonds issued in emerging markets and developing economies more than doubled in 2021 to a record $US95 billion from $41 billion in 2020. 

Pacific Green and Shell enter into energy optimisation agreement 

Shell Energy Europe has entered into an agreement with photovoltaic provider Pacific Green Technologies to provide dispatch trading and optimisation services for the 99.98 MW Richborough Energy Park battery energy storage system in the UK. 

Pacific Green Technologies is an American sustainable cleantech provider working to help solve climate warming, green energy and resource scarcity challenges. Shell vice president Europe and Africa, Tom Summers, said that the battery systems project will assist the UK’s transition to a flexible and low carbon energy system. 

GFANZ launches Asia-Pacific network for financial institutions’ move to net zero

Practitioner-led, global coalition of financial sector institutions the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) has announced the formation of an Asia-Pacific network, with the creation of a regional advisory board to accelerate net-zero action across Asia-Pacific, and the opening of its first Asia-Pacific office in Singapore supported by Singapore Exchange, Temasek and the Monetary Authority of Singapore

According to the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign, the Asia-Pacific requires $US13.6 trillion ($A19.5 trillion) in investment this decade to advance transition to net zero and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The network will support engagement with financial institutions and policymakers across the APAC region, and ensure that work towards net zero is inclusive and applicable to all. 

Zurich Insurance announces new sustainability targets 

Multinational insurance provider Zurich Insurance Group has announced new targets and initiatives towards sustainability in Australia and New Zealand. The company aims to reduce emissions from its local operations by 60 per cent by 2025 and 76 per cent by 2029. It plans to reduce emissions from printed paper by 70 per cent by 2025 and reduce the carbon intensity of its local investment portfolio by 25 per cent by 2025 with the aim to have a carbon neutral portfolio by 2050. 

The company has divested from several high emitters identified in its portfolio, and has partnered with Reforest, an Australian platform that connects businesses and their customers to regenerate local ecosystems and absorb CO2.  

Auction activity in capital cities significantly lower

Auction activity was significantly lower in capital cities this week, reflecting challenging selling conditions, analysis from CoreLogic has found. In total, 1393 homes were taken to auction with a 58.5 per cent success rate. It was the lowest clearance rate for the year to date for most of the capital cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra.

Uber invests $26 million into Australia’s EV market

Uber has announced a $26 million investment into Australia’s EV market, in a bid to help push the needle to zero-emissions by 2040. The investment will provide a 50 per cent service reduction fee for driver-partners using battery electric vehicles on the platform until mid-2025.

Opportunity for environmental training in Melbourne metro area

Applications are now open for an environmental training program through the City of Stonnington, in Melbourne’s inner south east. The free program runs for 12 sessions from August to November, for community members who are passionate about the environment and creating local change. Successful applicants will engage in interactive training workshops with a range of experts, learn about the council’s environmental initiatives, and connect with local community groups and Traditional Owners. Applications for the City of Stonnington Environmental Champions program will close Sunday 10 July.

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