COFCO International joins sustainability group WBCSD
Agricultural commodities dealer COFCO International has joined nearly 200 forward-thinking companies as the newest member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
Headquartered in Geneva, COFCO International handles over 100 million tons of agricultural commodities each year. With 12,000 people in 35 countries, COFCO International is the overseas agriculture business platform for COFCO Corporation, China's largest food and agriculture company. The WBCSD partnership is part of COFCO International’s work to contribute to a sustainable global food supply chain.
COFCO International also becomes a member of WBCSD’s Soft Commodities Forum (SCF) which includes founding members Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), and Glencore Agriculture who have recently joined the SCF. The first focus area of the SCF is to tackle soy production land use challenges in the Brazilian Cerrado.
By connecting with WBCSD’s network of forward-thinking businesses across a variety of sectors, COFCO International can make a true impact on global corporate sustainability.
Mr Johnny Chi, Chairman of COFCO International, states: “As a fast-growing global agri-business, we are committed to playing an integral part in the world’s food system over the long term, building on our core values of partnership and sustainability. WBCSD offers a platform for further collaboration with stakeholders across various industries with the common goal of feeding a growing global population sustainably.”
WBCSD President and CEO Peter Bakker says: “Transformation of the global food system is essential and will cover a wide array of sustainability targets. It’s not simply about reducing emissions in this sector – addressing malnutrition, providing healthy diets and improving the livelihoods and resilience of small farmers is just as urgent.”
“As one of the world’s largest agri-businesses, the inclusion of COFCO International towards these efforts is vital. Mr Chi has already overseen an impressive focus on sustainability across the company. I look forward to working with Mr Chi and his team to scale up these efforts in tandem with our other member companies in this sector and with our Council of over 200 leading businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.