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Invert Insights February 16, 2024

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  • Moody’s Rolls Out New Scoring System of Companies’ Net Zero Transition Plans
  • Google Joins Mission to Map Methane From Space
  • Canadian Watchdog Receives Complaints About Environmental Claims by Shell, RBC, Enbridge

Moody’s Rolls Out New Scoring System of Companies’ Net Zero Transition Plans

Officially launched last year, Moody’s Net Zero Assessment (NZA)

provides an assessment of the strength of a company’s carbon emissions reduction profile relative to a global net zero pathway consistent with the Paris Agreement’s most ambitious goals, considering the entity’s ambitions, as well as its plan and governance around emission reductions. The NZAs use a 5-point scale from NZ-1 (highest score) to NZ-5 (lowest score).

For its first NZA, Moody’s assigned Italian energy infrastructure provider Snam’s climate transition plan with a score of “NZ-3” or ‘significant,’ with the company’s ambition rated as “well below 2°C,” consistent with the Paris Agreement goals, and its implementation as “solid,” with its action plan on Scope 1 and 2 emissions based on proven and easy-to-scale-up technology, but partly offset by implementation hurdles for its Scope 3 emissions, including having a relatively high share of emissions arising from hard-to-control sources.

Invert Insights:

There is often inconsistency in disclosure requirements and overall scoring across various agencies raising challenges in comparing decarbonization plans across companies. NZAs provide an independent metric to compare decarbonization plans allowing companies to better understand their role in global decarbonization and where they can do better.

Google Joins Mission to Map Methane From Space

Tech giant Google is backing a satellite project due to launch in March which will collect data on methane levels around the world. The new project, a collaboration with the Environmental Defense Fund, a non-profit global climate group, will capture data by satellite that will be processed by Google’s artificial intelligence tools and used to generate a methane map aimed at identifying methane leaks on oil and gas infrastructure around the world. The new satellite will orbit 300 miles above the Earth, 15 times per day and the map which will be published on Google Earth Engine every few weeks. 

While a significant amount of methane is produced by farming and waste disposal, the Google project will focus on methane emissions at oil and gas plants. It’s worth noting that the team would not specifically notify the company which owned the infrastructure responsible for it. “Our job is to make information available,” it said, adding that “governments and regulators would be among those with access to it and it would be for them to force any changes.”

Invert Insights:

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, with a much higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide in the short term. Monitoring and mitigating methane leaks are crucial to reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change. Methane leaks can also pose safety risks, as methane is flammable and explosive in certain concentrations. Tracking and addressing leaks help minimize harmful emissions as well as the potential for accidents, protecting both workers and the surrounding communities.

Canadian Watchdog Receives Complaints About Environmental Claims by Shell, RBC, Enbridge

The Canada Competition Bureau

 is actively investigating Greenwashing allegations against companies like Shell Canada, Enbridge Gas, Royal Bank of Canada, and six oil sands companies. These companies have been accused of using terms like “carbon neutral,” “clean energy,” and “net zero” in advertisements, potentially misleading consumers. These claims showed up in advertisements and other public messaging found everywhere from Canada’s Super Bowl broadcast to public transit to cell phone screens and people’s mailboxes. And according to complaints filed with the federal Competition Bureau, they were all examples of greenwashing.

As Canadians seek out eco-conscious products and services, the Competition Bureau is concerned greenwashing may harm “competition and innovation” because it results in people making less educated choices for themselves and their families. It means businesses that do offer genuinely sustainable products may lose potential customers to dirtier competitors, the bureau said. Environmental Defence, for example, has argued that greenwashing over natural gas could lead consumers to rely on fossil fuels for heating over heat pumps.

Invert Insights: 

If large companies, especially those providing essential services and products, continue to engage in greenwashing, the concern is that it will divert attention and resources away from legitimate environmentally friendly practices. This undermines the efforts of companies that genuinely prioritize sustainability and could erode consumer trust. When consumers feel deceived by false environmental claims, they may become skeptical of all sustainability efforts, making it challenging for companies who are genuinely doing good to gain consumer trust.

Keep Reading:

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🗄 Nearly Half of Companies Still Using Spreadsheets to Manage ESG Data: KPMG Survey

🔋Why 7 Competing Automakers Teamed up to Establish a New EV Charging Network

🌲European Parliament Committees Adopt Rules on Corporate Voluntary Carbon Credit Use