Tag Archives: Living environment

European Companies Accelerating Digital Transition and Sustainability Will Recover Faster From the COVID-19 Crisis, Finds Research from Accenture | Business | Instant News

DAVOS, Switzerland – (BUSINESS WIRE) – 25 Jan 2021–

European companies that are accelerating their digital transition and sustainability are likely to recover faster and emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, according to a new report. report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

According to the report, the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in differences in the resilience and growth prospects of European companies:

  • Half (49%) of European companies have reported declines in earnings or profits over the past 12 months and do not expect improvement in the next 12 months.
  • A fifth (19%) of European companies had strong financial performance before the pandemic but now expect negative earnings or profit growth in the next 12 months. The report referred to these companies as “fallen angels.”
  • One-third (32%) of European companies expect to deliver profitable growth in the next 12 months. The report describes these companies as “future leaders”.

The report shows that companies that lead in digital adoption and sustainable practices are nearly three times more likely than other companies to be among the “leaders of tomorrow,” and so recover faster and emerge stronger from the crisis.

“The digital transformation defined the business landscape in the 2010s, and companies leading this transformation with speed and scale are winning,” said Jean-Marc Ollagnier, CEO of Accenture in Europe. “We are entering a decade ushering in a new wave of business change defined by a sustainable transition. How European companies manage this ‘twin transformation’ will determine how quickly they will recover from the crisis and how well they will be positioned to sustain growth in a post-pandemic world. “

According to research, nearly half (45%) of European businesses prioritize investing in both digital transformation and sustainability. Specifically, 40% of European respondents plan to invest heavily in artificial intelligence, 37% plan to invest heavily in the cloud, and 31% plan to rebalance their investment to focus more on sustainable business models.

European companies are unsure about their 2021 growth targets

The report noted that less than half (45%) of European businesses expect to reach their 2021 growth target. Those in Great Britain, France and Germany are among the most optimistic, with 59%, 52% and 51% of respondents in those countries, respectively, expecting to hit their 2021 targets. Respondents in Italy and Spain were among the most pessimistic, with only 34% and 31%, respectively, expecting to reach their 2021 growth targets.

“Even companies that recognize business opportunities to accelerate their digital and sustainable transitions face obstacles at various stages of this twin transformation journey,” said Ollagnier. “These challenges include defining viable business models around sustainable practices and products, freeing up resources to better mobilize organizations, and moving rapidly from pilot and closed-door projects to large-scale and enterprise initiatives.”

The report suggests some strategic steps companies should take to overcome these barriers and successfully carry out twin transformations. This includes:

  • Fostering an ecosystem-based business model that is driven by sustainability and made possible by technology: The twin transformation leaders already generate more than 10% of their income this way.
  • Combine resources to scale technology applications to sustainable practices: The twin transformation leaders invest more in overall innovation, allocating more than 10% of their annual revenue to research and development. They also recognize that sustainability and technology are not separate priorities.
  • Leading, empowering, and nurturing talent: The twin transformation leaders are responsible for the continuity of their employees’ work. They don’t waste effort reskilling / upskilling their workforce, understanding that building and nurturing talent is essential to turning transformation into real business value.

“There’s a reason why DNA is a double helix,” said Ollagnier. “The spiral structure of the molecules that form the basis of life is essential for replication, adaptation – and development. It is a powerful metaphor for business amid two parallel transitions that twist the laws of evolution in dynamic yet unstoppable ways: digital transformation and sustainability. European businesses that continue to follow well-traveled paths will see others gain a competitive advantage by tapping into the dynamic interactions at the heart of their DNA. Or they can join them by unlocking the value that lies in blending innovative technology with traditional European strengths of sustainability, solidarity and purpose. “

The study is based on a survey of 4,051 C-suite executives in 13 countries across 19 industries. The survey was conducted in November 2020 and includes companies with annual revenues exceeding US $ 500 million. The industries represented include: aerospace and defense; airlines / travel / transportation; automotive; banking; capital market; communication / media / entertainment; chemical material; consumer goods; energy; health; high technology; industrial goods & equipment; Coverage; pharmaceutical / biotech / life sciences; public service; retail; software / platform; and utilities. The countries represented include Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.

Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialist expertise in more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services – all supported by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 514,000 people fulfill the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and mutual success for our clients, employees, shareholders, partners and our communities. Visit us at www.accenture.com.



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In Brazil For 30 Years, This Indian Lawyer Has Dedicated His Life To Save The Amazon Forest | Instant News

Shaji Thomas, a Keralite who landed in Brazil in 1989 on a scholarship, is now a football-mad citizen. In Brazil, he took a doctorate and completed three postdoctoral studies. He also has a law degree and is the only practicing lawyer from India in the South American country. He has become a major environmental activist and even lives in a houseboat on the Amazon river.

Here are some excerpts from an exclusive interview with IANS:

You have been a citizen of Brazil for 30 years now. What do you think about this country?

I came to Sao Paulo at the end of 1989 under an overseas training program. When I came here, the country was shaken by high inflation (more than 5,000 percent per year). Although the country is extraordinarily rich, the level of corruption is also high. The right-wing government, which has ruled for years, favors the rich class. Brazil is three times the size of India and contains nearly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest. The gap between the rich and the poor is very clear in Brazil.

The political situation here changed in 2004, when the Left government under Luiz Inacio Lula was elected president of the country. In fact, under his rule, the country witnessed many changes and millions of people emerged from poverty. Social movements also strengthened under his rule. But at the same time, political alliances with the right pushed the country back into poverty and then the government changed. After Lula, the Left government was weak and the right-wing movement gained momentum. This led to the impeachment of Left President Dilma Roussef and criminal conviction of former President Lula.

In 2018, a far-right government was elected under the leadership of Bolsanaro, a former soldier. Poverty increased under his rule.

The Amazon forest is the main reason for the global environmental balance. You have been active in protecting the Amazon and its forests. Tell us about this movement.

As soon as I came to Brazil, I had a wonderful social experience with landless / homeless people living here and seeing other social movements here. I also visited the Amazon in 1990 for the first time and had the opportunity to live with the traditional tribal people there. Amazon’s vast forests and natural resources have attracted large numbers of people from all over the world. Apart from squatters and logging companies, there are large mining companies and drug dealers on the Amazon.

The pressure of Amazon economic exploration and forest protection always creates conflict and a number of social and environmental activists have lost their lives in the conflict. There are more than 3,000 tribal communities (red Indians) and communities of African origin in the forest and these people are very dependent on forest resources. Also, there are hundreds of towns and cities on the banks of the Amazon River and its tributaries. Since 1950, there has been a massive shift to the Amazon organized by the military government that has opened up forest roads.

After the 1988 military rule, there was a change in the conception of the Amazon forest, but conflicts still occur between many groups. When the Left government came to power, the Amazon was under strong protection but in the new regime, illegal occupation increased.

After reaching Brazil, you have struggled because of the language barrier. How do you handle it?

I didn’t know about Brazilian Portuguese when I arrived in Brazil. The Brazilian greeted me with “Bom dia” (good morning) after I reached Sao Paulo. I don’t know about the language and culture.

A Japanese teacher gave me initial Portuguese classes but most of the language I learned was through my daily interactions with local people here. After two years of my local experience, I have now succeeded in understanding and writing Portuguese and I am starting my graduation in theology at a university in Sao Paulo.

The current president of Brazil is not taking Covid seriously, he has also permitted the cutting of trees in the Amazon. Has this country turned itself into a banana republic?

President Bolsonaro is deeply influenced by the ideology of former American president Trump. With extreme right ideology and support of fascist ideas, he became a negationist in science. He is promoting Cloroquine treatment for Covid-19 and he has been very inactive in supporting the Brazilian vaccine for Covid.

With his administration, most environmental laws were changed, and Amazon monitoring was at its lowest level. The burning of the Amazon forest has increased and in the last year we lost about 15,000 square km of the Amazon forest due to mining, timber traffic, agro-industrial use. Less than 5 percent of environmental fines are paid in his government. The real Minister of the Environment is supported exclusively by landlords and big companies who are very interested in exploring the Amazon. During lockdown and pandemic situations, Amazon’s damage increases. The government is also trying to weaken social and environmental movements in the Amazon region by cutting economic and political support. Most of the funding for research work on the Amazon has also been withdrawn by the government.

You have been involved in environmental conservation since childhood, then who is your inspiration?

I was born to a farming family who owns a lot of land and lives in the middle of a village in Ramapuram, Palai in the Kottayam district. My uncle lived a high distance and I used to go to that area during my childhood. My father is a local politician and social worker with a passion for environmental protection. He is a great inspiration to me. But when I graduated at Mysore university, I developed a great interest in the Amazon jungle and always dreamed of visiting there. As soon as I reached Brazil, I visited Amazon. My first visit to the Amazon was very inspiring because I was able to live with the tribal and river communities in the Amazon. So, as soon as I finished my studies in Sao Paulo, I chose to work for Amazon.

What are the chances of the current Brazilian government retaining power?

The government is losing support due to its inaction over the Covid-19 pandemic, despite enjoying 35 percent support. The death toll has reached more than two lakhs and is one of the few countries that started vaccinations recently. The economic situation is also not in favor of the government with a high inflation rate. The lack of public policies for environmental and health issues has drained public support for the government. Many ministers are associated with military personnel. In addition, changes in government in the US have a clear effect on the country’s upcoming elections. People are disillusioned by the current government and its disastrous social, environmental and economic policies.

What is your main activity in Brazil?

Until 2008, I frequently visited tribal and local communities in Para state, in the Amazon, while working with social justice. During these years, I traveled hundreds of kilometers in the Amazon by road and river and even lived in houseboats on the Amazon river for many years.

Since 2008, I started studying law and in 2013 passed the bar exam in Brazil. I am the only person from India who is a lawyer in Brazil. At the same time, while studying law, I earned a Masters in the Environment and a PhD in sustainable development. I also started research on natural resource governance and local community participation.

In the last six years, I conducted three post-doctoral studies on the effects of climate change and its impact on natural resource governance in the Amazon. My five books on climate change, natural resource governance, environmental law, etc. Also published. Apart from my research, I also provide judicial assistance to local communities on land and environmental issues. I also participate in the biodiversity community in Guiana Shield which includes eight countries that share the Amazon.

I have been part of seminars on social and environmental issues at universities in South America and other countries. This month, I moved to a city in the heart of the Amazon jungle and the banks of the Amazon River. I chose this to be close to the local people and support their fight for their rights. There are many land and environmental conflicts in the Amazon and local and indigenous communities are suffering from this. On the one hand, we have accelerated the destruction of the Amazon forest due to mining, land grabbing, timber exports, soybean plantations, livestock grazing, etc. And on the other hand, we experience the social destruction of the tribal people whose land and resources are used. by the invaders.

As an activist, academic, and lawyer, what do you think about the unpleasant problems that arise with environmental protection?

As an environmental activist and scientist, I believe that humanity can only be saved by saving our nature. I did extensive climate research and I can affirm that the adverse effects of climate change and the destruction of our planet are man-made and if we don’t change our attitudes and actions we are digging our own graves. We cannot save our nature without the effective participation of local communities and we need more pro-environment public policies. Fascist governments only side with capitalists and we don’t have a balance between destruction and resilience. The Amazon forest’s auto resilience capacity is at the edge and we need urgent intervention to protect the forest and its inhabitants.

Will the new democratic government in the US help the global environment?

We need a new democratic government where people can have effective participation in decision making. We need investment in innovation and technology with the participation of local wisdom of traditional communities. Despite efforts to address environmental concerns globally, a lack of initiative in countries such as Brazil and the US has undermined these efforts.

As an environmental and social activist, I’ve decided to dedicate my life to the Amazon and its local people, generating knowledge and sharing it. I know I had to face a lot of challenges while doing it, but my belief that we need Amazon is much stronger than any challenge.


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The Australian PM is reluctant to commit to a medium term climate goal: The Australian | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Japan, 17 November 2020. REUTERS / Issei Kato

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Australian government is in no rush to sign a net zero carbon emission target by 2050, although it recognizes the importance of working towards that goal, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in an interview published on Saturday.

Morrison’s conservative government, in a surprise policy shift last month, said it would achieve its 2030 carbon emissions pledge under the Paris climate agreement without counting carbon credits from over-achieving previous climate targets.

But in an interview with The Australian newspaper, Morrison said he would not take his new 2030 or 2035 emission reduction targets to the United Nations main climate conference in Glasgow in November.

“It’s about whether you can produce hydrogen at the right cost, it’s about whether (carbon capture and storage) can be done at the right cost, whether we can produce low-emission steel and aluminum at the right cost,” the paper quoted Morrison as saying.

“That’s how you get to net zero. You don’t get there just by having a commitment. That’s where the discussion should lead, and I think (US President Joe) Biden’s administration is giving the opportunity to really pursue that with a little enthusiasm. “

Australia’s emissions are now projected to be 29% below 2005 levels by 2030, compared with the Paris agreement target to reduce carbon emissions of between 26% and 28%, based on recent growth in renewable energy and what could be achieved under A $ 18 billion ($ 14 billion) technology investment plans outlined by the government in September.

“We all want to be there,” said Morrison. “It’s not about politics anymore, it’s about technology.”

He added that the timetable for committing to a net-zero-emissions target would depend on “where the science is and where our assessments are based on technology”.

($ 1 = 1.2960 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Lidia; Edited by William Mallard


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Italy’s A2A spends 16 billion euros in green drives | Instant News

MILANO (Reuters) – Italy’s largest regional utility company, A2A, will spend 16 billion euros ($ 19.45 billion) between now and 2030 to reduce its carbon footprint and grow its waste and water business.

Under its new 10-year plan, the Milan-based utility said it aims to cut its carbon emissions by 47% from 2017 levels and to double its renewable capacity to 5.7 gigawatts through more than 4 billion euros of investment and acquisitions.

The group, which has about 970 megawatts of coal capacity, said it aims to phase out coal-fired power plants by 2022, ahead of the national target set for 2025.

It will spend 6 billion euros on waste management and water businesses and aims to become a significant European player.

“This is a solid foundation that will allow us to create a strategic infrastructure, innovative and essential for the country’s growth and relaunch, to be ambitious and looking to Europe,” said A2A CEO Renato Mazzoncini.

At 1005 GMT A2A the share was up more than 4%.

Utilities across Europe are investing in renewable energy and grids as governments seek to power economies to meet climate targets.

A2A, which is controlled by the cities of Milan and Brescia, said it would double its core revenue to 2.5 billion euros by the end of the plan from 1.18 billion euros expected for 2020. Net income will grow by more than 8% annually.

The growing margins will allow it to increase its dividend for 2020 to at least 8 euro cents and at least 8.2 euro cents for 2021, he said.

The utility company, which plans to create 6,000 new jobs during the plan period, said that after 2022, dividends will grow at least 3% per year.

“… the targets for the next 3 years are quite in line with consensus, while the company expects a very aggressive growth assumption beyond … There is a tremendous increase in the projected total capital spending,” Mediobanca Securities said.

Reporting by Giancarlo Navach, written by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Giulia Segreti and Barbara Lewis


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