Maybe it’s becoming business as usual for companies to take an ESG approach to their operations and strategy. This week’s prevailing ESG issue is business operations, a significant theme that cuts across various sectors. We take a look at some interesting storylines pertaining to electric vehicles, emissions targets and continuing demand for renewable energy development.
One of the most significant themes that we are focused on continues to be the impact that ESG issues are having on business operations. In this week’s Top Movers, we highlight three companies that stood out on our ESG Safeguard platform. These companies all operate in different markets but show the impact that ESG themes are having on business operations. It has become the norm rather than the exception. From capital goods development to electric vehicle production, shifting markets are something companies are responding to with an ESG focus.
Honda (7267:JP) has been active this week unveiling a variety of new initiatives around electric vehicles and circular economies. The primary objective the company announced is to have 100% of sales as electric cars by 2030. Previously, the company was aiming for 2040, but now has bumped that deadline up by a decade. The first market Honda plans to go entirely electric is in China, and will be rolling out electric vehicles in that market spring of 2022. In the U.S., Honda will be bringing EVs to market in 2024. The Japanese auto manufacturer is just the latest to start playing catchup when it comes to low-carbon transportation.
Another interesting idea Honda has been workshopping, around rapid prototyping, was seen this week. Working with Italian 3D printing company WASP, Honda is using 3D printed clay for concept vehicles. When finished with the prototype design, the clay can be recycled and printed again, cutting down on costs for R&D and reducing waste. Honda is just one of WASP’s partners and the company has been involved in 3D printing materials for buildings among other things. ESG initiatives are not just about reducing emissions and finding creative ways to cut down on costs through ideas that may seem novel in the short-term, but could be a way to gain a competitive advantage in the long-run.
Back in August we covered eBay (EBAY) when they signed a power purchase agreement to supply their energy needs in Louisiana from a solar project being developed by BP. This month they have stated they will be furthering their efforts towards reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 90% for 2030. Additionally they are making a pledge to reduce Scope 3 emissions by 20% for 2030. This is arguably the harder and more important of the three Scopes since it includes emissions from shipping and transportation downstream of the sales from their online marketplace. These emissions are harder to track and with shipping relying on fossil fuels largely, Scope 3 can be more of a challenge to address. Still, some commitment to this end is a worthy goal and should set eBay on the road to some success in this area.
General Electric (GE) continues to show that when it comes to wind turbines they are a go-to player in the market. The company secured new wind turbine orders from Vattenfall AB and SwifterwinT in the Netherlands for a 132 MW project. This highlights the market penetration GE has in Europe on the heels of expanding wind turbine production in the UK. As renewable energy projects continue to develop, capital goods providers like GE will continue to fill the demand for the input materials and parts.
Although Honda, eBay and GE compete in different markets, they all showed up on our Top Movers feature this week due to initiatives they are taking to further their ESG aims. Some companies like eBay are working to reduce their emissions, other companies are profiting from the boom in demand for renewable energy projects like General Electric.
Honda shows us that there is always room for innovation and creativity with their 3D printing collaboration. No matter what a company accomplishes there is always something they can be doing more creatively, smarter, or efficiently. This week these companies show us that it is not just a possibility, but becoming business as usual for companies that take an ESG approach to their operations and strategy.
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Watch our follow-up to Climate Week webinar where we put theory into practice leveraging our new Materiality analysis to debrief Climate Week 2021. We addressed who might be greenwashing, reviewed the positive narratives from the last 12 months, and discussed who spoke to noteworthy commitments, investments, or milestones in this year’s event. We were joined again with special guest Jean Rogers, Founder of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and one of the world’s leading ESG experts.
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This communication does not represent investment advice. Transcript text provided by FACTSET and S&P Global Market Intelligence.
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