Here’s some positive environmental news to help you through these dark November days. Covid-19 has “hastened the trend” towards ethical and sustainable investments according to Alice Ross in the Financial Times. A survey by RBC Global Asset Management has found that more than 25% of professional investors are prioritising “environmental, social and governance” considerations with “climate-aware” funds particularly popular. According to The Week, from January to September 2020, €37bn went into climate aware funds compared to €12bn last year.
This seems to be backed by recent funding events. For example, the UK government announced it’s giving £49m for green automotive projects that include electric motorcycles, zero-emission busses, and a battery manufacturing facility. It comes off the back of a £2.5bn support package to encourage the expansion of electric vehicles and the announcement on 18 November that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2030.
Furthermore, the government is providing £134m worth of support to clean-tech startups. Companies that will benefit include Rovco, a Bristol-based startup that develops marine technology to autonomously inspect offshore wind turbines, and KegTracker from our local Pontypridd in Wales, who are looking to use AI software to reduce the amount of waste in the brewing industry. An issue you’d imagine isn’t much of an issue in Wales; beer wastage is not looked kindly upon here.
Others like Argyll-based Oceanium, a company that turns seaweed into food and compostable packaging, and Manchester-based Robtiz3D that develops robots to patrol, detect, and repair potholes on roads as soon as they appear, have also received funding.
These are of course miniscule drops in the vast ocean of change needed to help the world’s environmental problems, but they are the right kind of drops that need to be continually encouraged.
Have you heard?
Everyday is payday for PayPal employees
PayPal have become the first major company to pay their staff daily instead of every two weeks after looking at the spending habits of their lowest paid workers. The company found many were living paycheck to paycheck and relying on expensive borrowing; paying daily allows workers to automatically budget, grow their savings, and have full transparency of their earnings.
Japanese startup developing ‘smart’ face mask
Finding it difficult to communicate whilst wearing a face mask? A Japanese startup has developed a mask to amplify speech whilst being able to translate into eight languages using a microphone and bluetooth app. This should allow people to hold conversations from ten metres away and is going on sale next year for a respectable £29. Fingers crossed we won’t need it then.
TT’s Top Story
London-based Convex Insurance have secured commitments for a further $1bn of equity capital, which means they have now raised $2.7bn in the 18 months since their launch. Hiring is expected as they use the funding to support their growth.
App of the week
Ecosia are a search engine that plants trees. Literally. They use ad revenue from search ads to plant trees for free, and are CO2 positive as solar panels power their servers so that each search removes 1kg of CO2 from the atmosphere. 112 million trees have already been planted by using this search engine. Wave goodbye to Google.
Word of the week
Using or expressed in more words than are needed.
‘The candidate’s CV was confusing and verbose’