Newsletter #4

If I were to choose only one piece of news to share this month, it would certainly be the success of Fridays for Future, the movement that was inspired by the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg to call for climate action. March 15th saw more than 1 million people in approximately 120 countries take part in passionate protests. It was heartwarming and inspiring to see so many young kids take the street and claim their right to a sustainable future.

Plastic ban

Another good news has arrived this month: the European Parliament has approved the definite version of the plastic ban after the first favorable vote expressed in October. The directive will have to be implemented by national governments within two years and calls for the ban, use reduction or increased recycling of a wide range of products, such as plastic containers, fishing nets, wet wipes and cotton buds. With its new regulation, the EU has set an admirably high standard which will hopefully be of inspiration to other countries around the world.

Big Oil going green?

Some of the most surprising green news lately came from an unlikely ally: Big Oil.
BP just announced to allocate another $100M toward GHG emission reduction as well as a "dramatic reduction" in oil and gas exploration. Similar news reached us from Eni and Shell, so what's going on?
Here are a two possible explanations:
  1. Shareholder pressure: Whether for moral or economic reasons, more and more shareholders are fed up with the companies' short-term thinking that leads to unforeseeable risks and does not allow for safe investments in the long-term. Starting with governments pressuring partially state-owned companies like Oersted, Equinor or Eni, we now start to see also institutional shareholders and activists groups changing the direction of big companies
  2. Changing economics: While the inflation adjusted oil price is about the same level as in the mid-70s and costs are only expected to rise as it becomes harder to extract the oil from the ground (while at the same time demand for fossil fuel is about to peak), there is an increasingly lucrative business case in diversifying into other sectors. As companies like Equinor proved, it can be a great opportunity to diversify its energy generation with power from wind and solar as demand for electricity is on the rise and the production cost of renewables is declining year after year
- whatever the individual reasons might be, we're glad to see the change happening!

What else we are reading

Inside GL4B

This month has been eventful for the association. We were present at the "Strike for the Climate” march in Milan and some members had the chance to visit XNext, an advanced inspection technology company, and had a presentation on Smart Cities.

To keep you up to date, we just elected our new board - congratulation to our new president Beatrice Boarolo and vice-president Giulia Fracaro, as well as Marta Pinzan joining the board as our new Events manager. Apart from that Lorenzo, Giovanni, Alessandro and Martin got reelected in their respective role and we would like to thank the three leaving board members, namely our former president Filippo Dottori as well as former Events and C&WA managers Lavinia and Camilla for the hard work they've put into the association during the last two semesters. You'll be missed!

Next months activities will start off with the event “UniversitĂ  al Parco” on April 6th. In collaboration with other student associations from different universities of Milan, we are organizing a clean-up day in Parco Sempione, you are all welcomed with as many friends as possible. The week after we will have an event about plastic pollution as well as the European Youth Debate from April 11th-13th. We will also soon present you in more detail the rest of the team’s members, their passions and aspirations, with a series of Instagram posts.

And don’t forget to read our articles on the blog. Thanks to our new collaborators, we will from now on publish two articles per week so that you can have twice as much information about sustainability, with an special emphasis on corporate innovative improvements.
Last month we wrote about Nike, the DJSI and the EU’s push for a common language in sustainable investing with upcoming articles about LVMH, Enel, Blackstone and IKEA, so stay tuned ;)

Marta, Sophie & Martin