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Ethical Biz

How investors can help make the 2020s a decade of climate action

In practice, investors will need to encourage companies to shrink their carbon footprint, such as reducing direct emissions from energy use, improving energy efficiency, and greening their supply chains.



Photo by Arthur Ogleznev from

The world must halve carbon emissions by 2030 to stay below 1.5°C of global warming and avoid catastrophic climate change. That requires transitioning to a low-carbon economy as nearly three-fourths of global carbon emissions arise from use of fossil fuels. The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the challenge of meeting these formidable goals but is also a historic opportunity to build back better. 

“The world must enable a green recovery and ramp up the fight against climate change,” says Rasmus Skov, Head of Sustainability at renewable energy company Ørsted. “For us as companies, making carbon reductions central to business strategy is not only good for the health of our planet – it’s key to staying competitive as a business. Investors must help achieve these aims.” 

In practice, investors will need to encourage companies to shrink their carbon footprint, such as reducing direct emissions from energy use, improving energy efficiency, and greening their supply chains. Companies that deliver sustainable and scalable solutions to consumers are in scope, as are companies beginning to transform towards a more sustainable business model.

How do I align my investment portfolio with the 1.5°C scenario?

Begin by gaining a better understanding of your portfolio’s climate impact and exposure to fossil fuels. For a first estimate, upload your portfolios to the Paris Agreement Capital Transition Assessment (PACTA) tool developed by the 2° Investing Initiative. The tool is free and can be used as a starting point for aligning your portfolio with the 1.5°C scenario. You can then: 

  • Commit to a Net Zero target and report on your progress
    Commit to transitioning your investment portfolios to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement. You can do that by joining the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, which represents more than USD 4.6 trillion in assets. The Alliance builds on the work of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which will launch a framework in 2020 to help financial institutions align their lending and investment portfolios with the Paris Agreement. Also, establish a roadmap for decarbonising your portfolio and report on your progress using the Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosure (TCFD) framework.
  • Drive change in your portfolio companies
    Require that all companies in your portfolio report on their carbon emissions, which is a necessary first step in taking action to reduce emissions. Encourage them to set ambitious emissions reduction targets under the SBTi, define a credible pathway with short- to medium- term actions for achieving these targets, and transparently disclose on progress.

Are you a first mover?

Investors may find it a daunting and complex task to decarbonise their portfolios and wonder if it is worth the effort. “There are benefits to increasing low-carbon investment,” says Marco Kisic, Senior ESG Analyst, Research Insights at Nordea bank. “First movers who invest to support the transition of carbon-intensive sectors could be rewarded with above-market returns, while those who don’t might see their portfolios exposed to significant risk of stranded assets.”

He explains that obviously green companies with a “strong green narrative”, such as energy efficiency, forestry and renewables, have had an annualized return of 21% relative to the market in 2017-2020. Companies that further enable the transition to a low-carbon economy, such as manufacturers of electricity transmission cables, are also expected to benefit because policy frameworks such as the EU taxonomy incentivise investments into companies with a high share of environmentally-sustainable economic activities. “This second group of companies are currently undervalued but are likely to offer the next wave of climate-opportunity outperformance,” Kisic says.

Green transformation

For its part, Ørsted demonstrates it is possible to increase profitability by making decarbonisation the keystone of business strategy. The company has transformed from a fossil-fuel based energy company to one of the world’s largest renewable energy companies, and the most sustainable company in the Global 100 index.

“Tackling the climate emergency is not only about technological solutions and financial viability, but also the will to act now. If companies and investors join forces to reduce emissions at unprecedented pace and scale, they can help make the 2020s a decade of green action to stop global warming at 1.5°C. It’s never been more urgent to invest in climate action,” says Rasmus Skov. 

Ethical Biz

Epson research highlights significant gap between perceptions of climate change and severity of the emergency

Individually, people are taking their own actions to mitigate the climate emergency. The study suggests that more people are walking or cycling more often (63.8%), reducing plastic use (67.5%) and improving recycling habits (57.3%).



The Southeast Asia (SEA) region is facing a potentially damaging gap between climate reality and people’s understanding of its catastrophic effects, according to the results of its Climate Reality Barometer from global technology leader, Epson. The survey captures global experiences and perceptions of climate change from 15,264 consumers across Asia, Europe, North America and South America.

Timed to help frame discussions at the upcoming COP 26 in November 2021, the goal of the Epson Climate Reality Barometer is to raise greater public awareness of climate change impacts, influence transformative business decisions, and better inform policy makers.

Reality Deficit: The Gap Between Perception and Climate Reality

The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report noted that cities intensify human-caused warming locally, and further urbanisation together with more frequent hot extremes will increase the severity of heatwaves. Despite this, well over half (56.4%) of people surveyed as part of the Epson Climate Reality Barometer in Southeast Asia, are optimistic that we will avert a climate disaster in their lifetime.

For those who are optimistic, the most popular reasons supporting this optimism is the belief that people are more aware of climate change dangers (35.8%) and the opportunity to use science and technology to solve problems (29.2%). 

On the other hand, just 15.7% were pessimistic that they will avert a climate disaster in their lifetime. Overall, the majority of those who are pessimistic are driven mostly by a belief that people are not aware of climate change dangers (41.4%) or a feeling that there’s a lack of government action (22.4%). 

Reality check: Where we are today

The study suggests that optimism may be the result of a failure to recognise climate change and, therefore, its scale. In Southeast Asia, some of the top events most associated with climate change include more flooding (80.4%), wildfires (79.7%) and higher temperatures (79.2%), extreme weather (77.5%), and rising sea levels (73.1%). At the same time, the least associated with climate change are insect outbreaks (49.2%), thawing permafrost (53.4%), mass migration (60.5%) and more deaths in cities because of heat waves (64%). 

Siew Jin Kiat, Regional Managing Director of Epson Singapore (SEA Headquarters), said: “As the climate emergency unfolds before our eyes, it is of real concern that so many people in our region fail to recognise its existence. This is a wake-up call for us to act together and act fast. The pressure is on for governments, businesses and individuals to work together to make decisions and inspire the rapid action needed to mitigate climate change.” 

Reality responsibility: Who should take actions

Many see the responsibility to tackle the climate emergency belonging to state and industry actors. Of those surveyed, nearly a third in Southeast Asia (32%) believe governments and 14.7% believe businesses are “most responsible for tackling the climate emergency” – with 2.8% not believing in climate emergency.

That said, there is evidence that the idea of personal and collective responsibility is widely held too. Encouragingly, respondents in Southeast Asia (27.5%) see that they are personally “most responsible”, while almost one in five (19%) believe that we are all responsible – with action incumbent on governments, businesses and individuals alike.

Reality action: Individual steps

Individually, people are taking their own actions to mitigate the climate emergency. The study suggests that more people are walking or cycling more often (63.8%), reducing plastic use (67.5%) and improving recycling habits (57.3%).

Despite this, there are still gaps in terms of what people are willing to do, which will be important in reaching net zero targets at a global and national level. While there is openness in Southeast Asia to adopt new behaviors like switching to an electric vehicle, installing solar panels and switching to renewable energy; reducing international travel for business and leisure and adopting a plant-based diet are some behaviors that respondents indicated more resistance towards. 

Business reality: The time to act is now

All in all, the Epson Climate Reality Barometer and its discovery of the Climate Reality Deficit shows that there is a long way to go if we are to take the fundamental actions necessary to avert irreversible climate change. Greater understanding and collective endeavour, however, will enable and empower rapid action.

Companies can empower other businesses and consumers with sustainability supporting innovations. At Epson, this has seen the development of, for example: initiatives to reduce customer impact through the use of highly energy efficient PrecisionCore Heat-Free technology; and R&D into environmental technologies such as naturally derived (non-plastic) materials.

Beyond product and materials innovation, businesses can make a big difference by promoting and demonstrating climate responsibility. Epson carries this forward by: transitioning to 100% renewable electricity and engaging with initiatives such as the RE100 renewable energy project; working to close the resource loop for example, by promoting product refurbishment and reuse; and engaging in high impact partnerships such as its work with National Geographic to promote protecting permafrost through the Turn Down The Heat campaign.

Yasunori Ogawa, global president of Epson, commented: “The discovery of the Climate Reality Deficit shows that awareness coupled with action, will be critical to tackling the emergency. Epson’s goal is to bring this awareness and the technologies needed — by our company, other businesses and consumers — to action transformational change. Sustainability is central to our business plan and backed by significant resources — because while we know there is a long way to go, we believe we can build a better future.”

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‘Coffee for Peace’ enables Filipinos to build peace with coffee

Because at the heart of CFP’s operations is training farmers on coffee processing to develop skills to produce high-quality coffee beans.​ CFP provides knowledge on the market for farmers to understand what consumers want in coffee, and the value of what they do for awareness on fairer trade pricing.



Photo by Nathan Dumlao from

What if every Filipino, no matter where they’re based in the country, can be a “force for good” simply by sticking to routine—like, say, enjoying their morning cup of coffee?

Davao-based Coffee for Peace (CFP) proves this can be the case as its CEO and co-founder Felicitas “Joji” B. Pantoja confirms that they are a growing community of farmers and business owners practicing and advocating inclusive development principles in the coffee industry. Social entrepreneurship is their business approach to achieve justice and harmony in society and environment.

“As a reputable processor for good beans and an experienced roastery, CFP means business continuity for business owners but equally: support for farming communities. CFP even gives buyers the option to create their own brand under a MOA where 10% of very kilo sold goes back to farmers,” says J. Pantoja. 

Where does the customer from Luzon or Visayas ordering through the online shop fit into the peace building in Mindanao? “CFP by design allocates 25% of its net profit for its Peace and Reconciliation Teams, composed of volunteers from conflict-affected areas and international volunteers. They are trained in inter-faith dialogue, cross-cultural comms, trauma healing, relief and medical operations,” says J. Pantoja.

Because at the heart of CFP’s operations is training farmers on coffee processing to develop skills to produce high-quality coffee beans.​ CFP provides knowledge on the market for farmers to understand what consumers want in coffee, and the value of what they do for awareness on  fairer trade pricing. “We want farmers to be confident about the business side of farming, understand their market, correctly price and inspire the next generation to be farmpreneurs too,” says J. Pantoja.

Once the training is complete, CFP offers to partner communities post-harvest services at cost such as: coffee pulping, coffee dehulling, and coffee drying. Coffee for Peace also offers to partner-farmers and those who buy from them shared services such as: toll roasting, packaging, label design, and photography. The training result is a higher quality coffee product produced by a community in the Philippines.

Nurturing grassroots ‘farmerpreneurs’

At the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition, the top five awards went to Specialty Arabica coffee farmers from Davao del Sur. For jury member Byron Pantoja, CFP VP for operations, this indicates “farmers taking ownership of their craft as producers of some of the best coffee in the Philippines. We need to give more farmers the freedom, knowledge, and opportunity to innovate their coffee processes based on the demands of the market and the limitations of their land. That sense of ownership over what they do is what’s going to make them the best.”

Nurturing community ‘farmerpreneurs’ and realizing the country’s potential for premium to specialty coffee go hand in hand. J. Pantoja says, “Only 25% of the country’s 111M population is served by Filipino coffee farmers. Local cafes are challenged in sourcing good beans. We partner with DTI on bridging gaps such as training, equipment and drying space but getting to a scale that boosts our national reputation as a good coffee producer will take time. From 2,000 kilos at start, we are now at 32,000 kilos and encouraged to continue.”

Coffee for Peace has trained close to 880 farming families from different parts of our country, representing 13 tribes, including some Muslim areas. “Our model is to create our own competitors by giving them the secrets to making good coffee. We want to groom ‘farmerpreneurs’ who are also skilled in coffee tasting, financial management and conflict resolution. We want barista interns to dream of having their own coffee kiosks. For every kilo of coffee, one can make 140 cups of 6 ounces, and a barista in Davao nets 5K a day with his own coffee cart. The same can be done anywhere in the Philippines. Imagine if every region’s farmers had their own pop-up café or coffee cart, neighborhoods will also be educated to buy local,” says J. Pantoja.

“Premium specialty coffee from the Philippines” requires a mindset change that’s supported by the fact that local coffee has scored 80% special quality standard, points out Pantoja. A member of the National Coffee Council, she spoke about the need to streamline various resources from government policy and services and link these to smallholder farmers. “We want every island to join the national movement within the coffee industry to raise the level of coffee quality. Grassroots farmers also mean less carbon footprint for supplying the coffee locals want. We’ve gone to uplands to help a micro-lot owner assess the possibility of coffee farming. We’ve also linked roasters, who used to order coffee from us, straight to the farming community.”

Photo by Nathan Dumlao from

Coffee and PH culture

Coffee is innate in the Filipino culture. “When we visit high-conflict communities, coffee served from a palayok is good quality. When I brought a sample to Canada where I used to live, the roasters said there was potential for premium quality to specialty. But we can only produce limited quantities. Opening opportunities for our farmers drove me to collaborate—inspire baristas to educate customers, get roasters to work with traders who source from farmer,” said J. Pantoja.

Operating for 13 years now, Coffee of Peace started with peacebuilding work. “Coffee is the vehicle but the ‘product’ is peace. In our peacebuilding work in Maguindanao, Basilan, and Sulu, we saw that coffee makes Moslem and Christians sit together and dialogue to settle conflict. In our environmental work, we saw that Arabica trees are included in our national greening program. Giving life back to forests also give locals a new, sustainable means of livelihood. I tell farmers: ‘You don’t have to go to the city, the buyers will come to see protected forest.’ We also advise farmers to get to know their customers, then the process follows,” said J. Pantoja.

As a case, Korean buyers came to Davao looking for fine Robusta. Local farmers have since expanded to Robusta. Explains B. Pantoja, “While specialty Arabica has fruity flavors like blueberries and strawberry, fine Robusta has a super smooth, full-bodied chocolatey taste like black tea.”

This distinction in tastes can be a strength of the Philippines as a group of islands since, explains J. Pantoja, we can’t compete with the land mass and harvest volumes of Vietnam, Brazil or Colombia, and we can’t produce for large coffee chains. “Instead, our edge is premium specialty coffee, with micro-lot orders of 1 to 2 tons that are of a quality and fetch a good price. Each island can produce a different taste profile depending on soil and fauna of that area. Arabica alone has 3,500 subvarieties, while Robusta has 2,400 subvarieties. The higher, the elevation, the sweeter the coffee.” The growing community of coffee champions and curiosity of millennials can only drive excitement over developing Philippine variants that are also ‘Just’ coffee of the social-justice kind.

For more information, visit and Follow Coffee for Peace at

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Ethical Biz

Teleperformance renews commitment to planet by pledging monthly switch-offs

Teleperformance Philippines renews its commitment to the planet as it pledges to do monthly switch-offs in all 22 of its business sites nationwide this 2021.



Teleperformance Philippines renews its commitment to the planet as it pledges to do monthly switch-offs in all 22 of its business sites nationwide this 2021. 

The pledge was announced at its recent “Let’s Change the World” Citizen of the World (COTW) Meet-up, which shared updates on current advocacy projects of Teleperformance. The townhall, also held in celebration of Earth Hour, included special guest World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines Ambassador Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski. 

The WWF Philippines Climate Change Solutions Steward and the first female Earth Hour Ambassador, Cojuangco-Jaworski shared practical ways for Teleperformance employees and their friends and family to contribute to sustainability and climate change solutions for a cleaner and greener planet.

“Ultimately, it’s the things we do when nobody’s watching that matters the most. It’s about what we do as individuals, which was what we do in our own homes, what is our lifestyle and what are our habits. The biggest problem is the carbon footprint we leave on this earth,” shared Cojuangco-Jaworski.

Among some of the tips Cojuangco-Jaworski shared was reiterating the importance of the three R’s – to reduce buying what you don’t need, to look at what we can reuse and to recycle when we do our daily tasks. Another topic she touched on was plastic waste, hence, the importance of reducing consumption of single-use plastics, which could be ingested by animals, and then by people.

Teleperformance is committed to creating a positive impact on our local communities around the world through Citizen of the World, a charitable initiative to help the world’s most vulnerable infants and children meet basic survival needs and ultimately reach their individual potential. This effort is joined by the Citizen of the Planet program, a global corporate initiative implemented in 2008 aimed at ensuring that Teleperformance operates in an environmentally friendly and responsible manner.

Going beyond Earth Hour, Teleperformance employees are encouraged not only to volunteer for Citizen of the World activities but can also contribute by donating pre-loved items, purchasing items in the COTW store, donating part of their monthly salary, and participating in the monthly Earth Hour pledged by Teleperformance Philippines in all their sites across the country. 

“As we work to help bring awareness around environmental sustainability and, in addition to this commemoration this month, we at Teleperformance also commit to have an Earth Hour every single month. So for one hour every single month, we will switch off our lights for the rest of this year. We hope this will help continue to bring awareness as this is such an important goal for humanity and the community,” shared Jeffrey Johnson, Senior Vice President for Human Capital Resource Management and Citizen of the World Foundation President. 

Among the other projects accomplished by Citizen of the World were donations of food packs and PPEs to frontliners of the Philippine General Hospital, Vicente Sotto Medical Center and Southern Philippines Medical Center. Bringing to life its commitment to children and education, Citizen of the World also gave medical and financial aid to 100 children and their families through Kythe Foundation, awarding of 2,000 school supplies to various elementary schools in Metro Manila and the provinces. 

The elderly in need were also not forgotten as Citizen of the World donated 1,200 grocery packs to White Cross, Mary Mother of Mercy Home for the Elderly and the Abandoned and Good Samaritan Nursing Home for the Elderly. TP’s Gawad Kalinga village was also supported during the pandemic with a feeding program, donations of disinfectants and face masks and the provision of cash allowances.  

To help the country in its fight against Covid-19, the Citizen of the World program also donated 8 e-bikes to the Department of Health and PHP 150,000 worth of medical aid to the Philippine National Red Cross. Altogether, the Citizen of the World Foundation was able to create an impact on the lives of around 28,000 Filipinos. 

For more information on Teleperformance Philippines and its Citizen of the World initiatives, visit

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