Video: 2019 Predictions Series – Sustainable Finance and the TCFD

November 22, 2018 | News

Anthesis Provides Energy-from-Waste Due Diligence

November 21, 2018 | News
Computer graphic of Hooton Biopower energy from waste plant

Anthesis has provided commercial due diligence for the construction of one of the UK’s biggest energy-from-waste gasification plants.

The new plant, known as Hooton Bio Power and located in Cheshire, will be able to process 240,000 tonnes of waste per year, making it one of the biggest energy-from-waste gasification plants in the UK.

When fully operational, the facility will be able to produce around 200 gWh of electricity annually – enough to power over 50,000 homes.

Working with the investors, project developers and feedstock supplier, the Anthesis team, led by Claudia Amos, provided full commercial feedstock due diligence, including a red flag report. This was followed by detailed supplier assessments, covering several tiers of the feedstock supply chain, and a regional market evaluation assessing the competitive pressures on feedstock gate fees.

In addition, Anthesis provided a commentary on the proposed feedstock sourcing strategy, supply contracts and gate fees to support the client and its partners to reach a financial close.

This is the fourth successful deal where Anthesis has supported the investment team and the second time Anthesis has worked with this project developer to deliver a waste infrastructure project in the UK.

In the last two years, the team at Anthesis has supported over 30 waste, biomass and renewables projects, working with project developers, venture capitalists, investment funds, banks and pension funds to assess their respective risk profiles and investment structures.

Anthesis has been a long-term partner to key UK equity investors, identifying strategic investment targets and delivering infrastructure in the energy from waste, anaerobic digestion, bioeconomy and plastics recycling sectors.

Earlier this year, the Anthesis team also provided the first ever national waste infrastructure analysis to the UK Government’s National Infrastructure Commission.

To discuss this project further or to contact Claudia Amos.

What does the new waste data tell us about the current status of waste management in England?

November 15, 2018 | News

Anthesis Group Launches in Italy, Supported with Two Senior Hires

November 5, 2018 | News

“They provide us with superior talent, an excellent network and the right ethics to take sustainability mainstream in Italy.”

Anthesis Group, today announces the launch of its Italian operations and the appointment of country leads and recognized sustainability leaders Marco Barlettani and Roberto Salvati.

With more than four decades of Italian and international expertise between them, Marco and Roberto are well positioned to provide senior counsel and become trusted delivery partners to clients and partners across Italy. Roberto will predominantly focus on environmental due diligence (EDD) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) services, working with Anthesis’ global Transaction & Corporate Services team, led by Chris Keller, Head of M&A and Transaction Services. Marco will concentrate on expanding the business, with an emphasis on national and international permitting, and services for lenders and developers involved in the international finance sector.

Marco and Roberto both join as Directors and will co-head the Italian business based in Rome, reporting into Enda Colfer, Regional Director at Anthesis. Marco joins with more than 20 years of experience in integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) and national and international environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA), helping clients, either developers or financing agencies, in the successful management of their projects around the world. Marco has worked for a variety of industrial sectors including the oil and gas industry, power generation from fossil fuels and renewables, petrochemical and chemical sectors, iron and steel facilities and mills and waste management.

Roberto has more than 25 years of international scientific and technical experience in environmental disciplines, with an emphasis on due diligence, contaminated land and groundwater resources. His experience crosses both industrial as well as financial clients, addressing their challenges from investigating and remediating a site, assessing environmental risks and their implications to conducting M&A diligence works.

On entering the Italian market, Enda Colfer, Regional Director at Anthesis, says: “Addressing client requirements for enhanced support across continental Europe, Italy has been a market we have wanted to enter for some time. It’s a top ten economy with a strong domestic industrial sector paired with a healthy international outlook. With Marco and Roberto on board, we now have the right team to lead and deliver against our ambitions. They provide us with superior talent, an excellent network and the right ethics to take sustainability mainstream in Italy.”

Marco Barlettani said “I’m excited to be joining Anthesis at this crucial time, a period in which sustainability – in all its different meanings – is becoming more and more important in Italy. Anthesis, with its excellence in sustainability services, is the right consultancy to address and meet the needs of the local market.” Roberto Salvati concluded: “I’m very pleased to be joining Anthesis, a company fresh in its ideas and focused on supporting its clients in a fast moving and developing world”.

As part of Anthesis’ goal to increase its continental European presence, this marks the tenth office in Europe and the eleventh country for Anthesis to enter in its five years of operations, alongside the U.S., Canada, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Finland, China, the Philippines and the Middle East. With a 20 percent average growth year-on-year, Anthesis has strong ambitions to support other markets based on the demands of its clients and market opportunities.

Kirsten Doddy
Global Head of Marketing and Communications

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Anthesis has offices in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Andorra, Finland, Colombia, Brazil, China, the Philippines and the Middle East.

New Plastic Packaging Tax Proposed by the UK Government – Anthesis’ Reaction

October 30, 2018 | News

Why You Need to Maintain Chemical Dossier Quality Even Though the REACH Registration Has Passed

October 25, 2018 | News

Higg Index Data Shows Digital Pay Linked to Good Working Conditions

October 24, 2018 | News

Factories that pay workers digitally are five times more likely to provide good working conditions, according to new research into the apparel, textile and footwear sectors.

Like millions of women working in garment factories in Asia, Lucky worried about receiving her monthly salary in cash. “I was concerned about walking out of the factory with that much money in my bag,” she said. “I also share my house with other people, so I didn’t know where to keep my money safe.”

Recently, Lucky started receiving her salary on her mobile phone through BSR HERfinance Digital Wage program in Bangladesh. She can now use her mobile money account to buy items at the bazaar.

New data gathered from 3,000 factories in 58 countries.

Anthesis is proud to have supported the new research, led by the Better Than Cash Alliance and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which looks into the correlation between digital wages and social and labor conditions.

Our conclusions, drawn from anonymous responses in the Higg Facility Social and Labor Module, strongly indicate that factories paying their workers digitally tend to provide good social and labour practices. The summary findings, first published here, can be read in full below.

Recent data from the Higg Index from nearly 3,000 factories across 58 countries, representing 85 brands and retailer supply chains, reveals that paying workers digitally correlates positively with better working conditions.Across the globe, factories that pay workers digitally are five times more likely to follow exemplary social and labor practices than those that pay with cash or checks. This includes offering wages that are equitable to the cost of living or providing bonuses when the company has a profitable year.

Graphic showing percentage of workers paid digititallyThe study shows that 67 per cent of the factories pay workers digitally through bank accounts. The rest still use cash or check distribution — which is not safe for workers or businesses.

There are also significant discrepancies between the countries. For example, 95% of factories in India pay workers digitally compared to 25% in Bangladesh. The differences between the countries can be explained by the financial inclusion progress and development of digital payments across markets.

Sixty-nine percent of adults worldwide had an account with a bank or mobile services provider, according to latest World Bank’s global financial inclusion database. However, 200 million still receive private sector wages in cash in developing markets. Seven out of the 13 countries analyzed in the study had higher digitization in the apparel sector than their country average access to bank or mobile money accounts, showing that the garment industry is a driver to accessing financial services.

better digital pay graphic 2

For global brands, payments in cash means less transparency to ensure workers are paid the right amount and on time. Factories bear the risks and inefficiencies of transporting, securing, and disbursing millions of dollars in bank notes to workers on payday.

Leading companies are starting to recognize the positive economic and social impact these efforts can have on the lives of factory workers. Workers gain life skills, independence, and confidence. In 2017, H&M committed to paying its 1.6 million global factory workers digitally, as a way to improve workers’ lives and scale the company’s sustainability efforts. Similarly, earlier this year, Gap Inc. pledged to pay garment workers across its 800 global factories digitally by 2020 having already helped digitise salaries for 95% of its factory workers in India.

To support the well-being of garment workers and help factories improve their conditions, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and the Better Than Cash Alliance encourage more brands, suppliers, and factories to leverage the updated Higg Facility Social & Labor module to assess their performance and join the global movement shifting away from cash, keeping track of their performance to increase efficiency and transparency in their supply chains.

What is the Higg Index?

The Higg Index, developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, is a suite of tools that enables brands, retailers, and facilities of all sizes to accurately measure and score a company or product’s sustainability performance. The Higg Index delivers a holistic overview that empowers businesses to make meaningful improvements that protect the well-being of factory workers, local communities, and the environment. For this study, global sustainability consultancy Anthesis Group analyzed results from the Higg Facility Social & Labor Module, which assesses working conditions in the global value chain. To date, the Higg module offers the most comprehensive data set on value chain wages.

Take a look at the presentation detailing the efforts of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and Better Than Cash Alliance.

With thanks to:

Marjolaine Chaintreau – the Private Sector Digital Innovation Lead at the Better Than Cash Alliance.

Amina Razvi – Vice President, Membership at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

Honor Cowen
Principal Consultant and Retail & Consumer Products Lead, North America

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Anthesis has offices in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Andorra, Finland, Colombia, Brazil, China, the Philippines and the Middle East.

Two Key Developments for Science Based Targets

October 23, 2018 | News

In the recent opinion piece from Anthesis Director Josh Whitney reacting to the IPCC Special Report, he highlights that companies committed to Science Based Targets play a leadership role in driving change. Here we provide an update for utilising SBTs in your sustainability strategy, one step towards answering Josh’s call to action.

Is your company currently in the process of developing its science-based target or perhaps thinking about setting one? If you answer yes to either question, then these two recent events will be of importance:

1. New aggressive targets required:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the entity that has helped to establish the science behind the 2015 Paris Agreement and insight into the necessary global GHG reductions to maintain life on this planet as we know it – released new research indicating that current progress and commitments are no longer effective in getting us close to curbing the worst effects of climate change. To bridge this gap, GHG emissions must be reduced on a pathway that keeps global temperature from rising above 1.5°C by 2050, instead of the 2°C bare minimum currently being used by Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) as the rubric for leading corporates to set their targets against. SBTi has acknowledged and publicly supported this new IPCC finding, and anticipates to re-align its guidance, resources, tools and validation protocols in early 2019.

What does this mean?

  • These findings require a shift in current “best practice” that roughly translates from a 1.7% year-on-year (compounded) minimum absolute GHG emissions reduction, to a more aggressive >3% year-on-year (compounded) minimum reduction.
  • Increased rigor in target setting could lead to:
    • Increased expectations being pushed into supply chains
    • Increased scrutiny around corporate preparedness for the physical impacts of climate change
    • Greater focus on how companies in all sectors can take action to protect forests and oceans, which play a critical role in regulating the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
  • SBTi will not require the 492 organisations already signed to SBTi to change their goals immediately, and during the transition will, for a period, concurrently offer tools (and presumably validation) for both 2°C & 1.5°C pathways.

2. New option to “fast track” validation of your SBT:

At the beginning of October, SBTi introduced a new paid target validation service that will allow companies to submit their proposed SBTs for review. For approximately US$5,000 an organisation may submit up to two targets (1 preliminary and 1 official or 2 official) to a SBTi Target Validation Team and will receive the following:

  • For each assessment, one comprehensive target validation report including recommendations to address non-compliances if applicable and a written decision letter within 30 business days
  • Up to 60 min of feedback conversations after each assessment
  • Assistance with formulating the final wording of a target for official validations only

What does this mean?

  • Organisations now have the ability to receive a quicker assessment with direct detailed feedback, access to experts to provide specific technical guidance, and dedicated support
  • This new service will help to support mainstream adoption of SBTs via a process with improved efficiency and shorter turnaround times, designed to meet the vigorous market demand for SBTs
  • As of January 2019, all SBT validations will exclusively utilise this new paid service and will no longer have access to the current no-fee validation
  • Between October 2018 and January 2019 there will be a limit of one free target submission per company
  • Each re-submission of targets under the new validation service will cost an additional US$ 2,500 (+VAT)

Next Steps

To learn more about SBTs, visit our dedicated Science Based Targets page to find more SBT insights from our experts.

Want to discuss any of these updates or need help with your SBTs? You can contact me below to start a conversation.

Curtis Harnanan
Principal Consultant, North America

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Anthesis has offices in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Andorra, Finland, Colombia, Brazil, China, the Philippines and the Middle East.

Common Energy Saving Myths, and how to Actually Save Energy

October 22, 2018 | News

The IPCC Report and What it Means for Business – An Urgent Call to Action

October 19, 2018 | News

The next ten years will be crucial to limit the global temperature rise. The IPCC’s Special Report sends a clear message – rapidly decarbonise the global economy to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, says Anthesis Director Josh Whitney.

Taking it personally

I’ll admit it, the last week has had me flirting in and out of a spiral of depression and disappointment, coming to terms with mankind’s central inability to be proactive. Somewhere deep along our genetic evolutionary journey, we skipped this seemingly critical design feature and instead prefer to take action at the very last second or often only when the writing is on the wall, or only after learning a hard lesson.

While much of the world had bought into the UNFCCC Paris Agreement in 2015 to hold warming to 2.0°C (3.8°F) by 2050, the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 1.5°C Special Report, commissioned and endorsed by world governments, including the U.S., now finds that to hold global temperature rise below 1.5°C will require “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”. Previously, this level seemed politically feasible, although it would still lead to vast damage, including the death of all coral, even more deadly storms and heat, and rising oceans covering low-lying island nations and major coastal areas.

The good news against this backdrop is that while the world has already warmed 1.0°C (1.8°F) since pre-industrial times, holding the world to 1.5°C (2.7°F) is still technically possible. The report finds that the impacts of climate change are in fact already occurring and will be much worse at 2°C than previously projected. Thus 2°C is no longer a safe goal to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. These impacts are being felt in companies and supply chains across the globe and, as the report highlights, the difference in their severity between the 1.5°C and 2°C temperature goals will be stark.

Renewable energy wind and solar

An Urgent Call to Climate Action

If 1.5°C is the new 2°C, then how do we get there?

The crux here is that it requires us all to accelerate our efforts in less time, cutting emissions by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, and reach net zero by 2050 – globally.

This is massively transformative from the previously stated reduction requirements. For the energy sector alone as an example, this translates to getting renewables to 85% of global electricity capacity by the same year (we hit 21% globally in 2015), while the use of coal will have to be nearly eliminated.

This is the new, new science, backed by 6,000 scientific papers, 91 authors and editors from 40 countries who put pen to paper to test whether the Paris commitments 2°C target setting would get us there. The message is now clear, it won’t, and we’ve got 10 years to pivot and avoid the worst impacts of climate change – not just for our children and grandchildren, not just for those in developing nations, not just for the flora and fauna of this incredible planet, but for me and you.

The Private Sector Holds the Key for Climate Action

Even with nearly every country in the world committed to Paris, it’s the nearly 500 global companies committed to setting science-based targets (with over 140 having set them) that must play the leading role in facilitating these transitions. These corporations are signalling the emergence of a ‘new normal’ in the way business are developing their strategies for the future, but we need all companies to follow in these leaders’ path and align their business strategies with what the science says is needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Regulation and policy (in)action aside, it’s up to the world’s economies to lead the way.

We’ve been working with companies across nearly every sector on initiatives to achieve sustainability outcomes like energy efficiency, purchasing renewables, setting science-based targets, and engaging employees – but companies also recognise that these initiatives are just good business. However, to champion efforts that align with this new science, we need much, much more.

We need to get uncomfortable and push boundaries and the expectations of what we currently think is possible, because ironically enough if we don’t, our boundaries will get pushed and life on this planet will become exceedingly uncomfortable. What might that look like? Here are just a few ways companies can leverage their scale and impact to accelerate climate action:

  • Use their products, services and brand to engage the masses.

Let’s move beyond the token Earth Day messages and encourage, even drive consumers to make better day-to-day choices that reduce their footprint. Selfishly, the more products and services companies make that support these changes, the faster they can grow market share realising a key tenant that must not be lost here: growth can still be good. And for all the companies in the world taking action, it’s the billions of people out there that need to brought along, whose individual decisions in total will make or break our collective efforts.

  • Let’s get political.

Most companies put their lobbying dollars to work backing pro-business trade groups and candidates that fight regulation and focus on issues of today and not tomorrow. This has to change and companies are incredibly well-positioned to elevate the climate policy debate, lobbying for aggressive pro-climate action and candidates. In many ways, regulation is designed to save us from ourselves, and I can think of no greater example.

  • Invest in the short-term tactical and the big picture meta.

Riffing off the old mantra “think globally, act locally”, companies should balance their investments and focus both on those projects that they can tangibly effect through innovation, but also on more systemic issues.

For example, while we’re successfully solving for renewables, scope 1 GHG emissions from stationary fuel combustion remain the next frontier we have yet to tackle, where doing so can directly improve a company’s efficiency while leading to cost savings. Meanwhile, we are seeing a return to focus on the systemic global systems of our planet and a recognition of the significant role they play to limiting global emissions, in some case more so than any one technology could ever achieve.

Companies should invest equally in protecting and innovating around our oceans, forests, fresh water, and food systems. The Sustainable Development Goals are prime roadmaps for where and how to focus.


  • Incentivise climate action.

Set internal prices on carbon to incentivise reductions, impose an internal tax that collects funds or use “shadow” prices to influence investment decision-making. Ask any CEO if they intend to be in business longer than 2 years from now and they’d say “of course” – managers need to follow suit by using tools that incentivise carbon reductions which may exceed the typical 2-year hurdle rate when making investment decisions where return ratios may be longer.

  • Support STEM and unequivocally support the truth.

In our current era of ‘fake news’, and attacks on science, companies must support this key pillar of a working democracy and economy. Further, we should be leveraging the response that the #MeToo movement has catalysed. As companies commit to putting a stop to racism and sexism, a similar commitment to facts, truth and science seems only logical.

  • Be willing to competitively collaborate and fail.

This one may be the hardest for businesses to lean into, but when we collaborate, partner and share, we all can win. Sometimes we may also fail and that has to be OK too. Like my childhood idol, Wayne Gretzky has said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Will You Be Putting Actions into Place?

I won’t for a minute imply that any of these actions will be easy to push forward, even implementing standard practices are still a challenge in some corporate environments today. They will require massive efforts, late nights and working weekends; we’ll argue but hopefully compromise with our co-workers, peers, in-laws and friends, but this is the challenge of our lifetime and this is our call to action.

Personally, when I started my career 15+ years ago, this story was still very much unfolding, it was still a theoretical one, affecting far-away places with polar bears in the relatively distant future, heck by now we should all be on hoverboards, right? But that story is now at our doorstep, we’re living it right now, the climate is changing and human lives, the quality thereof, and even survival of life as we know it is at stake. I know we will be tackling the challenge head-on. Will you join us?

Josh Whitney
Executive Director and Science-Based Targets Lead, North America
Josh Whitney is a Director in our North American division. He is the Anthesis lead for the technical sector and science-based targets.

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Anthesis has offices in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Andorra, Finland, Colombia, Brazil, China, the Philippines and the Middle East.