Weekly Environmental News from Transition Earth

This week’s top sustainability/climate change/future of food stories from our partner site, Transition Earth…

Impossible Food set to go public – News agency Reuters is reporting that US alt-meat giant Impossible Foods Inc is preparing for a public listing. The agency says that the valuation of the US plant-based burger maker is around $10 billion or more, substantially more than the $4 billion the company was worth in a private funding round in 2020. It will follow rival alt meat provider Beyond Meat which went public in 2019 and oat milk innovator Oatly which is expected to go public shortly. 

Bank Holiday Monday was UK energy’s greenest ever day – At around lunchtime, the carbon intensity of electricity fell to just 39 grams of CO2, the lowest level it has ever been. The weather may have had an impact as the sunny spells, coupled with windy conditions, increased the use of both wind and solar power. At the same time, power demand traditionally dips on bank holidays all of which combined to drive down the carbon intensity

Starbucks pioneers reusable cups – It has teamed up with startup Ridwell and begun a limited trial in Seattle of a “Borrow a Cup” program. Each time a person orders a drink they will be given the option to receive their beverage in a reusable cup. The cups can be returned to contactless kiosks at one of five participating Seattle stores. The cups have a $1 refundable deposit. When a customer has finished their drink they scan the cup at a drive-thru or lobby kiosk and then drop it into an opening. 

Sadiq Khan promises a green job bonanza for London if re-elected – Khan has stated work will begin on a number of projects including electrifying London’s bus fleet, increasing the resilience of flood risk areas, and tackling emissions from the city’s buildings. Among the jobs created will be 3,000 to electrify the city’s bus fleet, 4,400 jobs in solar energy and 1,700 in energy. 

Swedish company aims to deliver a truly carbon-neutral car by 2030 – Polestar says this will be possible by analysing and ultimately reducing carbon emissions across the entire value chain. Thomas Ingenlath, the chief executive of the company Polestar(a venture between Volvo Cars and Geely Holding) said “by pushing ourselves to create a completely climate-neutral car, we are forced to reach beyond what is possible today. We will have to question everything, innovate and look to exponential technologies as we design towards zero.”

Oat milk is becoming so popular in the US that there is apparently a shortage – In March Starbucks started the national rollout of Oatly oat milk to its stores across the US. One month on and it is apparently running out – with some customers complaining that they are unable to order their favourite drinks. A Starbucks representative told CNN on Tuesday that some locations were out of oat milk but didn’t specify how widespread the problem was.

Mars and Futerra debut low carbon cat food – Instead of the traditional meat or fish element of cat food, most of the protein in the food comes from the Black Soldier Fly Larvae insect, which is then blended with soy protein, maize, wheat and beet pulp fibre.  The companies claim that compared to beef farming insects takes around 80% less land space per kilogram of protein produced and has significant environmental benefits, especially around greenhouse gas emissions.

Ashley Norris