Oil falls on Saudi - Iran mistrust

The price of crude oil fell 7% in early trading Monday after major oil exporters failed to agree to freeze output. The main sticking point was the continued tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran - officials in Riyadh insist that Tehran must be part of a coordinated plan to reduce supply, the Financial Times reports.

RBS cuts fossil fuel investments and Moody’s withdraws ratings

Oil has been in the doldrums many times before but rarely has the industry been kicked so hard when it was down. Sensing an industrial shift away from oil and coal, Royal Bank of Scotland has “reduced its global lending to oil and gas companies and doubled its green energy loans in the UK to £1bn a year,” the Guardian reports. At the same time the ratings agency Moody’s has “deprived 19 energy companies of their investment-grade ratings this year,” the Wall Street Journal writes - an indication in both cases of wider investment concerns about the potential of fossil fuel industries in an age when global leaders begin to plan for a low carbon economy. 

Keurig’s recycled cup challenge

A cautionary tale of sustainable design or the lack thereof now. Keurig Green Mountain has announced it will start producing a recyclable version of its ubiquitous single serving K-cup pods. Last year the company sold nine billion of these hard plastic pods and not a single one could be easily recycled The New York Times writes. Given that Keurig Green Mountain is proud of its environmental heritage there’s an obvious disconnect with its best-selling product. So what’s the problem? Apparently it’s all about the design. Keurig’s coffee makers are all built to accommodate the hard plastic pod and, until now, didn’t function properly with “greener” alternatives. The new recyclable pod will therefore be an improvement but still just a minor one. “Recyclable as they may be, the new cups are not compostable. They are not reusable. And Keurig will still be selling billions of pieces of plastic each year,” notes the NYT.

Waitrose's sustainability sourcing dairy advert and live cow cam 

Last week we previewed Waitrose’s new advertising campaign, titled Spring, that aims to demonstrate its commitment to dairy farmers and the quality of their herds. Now the new TV ad, created by Adam&EveDDB has gone live - a big budget statement for sustainable sourcing if ever we saw one. You can watch it here (along with Waitrose’s live cow-cam).

I name this ship Boaty…

Finally today, the votes are all in and, yes, the winning name for that UK scientific research vessel is indeed Boaty McBoatface. The tongue-in-cheek entry received 124,109 votes but don’t bank on it becoming the official name. As the Guardian reports the Natural Environment Research Council thanked everyone who took part in the naming competition but added: “We’ve had an extremely high volume of suggestions and will now review all of the suggested names. The final decision will be announced in due course.” 

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