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Benetton debuts new sustainable store concept in Italy



Shelves of the new sustainable shop in Italy
The 160-square meter, single floor boutique makes abundant use of upcycled natural materials

Benetton raises the curtains on a new store concept in Florence.

Featuring intensive use of sustainable materials and state-of-the-art, energy-saving technologies, this new location is a new approach to low environmental impact retail.

The result of an intensive research and innovation effort, the new store is part of a major sustainability project that Benetton is carrying out to consolidate best practices, improve its environmental and social performance throughout the supply chain, and become a model for sustainable fashion – not only in Italy, but throughout the entire world.

“The concept behind this store is unique in the world. It was developed to launch a new phase for our firm,” Massimo Renon, Benetton Group Chief Executive Officer, commented. “It’s a project our company firmly believes in, a milestone on our path to becoming a global reference point in terms of sustainability, and in which Florence represents the symbol of a sustainable Rinascimento. Benetton has always made courageous and cutting-edge choices in terms of social impact. We will continue in this tradition, with ever more determination and conviction.”

The 160-square meter, single floor boutique makes abundant use of upcycled natural materials. The floor is made with gravel from the river Piave and waste wood from beech trees brought down by Vaia (a storm that hit the Italian Veneto region in 2018), while the walls are treated with a mineral paint with antibacterial and anti-mold properties that can also reduce pollutants in the environment.

The store interiors are made with new materials created from textile industry scrap: the perimeter platforms and bases of the display stands are made with a compound created from used buttons (difficult to dispose of) mixed in hydro-resin; recycled wool (in its raw wick state) is reused in the design of the perimeter lining and as decoration for the curtains of the dressing rooms; shelves, display bases and mannequins are made in “rossino”, a material created from upcycled, mixed textile fibres.

The shop window displays make use of sustainable solutions that reduce the use of resources. Transparent panels fixed to the ceiling can be moved at will, creating a sort of theatrical backdrop that forms a connection between the store and the street. The windows are equipped with low environmental impact transparent LED screens, which will feature content about product visuals, commercial information and communication.

The Florence boutique is also a benchmark in terms of power consumption: the new shop uses 20% less energy than a standard store. A system based on tiny sensors, artificial intelligence and data analysis maximizes the energy efficiency of the points of sale and guarantees comfort for the customer, for example by automatically adjusting store temperature based on the amount of people in the shop.

Visitors to the store can choose from among the wide range of United Colors of Benetton sustainable garments in organic, recycled or BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) cotton, regenerated nylon, natural fibres such as linen, and other sustainable materials. Customers can then choose to take their purchases home in either washable, easily recyclable organic cotton bags or in paper bags made with materials sourced from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified forests.

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Manchester City announces global partnership with renewable energy sponsor



A Masdar and a Manchester City FC representative stands together holding a Manchester City's official shirt.
Partnership will support a global sustainability campaign ahead of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, scheduled for 15 – 19 January 2022

Premier League Champions Manchester City has announced this week a new global partnership with Masdar, which will see the renewable energy and sustainable development company become an Official Partner of the Club.

Masdar, a global leader in renewable energy, clean technologies and sustainable development, is focused on the development of renewable energy projects across the Middle East and North Africa, and wider international markets, with a presence in almost 40 countries worldwide.

“At Manchester City, we have a commitment to grow sustainably and responsibly, whilst recognising that the Club has the ability to use its voice to encourage the communities we connect with to do more. In recent years we have made significant progress within this area. We also know that a sustainable future can only be achieved by working together collaboratively with partners and fans and we’re delighted to welcome Masdar as an Official Partner today to join us on this journey.” – says Stephan Cieplik, Senior Vice President of Global Partnership Sales at Manchester City Football Club.

As part of the new agreement, Manchester City and Masdar will collaborate on a range of partnership activations, including the launch of a new global campaign, aimed at raising awareness on the importance of climate action and mitigating climate change. The campaign will coincide with the Masdar hosted, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the leading platform for accelerating sustainable development, which is scheduled to take place from 15 – 19 January 2022.

“Climate change is the defining issue of our time, which affects us all. By working together to raise awareness, educate and take action, we can turn this global challenge into an opportunity and play our part in delivering a sustainable future.” – added Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer at Masdar.

The recent deal with Masdar is Manchester City’s second partnership announced with an Abu Dhabi-based business in 2022, after the luxury 5 star hotel Emirates Palace was revealed as the club’s official hotel partner on 4th January.

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Deutsche Post makes its entire mail transport greener



German postman cycling a bicycle to deliver packages
Deutsche Post and DHL already delivers mail and parcels carbon-free in more than 50% of its delivery districts in Germany

Another European business switches to a more sustainable way of delivering packages: Deutsche Post DHL Group, a German multinational package delivery and supply chain management company, has announced it will start offsetting unavoidable CO2 emissions for letter mail transport at no extra charge to its clients by investing in internationally recognized and certified climate protection projects.

The step is part of DHL’s sustainability program, which for the last ten years, has transported all parcels for private customers with its climate-friendly “GoGreen” service. Now, Deutsche Post is also offsetting all CO2 emissions generated by its mail transport operations, achieving a more sustainable mail service at no extra cost to customers.

Up until now, the GoGreen option was subject to a charge and only available to business customers with a shipping volume of at least 50,000 items per year. The recent move makes letter mail more climate friendly for private customers as well. Deutsche Post will be offsetting any unavoidable CO2 emissions due to mail transport with investments in internationally recognized and certified climate protection projects. For a roughly 6.5 billion letters handled by Deutsche Post’s letter mail operations in 2020, this would translate into an offset of more than 300,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. For domestic advertising mail and press products, customers still have the option of ordering GoGreen as an additional service.

“Climate protection is a core focus issue for Deutsche Post. Already today we have, by far, the largest fleet of electric delivery vans, electric-powered bicycles and cargo bikes providing the industry’s most climate-friendly mail and parcel delivery service. And for years, our parcel customers have responded very positively to the climate-friendly shipping we have provided for all private-customer parcels. Now we are introducing this to our mail operations as well and making our entire mail transport greener. This also helps our business customers make their mail correspondence with end customers greener.” – says Ole Nordhoff, Chief Marketing Officer at Deutsche Post.

Since 2007, Deutsche Post and DHL have offered their GoGreen service as a way to offset – through certified climate protection projects – the CO2 emissions generated by their shipping operations. Over the past decade, all private-customer parcel shipped within Germany has automatically been shipped “GoGreen”. The company already delivers mail and parcels carbon-free in more than 50% of its delivery districts, making it by far Germany’s most climate-friendly logistics provider. In addition, the Group’s Post & Parcel Germany division continues to expand its fleet of electric vehicles, to invest in the construction of carbon-neutral operations facilities, and to upgrade existing buildings. The division also plans to continuously increase the share of parcels shipped via greener transport modes such as rail and biogas-powered trucks. It also plans to expand its GoGreen product portfolio in 2022 with products that will allow customers to play an active role in CO2 avoidance in Germany.

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Aviva invests 50m into sustainability fund



Young man looking after an outdoor plant
The company aims to create new employment opportunities and contribute to the UK’s efforts to deliver net zero by 2050

Aviva, the UK’s leading insurer, has announced a commitment to invest £50m into venture capital funds focused on emerging technology which supports a more sustainable future.

The commitment follows the company’s pledge, earlier this year, to become a Net Zero carbon emissions enterprise by 2040.

The new investments into funds with a specific sustainability focus will directly support Aviva’s strategic ambition to contribute to a sustainable economic recovery.

The first investment, announced ahead of Christmas, is into the Clean Growth Fund. Launched in 2020, the initiative invests in promising early-stage UK clean technology companies, with products and services focussed on driving clean growth in the low carbon economy. It aims to accelerate the commercialisation of clean growth technologies, create new employment opportunities across the UK and contribute to the UK’s efforts to deliver net zero by 2050.

“We are investing in new technology which will support the global transition to net zero and help Aviva meet its 2040 net zero ambition. We’ve seen strong growth in sustainability focused start-ups as consumers become more climate conscious.  Our investments will help build upon our knowledge of this space and enable us to continue meeting our customers’ changing needs.” – says Ben Luckett, Chief Innovation Officer at Aviva.

Through its Clean Growth Fund, Aviva has already invested in companies such as Indra, which manufactures and supplies smart electric vehicle chargers, and Wokingham-based Tepeo, which invented a zero-emission boiler.

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