More firms appointing lead corporate responsibility role
The proportion of organisations with a lead corporate responsibility role rose to 62% in 2011, versus 42% in 2010, according to a survey by Corporate Responsibility Magazine, the Corporate Responsibility Officer Association and NYSE Euronext. The survey found that senior-level engagement in CR is increasing, with 66% of CEOs driving a CR-related initiative in the past year. The poll also found that 77% of companies expect to expand their CR programs over the next three years, but only 60% of organisations have dedicated CR budgets.
OPEC oil production hits three-year high
Crude oil output of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose in December to the highest since October 2008, mainly due to a further recovery in Libya’s production, a survey has revealed. According to the survey, the OPEC, which supplies more than a third of the world’s oil, is producing more than the target of 30 million barrels daily it adopted at a December 14 meeting, as oil prices well above $100 a barrel provide little incentive for supply cuts.
Chinese premier seeks to deepen energy ties
China will this week launch its highest-level diplomatic visit to the Gulf for more than two years, seeking to bolster its growing energy ties to the region. Premier Wen Jiabao’s six-day trip will take him to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, while China’s state-owned Sinopec is poised to sign a joint venture deal to develop a big refinery on the Saudi Red Sea Coast. Unrest across the Middle East has triggered wider concerns in China about its dependence on the region’s oil.
Google admits making profit from illegal ads
Internet giant Google is profiting from illegal advertisements on its search engine, including for unofficial London 2012 Olympics tickets, cannabis, fake ID cards and fake UK passports, an investigation by the BBC has found. Google removed the ads after the BBC brought them to its attention, but internet giant told journalists that it keeps all the money it makes from companies advertising illegal services before such ads are taken down.
More women break into top boardrooms
Women have a long way to go before being properly represented in the boardroom, but research has shown progress is being made. Last year, 27% of appointments to the boards of FTSE 100 companies were women, bringing the total percentage of female directors on firms listed in the top index to 15. Research from the Professional Boards Forum found 98 females were appointed across the FTSE 100 and the next tier down, the FTSE 250, last year.
Eon to buy 10% stake in Brazil’s MPX Energia
German utility Eon plans to spend €350m on a 10 per cent stake in Brazil’s MPX Energia as a prelude to forming a joint venture with the power company to run and build fossil fuel and renewable energy plants in Brazil and Chile.
The deal marks a first success for Eon in its year-old quest to reduce its exposure to low-growth Europe by investing in selected fast-growing markets such as Brazil, whose 200m inhabitants are pushing electricity use up each year.