France to cut top pay at state-owned companies
France’s new socialist government has launched a crackdown on excessive corporate pay by promising to slash the wages of chief executives at companies in which it owns a controlling stake, including the nuclear power companies EDF and Areva. In a departure from the more boardroom-friendly approach of the previous administration, newly elected president François Hollande wants to cap the salary of company leaders at 20 times that of their lowest-paid worker. The government also wants to pressure other companies in which it owns a stake to follow its lead, although it has no legal power to force such a change. Jean-Marc Ayrault, prime minister, said he "believed in the patriotism" of company leaders and their willingness to share the country’s economic pain.
Financial Times* p17
British business urged to take action on homophobia
British business is becoming more gay-friendly but has further to go in fighting homophobia and developing top-level role models, corporate leaders and equality campaigners have said. They were responding to statements made by Lord Browne, former chief executive of BP, at the launch of Connect Out, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender network set up by the engineering consultant Arup. Lord Browne urged companies to do more to end discrimination against gay people, arguing that they needed "concrete targets" and "rigorous performance measurement". However, some business leaders considered his views to be out of touch. Albert Ellis, chief executive of Harvey Nash, the recruiter, said he "did not recognise" the situation Lord Browne described and suggested he was talking about his past experience.
Financial Times* p3
Top US companies accused of blocking action on climate change
Some of America's top companies are spending heavily to block action on climate change or discredit climate science, despite public commitments to sustainable and green values, a new report has found. An analysis of 28 companies by researchers from the Union of Concerned Scientists, a US non-profit, exposed a sharp disconnect in some cases between PR message and less visible activities, with companies quietly lobbying against climate policy or funding groups which work to discredit climate science. The disconnect was especially stark for oil giants ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil, and the electricity company DTE Energy.
US brands adopt standardised recycling label
Major brands including Yoplait, Esteé Lauder and the packaging company Sealed Air have joined with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, which includes ConAgra Foods and Microsoft, to bring a new voluntary recycling label to the United States. The How2Recycle Label aims to reduce consumer confusion by providing clear and consistent recycling information on packaging, and has been endorsed by several state and local governments. The label is based on the UK's successful On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL), which was developed by the British Retail Consortium and WRAP.