Vale plans Amazon biofuel plant
Brazilian mining company Vale is preparing to build the world’s largest single processing plant for palm oil by 2015 in an effort to cut its vast fuel costs and help develop the struggling Amazon region. The project, which will cost more than $500m, will initially sell its produce to food producers until the completion of a facility to convert the palm oil to biodiesel. As well as reducing the carbon emissions of Vale, which consumes about one in every 33 litres of diesel in Brazil, the project will also help boost the region’s economy, creating 6,000 jobs in Pará and using local farmers to produce about a quarter of the required palm oil fruits. “We’re helping these families to make the transition from poverty to the middle classes,” said Eduardo Ieda, head of the miner’s biodiesel company Biopalma, adding that participating farmers would be eligible for loans at Banco da Amazônia and Banco do Brasil.
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Apollo Hospitals wins Inclusive Business award
Indian hospital chain Apollo Hospitals Group is one of fifteen companies to receive a G20 ‘Challenge on Inclusive Business Innovation’ award for work with people in developing countries. Apollo’s ‘Reach Hospitals’ initiative aims to make specialised, quality healthcare available to the poorest people in India. Ms Preetha Reddy, Managing Director of Apollo, said, “Unfortunately, most tertiary healthcare facilities in India are located in major metropolitan areas – meaning that most Indians have little or no access to specialised healthcare services. We consider it our responsibility to extend the same kind of healthcare services and facilities to smaller towns. This is our way of reinvesting in the ecosystem and contributing to the Indian society at large.”
Inclusive Business Report Launch
An increasing number of leading companies are developing business models that extend social and economic opportunities to marginalised and disadvantaged people, including them as consumers, employees, distributors and suppliers. Click here to read Corporate Citizenship's new report, Inclusive Business – The Next Frontier for Corporate Responsibility, and join us for the report launch tomorrow at our London offices with representatives from SABMiller and Vodafone.
UK Government on the hunt for “Greeniuses”
The UK government has announced a major new £3 million grant scheme for green entrepreneurs, designed to support those early stage firms working on technologies and business models that will enhance food, water, and energy security. Unveiled last week on the sidelines of the UN Rio+20 Earth Summit, the Green Genius – or “Greenius” – contest will be formally launched in the autumn. The new funding comes amidst growing signs of tensions within the coalition government over its green growth strategy. Last week it emerged that two cabinet ministers, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman and International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell have followed Foreign Secretary William Hague in writing to the Prime Minister to recommend a renewed focus on delivering green growth.
Measuring the social value of corporate sponsorship
Coca-Cola has fought back against critics of its Olympic sponsorship, teaming up with the UK think tank Demos to measure its positive social value. Writing in a new report by Demos entitled Measuring Up: The value of sponsorship, Jon Woods, general manager for Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland, says: “Traditionally, many sponsors view partnering with high-profile events as the chance to raise the profile and visibility of their brand and little else. However, we think that sponsorship has much greater potential – that it should be designed to create social as well as commercial value.” Coca-Cola’s initiatives at the London Olympics, which include plastic recycling and sports programmes, place it at the vanguard of corporate advertisers aiming to promote the social conscience of their brands.