Daily Media Briefing 2nd July 2012

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Circular Economy, Community, Daily Media Briefing, Employees, Environment

Top Stories

July 02, 2012


Australia introduces controversial carbon tax

Australia has introduced its highly controversial carbon tax, after years of bitter political wrangling. For Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the carbon tax is the centrepiece of the country's "clean energy future". But the tax, which will affect about 300 of the worst-polluting firms, has seen widespread protests and has pushed the Labour government to a 40-year low in opinion polls. The opposition, led by Tony Abbott, calls it a "toxic tax" that will cost jobs and raise the cost of living. Government plans for compensation to low-income earners have failed to sway Abbott, a climate sceptic, who has promised to repeal the tax if elected next year. Businesses have criticised the resulting uncertainty, with many reluctant to make long-term investments in carbon reduction. (BBC; The Guardian)

What do we think? In today's blog, Charlie Ashford has his say on Apple, M&S and the 'circular economy'.

Corporate Reputation

Barclays boss quits as bank scandal deepens

The market-rigging scandal over Barclays’ submissions of interbank lending rates took two major new twists last night as the chairman of Barclays prepared to resign and the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England was drawn into the investigation. The scandal became public last Wednesday when the UK’s Financial Services Authority and American authorities fined Barclays £291 million for deliberately making false submissions. It is the latest controversy to hit the UK’s troubled banking sector in the years since the credit crunch, which have seen public anger over bankers’ pay and perceived irresponsibility. The Treasury will open a review this week designed to bring much tougher, US-style powers of prosecution to the City as all sides call for the authorities to put bankers behind bars. (The Times*, p1)


More women break through glass ceiling

One in five of Britain's leading companies have reached the Government's target of having women make up at least a quarter of their board, three years ahead of the 2015 deadline. The figures show the struggle to smash the "glass ceiling" in boardrooms is accelerating. Recent months have seen 44% of all new board-level appointments going to women, at companies including pharma giant AstraZeneca, retailer Marks & Spencer and temporary power group Aggreko. The drinks giant Diageo has the most women in the boardroom, with 44% female directors. Burberry and Pearson, both led by women, are next best, with 38% and 33% female representation. (The Independent, p49)

Social Investments

Unilever teams up with Facebook to switch on safe water

Unilever has launched a scheme to provide safe clean drinking water to communities around the world by harnessing the power of social networking. The Unilever Foundation in partnership with health organisation Population Services International (PSI) has set up a not-for-profit programme, called ‘Waterworks’, using Facebook’s platform to provide water for communities in need. Users of the app choose a small daily donation from €0.10 to €1 and a ‘Waterworker’ to partner with. The workers will be trained by PSI in sanitation and hygiene issues, and will then go out into their communities to pass on this information and distribute Unilever’s cost-price water purification devices and sachets. Each Waterworker will be given a mobile phone allowing them to take photos and record stories to connect back to their Facebook partners. (Edie)

*Requires subscription