Top Stories

August 01, 2012


BP still paying for Gulf of Mexico spill

BP has set aside a further $847 million to pay for 2010’s Deepwater Horizon disaster, raising the potential cost to $38 billion. After the oil company released disappointing financial results yesterday, one analyst warned that BP was “testing the faith” of investors. However, BP’s chief executive Bob Dudley stood by claims that the group has “turned the corner” after the world’s worst offshore spill. “I don’t think that the company is losing its way whatsoever,” said Dudley, pointing to a return to production in the Gulf of Mexico, where six rigs are now operating. “These things are massively important in terms of getting BP back to work.” He added: “BP is a company still making a transformation. We are building a stronger, safer company.” (The Guardian, p22)

US airlines urge Obama to take tougher line against EU emissions rules

Senior officials from 16 of the world’s leading economies are meeting in Washington D.C. to discuss proposals for a global framework for curbing aviation emissions that would allow the EU to reverse its controversial decision to impose a carbon levy on flights in and out of Europe through its emissions trading scheme (ETS). A letter from a number of US industry groups, including Airlines for America and the US Chamber of Commerce, urges the Obama administration to take a tougher line in challenging the EU’s inclusion of US airlines in the ETS. “As each day goes by without an EU act to halt or suspend the ETS, the harm to US airlines and aircraft operators and the threat to US sovereignty grow while the US government’s credibility is weakened,” states the letter, which was sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. (BusinessGreen)

Inclusive Business

Bloomberg names America’s most promising social entrepreneurs

Bloomberg has published its fourth annual roundup of promising for-profit social enterprises. After producing a shortlist of 25, readers’ votes were used to pick the top five. In first place comes The Paradigm Project, which sells clean-burning wood and charcoal stoves in Kenya and Guatemala, with the aim of reducing deforestation, respiratory disease and poverty. For each stove it sells, the company also collects carbon offsets covering the estimated emissions saved, which it sells on international markets. Also topping the list are Sseko Designs, which teaches Ugandan women how to sew and then employs them so that they can pay for University, and Retroficiency, which makes software to help businesses find potential energy savings in their buildings. (Businessweek)

Policy & Research

Energy efficiency as important for branding as for bottom line

Improving energy efficiency at America’s businesses is as important to brand building as it is to growing the bottom line, according to a new report. The study, reSources 2012, shows that while 85% of companies claim that electricity cost reductions are essential to staying financially competitive, almost as high a proportion – 81% – believe they are critical to brand building.  More than three-quarters of the organisations surveyed say they are actively promoting their energy efficiency efforts to their customers. According to the report, there is now a clear consensus in corporate America that energy efficiency is an important competitive advantage. It adds that as companies move away from the “low hanging fruit” and on to more sophisticated stages of energy efficiency – requiring larger investments – capital funding is the number one barrier to future progress. (Environmental Leader)