Daily Media Briefing 14th August

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Environment, Sustainable Investment

Top Stories

August 14, 2012

Responsible Investment

Equator Principles group unveil new green investment guidelines

Financial institutions around the world are this week being invited to consider a proposed update to the ‘Equator Principles’, the popular set of due diligence guidelines designed to help banks and institutional investors identify, assess and manage environmental and social risks associated with project finance deals. The Principles were originally launched in June 2003 and have been subsequently endorsed by 77 financial institutions in 32 countries, including global giants such as ABN Amro, Banco Santander, Bank of America, Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC, and JP Morgan Chase. The draft changes extend the principles to cover project-related corporate loans and bridge loans, introducing new requirements for managing climate impacts, delivering more stringent reporting and transparency requirements, and placing a greater emphasis on human rights considerations. (Business Green)


Corporate Reputation

PwC faces investigation over RSM Tenon audits

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is facing an investigation by the sector’s regulator into its auditing of crisis-hit corporate financial firm RSM Tenon. PwC is being investigated by the Accountancy & Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB) over possible rule violations in the audits of RSM Tenon for the two years period ending June 2011. The investigation of PwC comes after the firm was fined a record £1.4 million in January for failures in its audits of client money accounts at JP Morgan that led to customers’ money becoming mixed up with the bank’s own funds. “We will be cooperating fully with the AADB investigation. We will be vigorously defending our audits and other work carried out for RSM Tenon Group,” said PwC in a statement. (The Telegraph)

India cancels GMO cotton license

An existing license for Monsanto genetically engineered cotton seeds (also known as genetically modified organisms, or GMOs) has been revoked in the Indian state of Maharashtra amid an investigation into farmer suicides. Some have suggested the high cost of the seeds, which have failed to repeal cotton pests as promised, as well as the debt incurred by farmers as a result has been a contributor to more than 8,200 suicides in the past decade. India has taken a more sceptical view of GMO crops this year. In late June, the country joined Russia, China, Brazil, and 49 major industrialised nations in requiring GMO labelling.  So far, 50 countries either restrict or ban the use or cultivation of GMOs outright. (Sustainable Business)

Social Investments

Indian parliamentary panel pushes mandatory 2% CSR spend

A parliamentary standing committee vetting the Indian Companies Bill has asked the Indian government to insert a clause which mandates that most companies "ensure" that at least 2% of their net profit is spent on Corporate Social Responsibility. The suggestion is that companies are to spend the amount on a prescribed list of activities, including eradicating poverty, education, health or simply enhancing vocational skills. (Economic Times)