Top Stories

August 16, 2012

Supply Chain

Bangladesh, India, Vietnam supply chains most at risk from natural disaster

Bangladesh, the Philippines, Myanmar, India and Vietnam are among ten countries where supply chains are at greatest risk from natural hazards such as flooding, earthquakes and tropical cyclones, according to risk analysis company Maplecroft. The ‘Natural Hazards Risk Atlas’ shows that some of Asia’s most important growth economies have the highest financial risk from the threat of natural hazards, largely due to the high exposure of their cities and trading hubs to events like flooding. Many of these same high-risk countries also demonstrate poor capability to recover from a significant event. This would not only disrupt their domestic economy, but also the operations and supply chains of many of the world’s largest corporations who invest in these locations. For example, the worst flooding in Thailand in almost seven decades hit at least five major industrial parks last year, forcing Toshiba, Honda Motor Co., Toyota and other companies to shut down hundreds of factories. (Environmental Leader)

Johnson & Johnson widespread commitment to toxic ingredient removal

Johnson & Johnson, which makes a range of personal care products, has announced plans to remove a host of potentially harmful chemicals like formaldehyde from its line of products by the end of 2015. In doing so it is becoming the first major consumer products company to make such a widespread commitment. The company had already pledged to remove certain chemicals from its baby products by 2013, but the latest announcement extended the program to its adult products, including well-known drugstore brands like Neutrogena, Aveeno and Clean & Clear. Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, said her group would continue to press other cosmetics and consumer-goods companies to follow Johnson & Johnson, including the Estée Lauder Companies, Procter & Gamble, Avon and L’Oreal. (New York Times)

Corporate Reputation

News Corp sets up global ethics team in wake of hacking scandal

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has set up a global compliance and ethics team led by its top in-house lawyer, as it deals with the lingering fallout of a phone-hacking scandal that rocked the company just over a year ago. The scandal led to more than 60 arrests including dozens of current and former journalists, some of whom held senior positions at News International titles. Last week, the Church of England sold all its shares in News Corp, citing ethical grounds, whilst Murdoch said the company has initiated a review of anti-corruption controls in selected locations around the world. (Reuters)

Libor scandal: Seven banks summoned in US probe

Seven banks, including HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland, are to be questioned in the US for alleged manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) lending rate. Barclays, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and UBS have also received subpoenas from the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut. Last month, Barclays was fined £290 million by UK and US regulators for rigging Libor. The investigation is predicated on the assumption that at least one other bank must have colluded with Barclays in any attempts to manipulate Libor rates, which are used as a reference to price trillions of dollars of financial products. The US authorities will see whether supporting documents and testimony provide sufficient evidence for a criminal prosecution. A government-ordered review into Libor is currently being conducted by the managing director of the Financial Services Authority, Martin Wheatley. (BBC News)


GRI calls for public to comment on sustainability reporting guidance

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is calling for the public to comment on sustainability reporting guidance geared towards improving the way companies report on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. GRI produces a sustainability reporting framework that is widely used around the world and is now working on the next generation of its Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, called G4. According to GRI, GHG accounting and reporting is a fast-moving area, covered by increasing regulatory requirements. As part of the development process of the guidance, a public comment period is now open for organisations and individuals to share their views and help shape reporting on GHG emissions until November 12 2012. (Edie)