Daily Media Briefing 23rd August

Daily Media Briefing


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

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August 23, 2012

Corporate Reputation

Food crisis prompts ethical business dilemma

The United Nations (UN), aid agencies and the British Government have criticised the world’s largest commodities trading company, Glencore, after it described the current global food crisis and soaring world prices as a “good” business opportunity. Large private corporates such as Glencore are being criticised for making large profits off the back of the droughts in America, food crises in Russia and volatile pricing in Africa. It is prompting thoughts towards a reform in multinational regulation for such food companies whilst the G20 is considering holding an emergency summit on the world food crisis. A Glencore spokesperson said: “Regardless of the business environment, Glencore is helping fulfil global demand by getting the commodities that are needed to the places that need them most.” (The Independent)


Electric drive bus sales “to quadruple” by 2018

Global sales of electric drive buses are set to quadruple over the next six years, driven by an explosion in demand from the Asia Pacific region, according to a report by Pike Research. The ‘Electric Drive Buses’ research says that by 2018 annual sales of buses with hybrid systems, battery electric systems or fuel cells will reach 20,000 worldwide, compared to 5,000 expected in 2012. In some regions this massive increase will be led in part by public policy, which has shifted its focus away from other pollutants and toward greenhouse gases, spurring interest in low carbon and zero-emission buses powered by batteries or fuel cells. China will drive this growth and demand in other countries will grow, but not as much as in the Asia Pacific region, the report claims. (Environmental Leader)


Responsible Investment

Firms “fail to advise” investors on social responsibility

A paucity of information on how South African companies were performing on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues meant that investors could not make informed decisions, the second annual Africa ESG Investment Forum was told yesterday. The 44 deaths emanating from the strike at Lonmin’s Marikana mine were an extreme example of the type of risk faced by investors who did not take ESG issues seriously, said several speakers at the second annual Forum. South African legislation and regulation is encouraging a movement towards ESG reporting. However, speakers at the event said that asset owners were not insisting on receiving information about ESG issues before investing. Information was sometimes “just not there”, despite requirements by financial reporting standards and internal auditing regulations, an analyst at Element Investment Managers said. (Business Day Live)