Top Stories

September 04, 2012


EU pushes 40% quota for women on boards

Europe’s listed companies will be forced to reserve at least 40% of their non-executive director board seats for women by 2020 or face fines and other sanctions under a proposal being drafted by the European Commission. The legislation is aimed at what EU officials believe is a severe gender imbalance across the bloc’s 27 member states: EU data shows that in January, women represented only 13.7% of board positions in large listed companies. According to the draft, companies larger than 250 employees or with more than €50 million in revenues would be required to report annually on the gender make-up of their boards. Those that miss the mandatory quota would be subject to administrative fines or be barred from state aid and contracts. (Financial Times)*


Corporate Reputation

Singapore charges oil company over safety lapses in refinery fire

Authorities in Singapore have charged Royal Dutch Shell with safety lapses leading to a major fire last year at the Anglo-Dutch giant's 500,000 barrels-per-day refinery in the city state. Shell's Bukom refinery is its biggest plant worldwide and makes up more than a third of Singapore's capacity. Singapore's Ministry of Manpower filed a charge against Shell on August 31st for an offence under the Workplace Safety and Health Act for the lapses in safety, the ministry said in a statement this week. The company faces a fine of up to S$500,000 (£252,957) if convicted in the case, which is to be heard by a court on September 25th. (Reuters)



Businesses urged to back Environment Agency’s waste crime crackdown

UK businesses are being urged to carry out due diligence on their waste contractors, after a major new report from the Environment Agency revealed the number of illegal waste sites detected by the watchdog has almost doubled to 1,175. The Agency stressed the increase in the number of sites being detected was primarily the result of the launch last year of a new dedicated £5 million Illegal Waste Sites Taskforce, funded by Defra. The Taskforce closed more than 750 large-scale illegal waste sites and successfully prosecuted 335 individuals and companies for waste-related offences last year. Andrew Higham, head of the Environment Agency's National Environmental Crime Team, warned that waste crimes remain a major environmental threat, pose risks to people's health and undercut legitimate businesses. As such the agency wants to see more businesses and local authorities support its efforts. (Business Green)

Clean tech firms more confident than counterparts

Senior executives at clean tech firms are significantly more confident about the next 12 months than their counterparts in the wider global economy, according to a major new survey from consultancy and research firm Grant Thornton. The company yesterday released new figures drawn from its quarterly ‘International Business Report’ survey of 3,000 businesses. Over two-thirds of clean tech firms expect to see revenues increase over the next 12 months, compared to just 52% of conventional firms. (Business Green)


Supply Chain

Beef industry future under the spotlight in new report

The UK beef sector, a supply chain that generates £2.8 billion for the economy and provides 440,000 jobs in England alone, faces 'significant challenges' to secure a sound future and needs a better vision, according to a National Farmers’ Union (NFU) report. The ‘Bullish Prospects’ report identifies priority areas for action for each part of the chain in order for beef farming to become sustainable and attractive for the next generation of farmers. NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe said that the high standard of animal welfare and environmental stewardship that Britain is known for are essential in their vision for a profitable, economically sustainable and internationally competitive industry. He encouraged all in the supply chain to work together towards this vision for a sustainable beef industry, including those in processing and retail where concerns about future beef supply have been indicated. (Farming UK)

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