Daily Media Briefing 7th September

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Environment, Policy & Research

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September 07, 2012

Corporate Reputation

Lonmin, three unions sign ‘flawed’ peace accord

Following recent incidents around the current miners’ strike in South Africa, Lonmin and three unions – the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and United Association of South Africa – all signed a peace accord this week. However, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and a workers’ delegation did not sign, said Sdumo Dlamini, president of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, which does not bode well for the long term stability of the situation. Strikers, campaigning primarily for wage increases, have threatened to kill any miners still working as well as Lonmin’s management and are determined to close the main shaft at a second site. Lonmin and the unions within the bargaining council will negotiate wage demands at the heart of the strike, said Lonmin’s acting CEO, Simon Scott. (Financial Times*, The Times*, Business Day Live)

Policy & Research

UN urges businesses to tackle catastrophic chemical risks

A major new report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released this week argues that industries and governments have consistently failed to introduce best practices and policies commensurate to the scale of the threat presented by harmful chemicals. Although chemical products and fertilisers play an important economic development role, particularly in poorer countries, they are leading to over one million premature deaths a year and resulting in global economic losses that run to hundreds of billions of dollars a year. The report calls for a shift in policy making in favour of preventing risks and identifying safer alternative substances, rather than addressing hazards once they occur. (Business Green)

Corporate ethics: Freedom can boost sustainable credentials

In a recent survey of corporate responsibility reporting, KPMG found that publicly listed companies were generally further advanced than companies with other forms of ownership. However, without the need to produce quarterly reports, privately listed companies are able to pursue the longer term strategies needed to develop low carbon manufacturing processes or find renewable alternatives to diminishing natural resources, says KPMG. Moreover, the survey also shows that while private companies do not have to report to shareholders, technology and new media have created pressure for increased corporate transparency, regardless of ownership structure. (Financial Times*)


Rift widens between green lobbyists and businesses as Heathrow U-turn looms

British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday reassured opponents to a third runway at Heathrow Airport that he would honour his manifesto not to expand it before the end of the current parliament. However, amid increasing speculation that the Government is preparing for a controversial U-turn, it has emerged that a cross-party commission will be launched next week to discuss the possible expansion of airport capacity in the South East. Businesses have insisted that, considering the current economic climate, airport expansion is crucial in bolstering the economy. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), an association that promotes the interests of around 200,000 businesses, welcomed the launch of this independent commission to look at how to increase British aviation capacity. (Edie, The Guardian)

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