Daily Media Briefing 9th October

Daily Media Briefing


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

Top Stories

October 09, 2012

Finance & Banking

Ireland’s central bank starts PPI probe

The Central Bank of Ireland, on Monday named six lenders that it was investigating over the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI) policies and warned it was considering taking enforcement action against the banks. Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks, Educational Building Society, GE Money, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank, which is owned by RBS, have been ordered by the central bank to review all sales of these types of insurance policy since August 2007. A seventh lender, which did not agree to have its name published, is also being investigated. The inquiry follows a similar investigation in the UK and could lead to tens of millions of euros in repayments to customers who were wrongly sold PPI. It is the first sign that the PPI scandal is spreading to banks outside the UK. British banks have set aside more than £9bn in compensation for mis-selling of PPI in recent years. (Financial Times*, Irish Independent)


Supply Chain

Puma pushes case for green shoes

The German sportswear company, Puma, has called for an end to outdated import duties on synthetic materials that make it more expensive for companies to switch to making greener shoes and clothing. Puma released internal research on Monday which showed that the environmental impact of making its conventional suede sports shoe was nearly one-third higher than for a cotton and linen alternative that has no leather and a biodegradable plastic sole. However, the greener shoes were €10 more expensive than the suede version, Puma said, partly due to higher import duties on the biodegradable plastic used in the shoe, than for less environmentally friendly leather. The company’s chairman, Jochen Zeitz caused a stir in June when he told the Financial Times that due to the high environmental impact of leather, Puma was seeking to phase it out from its supply chain. (Financial Times*)

Corporate Reputation

Aquarius chief quits as unrest grows and demand falls away

The chief executive of Aquarius Platinum, Stuart Murray, has resigned as pressure mounts across the South African precious metal industry, with violent wage protests and falling prices. His departure is the third major exit from a platinum miner this year. David Brown left Impala Platinum in January, and Neville Nicolau quit Anglo Platinum in July. Alison Turner, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said: "The resignation is a sign of the depth of the challenge of operating a platinum company in arguably the toughest conditions ever faced by the industry." It’s been a tough year for Aquarius Platinum. In August, three people died and at least 20 others were injured in clashes at its Kroondal mine, in Northwestern South Africa, and in September, operations at the mine were temporarily suspended during escalating strikes and disputes between rival unions. (Financial Times*, Independent)


UK Government floats £2m bioenergy from wetlands competition

Businesses and entrepreneurs are being invited to bid for a share of a £2m government fund aimed at encouraging innovation in bioenergy production on wetlands. The government is keen to raise the contribution of sustainably sourced bioenergy, with forecasts that it could meet 8- 11 percent of the UK's total primary energy demand by 2020. The new scheme aims to use plants already being grown and harvested in wetland areas for generating power, a less land-grabbing approach than conventional crop derived bioenergy. "As well as providing a valuable habitat for a range of plants and wildlife, our wetland areas produce a diverse mix of clean green energy sources, which in many cases are currently going to waste," said Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker. (Business Green)

Responsible Investment

Eurosif study shows marked growth in responsible investment

The fifth annual ‘Sustainable and Responsible Investment Study’ from the European Forum for Sustainable Investment (Eurosif), published on Friday, has outlined strong market growth, primarily driven by demand from institutional investors. The study says that an increasing number of investors across Europe are adopting responsible and sustainable investment strategies – some of which are implemented side-by-side. The study outlines how the UK’s SRI market is dominated by institutional investment, which holds a 97% share compared to the 3% made up by retail investment. It also reported that dedicated sustainability-themed investments continued to grow in the UK, and by 2011, were valued at £7.5 billion. (CSR Europe)

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