Top Stories

December 05, 2012


Unpaid internships could become illegal in the UK

Advertising unpaid internships could become illegal in the UK from next year under proposals being introduced in parliament today. The Labour MP Hazel Blears said she had cross-party support for her 10-minute rule bill, which seeks to ban job postings for placements that break national minimum wage law. Although advertising for jobs is governed by discrimination laws, promoting unpaid internships is not currently unlawful. A recent YouGov survey found that the takeup of unpaid internships may have grown tenfold in the last two decades. The survey, commissioned by the National Union of Students, found that two out of five 18- to 24-year-olds believe unpaid internships act or have acted as a major barrier to getting a job. (The Guardian)


Business leaders call for action at Doha

On Sunday, over 1,000 representatives from business and government met to discuss the need for urgent policy action to support the transition to a green economy, at an event held to coincide with the on-going United Nations climate talks in Doha. Naoko Ishii, CEO of the Global Environment Facility, which links ten international agencies including the World Bank and UN Development Programme, said at the event: “Over the past few years, we have not seen huge success in engaging the private sector in achieving a low carbon economy. The current policy of the governments is not helpful yet for the private sector to help achieve sustainable growth”.

As the second week of the Doha talks continue, a major issue has been whether rich countries should compensate developing nations for the “loss and damage” caused by events linked to climate change. The concept, which is new for both science and policy, has become a “red line” for an alliance of more than 100 developing countries. However, the US and Europe have resisted the idea, fearing that it would lead to potentially endless financial claims. (Eco-Business, The Guardian)

British Airways takes off with biofuels project

British Airways (BA) has entered into a venture which will see the airline using sustainable biofuels for commercial air travel. The facility is the first of its type in the UK and will annually convert 500,000 tonnes of residual waste into 50,000 tonnes of aviation biofuel.  BA has committed $500m to purchasing 10 years' supply of the fuel and joins Lufthansa, KLM, Virgin and several other large carriers experimenting with alternative fuels. Jonathon Counsell, BA’s head of environment, said that by 2015 the plant could account for 2% of BA's fuel. If the project is successful, the company will look to build several facilities in the UK. (Edie, Business Green)

Social Innovation

Google unveils $23 million Global Impact Awards

Google has announced its new Global Impact Awards, which aim to support organisations using technology and innovative approaches to tackle some of the toughest human challenges. The first round of awards provides $23 million to seven organisations changing the world, including the World Wildlife Fund, which is using new technologies to advance anti-poaching efforts, GiveDirectly, which aims to use mobile transactions to put money directly into the hands of the poor, and Equal Opportunity Schools, which will use data analytics to identify 6,000 high-performing yet underrepresented students in the US. (Official Google Blog)

What do we think? On our blogCorporate Citizenship's Jon Lloyd sees some promising new trends in impact measurement by corporate donors.