Daily Media Briefing 4th January

Daily Media Briefing

 

Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Employees, Environment, Supply Chain, Waste

Top Stories

January 04, 2013

Corporate Reputation

Rig owner pays $1.4bn oil spill fine

Transocean, which owned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, has agreed to pay $400m (£248m) in criminal penalties and a $1bn civil fine to the US Government, after pleading guilty to violating the Clean Water Act. The Swiss-based company leased the rig, which exploded in April 2010, to BP. The oil spill damaged the Gulf of Mexico coast causing one of the biggest environmental disasters in US history. BP spent £14bn on cleaning up the oil spill and compensating local people, it was also hit by a record fine from the US Government in November. (Telegraph, Financial Times*, BBC)

Wegelin to close after US tax evasion fine

Switzerland's oldest bank is to close permanently after pleading guilty, in a New York court, to helping Americans evade their taxes. Wegelin, which was established in 1741, has also agreed to pay $57.8m (£36m) in fines to US authorities. It said that once this was completed, it "will cease to operate as a bank". The bank had admitted to allowing more than 100 American citizens to hide $1.2bn from the Internal Revenue Service for almost ten years. It becomes the first foreign bank to plead guilty to tax evasion charges in the US. (Independent, New York Times, BBC)

Employees

Migrant workers face 'severe exploitation' in Italy's farm sector

Migrant workers in Italy's agricultural sector face 'severe exploitation', according to research published by Amnesty International. The report claims that migrants typically receive wages well below the minimum wage, suffer arbitrary deductions from their pay, have pay delayed or withheld completely and endure long working hours. It focuses on the exploitation of workers from sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Asia carrying out seasonal or temporary jobs in southern Italy. Many migrants are in Italy without the appropriate paperwork, making them vulnerable to exploitative practices. The report follows two Ecologist investigations that named companies such as Coca Cola as purchasers of oranges harvested by poorly treated migrant labourers. (The Ecologist)

Environment

Fears over carbon emissions after permit prices drop

The global carbon market shrank by more than a third, to €61bn (£49bn), in 2012, the lowest level in its five-year history, fuelling concerns that permit schemes designed to reduce CO2 emissions are proving ineffective. The value of permits fell from a worldwide average of €11.20 a tonne to €5.70 last year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, due to an over allocation in the EU. Donald MacDonald, chairman of the Institutional Investors Group on climate change, said: "The carbon price looks much too low – an effective carbon market needs a realistic price. We need intergovernmental action to increase it." In the UK, new legislation will put a "carbon price floor" on emissions, initially £16 a tonne, rising to £70 by 2030. (Independent)

Supply Chain

Sainsbury’s turns Christmas cards into FSC cash

Sainsbury’s has opened Christmas card recycling stations at 500 stores, and is making donations to the Forest Stewardship Council for each card collected. Customers can bring their cards into the stores until January 15. They can also bring a variety of other waste left over from their holiday celebrations, including wrapping paper, cardboard, aluminium, glass and plastic. Last year Sainsbury’s recycled nearly 50 metric tons of Christmas cards and donated almost £7,000 to the FSC, the company said. (Environmental Leader)

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