Daily Media Briefing 15th February

Daily Media Briefing

 

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

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February 15, 2013

Environment

Head of Iberdrola pushes Government for clarity

The head of ScottishPower has urged the UK Government to turn its attention from nuclear power to wind and gas to keep Britain’s lights on.  Keith Anderson, the UK head of ScottishPower’s Spanish parent, Iberdrola, said that with the possibility of blackouts looming as soon as 2015, immediate action was needed to meet energy demands. He urged the Government to concentrate on finalising its electricity market reforms to set new subsidies for gas plants and wind farms. ScottishPower is waiting for more clarity on subsidies before deciding whether to go ahead with three gas plant projects, he added. (Times*)

Strengthened UNEP to meet for landmark conference

Hundreds of environment ministers, decision makers, scientists, civil society representatives and business leaders will gather at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in an attempt to galvanise stronger action on pressing environmental issues. Issues to be discussed include sustainable consumption, financing options for chemicals and waste, and system-wide coordination on Rio+20 follow-up. The conference next week, is the first ever meeting of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF), under universal membership. The gathering is a direct result of Rio+20, when heads of state and governments decided to strengthen and upgrade UNEP. (Edie)

Big companies demand EU carbon market action

More than 30 leading companies from across Europe have called on EU policy makers to back moves to bolster the flagging emissions trading scheme (ETS). A European parliamentary committee is set to vote next week on whether to support plan to boost the carbon price. The European Commission hopes to reduce the surplus of allowances that is blamed for driving the price of carbon to below €3 per tonne. Companies including E.ON, Shell, GE, Kingfisher, Unilever and DONG Energy are among the signatories of an open letter sent to members of the committee warning that the current carbon price is too low to stimulate low-carbon investments or drive green innovation. (Business Green)

Policy & Research

More proof that environmental issues affect market value

According to a new report by Deloitte, an organisation’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance can directly and indirectly impact its market valuation. ‘Finding The Value In Environmental, Social And Governance Performance’  says that short-term ESG issues and events, including human-rights issues, product recalls, boycotts and protests, often trigger the strongest and most immediate impact on stock prices. As the media continues to discuss an organisation’s ESG crisis, this can further erode shareholder confidence. (Environmental Leader)

New York Mayor plans Styrofoam ban

New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is set to announce plans to ban the use of Styrofoam, a packaging material widely used by takeaway restaurants, across New York. The Mayor, who won plaudits from green business leaders in the wake of superstorm Sandy with his calls for more urgent action to tackle climate change, will use his final State of the City speech to announce the proposed ban. According to reports, Mr Bloomberg will argue that the material should face a similar ban to that imposed on harmful lead-based paint. An estimated 20,000 tons of Styrofoam enter the city's waste stream each year with the vast majority ending up in landfill. (Business Green)

Corporate Reputation

Water companies are caught avoiding tax

British water companies are avoiding millions of pounds in tax by loading themselves up with debt listed on an offshore stock exchange, an investigation by Corporate Watch has revealed. The disclosure comes only a week after industry regulator Ofwat announced that water bills would rise by an average of 3.5 percent to £388 a year. The study found six UK water companies took high-interest loans from their owners through the Channel Islands stock exchange. Interest payments on the loans reduce taxable profits in the UK. (Independent)

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