Top Stories

March 21, 2013


Singapore Exchange pushing for greater sustainability disclosure

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) is pushing for listed companies to disclose more details about their sustainability practices. This comes after a recent study by SGX and accountant firm KPMG revealed a lack of genuine commitment by Singapore-listed firms to report details about the social and environmental aspects of their business. To facilitate greater disclosure, the Singapore bourse will introduce more tools to support listed firms in their reporting. In addition to raising the level of sustainability disclosure, SGX may also look into setting up a sustainability index for Singapore-listed stocks. (Channel News Asia)


Asia Pulp & Paper says 'thank you' to Greenpeace

Following its landmark commitment to end all deforestation on natural forest land, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) has revealed the debt of gratitude it owes to Greenpeace – the campaign group that has spent much of the past decade orchestrating boycotts against the company. In a wide-ranging interview detailing how the company came to announce last month that it had halted all development on natural forest land, APP's managing director for sustainability and stakeholder engagement, Aida Greenbury, said the newly published Forest Conservation Policy had been in development since 2010, with the goal of getting to the point where all natural forest felling was halted. (Business Green)

Corporate Reputation

US said to look into Microsoft bribery allegations

Federal authorities are examining Microsoft’s involvement with companies and individuals that are accused of paying bribes to overseas government officials in exchange for business. The US Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have both opened preliminary investigations into bribery accusations involving Microsoft in China, Italy and Romania.  Microsoft’s practices in those countries are being looked at for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits American companies from making payments to government officials and others overseas to further their business interests. (CNBC, Wall Street Journal)


Leading businesses encourage supply chain reporting

Leading international businesses including GlaxoSmithKline and MITIE have joined a campaign to encourage companies to measure and report sustainability in their supply chains. Open-data sustainability platform, Ecodesk, who is leading the campaign, has forecasted that London Stock Exchange listed firms could save £3bn in 2013 through supply chain measuring and reporting, based on savings already experienced through customer supply chain reporting programmes. GlaxoSmithKline supply chain sustainability leader, Matt Wilson said “GSK's ambition is to improve the sustainability of its supply chain, which will see it inevitably preference the suppliers that are willing to come on that journey," he explained.” (Edie)

Human Rights

World Bank: investigate 'development' project abuses

An independent panel has called for an investigation into a World Bank-funded project in Ethiopia following accusations from refugees that the bank is funding a programme that forced people off their land. The refugees claim the ‘Protection of Basic Services’ programme funded by the bank and the UK Department for International Development (DfID), is contributing directly to the Ethiopian government's ‘villagisation’ programme which seeks to move people to new villages. However residents say this is done with little consultation or compensation, and that these sites lack adequate facilities. (Guardian)