Daily Media Briefing 26th March

Daily Media Briefing

 

Posted in: Daily Media Briefing, Environment, Policy & Research, Reporting, Supply Chain, Technology & Innovation

Top Stories

March 26, 2013

Social Innovation

Google launches Global Impact Challenge

Google is offering a share of £2m to the four UK charities that come up with the most innovative technology-based ideas to improve society and transform lives. Each winner of the ‘Global Impact Challenge’ will receive £500,000, laptops and technical assistance from Google to help them implement their projects. “Google believes technology can help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges, and is eager to back innovators who are using technology to make an impact,” a spokesman said. (Telegraph, Third Sector)

IBM mobile app to help solve water challenges

IBM has launched a project to help capture, share and analyse information about the water distribution system in South Africa. The project, called WaterWatchers, is driven by a free mobile phone application and SMS capability that will enable citizens to report water leaks, faulty water pipes and general conditions of water canals. Every update will provide data points to an aggregated WaterWatchers report to create a single view of the issues challenging South Africa’s water distribution system. The app is intended to help local municipalities visualise and prioritise improvements to city water infrastructure. (Environmental Leader)

Supply Chain

Hershey to source 10 percent certified cocoa by year end

Hershey, the US chocolate brand, says it is on track to source at least 10 percent of its total global cocoa purchases from certified sources in 2013. The company also has set benchmarks for reaching 100 percent certified by 2020 as part of its ‘21st Century Cocoa Plan’. Hershey suppliers work with Fair Trade USA, UTZ Certified and Rainforest Alliance to verify that cocoa is grown in line with the highest internationally recognised standards for labour, environment and better farming practices, the company says. As Hershey’s buying volume increases, the company says it will work with other well established certification organisations to expand its capacity to certify more cocoa farmers globally. (Environmental Leader, CSR Wire)

Policy & Research

Europe losing its edge in clean tech market

China, Japan and South Korea are threatening Europe's competitiveness as a green investment hub, according to a new league table due to be published today. The Climate Institute and General Electric will today unveil the fifth annual Low Carbon Competitiveness Index, which ranks the G20 in terms of current and future green economies as well as early preparedness for future emissions changes. The report will show that France has retained its top position in the global low carbon economy, and is followed by Japan. China jumped from seventh place last year to third after dramatically scaling up its investments in clean energy. However the UK however has fallen from third to fourth place, and is followed by South Korea in fifth place. (Business Green)

Economy

Japan and EU to start talks on trade deal

Japan and the EU have agreed to open talks next month over a trade deal in the latest sign of a re-energised global trade negotiating agenda. Such a pact would unite economies that account for more than a third of global economic output but have struggled to boost chronically low growth. The EU estimates that a deal could add up to 420,000 jobs, particularly in pharmaceuticals, business services, chemicals and the food and drink sectors, while increasing gross domestic product by 0.8 percent. (Financial Times*)

Emerging Markets

Ghana set to process 40 percent of cocoa locally

Ghana is projected to increase its local processing of cocoa to 40 percent in the coming years, according to the 2013 Economic Report on Africa (ERA) released yesterday. Co-produced by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Union (AU), the report said Ghana, the world’s second largest cocoa producer, plans to substantially raise the internal processing of the commodity to enable it to consolidate its role as a key driver of its economic development. The report stated that the country hopes to increase local value addition through the introduction of incentives in the sector, including price discounts and extended credit payment. (Ghana Business News)

Environment

World Bank gives Sh274m for lake conservation

The World Bank has given Sh274m (£2m) to 82 community groups in western Kenya to protect the environment. The first tranche of Sh77m was given to the communities over the weekend by the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Programme (LVEMP) for eradicating environmental degradation. The aim of the initiative is to enable community members to conserve their local environment. LVEMP said they were seeking to reduce emission of industrial effluent into Lake Victoria by up to 30 percent by 2015. (Business Daily)

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