Daily Media Briefing 27th March

Daily Media Briefing

 

Posted in: Daily Media Briefing, Environment, Governance, Policy & Research, Reporting, Supply Chain, Waste

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March 27, 2013

Governance

Trade unions challenge over social issues

Britain’s largest trade unions are joining forces to challenge companies over issues such as excessive executive pay and the lack of women on boards by exercising their votes as shareholders.  The Trades Union Congress and its two biggest affiliates, Unite and Unison, announced new guidelines on how they will vote on behalf of their staff pension funds, which control £1bn worth of shares in UK companies. They have formed a group, Trade Union Share Owners, which will ensure their pension funds take a common voting position. Companies in which the unions and the TUC hold significant investments include Legal & General, Shell, BP, Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC. (Financial Times*)

Reporting

H&M discloses supplier list and sustainability progress

H&M for the first time has made its supplier factory list public alongside its annual sustainability report. The fashion apparel company says publishing the list is an effort to build a more transparent, sustainable fashion industry and covers 95 percent of its total production volume. H&M offered incentives programmes and formed strategic bonds with suppliers to encourage them to voluntarily open up. The report also highlights H&M’s clothing collection initiative, which gives customers the opportunity to return old clothes in exchange for a discount voucher, with the aim to make clothes out of the recycled garments. (Sustainable Brands)

Policy & Research

Climate change policies affect businesses negatively

The UK government has downplayed new figures revealing the extent to which businesses are being hit by climate change policies, insisting it is putting support measures in place to soften the blow. New analysis by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), published today, shows policies such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), EU Emissions Trading System and carbon floor price will add between 15 to 21 percent on to medium-sized energy users' bills in 2013. Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, admitted that the figures were not so positive for businesses at present. However, he added that planned support measures could help offset up to half of the costs for firms. (Business Green, Guardian, BBC)

Landfill bans could save £2.5bn a year                                                  

Banning food, textiles, wood and plastic from landfill could save resources worth £2.5bn a year and help companies avoid £1bn of landfill costs, think-tank Green Alliance will say today. New research by the group shows that policies preventing cars and electronics being dumped in landfill have improved recycling rates significantly and advocates extending these regulations. It states that the UK recovered around a quarter of unwanted mobile phones in 2010 and that this figure is set to rise to 80 percent by the end of the decade, keeping £13m of value in the UK economy per year, as a result of the EU's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive. (Business Green)

Environment

International Paper joins WWF group

International Paper, the world’s largest paper and packaging company, has joined the Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN), one of World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) initiatives focused on eliminating illegal logging and promoting environmentally and socially responsible forest management. International Paper says it hopes that it can use its purchasing power to drive improvements in responsible forestry around the globe. The company joins a network of more than 200 companies and communities that are already members of the GFTN. (Environmental Leader)

Supply Chain

Sustainable Easter eggs save the rainforest

Divine Chocolate and Booja Booja make the most rainforest-friendly Easter eggs, according to a survey of chocolate brands based on their use of palm oil, while Lindt, Thorntons and Guylian rank at the bottom of the list. Ethical Consumer magazine and Rainforest Foundation UK ranked more than 70 UK chocolate brands as part of a new campaign to force companies to use more sustainably sourced palm oil. The groups ranked the Easter egg companies’ practices and policies in relation to their palm oil sourcing, using public information and a questionnaire. (Environmental Leader, Guardian)

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