Top Stories

April 04, 2013

Human Rights

Ageism more widespread than sexism

Age discrimination is now seen as a more widespread problem in the City of London than sex discrimination, a survey of more than 1,600 finance sector workers has found. While more than one-third of the City's employees said their employer was “very committed” to gender diversity, less than a quarter felt the company was similarly committed to fighting age discrimination. The research also confirmed that problems over discrimination and lack of commitment to diversity were most likely to arise in areas such as trading and sales rather than within the middle or back-office functions. (Financial Times* HR Director)

Corporate Reputation

RBS shareholders to sue over rights issues

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and its former directors are being sued for up to £4bn by thousands of private shareholders in a class action law suit. The RBS Shareholders Action Group, representing more than 12,000 private shareholders, claimed that the former directors "sought to mislead shareholders by misrepresenting the underlying strength of the bank and omitting critical information" from the rights issue prospectus. The action group also includes approximately 100 institutional investors, including HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Credit Agricole. This is the second claim to be lodged against RBS in the last few days.  (Financial Times*, Guardian, Independent)


Oil companies urged to end CSR efforts in Nigeria

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has called on the oil companies in the country to put an end to their corporate social responsibility activities, which are thought to be a substitute for environmental remediation and compensation.  The Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Godwin Ojo, said that oil companies’ corporate social responsibilities have become subject to manipulation and abuse. He stated that “Until environmental health is restored, we call for the immediate suspension of all forms of oil companies’ corporate social responsibility that is weakening and dividing the people more than providing any net material benefits.” (Premium Times Nigeria )

Virgin Atlantic in-flight catering rated on sustainability

Virgin Atlantic Airways is to become the first airline in the world to have its in-flight meals assessed for sustainability. The UK airline has teamed up with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), a national not-for-profit organisation working with UK restaurants to improve their environmental footprint. Under the deal, Virgin Atlantic will have its entire global catering operation rated by the same standards as SRA-certified restaurants. Virgin Atlantic said the decision to partner with the SRA is part of its 'Change is in the Air’ programme, which seeks to improve the airline’s sustainability activities. (Edie, Green Wise)

Supply Chain

Woolworths takes direct approach with dairy farmers

Australian retailer Woolworths aims to build deeper, longer-term relationships with its milk suppliers by contracting with them directly. Woolworths, the largest supermarket and grocery chain in Australia, expects to be taking delivery directly from farmers by the middle of 2013. It will be the first supermarket in the country to do so. The company believes the approach will mean a better deal for farmers, enabling them to cut out the margin taken by intermediaries, and also a closer and longer term relationship with their dairy supply chain. (Supply Management)

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