Top Stories

April 10, 2013

Policy & Research

Protests in India to rally against EU–India Free Trade Agreement

A large number of people including people living with HIV, patient groups and public health activists will take to the streets of New Delhi today to voice concerns and protest against harmful provisions being pushed by the European Union in the EU–India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. Protestors believe the Agreement would impede access to affordable medicines in India and across the developing world. There are further concerns over the lack of transparency in the Bill, violation of the rights of the indigenous people, and the threat increased imports would make to local businesses and livelihoods. (Human Rights Asia, Pharama Biz)

Supply Chain

Walmart Donates £1m to fund Bangladesh training centre

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has donated $1.6m to part-fund a Bangladesh training centre to help improve the country's garment factory conditions. The Environmental Health and Safety Academy, established by the Institute for Sustainable Communities, will offer apparel manufacturers high-quality, comprehensive and affordable training on workplace safety. The company’s efforts come after a factory that produced Walmart clothing caught fire in November 2012, killing 112 people and injuring at least 150. The training will address fire safety and health and workplace safety more generally. (Reuters)


Drive to get more women in boardrooms slowing

Lord Davies, has insisted that corporate Britain is "stepping up and responding" to his call three years ago for more women to be appointed to boardroom roles, despite growing evidence that progress towards a more equitable gender balance has slowed. For the last six months the percentage of female directors appointed to FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 boards has slipped to 26 percent and 29 percent respectively, according the latest report from the Cranfield International Centre for Women Leaders. This is well short of the 33 percent required to reach Davies' target of a quarter of board posts being filled by women by 2015. (Guardian)

Corporate Reputation

Asda finds horse drug in corned beef

It has been revealed that Asda, the supermarket chain, has found low levels of the horse painkilling drug phenylbutazone, also known as bute, in tins of their corned beef in the first such case in Britain. Britain’s Food Standards Agency said the level of the drug, which is banned from entering the human food chain, posed a low risk to human health, as results showed it contained 4 parts per billion. Asda, the British arm of Walmart, the US retailing giant, said the drug had been found in tins of its Smart Price corned beef. Despite the low health risks, the company are recalling this product. (Financial Times*, Times)


Balfour Beatty says cutting emissions cannot be top priority

Multinational construction and engineering group Balfour Beatty, which operates in over 80 countries, has said that its global nature is hindering it from reducing its CO2 emissions. Having released its annual sustainability report yesterday, the FTSE 250 company has defended its disappointing greenhouse gas emission figures, claiming they were par for the course for an international company. The company’s group head of sustainability and innovation Chris Whitehead acknowledged that the company had missed its 2012 global carbon reduction targets but said if it wanted to cut its CO2 it “would have to stay and die in the UK.” (Edie)

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