Top Stories

April 16, 2013


'Hackathon' to help keep Singapore green and clean

Hackathons, events traditionally attended by IT programmers who meet to create exciting new software, are now being used by the National Environment Agency (NEA), Singapore. Its brainstorming session, dubbed The Clean and Green Hackathon, will involve participants trying to come up with environmental solutions for Singapore. Billed by the NEA as "a celebration of collaboration and innovation", the event aims to attract not only scientists and environmentalists, but also architects, web developers, programmers and other citizens. An NEA spokesman said that the agency intends to "solicit good ideas for apps that can help track, monitor and protect the environment" through the event. (Wild Singapore)


Unilever cleans up with one million tonnes of CO2 savings

Unilever has cut more than one million tonnes of CO2 from its manufacturing and logistics operations since 2008, the company announced yesterday. Manufacturing activities provided the bulk of the savings, shedding 838,000 tonnes of CO2, while improving the efficiency of its logistics operations helped Unilever cut emissions by a further 211,000 tonnes since its 2008 baseline. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is one of the central targets in Unilever's high-profile Sustainable Living Plan, which has introduced a raft of eco-efficiency programmes that cut the company's operating costs by €300m since 2008. (Business Green)

Supply Chain

Wal-Mart and Sears refuse compensation for factory victims

Wal-Mart and Sears Holdings Corp. have so far declined to join Li & Fung Ltd. and other companies in voluntarily compensating victims of a fire last year at a Bangladesh garment factory. Wal-Mart and Sears also didn’t respond to an invitation to attend a meeting yesterday in Geneva, where companies whose clothing was manufactured at the Tazreen Design Ltd. factory were expected to discuss compensation payments. The November 2012 blaze killed 112 workers and increased pressure on Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other Western retailers to help improve factory conditions and take more direct responsibility for their suppliers. (Bloomberg)

Tesco removes GM-free guarantee

Tesco, one of UK’s largest supermarkets, has announced it will no longer guarantee its chicken and egg products have come from chickens fed on non-genetically modified (GM) feed. The supermarket has taken the decision to remove the pledge as it said it could no longer be sure GM feed would not enter its supply chain. It explained its suppliers were finding it increasingly difficult to be able to provide assurances because soya producers are increasingly using GM soya, and the supply of the alternative is limited. Just 20 percent of the global supply of soya is not genetically modified. (Supply Management)

Policy & Research

Companies who report on employee engagement perform better

A new report launched yesterday by Business in the Community (BITC)’s Workwell campaign reveals a critical need to increase the transparency of how employee engagement and wellbeing practices are reported across the FTSE100. The Workwell FTSE 100 benchmark was developed in response to research showing that FTSE100 companies with robust arrangements for reporting on employee engagement and wellbeing outperform the rest of the FTSE100 by 10 percent. Barclays Plc, British Land Co., BT Group, Johnson Matthey and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) lead the U.K.’s largest companies on how they report employee engagement and wellbeing, according to the new index. (Bloomberg)