Top Stories

April 19, 2013

Human Rights

US Supreme Court blocks Nigerian activists from suing Shell over alleged torture

The US Supreme Court has blocked a group of Nigerians from suing the oil giant Shell for allegedly aiding in torture and murder in a ruling that human rights experts warned could limit the ability to bring such cases in the US. In a unanimous ruling, the justices stopped a case filed by Nigerian activists who allege that in the 1990s Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell's antecedent), was complicit in the torture and murder of protesters at the company's Shell Oil operations in the Ogoni region. "Nothing in the Alien Tort Statute text evinces a clear indication of extraterritorial reach," the court found. (Guardian)

Malian government urged to end child labour in mines

The Malian government should take immediate action to address child labour in mining instead of denying it, Human Rights Watch has said.  Human Rights Watch published an in-depth report on the issue but Malian authorities attacked this research earlier this month and rejected well documented evidence that child labour is used in the country’s mines. Field research conducted by Human Rights Watch reported children between the ages of 6 and 17 were involved in digging pits, working underground in unstable mines, carried and crushed heavy ore, and used toxic mercury to extract gold. Such work is hazardous and prohibited under international and Malian law. (Human Rights Watch)

Supply Chain

United Airlines launches new sustainability initiative

United Airlines is launching a Sustainable Supply Chain (SSC) initiative in an effort to better understand the environmental performance of its suppliers and deepen relationships with its key supply chain partners. The SSC programme involves measuring and evaluating the sustainability of United's current suppliers' products and operations through a comprehensive survey, starting with those suppliers in traditionally high-risk industries as well as members of the airline's strategic supplier community. The initiative underscores United's effort to build on the airline's actions and commitment to environmental sustainability. (Wall Street Journal)

Policy & Research

Tackling gender-based violence with solar lanterns

Panasonic Corporation, the Japanese multinational electronics company, has donated Y3,000,000 (USD 31,000) to International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for a study intended to assess how effective solar lanterns are at reducing gender-based violence in Somali displacement camps. The study has come about due to previous findings by IOM Somalia, who conducted an assessment in two IDP (internally displaced people) settlements where gender-based violence was reportedly high. The assessment concluded that many of the incidents took place at night, when IDP settlements are in darkness. IOM followed up with a distribution of over 1,400 solar lanterns in IDP camps countrywide. (CSR Africa)


Starbucks introduces reusable cups

The coffee chain Starbucks is introducing a reusable cup which UK customers can keep, in a move designed to encourage them to be more environmentally conscious while saving money. The reusable cup is based on the design of the brand's distinctive white and green paper cups and will cost £1. Customers who use their reusable cup will receive a 25p discount off their Starbucks drink every time they use it. Globally the chain is aiming for five percent of drinks made in its stores to be served in reusable cups by 2015. (Guardian, Business Green)

G4S surpasses 2012 carbon reduction target by 3 percent

Global security services firm G4S has achieved a 16 percent reduction in carbon emissions since 2009, largely due to a decrease in energy consumption by employees.  According to its 2012 Corporate Social Responsibility report, the company established a 4.3 percent year-on-year carbon reduction, taking its total carbon footprint in 2012 to 612,000 tonnes of CO2.  CEO, Nick Buckles said that through the company's Climate Action Programme the 16 percent reduction was a welcome achievement, adding that he was confident that the company could achieve an overall reduction of at least 20 percent by the end of 2015. (Edie)