Daily Media Briefing 20th August

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Consumers, Daily Media Briefing, Employees, Environment, Sustainable Investment, Technology & Innovation

Top Stories

August 20, 2013

Responsible Investment

Study: investors are still slow to embrace sustainability

According to the preliminary findings of a global study by the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and the multinational management consulting firm Accenture plc, investors are beginning to understand the risks of unsustainable practices, although the pace of change is slow.  The study, which is conducted every three years, examines investor and consumer attitudes to sustainability and includes interviews with 76 CEOs and a survey of more than 1,000 chief executives globally.  The final results will be presented in September 2013 at the UNGC Leaders’ Summit in New York.  In 2010, the last time the study was conducted, CEOs said that one of the most significant obstacles to implementing sustainability strategies was the complexity of integrating a company-wide approach.  This year, the study aims to understand the role investors are playing in companies’ efforts to align business performance with sustainability leadership. (Environmental Leader)


UK male bosses’ bonuses are double those of female colleagues in management roles

According to a study by the UK Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the pay gap between men and women in the UK is exacerbated by bonus payments given to male managers, which are on average double those given to women.  The study reports that the average bonus given to male managers in 2012 was £6,442, with £3,029 being the average bonus given to women.  The CMI said that male managers’ salaries are already nearly 25 percent higher than women’s.  The chief executive of the CMI, Ann Francke, said that businesses lose out in terms of growth, employee engagement, and more ethical management cultures.  Earlier this year, the UK professional board management forum, BoardWatch, recorded the first fall in the percentage of women on boards since the figures were first compiled in 1999. (BBC; The Guardian)


UK shopper lands Tesco with £300k fine over strawberries

The UK supermarket chain Tesco has been fined £300,000 after Birmingham Crown Court found it had breached pricing practice guidelines, following a challenge by a pensioner about the retailer’s pricing of its strawberries.  Daphne Smallman said that she had never seen the fruit offered for sale at the original £3.99 price and questioned whether the £1.99 promotion was the bargain it appeared to be.  She raised her concerns first with the store manager and in an email to Tesco, but when she had no reply, she contacted trading standards officers. Judge Michael Chambers said that Tesco’s promotion was “patently wrong and misleading.”  Tesco has admitted to four counts of unfair commercial practice and has blamed it on an error, rather than a deliberate policy to mis-sell. (The Times*; BBC)


Activists turn up pressure over UK fracking

The UK’s Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, was among the anti-fracking protesters that were arrested yesterday as a day of action saw thousands of people take part in demonstrations at sites across England, in the continuing controversy over fracking in the UK.  Activists blockaded the headquarters of the UK oil and gas exploration company Cuadrilla, as well as the entrance to its PR firm in London. Mrs Lucas said that she joined the protest to make up for the “democratic deficit” that was allowing corporate oil and gas interests to take precedence over the concerns of ordinary people.  Cuadrilla said that their operations were “legal, approved and safe” and that the company was “complying with multiple planning and environmental permits and conditions, which we have met and will continue to meet.”  (The Guardian)


Technology and Innovation

Launch of first driverless electric vehicle in Singapore

The Singapore Economic Development Board, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the Singapore industrial developer JTC Corporation and the French company Induct Technologies have launched ‘NAVIA’, an autonomous electric vehicle which provides a new mode of transportation.  This is part of a wider development programme aimed at ensuring the country becomes more sustainable and efficient in its use of energy and resources.  According to data from Singapore’s National Environment Agency, the transport sector accounts for 15.8 per cent of fuel consumption in Singapore, following the power generation and industrial sectors.  The Energy Research Institute at NTU will supervise NAVIA’s two year test run and review the vehicle’s ability to manoeuvre between traffic and work with Induct to increase NAVIA’s energy efficiency and charging speeds. (Eco Business)

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