Daily Media Briefing 30th August

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Circular Economy, Daily Media Briefing, Employees, Environment, Strategy, Technology & Innovation, Waste

Top Stories

August 30, 2013

CSR Management

WWF report: businesses must drive collective action to address water risks

According to a new report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), companies that approach water related activities solely from a corporate social responsibility perspective are unlikely to address underlying water risks and harness potential opportunities. This follows the UK industry water regulator Ofwat’s call for companies to adopt an integrated stakeholder approach to the efficiency of water use. The report, which examines how businesses are dealing with water issues, states that approaching water use as a strategic and core business issue is material to profits and long term opportunities for growth.  The report introduces five steps to effective water stewardship and urges greater awareness and knowledge of the impacts related to water.  The WWF said that companies have an incentive to invest in sustainable water management beyond their "fence-line" in a way that advances the public interest, because it manages business risk at the same time.  (Edie)


Government partnership with Chevron sparks public protests in Argentina

A partnership between the US energy company Chevron and the state owned Argentinian energy company YPF to drill for oil and gas resources in Argentina has sparked protests amongst an estimated 5,000 citizens, including some politicians.  The protests are over concerns that Chevron will exploit national oil and shale gas resources and the effects on the environment and local communities.  The Argentinian Government said that the deal will reduce the country’s reliance on energy imports and help to overcome a “serious energy crisis.”  One politician said that the Government’s agreement states that if Chevron causes environmental damage, it will be the state owned YPF which will be liable for the costs. Reportedly, Chevron is investing $1.24 billion to drill an estimated 100 wells.  Chevron said that while the joint venture is “risky”, it is worth doing because of the natural resources available. (Blue and Green Tomorrow)

UK DIY sector reduces landfill waste by 83 percent

The UK circular economy and resource efficiency organisation, WRAP, has announced that the UK DIY businesses signed up to the Home Improvement Sector Commitment have significantly surpassed their waste reduction targets in 2012.  Signatories of the commitment account for almost half of the UK’s home improvement retail sector and include AkzoNobel UK Decorative Paints, B&Q, Crown Paints, Homebase and Wickes.  WRAP said that by the end of 2012, the signatories reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill by 83 percent, exceeding the 50 percent target.  In addition, packaging waste was reduced by 25 percent, exceeding the 15 percent target.  The chief executive of WRAP, Liz Goodwin, said that the activities of all signatories had improved product and packaging design, making recycling easier. (Edie)



US fast food workers strike across 60 cities

Amid the controversy of low wages and the right to form unions, fast food workers in the US staged a one day strike yesterday across the country.  The strike, which was more widespread than expected, affected 60 cities, and is the largest action to date in the 10 month campaign.  This latest action follows calls within Congress to increase the minimum wage to $9 an hour.  The fast food industry is known for paying low wages, but unions and poverty campaigners are claiming that the jobs have disproportionately replaced many better paid jobs which were lost in the recession.  In an open letter to fast food companies, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken, the New York based campaign group, Fast Food Forward, said that the disparity between the $7.35 industry wide profits and the average worker wage of $11,200 was “shameful and outrageous.”  (The Guardian)

Technology and Innovation

Invention of Indian solar dryer reduces food waste

A group of Indian graduate students have developed a solar conduction dryer which uses solar energy to dry food, reduce spoilage and is designed to help alleviate rural poverty through preserving agricultural produce.  The dryer, which uses solar energy to dry out fruits and vegetables, enables farmers to preserve their produce while retaining the majority of its nutritional value, and sell the food for a higher price.  The students won $60,000 at Dell’s 2013 Social Innovation Challenge for the dryer.  The group said that the solar conduction dryer “will act as a boon for the farmers and fishermen with poor access to electricity.”  According to the World Bank, an estimated 72 percent of India’s 1.1 billion population live in poor, rural communities which are predominately dependent on agricultural livelihoods.  The students are currently working with the United Nations Environment Programme and the German pharmaceutical and nutritional company Bayer to improve the dryer’s efficiency, reduce its cost to farmers and to transfer the technology to other developing countries.  (Eco Business)