Top Stories

February 28, 2014


Coca-Cola looks beyond water targets to wider policy challenge

Coca-Cola’s director of global water stewardship Greg Koch has revealed that policy engagement is the fastest growing area of the company’s work on water, and called for greater government intervention on the issue. Koch said that while Cola-Cola was confident of meeting its goal to become water neutral by 2020, the bigger challenge for the company was around influencing collective action and public policy. Koch revealed that globally, Coca-Cola is currently replenishing 52 percent of the total amount of water used in producing its beverages, and is on target to achieve a 100 percent replenishment rate by 2020. He said the challenge now for the company was replicating its work on water stewardship, both within its internal operations and upstream in the supply chain, on a much wider scale. “We have to extend that response to the watersheds we share, to the communities we are a part of, and ultimately on a broader stage, at a policy level, a general education and awareness level.” (Edie)


UK food and drink manufacturers ‘making progress’ on landfill reduction  

A new survey has found that UK food and drink manufacturers are making good progress towards meeting their zero waste to landfill goal by 2015. The survey from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) shows that food and drink manufacturers sent 3 percent of their food and packaging waste to landfill in 2012, compared to 16.5 percent in 2006. The report, published jointly with waste prevention organisation, WRAP, details the significant waste management improvements manufacturers are making year on year. In 2012, manufacturers prevented 250,000 tonnes of food from entering the waste stream by redistributing it to other uses, whilst 28 percent of waste was recycled, increasing to 96 percent for used packaging. FDF Sustainability director Andrew Kuyk said that, “tackling food waste is a key priority for our industry… working in partnership with independent bodies such as WRAP and our partners across the supply chain, the industry has been able to ensure significant progress to reach these targets, enabling manufacturers to waste less or use any that is generated in a more environmentally friendly way.” (Edie)


UK gamblers to set own limits on high-stakes betting machines

Gamblers will be able to set limits on the amount of time and money they spend on gaming machines under a new UK code of conduct launched today. The gaming industry is under pressure over the spread of high-speed, high-stakes betting terminals, which critics say lead to crime and addiction. The Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) said the code, which will also introduce mandatory alerts when a customer has spent £250 or played for 30 minutes, was part of its “ongoing efforts to tackle problem gambling”. The code was welcomed by the UK government, but it said “more could be done”. Customers will set their own limits on the time and money they want to spend on a machine and staff will be alerted when the limit is reached. The machine will, in turn, alert the customer and force a 30-second break in play. Dirk Hansen, chief executive of the gambling advice service GamCare, welcomed the code, saying that, “these new measures will not only educate players to the risks associated with gambling but also empower individuals to get support when they need it.” (Guardian)


Asian Development Bank switches to 100% renewable energy

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced that its headquarters in Manila will meet all of its energy needs from renewable sources, following a geothermal power supply agreement with electricity distributor AdventEnergy. The contract with AdventEnergy see’s ADB purchase an average of 1.5 million (kWh) of electricity a month which will be supplemented by around  50,000 kWh generated monthly from ADB’s rooftop solar panels. These two sources are expected to meet the entire energy requirements of the headquarters building. ADB vice president Bruce Davis said that, “as an institution we are strongly committed to expanding the use of renewable energy across Asia and the Pacific, so it is only fitting that we walk the talk in our own headquarters. This agreement will allow us to cut our annual corporate carbon footprint by nearly 50 percent, with an emission reduction of more than 9,500 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.” (CleanBiz.Asia)


BBC boost for female and black actors

The head of BBC One has promised more prominent television roles for black and female actors after announcing several new dramas. Commissions on the BBC’s most-watched channel include a one-off autobiographical drama by the comedian Lenny Henry, who has been leading a push for greater diversity in the casting of prime-time roles, as well as several other new dramas featuring either lead or prominent roles for women. Charlotte Moore, controller of BBC One, said that, “I’m very committed to broadening the range of diversity, whether that’s with more complex roles for women or greater representation across leading roles.” The issue of diversity on screen has received attention recently after warnings that a generation of talented black actors, writers and directors, such as Idris Elba and Chiwetel Ejiofor, is heading to Hollywood instead of working on the British stage or screen. At an industry roundtable, Henry said broadcasters should be required to spend a portion of their budgets on shows made by ethnic minorities. (Times*)



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