Top Stories

June 03, 2014


Rankings and Awards

Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Samsung, Tata, Unilever and Nestlé top list of world’s most responsible companies

Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Samsung, Tata, Unilever and Nestlé top the list of the world’s most responsible companies, based on a new global survey of “Aspirational” consumers by BBMG and GlobeScan released yesterday at the Sustainable Brands 2014 Conference. Based on the 2014 Aspirational Consumer Index, 50 percent of Aspirational consumers globally say they “trust global companies to act in the best interest of society”, while nine in ten Aspirational consumers also say “I encourage others to buy from socially and environmentally responsible companies”. Additionally, nine in ten Aspirational consumers stated they are “willing to pay more for products produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way.” The survey shows that different companies are associated with social responsibility in different countries – from Petrobras in Brazil and Safaricom in Kenya to BMW in Germany and Tesco in the UK. According to the survey, Aspirational consumers, who are defined both by their “love of shopping” and “desire for responsible consumption”, represent more than one-third of consumers globally, and over half of all consumers in India, South Korea and China. (GlobeScan)

Inclusive Business

‘Business for peace’ initiatives gaining traction

“Business for peace” is gaining traction as companies seek to redefine their role in society. Sindyanna of Galilee, a female-led fair trade association, is working to encourage understanding between Arabs and Jews in Israel by selling local producers’ olive oil worldwide and investing 100% of its profits in promoting organic farming, educating women and bridging cultural divides. Established in 1996, Sindyanna buys olive oil from 200 local producers, largely Arab farmers in Galilee and the occupied Palestinian territories. “We’re creating real economic opportunities for Arabs and Jews by uniting producers around a common goal: supporting their families and achieving positive transformation in the community,” says Hadas Ladav, chief executive of the Sindyanna. “And in doing so, we’re showing international customers that the situation in the Middle East is not black and white. There is a will to create change.” Business for peace was recently highlighted by Forbes as one of the top trends to look out for in corporate social responsibility. The UN Global Compact‘s Business for Peace initiative, its fastest growing platform, is advising 100 companies on how to act responsibly in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. (The Guardian)


China plans absolute CO2 cap for first time

China, the world’s biggest emitter of climate-changing greenhouse gases, will set an absolute cap on its CO2 emissions from 2016, a top government adviser said today. The target will be written into China’s next five-year plan, which comes into force in 2016, He Jiankun, chairman of China’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change, told a conference in Beijing. The statement comes the day after the United States, the world’s second-biggest emitter, for the first time announced plans to rein in carbon emissions from its power sector, a move the Obama administration hopes can inject ambition into slow-moving international climate negotiations. Despite the absolute cap on CO2, He said China’s greenhouse gas emissions would only peak in 2030, at around 11 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent – compared to around 7-9.5 billion tonnes today. But the adviser said that would depend on China achieving a real reduction in coal consumption from sometime around 2020 or 2025, and on the nation meeting its target of having 150-200 gigawatts of nuclear power capacity by 2030. Over the past year China has launched pilot carbon markets in six cities and provinces to gain experience in using emissions trading to cut pollution. (Reuters)

Social Investment

Mondelez International Foundation to bring better health to more than one million children in five countries

The Mondelez International Foundation has unveiled plans with its global community partners to bring nutrition education, active play and fresh foods to more than one million children and their families in Australia, Brazil, China, India and Russia as part of its multi-year, $50 million commitment to promote healthy lifestyles and address obesity. The announcement is in line with Mondelez International‘s Call For Well-being initiative and aims to help empower communities to address the needs of some of the more than 30 million overweight children around the world, especially in developing markets. Over the next three years, the Foundation and its partners – including Football Federation Australia, the China Youth Development Foundation and Save the Children in India – plan to inspire schools and communities to reachunderserved kids through country-tailored programs. Every community partnership will track progress against a universal set of metrics critical to achieving well-being: physical activity, nutrition education and accessibility to nutritious foods. (Mondelez)

Technology & Innovation

Google to spend more than $1bn on satellite internet, reports indicate

Google plans to spend more than $1bn on a fleet of 180 satellites to beam internet access to unconnected parts of the globe. The project will use small, but high capacity low-Earth orbiting satellites that sit lower in the sky than traditional satellites, a report by the Wall Street Journal indicates. The satellite venture will be an extension of Google’s Project Loon, which uses high-altitude balloons to carry internet signal across areas of New Zealand, with the intention of establishing an uninterrupted internet signal around the 40th parallel of the Earth’s southern hemisphere. Facebook is also looking to connect unwired parts of the globe with its Connectivity Lab. The social network recently purchased solar-powered drone designer Ascenta as part of its initiative, which plans to “beam internet to people from the sky”. “Internet connectivity significantly improves people’s lives. Yet two thirds of the world have no access at all,” said a Google spokesperson. “It’s why we’re so focused on new technologies that have the potential to bring hundreds of millions more people online in the coming years.” (The Guardian)


Image Source: Bondi Junction Shopping Mall by Charlie Brewer / CC BY-SA 2.0