Top Stories

June 11, 2015


New GRI roadmap to raise sustainability reporting game

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) – responsible for the widely-used sustainability reporting standards for businesses – has unveiled a new five-year plan which expands its priorities beyond setting guidelines. First, it will work with governments, markets, and international organisations to enable policies which address climate change, human rights, corruption, and other issues. Second, it will continue to encourage more organisations to begin sustainability reporting, and encourage those already on board to improve their reports. The third priority is to capture more value from the reporting process than just what is presented in sustainability reports. The final area of focus, innovation and collaboration, will see GRI working with other reporting organisations to drive improvements in reporting quality, and working with technology and data companies to make sustainability information more accessible, comparable, and available in real-time. Last month, GRI announced the first outcome of a collaboration with SASB, IIRC and other reporting organisations, a landscape map designed to improve coherence, consistency and collaboration between frameworks. (Eco-business)


TTIP vote postponed as European Parliament descends into panic over trade deal

An historic vote on the biggest trade deal ever negotiated between the EU and the US has been postponed after the European Parliament descended into chaos. European MPs were due to vote on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership on Wednesday, but the vote was delayed because of too many proposed amendments. Ministers have disagreed over a controversial dispute mechanism that some fear would allow companies to bypass national courts to resolve disputes with investors. Brussels had suggested a separate investment court to resolve disputes but lawmakers in the US have insisted that this is unnecessary. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has claimed that the deal would add £2 billion to the UK economy every year. The plan has been violently opposed by campaign groups who fear it would be at the expense of national services and social and environmental welfare. (The Independent)


US EPA takes step to cut emissions from planes

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that it will take the first step toward regulating greenhouse gas emissions from aeroplanes, as it has done for motor vehicles and power plants, but acknowledged it would most likely take years before standards are enacted. The EPA said it would also wait for current international negotiations on limiting carbon emissions in the aviation industry before publishing its final rule. The airline industry contends that it has already worked aggressively to reduce fuel use and increase efficiency, and that demands to do even more could raise costs. Already, airlines are looking into new technologies and alternatives like carbon-neutral biofuels. Aviation accounts for about 2 percent of global emissions, but it is among the fastest-growing sources of global greenhouse gas emissions. (NY Times)


Swansea Bay tidal power plant approved by UK government

Britain will be home to the world’s first ever tidal lagoon energy project as UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has granted planning permission for a giant tidal power plant off the coast of Wales. In what has been hailed as an “exciting step” towards harnessing untapped tidal energy sources, the Department for Energy & Climate Change has confirmed that the £850 million Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project will be developed by British firm Tidal Lagoon Power. When fully operational, by the year 2023, the scheme could provide up to 8 percent of the UK’s electricity, adding up to £27 billion to GDP by 2027. Using the fully predictable daily motion of the tides, the project will provide clean electricity 14 hours a day for 120 years, requiring Government support for less than a third of its lifespan. The announcement has been welcomed by the renewable energy industry and green groups alike. (Edie)

Supply Chain

Tesco admits ‘probable’ breaches of UK groceries code in its treatment of suppliers

Supermarket Tesco has admitted there have been “probable” breaches of the groceries supply code of practice (GSCOP) in its dealings with suppliers. The supermarket is currently under investigation by groceries code adjudicator Christine Tacon, after she announced in February that she “holds a reasonable suspicion that the code has been breached by Tesco”. In its annual report Tesco said: “Regrettably, we have concluded that there have been a number of instances of probable breaches of the code which fall short of the high standards we expect to uphold in our dealings with our suppliers”. In the report Tesco said it had written down profits by £208 million due to the overstatement of “commercial income”, which includes payments from suppliers for achieving sales volumes or to cover costs incurred for “unplanned variations in product specification”. (Supply Management)

Image Source: Pixabay by Holgi/ CC0 1.0