Top Stories

July 31, 2015

Supply Chain

Proposed US legislation mandates corporate disclosure on trafficking and slavery risks

Bills have been introduced this week in the US House of Representatives and Senate to increase transparency on trafficking and slavery along businesses’ supply chains. Ethical investors including Calvert Investments and members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility have commended the move, which follows Monday’s publication of the State Department’s 2015 Trafficking in Persons report. The report called on governments to “set clear expectations for businesses on human rights issues and adopt policies that promote greater transparency and better reporting on anti-trafficking efforts in supply chains.” If enacted, the legislation would require public disclosures regarding auditing and verification procedures, risk assessments, training, remediation plans and accountability mechanisms that address trafficking and slavery risks. (Sustainable Brands)


Co-operative Bank upholds ‘Beyond Carbon Neutral’ commitment

The UK-based Co-operative Bank has published its first Values and Ethics report, highlighting its significant environmental achievements. It is the only UK bank to have an ethical policy co-created by customers, and views this policy as essential to its comeback after its financial collapse in 2014. According to the report, the Bank sources 99 percent of its electricity from renewables, recycles 70 percent of its waste and has offset more than 100,000 tons of CO2 since 2006 – all part of its mission to be “beyond carbon neutral.” In addition, the Bank reports notable achievements in fulfilling its ethical mission, such as becoming a Living Wage employer and launching a new overdraft co-created with customers to offer a transparent charging structure. (Sustainable Brands)


Virgin Media announces Digital for Good sustainability strategy

UK internet provider Virgin Media has announced a set of new sustainability goals that will see it do more good with digital, while growing responsibly and sustainably. As part of the new sustainability strategy, Virgin Media is committed to achieving five ambitious goals in the next five years. Amongst the goals are transforming the lives of disadvantaged people in the UK through digital technology, and giving 100,000 small businesses the ability to thrive in the UK’s economy through digital. Brigitte Trafford, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Virgin Media, said: “Virgin Media is committed to delivering our five goals over the next five years proving the positive impact that technology can have on society and the environment”. (Blue & Green Tomorrow)


Online tool provides ESG benchmark for SMEs

A new online tool allows small businesses to benchmark and improve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) business practices. The Root360 survey, developed by US environmental non-profit Manomet, takes about 15 minutes to complete and includes tools for comparative benchmarking and interactive analysis to help businesses evaluate options and make strategic decisions. Root360 provides an opportunity for business owners, financial officers and operational managers to assess how sustainable they are and find out how they compare on the ESG spectrum. Special features of the program include a benchmarking tool for comparative analysis and an interactive sustainability SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) Analysis. (Environmental Leader)


UK Football League launches carbon-saving car share initiative

With the football season set to kick off this weekend, supporters will be preparing for another nine months of lengthy journeys, substantial fuel bills, and hefty carbon footprints. However, a new service from the UK’s Football League and car-sharing website is hoping to help supporters reduce both the cost of travelling to a game and the environmental impact of doing so. The dedicated Get to the Game web platform allows users to share petrol costs, while also reducing carbon emissions, air pollution and traffic congestion. “We believe this will be an invaluable tool for football fans when it comes to planning journeys to both home and away fixtures,” said Drew Barrand, marketing director of The Football League. (Business Green)

Image source: Futbol by Flooy / CC0 Public Domain