Top Stories

October 06, 2015

Supply Chain

John West breaks promise to use sustainable fishing methods

Britain’s biggest supplier of tinned tuna has quietly abandoned a pledge to use only sustainable fishing practices to protect dolphins, turtles and sharks from being caught in fishing nets, according to a new league table from Greenpeace. Four years ago, John West promised that it would be using the “pole and line” method for 50 percent of its catch by the end of 2015 and 100 percent by 2017. However, Greenpeace has found that only 2 percent has so far been achieved. Greenpeace ranked John West as the worst brand for “people, planet and oceans”, noting alleged human rights abuses in its supply chain alongside unsustainable fishing methods. John West has made no public announcement about dropping its promise, but a spokesman said that since it made the pledge in 2011 the supply of pole and line-caught tuna had dropped, and there was “no longer enough… to meet global demand”. Greenpeace’s ranking places supermarkets Waitrose and Marks & Spencer first, and also praises “huge progress” made by the likes of Tesco, Aldi and Asda, all of which now source 100% pole and line-caught tuna. (Telegraph)

Community Investment

Citi joins forces with London Evening Standard’s “The Estate We’re In” campaign

Global bank Citi has committed financial and volunteer support to the London Evening Standard newspaper’s recently launched ‘”The Estate We’re In” campaign. Citi will work closely with The London Community Foundation on the project, which will take place on the Angell Town Estate in Brixton, South London. The Evening Standard has launched an investigation into life on one of London’s biggest and most challenged estates and committed to a £150,000 pilot programme, backed by £100,000 from Citi and £50,000 from the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund. The money raised will be used to empower “local heroes” who are seeking to deliver boxing, football, fitness, enterprise, food markets and excursions into London for the residents of their estate. James Bardrick, head of Citi in the UK, commented: “We are excited to partner with the Evening Standard and invest in the future of the Angell Town estate… Angell Town obviously has many challenges, but it also has a great asset in the people on the estate determined to make things better. We are delighted to support them.” (Yahoo Finance; Evening Standard)

Climate Change

10 million at risk of hunger due to climate change and El Niño, Oxfam warns

At least ten million of the poorest people face food insecurity in 2015 and 2016 due to extreme weather conditions and the onset of an extreme El Niño weather event, Oxfam reveals in their new report, Entering Uncharted Waters. This is due to erratic weather patterns, including high temperatures and droughts, disrupting farming seasons around the world. Countries are already facing a “major emergency,” said Oxfam, including Ethiopia where 4.5 million people are in need of food assistance due to a drought this year. Almost three million face hunger in Malawi as a result of erratic rains followed by drought. These conditions have caused a stifling in food production and a rise in food prices. The international development charity, Christian Aid, reported that the production of maize, Malawi’s staple food, dropped by 30 percent in 2014, while maize prices have risen between 50 and 100 percent. Central American farmers have been coping with a drought for almost two years. Oxfam warns that conditions will worsen due to the incoming El Niño, which could be the “most powerful” since 1997. (Eco-Business)


Apparel and footwear companies launch green initiatives

Some of the leading manufacturers and retailers in the apparel and footwear industry are investing in green innovation to reduce their environmental footprint. Adidas will be leading a three-year research program funded by the European Commission to develop soccer cleats that can be repeatedly recycled, use no chemical adhesives and create no waste. Sport Infinity, as Adidas’s new project is called, aims to assemble experts from a variety of industries to develop a “super-material,” including German chemicals giant BASF and Austrian design consultancy firm Kiska. Adidas has also announced that it will join Microsoft, Sony and several other leading companies in a UN initiative to become a “leading example” in tackling climate change. Competitor Nike has announced a number of environmental commitments,  while H&M recently announced it would offer an annual €1 million prize for new techniques to recycle clothes. Earlier this year, H&M also joined forces with Puma to support textile-recycling firm Worn Again in developing a technology for separating and extracting fibres in mixed-material clothes. (Just Means)

Corporate Reputation

BP in $20 billion settlement over fatal US oil spillage

Oil giant BP has agreed to pay $20 billion to settle claims with the US stemming from the company’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill. BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said the deal gives “BP certainty with respect to its financial obligations.” The settlement is the largest the US government has ever reached with a single company. It requires court approval to be finalised. In July, the Department of Justice and BP announced an agreement for $18.7 billion. This newest figure includes some payment BP has already made. The money will be used by the US government and the affected states to handle environmental and economic damages. “This historic resolution is a strong and fitting response to the worst environmental disaster in American history,” said US Attorney General Loretta Lynch at a press conference on Monday. The deal settles the largest legal claims pending against BP for the Deepwater Horizon spill. (BBC)

Image Source: adidas by sbl0323 / CC0 Public Domain