Top Stories

October 13, 2015

Supply Chain

Primark to measure supply chain ethical performance

Primark has become the latest clothes giant to join the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a non-profit that helps clothes companies measure their ethical performance. The SAC has developed the Higg Index, a self-assessment tool that allows companies to calculate the sustainability performance of their supply chain and identifies areas that need to be improved. The tool assesses both environmental and social impacts of products. In a statement, Primark said it was “committed to reducing the impact that it has on the environment”. “By measuring sustainability performance, the industry can address inefficiencies, resolve damaging practices, and achieve the environmental and social transparency that consumers are starting to demand,” Primark said in a statement. Forty apparel and footwear brands, including Adidas, GAP and H&M, are already members of the SAC, along with manufacturers, retailers, industry affiliates, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), academic institutions and environmental non-profits. (Business Green)


Facebook paid £4,327 UK corporation tax in 2014

Social network giant Facebook paid just £4,327 in corporation tax in 2014, its latest UK results show. Facebook’s most recent Companies House filing shows it making a pre-tax loss of £28.5 million last year, despite also paying its 362 UK staff a total of £35.4 million in share bonuses – an average of £96,000 per employee. It means Facebook’s UK corporation tax bill was less than the tax the average UK employee paid on their salary, which comes to £5,392.80 from an average salary of £26,500. In January, Facebook reported global fourth-quarter profits of $701 million, a 34 percent increase on the same period a year earlier, with total annual profits of $2.9 billion. The latest revelations will reignite the debate about how much UK corporation tax companies pay at a time when several multinational corporations are being investigated by the European Commission over the tax arrangements they have with European Union member states. Google, Amazon, a division of the Fiat motor company and Starbucks are all subject to the investigation and the European Commission has said it could widen its probe further. (BBC)

Sustainable Development

GE to invest $300 million in sustainable healthcare solutions

General Electric has announced the creation of a new business unit, Sustainable Healthcare Solutions (SHS). The new unit will invest $300 million as part of a multi-phase effort to develop a more robust and affordable healthcare portfolio. The unit will integrate GE Healthcare’s operations in India, South Asia, Africa and Southeast Asia. SHS will develop high-value, low-cost technologies and healthcare delivery solutions while engaging with multiple stakeholders including clinicians, private operators, governments and non-profits. John Flannery, president and CEO of GE Healthcare, said the move reinforces the company’s commitment to help attain the UN’s new 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. SHS will leverage the company’s ‘Fastworks’ start-up model approach to accelerate, test and rapidly commercialize relevant, affordable technologies. (Just Means)


Conergy announces first large scale solar power plant in Indonesia

Conergy, one of the leading international solar energy service providers globally, today announced that it has entered an agreement with two Indonesian energy companies: Buana Energy Surya Persada and Indo Solusi Utama. They aim to build three 1-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) power facilities that will generate electricity for three towns within the East Nusa Tenggara Province. This contract marks Indonesia’s first large-scale solar project. The entire project is expected to be completed and will be fully operational in the first half of 2016. Rico Syah Alam, President and CEO of Buana Energy Surya Persada said, “Energy is one of the most crucial infrastructure elements that will influence the development of a country. The fast growth of the Indonesian population and industry encourages the government to develop more power capacity in order to fulfil the increasing electricity demand.” (Eco-Business)

Community Investment

Honda South Carolina donates $100,000 for storm relief efforts

Honda of South Carolina has announced the donation of $100,000 in humanitarian aid to support disaster relief efforts in South Carolina communities impacted by storm damage and record floods. The donation will be given to three community organizations providing support and assistance on the ground in the hardest-hit areas since the torrential downpours started. American Red Cross of Pee Dee will receive $50,000, Harvest Hope of the Pee Dee will receive $25,000 and Eastern Carolina Community Foundation will receive $25,000. “Honda and our associates want to help provide support for the many individuals and families, and our neighbours, who have been devastated by these historic floods,” said Brian Newman, president of Honda of South Carolina. “We believe it’s imperative for Honda to support our community in a time of need.” In addition, Honda Financial Services is also working individually with customers from impacted areas, waiving late fees and granting extensions if asked. (Just Means)

Image Source: Facebook website screenshot by Spence E Holtaway / CC BY-ND 2.0