Top Stories

November 06, 2015


GRI to review sustainability reporting guidelines

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is reviewing its sustainability reporting guidelines for companies and will shift to an approach that can be tailored specifically to an organisation’s needs. The GRI will no longer issue new ‘generations’ of rules as it has done so in the past. Instead, GRI Standards will be updated on an ongoing basis following public input and consultation, the organisation said. It wants to include the views of different stakeholders and also plans to develop standards for different sectors. Eric Hespenheide, chairman of the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), said in a statement, “GRI Standards will provide tremendous benefits to businesses, governments and stakeholders and can be specifically tailored to an organisation’s needs… Practitioners can trust that they represent inclusive multi-stakeholder input and global best practice at any given point in time.” Phase one of the transition plan will be completed by the end of 2015, GRI said, and the initial set of the new GRI Standards will be issued during the third quarter of 2016. (Eco-Business)


Report: Gender pay gap is highest for married women

PayScale, a leading provider of on-demand compensation data and software, has released a new report: Inside the Gender Pay Gap. It examines the difference in median earnings of men and women across different categories, using data collected from around 1.4 million full-time US employees. The report finds that the highest pay gap exists between married men with children and married women with children. Married men earn the highest overall salaries ($67,900 for men with children; $60,800 for those without), while single mothers have the lowest overall salaries. Katie Bardaro, VP of Data Analytics and Lead Economist at PayScale said, “One surprising and significant takeaway is that the more often a woman tells us that she prioritises home or family obligations over work, the larger the controlled gender pay gap becomes, even when compared to men with similar characteristics… However, we see no pay gap at all between single men and women without children who say they never prioritise home and family over work.” (Payscale)

Corporate Reputation

Exxon Mobil investigated for possible climate change lies by New York attorney general

The New York attorney general has begun an investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business. According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a subpoena to Exxon Mobil, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents. The inquiry will include a period of at least a decade during which Exxon Mobil funded outside groups that sought to undermine climate science, even as its in-house scientists were outlining the potential consequences – and uncertainties – to company executives. “We unequivocally reject the allegations that Exxon Mobil has suppressed climate change research,” Mr. Cohen said, adding that the company had funded mainstream climate science since the 1970s, had published dozens of scientific papers on the topic and had disclosed climate risks to investors.  (NY Times)


Price collusion scandal may see CMPC removed from new DJSI Chile

Less than a month after the launch of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in Chile, one of the 12 companies listed on DJSI Chile may be removed from the index. Forestry and paper holding company CMPC faces removal, following revelations that it colluded with a subsidiary of Swedish-owned SCA for at least a decade to control nearly 90 percent of the Chilean tissue paper market. The managing director of S&P Dow Jones Indices, Jamie Farmer, said that governance structure is an important criterion within the DJSI index. According to Farmer, when dealing with cases like that of CMPC, the committee makes rapid decisions, as DJSI is a highly-respected index followed closely by investors. The announcement follows the recent removal of Volkswagen from the DJSI. Other companies that have been removed in the past include Petrobras and Toshiba. (El Mercurio)

Circular Economy

H&M joins Ellen MacArthur Foundation to ‘revolutionise’ clothing fibre recycling

International fashion brand H&M has pledged to take ideas from the paper industry to improve the circularity of its clothing fibres, after becoming the latest Global Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. H&M joins Cisco, Google, Kingfisher, Philips, Renault and Unilever as a Global Partner, driving forward circular economy initiatives in their respective industries. Dame Ellen MacArthur said: “Operating in a key sector of the global economy, H&M’s vision for applying circular models represents a significant opportunity to scale up the transition.” A statement from the Foundation said that H&M had the potential to “fundamentally shift” the extent to which the clothing sector restores and regenerates fabrics and fibres for productive use, using the paper industry as a role model. “Taking the perspective that both the paper and textile industries are fibre-based, with the paper industry already having come a long way in terms of recycling, a substantial opportunity exists,” read the statement. (Edie)

Image Source: H&M logo on mall’s wall in Israel by / CC BY 3.0