Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing

 

Posted in: Daily Media Briefing, Employees, Environment, Governance, Supply Chain

Top Stories

April 27, 2016

Supply Chain

Golden Agri-Resources reveals fully traceable palm oil in four years

Singapore-based Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), one of the world’s largest palm oil companies, has announced plans to ensure its palm oil supply chain is completely traceable by the end of the decade – a goal that will require the firm to trace the mill and plantation location of more than seven million tonnes of palm oil a year. GAR explained in a press release it will approach delivering the target in two phases. The first will be to establish the source of palm oil used in its directly owned mills, which accounts for around 40 per cent of the company’s total supply. This is expected to be completed by the end of next year, the firm said. Tracing the remaining 60 per cent will involve tracking the suppliers to GAR’s third-party mills, using chain of custody documentation and verification – a process GAR estimated will take until the end of 2020. “The journey will not be easy or straightforward, and will require the involvement of thousands of farmers, but with the support of our partners we have set a goal of 2020 to realise our ambition,” said Agus Purnomo, managing director for sustainability and strategic stakeholder engagement for GAR. (Business Green)

 

Dannon to announce a new supply system

Dannon, the American arm of the giant French food company Danone, is looking to tap into the public’s growing concern about the source of its food. The company is establishing a direct pipeline to some farms that supply the company with milk, part of a new supply system to be announced today. In the new plan farmers must adhere to Dannon-dictated animal welfare standards and work to improve and conserve soil on their farms, among other things. “For many decades, we’ve had a system that encourages short-term efficiencies at the expense of soil health, animal welfare and biodiversity, we want to play a part in changing that system” said Mariano Lozano, chief executive of the Dannon Company. The company’s program plays into an array of consumer trends, from the desire for better treatment of farm animals to a preference for the wares of small, new food companies that promote the simplicity and purity of their products. These new market entrants represent stiff competition for Dannon, whose yogurts represent more than a third of those sold in America. (New York Times)

 

Employees

Women occupy less than a quarter of UK board positions

Britain has fallen behind other European countries in efforts to get more women on to company boards, with research showing women occupy less than a quarter of all UK board positions. With women in 23.2 percent of board seats last year, Britain falls short of the European average of 25 percent. That compares with 38.7 percent in Norway, which has a 40 percent mandatory target and still tops the table, according to research by European Women on Boards (EWoB), a network which includes Britain’s Institute of Directors. The report, which examined the boards of the 600 largest listed European companies between 2011 and 2015, found that the percentage of women on boards also almost doubled across Europe, from 14 percent to 25 percent. “British firms will have to reach the government’s ambition for a third of board posts to be held by women by 2020 if we are to have a chance of climbing toward the top of the European table.” said Lady Barbara Judge, who chairs the Institute of Directors and is a member of the EWoB advisory board. (Guardian)

 

Energy

International Solar Alliance kicks off $1 trillion solar investment plan

A group of over 25 countries have agreed to work together to mobilise up to $1 trillion of investment in solar assets around the world by aggregating demand for solar technologies and improving access to finance for solar developers. The International Solar Alliance (ISA), which was formally launched at last year’s Paris Summit by the Indian and French governments, hosted its first meeting in New York this week following last Friday’s Paris Agreement signing ceremony. The UN said over 25 countries attended the ISA meeting, including Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Peru, Bolivia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and the US, as well as founding members France and India. At the meeting the group pledged to work with the UN Development Programme to explore areas for co-operation to promote solar technologies. It also set out a goal to “accelerate massive deployment of solar energy at various scales” and embark on “concerted action” to better harmonise and aggregate demand for solar projects. (Business Green)

 

Governance

Citigroup shareholders in rebellion over executive pay

Shareholders in Citigroup staged a significant rebellion over its executive pay scheme as more than a third of votes were cast against the bank. Citi this year increased the potential pay package for Michael Corbat, chief executive, by 27 percent to $16.5 million. Leading corporate governance groups that advise investors, Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis, took issue with the scheme. The pay plans were approved but 36.4 percent of votes were cast against. At Citi’s annual meeting on Tuesday, Citi shareholders overwhelmingly dismissed other motions calling for directors to consider a break-up of the bank and another to strengthen bonus “claw back” provisions. Mr Corbat defended Citi’s structure pointing to the benefits of keeping the retail and investment business together. Still, significant minorities backed two other motions put forward by investors. Almost a quarter were cast in favour of a call for the bank to be more transparent in its “use of corporate funds to influence legislation and regulation”. However, according to City it “already has extensive disclosure practices pertaining to its political contributions and lobbying activities”. (Financial Times*)

 

Image source: by skeeze / CC0 Public Domain

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