Top Stories

August 23, 2016


UK gender pay gap remains a gulf, as mothers’ pay lags

Women in the UK earn 18 percent less than men on average, according to new research conducted by the Institute of Fiscal Studies. The research also found that the gap widens markedly after women have children, raising the prospect that mothers are missing out on pay rises and promotions. The current 18 percent gap in hourly wages is down from 23 percent in 2003, and 28 percent in 1993. But at the same time, there has been little improvement for graduates and women with A-levels. For the mid-level and highly educated, the gender wage gap is essentially the same as it was 20 years ago. A separate report from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) cites the difference in promotion rates as one of the main causes of the gender pay gap. CMI’s chief executive, Ann Francke, said “transparency and targets” were needed to tackle the issue. (Guardian)

Corporate Reputation

Speedo and Ralph Lauren among four to end sponsorship with Ryan Lochte

Four sponsors have dropped US Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, including swimwear manufacturer Speedo and fashion label Ralph Lauren. They were followed by announcements from skin care firm Syneron-Candela and Japanese mattress maker Airweave. It comes after Lochte lied about being robbed at gunpoint by a policeman after a night out during the Rio Olympics. Speedo, the biggest sponsor of the four, said it would donate a $50,000 portion of Lochte’s sponsorship fee to Save The Children‘s Brazilian operation. Lochte has been widely pilloried in the US media, with the New York Post describing him as the “Ugly American”, along with the slogan “Liar, Liar, Speedo on fire”. (BBC)


Chile auction set to deliver world’s lowest cost solar farm

The world’s cheapest unsubsidised power plant is set to be built in Chile in the form of a 120MW solar farm. Bloomberg New Energy Finance said one of the contracts secured during the auction went to Spanish solar developer Solarpack . The bid undercuts the previous record low which emerged in a Dubai Electricity & Water Authority energy contract auction. BNEF founder Michael Liebreich said the Chilean project meant solar power would deliver “cheapest unsubsidised electricity ever, anywhere, by any technology: $29.1/kWh”. President Michelle Bachelet also hailed the success of the auction, predicting the new projects would mobilise around $3 billion of investment and create 3,000 jobs. (Business Green)


Rejected recyclable waste up 84 percent in England since 2011, data shows

The amount of household rubbish being rejected for recycling in England has increased by 84 percent over the past four years. Councils say they are working to stop people putting the wrong items in bins, as the cost to local authorities of re-sorting so-called contaminated recycle bins is said to be the primary reason the vast majority of the waste is being rejected. Waste reduction charity WRAP says contamination could be reduced by promoting greater consistency across the country about what can be collected. There are thought to be about 300 different recycling schemes in operation across England. WRAP says it is working with government and industry to devise “a consistent set of guidelines nationally”. (BBC)


Scientists develop edible packaging film

US scientists are developing an edible form of packaging which they hope will preserve food more effectively and more sustainably than plastic film, helping to cut both food and plastic waste. The packaging film is made of a milk protein called casein which does not currently have much taste, but flavours could be added, as could vitamins, probiotics and other nutrients, scientists from the US Department of Agriculture said. The film looks similar to plastic wrapping, but is up to 500 times better at protecting food from oxygen, as well as being biodegradable and sustainable. “The protein-based films are powerful oxygen blockers that help prevent food spoilage. When used in packaging, they could prevent food waste during distribution along the food chain,” research leader Peggy Tomasula said. (Eco-Business)


Image source: Supermarket / Public Domain