Top Stories

November 09, 2016


Climate action by US states and businesses “more important than ever” under Trump presidency

With the election of Donald Trump as its 45th President, the US faces new challenges in meeting its national climate goals, according to NGO The Climate Group. President-elect Trump has opposed US action to address climate change throughout his campaign, calling climate change “a hoax” and promising to “cancel the Paris Agreement” and “rescind President Obama’s Climate Action Plan”.

To date, at least 75 US businesses, states, and cities have committed to reduce emissions by 80 percent or to secure 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources, and more have committed to reduction targets in line with climate science. In addition, 154 companies in all 50 states have signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge. These efforts are expected to continue, regardless of a lack of leadership at the national level, as they did in many states after the Clean Power Plan was put on hold by the Supreme Court in February. (The Climate Group)


UK companies need more women on executive committees, says review

Companies listed on the FTSE 100 should have at least a third of their executive pipeline positions filled by women by 2020, an independent review led by Sir Philip Hampton, chairman of GlaxoSmithKline, and Dame Helen Alexander, chair of UBM, has concluded. The recommendation follows the work of Lord Davies, who recommended in 2011 that FTSE 100 companies should double the proportion of women in boardrooms – including non-executive roles – to 25% by 2015. At present, a quarter of people either sitting on FTSE 100 executive committees or reporting directly to them are women. Justine Greening, the minister for women and equalities, said bridging the UK gender gap in work could add £150 billion to the UK’s annual GDP in 2025. (Guardian)


Toys R Us introduces ‘quiet hour’ to welcome autistic children

Toys R Us has opened its doors an hour early after adapting its UK stores with measures tailored to meet the needs of children with autism, including dimmed fluorescent lighting and a ban on music and in-store announcements. The American-owned retailer has extended the pre-Christmas event to all its UK stores after piloting it in conjunction with campaign groups. Parents and campaigners praised the initiative as a lifeline for those on the autistic spectrum, who can struggle with loud noises and bright lights. Campaigners have called for more major chains to think about accommodating the needs of those with autism. (iNews)

Corporate Reputation

Samsung HQ raided by prosecutors as South Korean political scandal deepens

Samsung is dealing with yet another major crisis after the tech giant was implicated in a government corruption investigation in South Korea. According to media in South Korea, the company’s offices have been searched by prosecutors investigating a confidante of President Park Geun-hye. Samsung is suspected of secretly funding dressage training for the daughter of Choi Soon-sil , Park’s friend of 40 years. Samsung allegedly gave $3.1 million to a company that Choi owned in Germany. According to Korea Times, investigators will summon executives from Samsung and other companies for questioning, to find out whether they made any deals to resolve any pending business issues with President Park in return for the donations. (Guardian)


Rio Tinto suspends executive amid payments probe

One Rio Tinto executive has stepped down while another has been suspended as the miner alerted authorities to emails that reference US$10.5 million worth of payments made to a consultant on its troubled Simandou project in Guinea. The company has been investigating the emails relating to Simandou, one of the world’s largest iron-ore deposits, in which Rio Tinto last month sold its stake to Aluminum Corp of China for up to US$1.3 billion. The miner became aware of the emails after they were published to an open internet forum, a spokesman said. (Wall Street Journal*)


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