Top Stories

December 15, 2016


IKEA shows strong growth in sales of sustainable products

IKEA Group has launched its 2016 Sustainability Report, reporting on progress towards its ‘People & Planet Positive’ strategy and continued long-term investments in sustainability. The report shows strong progress on IKEA’s target of achieving a four-fold increase in sales of its ‘more sustainable life at home’ product lines by 2020. Sales have risen by 70 percent, from €641 million in 2013 to €1,802 million in 2016. IKEA also aims to produce as much renewable energy as it consumes in its operations by 2020, and to source 100 percent of wood from more sustainable sources. Last year, the company committed to invest €600 million in renewable energy, building on the €1.5 billion invested in wind and solar since 2009. The IKEA Foundation has also committed €400 million to support communities most impacted by climate change. (Sustainable Brands)


EasyJet vows to recruit more female pilots

EasyJet has pledged to increase the number of female pilots it hires, setting a new target after receiving an increasing number of applications from women. The airline said it wanted 20 percent of new cadets by 2020 to be female, which it described as a “stretching” target. The International Society of Women Airline Pilots says that about 3 percent of a total of 130,000 pilots globally are female. This includes 450 female captains, of whom 62 are employed by EasyJet. The company’s chief executive, Carolyn McCall said: “It is hard to think of another high-profile profession where women are so underrepresented… We will be recruiting around 50 [female cadets] annually, which will really start to change the face of our industry.” (Guardian)

Corporate Reputation

California regulator puts brakes on Uber’s self-driving cars

The California highways regulator has ordered Uber to pull its self-driving cars off the roads of San Francisco, just hours after the transport company began a public trial in its home town. Brian Soublet, chief counsel at California’s Department of Motor Vehicles wrote a letter to Uber saying that its pilot was “illegal” without the same testing permit for autonomous vehicles that 20 rivals including Alphabet, Tesla, General Motors and Volkswagen have obtained. Uber has argued it does not need a permit because its cars, while marketed as “self-driving”, are not strictly “autonomous”. The clash follows an earlier embarrassment for Uber’s pilot when one of its self-driving cars was filmed running through a red light at a pedestrian crossing in San Francisco. Uber said its car was being driven by a human at the time of the incident and was not carrying customers. (Financial Times*)


‘One billion’ affected by Yahoo hack

Yahoo has said more than one billion user accounts may have been affected in a hacking attack dating back to 2013. The internet giant said it appeared separate from a 2014 breach disclosed in September, when Yahoo revealed 500 million accounts had been accessed. Yahoo said names, phone numbers, passwords and email addresses were stolen, but not bank and payment data. Yahoo said some of the breach could be linked to state-sponsored activity, as with the previous attack. In September, when Yahoo disclosed the 2014 data breach, the company said information had been “stolen by what we believe is a state-sponsored actor”, but it did not say which country it held responsible. The company, which is being taken over by Verizon, said it was working closely with the police and authorities. (BBC)


 EU easing of fishing quotas raises fears over dwindling stocks

Europe’s ministers have approved a new fishing quota that will cheer fish and chip shops but has alarmed scientists concerned over dwindling stocks. Scientists have warned that the EU catch limits for 2017 are above their recommendations, in contravention of the reforms to the common fisheries policy that are supposed to ensure levels of catch are sustainable by 2020. Lasse Gustavsson, the European executive director of Oceana, accused ministers who agreed the new quota of ignoring science in favour of short-term interests. “Rebuilding stocks will create more jobs in the fishing industry and provide more healthy food for European tables”, he said. “Why is that not a political priority?” The European commission said the agreement brings 44 fish stocks in the EU to sustainable levels. (Guardian)


Image source: The Israel Defense Forces.The Official Flickr of the Israel Defense Forces(CC BY-SA 3.0)