Top Stories

December 16, 2016

Corporate Reputation

Wildlife smugglers using Facebook to sell ivory and rhino horn

Wildlife traffickers from a small, sleepy village in Vietnam are using Facebook to offload large amounts of illegal ivory, rhino horn and tiger parts, an investigation has revealed. The results of an 18-month sting by the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) – shared with the Guardian –showed how social media sites such as Facebook are allowing traders greater access to customers. Undercover investigators visited the Vietnamese village of Nhi Khe, known as a wildlife trafficking hub, and scoured Facebook and WeChat, which is popular in China. In all, they tallied illegal wildlife products worth US$53.1 million (366.6 million yuan) stemming from just 51 traders in the village for sale in person and online. Items are being sold in closed or secret groups through auctions, which means new buyers or sellers have to be approved before being allowed into the group. Once in, traders will use instant messaging to keep in touch with buyers. (Eco-Business)


Five major pharma firms break ABPI code of conduct, according to watchdog

TEli Lilly, Boehgringer Ingelheim, AstraZeneca UK, Grunenthal and Janssen-Cilag have been “named and shamed” by the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) for breaching Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) codes of conduct. All companies were targeted for “bringing discredit upon, and reducing confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry.  Grunenthal was accused of “failing to comply with its previous undertaking”; Janssen was named for having sent uncertified materials from its European group to the UK promoting its drug Stelara for an unlicensed indication; AstraZeneca were also accused of promoting a misleading picture of the indication of its product Duaklir Genuair via uncertified presentations and independent speakers; Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim were jointly named for misleading the market through the distribution of a letter which purported that Jardiance was to receive a license extension. (Pharmalife)


JD Sports to investigate conditions at warehouse after ‘prison’ claim

JD Sports is to launch an investigation into conditions at its Kingsway warehouse near Rochdale after a Channel 4 documentary found workers claiming it was “worse than a prison”. There were harsh practices at the warehouse, including a “three strikes and you’re out” policy, intense surveillance and heightened job insecurity among agency workers. The investigation comes a year after Guardian undercover reporters found that rival Sports Direct paid warehouse workers at Shirebrook less than the minimum wage and operated punitive disciplinary procedures, such as a six-strikes policy. The Channel 4 investigation into JB included video footage apparently showing a team leader at the warehouse saying to an undercover reporter: “No sitting down, no, you get fired. I’ve sacked people for sitting down.” “The government needs to look seriously at how this sort of behaviour continues to take place in today’s Britain” said TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady. (Guardian)

Human Rights

Unilever and UN Women announce a global partnership to improve women’s safety in the tea industry

UN Women and Unilever today announced a partnership to develop an evidence-based and human rights-based “Intervention Programme to inform the development of a Global Framework on Women’s Safety. The programme will be implemented from 2017 – 2019 and it aims to apply the Global Framework to Unilever’s supply chain and extend into the wider tea industry and other commodities over time. Empowering women with equal rights is the most important thing we—and any business—can do to drive the success of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” said Paul Polman, CEO Unilever. “At Unilever, the safety of women working across our supply chain is a top priority—helping them to be productive at work, support their families and fuel their economies. We are delighted to partner with UN Women on the development of the Global Framework on Women’s Safety, to help empower five million women in our value chain and raise standards across the wider tea industry.”  (UN Women)


 P&G hits energy reduction goal four years early

Consumer goods firm Procter & Gamble (P&G) has revealed that a new energy engagement initiative at manufacturing sites has improved energy efficiency by 5% in the last 12 months, which has seen the company hit a 2020 goal for energy reduction four years early. Outlined in the company’s first-ever Citizenship Report, P&G highlighted how its Power of 5 Energy campaign had acted as a catalyst for hitting a energy reduction goal of 20% against a 2010 baseline. The campaign, which sets the conservation team a target of saving $100m in energy costs over year years, has seen employees utilise workshops and “value stream mapping” to analyse and create frameworks for the reductions. “We are, and want to be known as, a company that is governed responsibly and behaves ethically, that is open and transparent in its business dealings, that supports good causes and protects the environment, and that provides an appealing place to work where our employees are treated well and are given the opportunity to be all they can be,” P&G’s president David Taylor said. (Edie)

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