Top Stories

January 18, 2017


Fischer Energy joins UK retail market with 100% renewable offer

Fischer Energy hopes to sign up 40,000 customers in the first year to its single variable tariff, with renewable power bought from Denmark’s Dong Energy. The new entrant arrives less than two months after the collapse of another small supplier, GB Energy UK. Experts have raised concerns that the retail energy market is approaching saturation point because of this. Keith Bastian, Fischer’s chief executive, said he had been motivated to start the company because of the inequality of multiple tariffs, and that offering a single tariff would reduce confusion.“That will in effect put the customer first,” he said. He also pointed out that since GB Energy’s demise, customers were erring towards more established players such as British Gas, EDF, npower, E.ON, ScottishPower and SSE (Guardian)


Barack Obama transfers $500m to Green Climate Fund in attempt to protect Paris deal

Barack Obama has heeded calls to help secure the future of the historic Paris agreement by transferring a second $500m instalment to the Green Climate Fund, just three days before he leaves office. The fund is a key aspect of The Paris Agreement. The US committed to transferring $3bn to the fund. The new instalment leaves $2bn owing. “The Obama administration is refusing to let president-elect Trump’s posse of oil barons and climate deniers dictate how the world responds to the climate crisis,” said Tamar Lawrence-Samuel, of Corporate Accountability International, which led the campaign. The money is being drawn from the state department, the same way that the first transfer was, allowing it to be done using executive powers without congressional support. (Guardian)

Sustainable Development

Chipotle rolls out new animal welfare standards for chickens

Chipotle Mexican Grill has improved its animal welfare standards for chickens. Chipotle worked with Compassion in World Farming USA and the Humane Society of the U.S. to develop the new standards. Those deal with fast-growing chickens, the environments where chickens are housed, the space given to each chicken, and the way they are slaughtered. Chipotle addressed each of these issues by aligning with the Global Animal Partnership’s (GAP) standards for broiler chickens. Its new commitment includes new goals for 2024. Among those, there is to highlight the improvement of housing conditions by giving chickens more space and reducing the maximum stocking density. Another target would be not only including improved lightning, litter and floor enrichments, but also to boost the processing of chickens in a controlled-atmosphere system.  Other companies such as Shake Shack also announced it will be bound by 2024 goals. (TriplePundit)

Inclusive Business

Inquiry into “fatherhood penalty” launched by Government

The Women and Equalities Committee has launched an inquiry into how employers can better support fathers in the workplace. The inquiry has been launched on the back of new research from The 2017 Working Families Index. It polled 2,750 parents across the UK and suggests that UK employers run the risk of creating a “fatherhood penalty”, as more fathers consider downgrading their career aspirations to take a more active role in childcare. Just over one-third of fathers (38%) said they would be prepared to take a pay cut to achieve a better work-life balance. Almost half (48%) of millennial fathers would be happy to accept a drop in salary. One of the concerns fathers have is that taking more flexible working arrangements might mean they are viewed as less dedicated to their work. Maria Miller, chair of the Committee said that more needs to be done. (PersonnelToday)


Unpaid internship trend may penalise poorer job seekers, study in Australia finds

The report by the Commonwealth Department of Employment is the first to look at exactly how common unpaid work experience (UWE) has become in Australia. It found 58 per cent of 18 to 29-year-olds had done UWE in the past five years. It also found that internships are not only for young people . 26 per cent of 30 to 64-year-olds had done UWE in this period. This points to an ‘access gap’ for young people from poorer backgrounds. UWE effectively costs money, and so it favours young people who are being financially supported by their parents. In the UK, MPs have called for a ban on unpaid internships, which they say disadvantage working class young people. Dr Damian Oliver of UTS Business School, said the survey found that young people from wealthy backgrounds were more likely to cut back hours of paid work to do UWE. (ABC)

Image source: United Nations Sustainable Development Logo.Permission:  This work is excerpted from an official document of the United Nation.