Top Stories

January 26, 2017

Corporate reputation

RBS earmarks $3.8bn for mis-selling US mortgage securities

Royal Bank of Scotland has set aside $3.8bn to cover a looming penalty from US authorities for mis-selling mortgage securities which helped to fuel the 2008 market meltdown. RBS only closed its US mortgage-backed securities business just over a year ago. Analysts estimated at the end of last year that RBS could be hit with a fine of as much as $12bn from the US Department of Justice (DoJ). RBS is among the last in the queue to settle with the US authorities. Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse both paid fines to the DoJ at the end of last year, costing $7.2bn and $5.3bn, respectively. (Financial Times)


Global oil demand will grow into 2040s according to BP Energy Outlook

Global oil demand will continue to grow into 2040, BP revealed in its annual Energy Outlook, its industry benchmark report. The predictions come as other oil companies, such as Royal Dutch Shell, prepare for demand to peak by the early 2030s. Despite the projected rise in demand for oil in the report, BP forecasts a slowing of greenhouse gas emissions from global energy use, with growth predicted at less than a third of the rate seen over the last two decades. However, the energy giant noted that emissions are still set to grow by 13 percent through to 2035, a number that is well in excess of the climate goals set under the Paris Agreement. Taking those factors into account, Greenpeace has accused the company of forecasting “a fantasy future where the world fails to act on climate change” in their desire to make money. (Sustainable Brands)

Supply Chain

Hellmann’s makes the shift to cage-free eggs

Hellmann’s says its entire U.S. consumer portfolio of mayonnaise and mayonnaise dressings is now made with only cage-free eggs. Hellmann’s set the goal in 2010, at a time when only 2 percent of egg-laying hens in the U.S. were cage-free. That figure rose to 7.8 percent as of September 2016. Most egg-laying hens in the U.S. are confined in battery cages that provide only 67 inches of space. Russel Lilly, marketing director for Hellmann’s, said in a statement that “we had to completely rebuild our supply chain in order to make our goal a reality.” When companies make commitments to phase out close confinement systems from their supply chains, they “can provide suppliers with confidence that there will be a market for animals reared in more extensive systems”. (TriplePundit)


Stronger rights considered for new and expectant mothers

Extra legal protection for new and expectant mothers who feel they are being forced out of their jobs is being considered by the government. A consultation will be launched “in due course” on strengthening the existing law. The move is in response to last August’s recommendations from MPs on the Women and Equalities Committee. The number of expectant and new mothers forced to leave their jobs had almost doubled to 54,000 since 2005 MP heard. Research considered by MPs also showed that 11% of mothers felt they had been forced out of their jobs by their employers. The committee of MPs made 18 recommendations to stop unfair treatment by employers, with the key change of giving women greater legal protection now gaining government support. (BBC)

Sustainable Development

City of London launches challenge to boost coffee cup recycling

A scheme to boost disposable coffee cup recycling has been launched in the City of London in an attempt to prevent 5 million cups a year from the city’s ‘Square Mile’ ending up in landfill. Currently in the UK, up to 7 million coffee cups are thrown away each day, with less than 1% of these cups being recycled. The City of London Corporation, in conjunction with Network Rail, coffee chains and some employers, are introducing dedicated coffee cup recycling facilities in offices, shops and streets. Wendy Mead, chair of the corporation’s environment committee, said the aim of the ‘Square Mile Challenge’ was to recycle half a million cups in April. Simply Cups is currently working with Costa, Pret a Manger and McDonald’s, collecting cups from a few of their stores on a trial basis. Last month, Costa announced it was expanding its coffee cup recycling trial scheme, collecting used cups in its 2,000 stores, whilst Starbucks is trialling a fully recyclable coffee cup; the Frugalpac. (Guardian)

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