Top Stories

February 08, 2017


SGX offers companies subsidised sustainability reporting workshops from February 2017

Singapore Exchange (SGX) is launching capability-building workshops to enable listed companies to produce their sustainability reports from 20 February 2017. Mandatory sustainability reporting on a “comply or explain” basis was introduced in June 2016 after a public consultation. Supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and organised by Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS), the workshops will be conducted by a total of 11 consultants with expertise and experience in sustainability reporting. Mr Leong Sing Chiong, Assistant Managing Director of the Development and International Group, MAS, said: “These workshops will equip listed companies with practical and relevant know-how on sustainability reporting.” Junice Yeo, Director of Singapore, Corporate Citizenship, said, “there is no doubt this will only strengthen corporate governance and reporting standards for Singapore businesses, and we at Corporate Citizenship are very excited to play a role in helping with this momentum forward.” (SGX)


Costa goes nationwide with in-store coffee cup recycling scheme

Coffee shop chain Costa Coffee has taken a huge step forward in the war on waste coffee cups with the rollout of a pioneering cup recycling scheme to more than 2,000 of its stores across the UK. Costa will encourage customers to leave their coffee cups on the side or hand them into a barista, where they will be taken back-of-house by Costa staff and stored upside down on dedicated racks. Then they are taken back by Costa’s logistics partner Kuehne & Nagel to be baled and sent on to a specialist fibre recovery facility in Sheffield operated by Veolia. There, the cups are pulped and turned into moulded fibre products such as coffee cup holders and egg boxes, completing the circular economy process. From the trial in London and Manchester, Rosevear revealed that around 14% of takeaway sales were being recovered and recycled – significantly higher than the less-than-1% average recovery rate across the UK. Costa’s environment manager expects this figure to be “much bigger” in the future as consumer awareness increases. (Edie)


Unilever Unveils Game-Changing Fragrance Transparency Initiative

Multinational consumer goods company Unilever announced a new transparency measure today that will provide consumers with access to additional fragrance ingredient information for its personal care products. This year Unilever will begin to voluntarily expand its current product ingredient list available through SmartLabel™ to include the fragrance ingredients in a product’s formulation above 0.01 percent (100 parts per million). The company aims to complete the updates by the end of 2018. Unilever is also launching a “What’s in Our Products” section on their webpage that provides additional product information, including its approach to developing safe products, explanations of ingredient types, answers to common questions, and access to SmartLabel™. Currently, Unilever products in Europe are labelled with fragrance allergens in line with European Union regulations. The company will expand this to its full US personal care portfolio and the new online search tool will allow people with allergies to find suitable products to meet their needs. (Sustainable Brands)

Responsible Investment

MSCI Launches ESG Universal Equity Indexes for Long-Term Global Investors

MSCI, a leading provider of research-based indexes and analytics, announced today the launch of new MSCI ESG Universal Indexes and the renaming of two MSCI ESG Index families. The MSCI ESG Universal Indexes are designed to enable pension funds, endowments and other asset owners to better focus on ESG issues in their investment decision-making processes. With a focus on weighting companies rather than excluding them, the index aims to maintain a broad and diversified universe of equities. In order to minimize exclusions, the MSCI ESG Universal Indexes by limits them only to companies found to be in violation of international norms (for example, facing severe controversies related to human rights, labor rights or the environment) and those involved in controversial weapons (for example, landmines, cluster munitions, depleted uranium, and biological and chemical weapons). In 2016, more than $56 billion in assets were benchmarked to MSCI ESG Indexes globally. MSCI is the number one index provider to equity ESG ETFs globally. (BusinessWire)


UK companies are recruiting fewer women to boardrooms

Of the new recruits to UK boards in 2016, 29 per cent were women, down from 32.1 per cent in 2014 and 31.6 per cent in 2012, according to a report which is published every two years by recruitment firm Egon Zehnder. In Western Europe the figure for 2016 was 35.4 per cent, with France leading the way with 57 per cent hiring rate. It is the first time that the rate of improvement in gender diversity has declined in the UK since Egon Zender began collecting data in 2004. The number of women on executive committees of FTSE 100 companies has also stayed flat since 2015, the research found. Globally, the research indicated improvements have been made, however, with just under 20 per cent of board positions at the companies studied filled by women, up from 14 per cent in 2012. In total, only 16 of the 44 countries studied had an average of three female directors per board – the level Egon Zender said it believes is needed to create the, “critical mass… needed for transformative change”. (The Independent)

Image source: Ekspres do kawy COSTA. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.