Top Stories

June 13, 2017


UAE to introduce mandatory CSR law

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Economy announced that it will be mandatory for the private sector to declare their CSR initiatives by the end of 2017. The CSR programme is one of six main themes of the UAE’s National Strategy, which aims to encourage all companies to play a role in charitable and humanitarian work. The ministry is due to announce a minimum percentage which should be annually allocated to CSR by all private companies. Another initiative being established is a National CSR Index, which will rank entities in the country based on the percentage of their contributions and projects. The government has promised to help companies with their CSR programmes through a Smart CSR Platform. The platform will include examples of CSR initiatives, guides and tools needed to make CSR contributions along with models displaying the implementation process. (Gulf News)


Carlsberg to achieve zero carbon emissions at its breweries by 2030

The Carlsberg Group has committed to eliminating carbon emissions and halving water usage at its breweries by 2030 as part of its new sustainability programme, Together Towards ZERO. An intermediate step towards the 2030 goals includes the exclusive use of renewable electricity at its breweries by 2022. The programme is part of the Carlsberg Group’s SAIL’22 strategy and consists of four major ambitions – ZERO carbon footprint, ZERO water waste, ZERO irresponsible drinking and a ZERO accidents culture – each with individual and measurable targets. The programme encapsulates how the Carlsberg Group is pursuing its purpose of Brewing for a better today and tomorrow. It is has been developed in partnership with leading global experts using a science-based approach and is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. (3BL)


Oil giants need to invest heavily in renewables

More than a fifth of investment by the largest oil and gas companies could be in wind and solar power in just over a decade, according to analysis of how global changes in energy will reshape the sector. Slowing demand for oil and forecasts of rapid growth in renewables posed both a threat and an opportunity that BP, Shell and Total among others cannot ignore, said research group Wood Mackenzie. The move towards renewables by the oil giants is already being seen. Norway’s Statoil is to deploy the world’s first floating offshore windfarm later this year off Scotland to buoy its existing portfolio of offshore turbines. Shell spent several hours of its annual general meeting in May boasting of its commitment to tackling climate change and to renewable power projects, such as windfarms off the coast of the Netherlands. Wood Mackenzie said most oil and gas companies realised renewables posed an existential risk to them and needed to hedge against the threat by diversifying. (Guardian)

Corporate Governance

Uber CEO future under threat

The future of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is hanging in the balance after the embattled cab company’s board voted to adopt a portfolio of recommendations to fight sexual harassment in the firm. Uber said its board had unanimously approved recommendations – which stem from a report prepared by former US attorney general Eric Holder after a sprawling, multi-month investigation into Uber’s cultures and practices. One of the first recommendations acted upon was the departure of Emil Michael, vice-president and Kalanick’s deputy. Michael is a close friend and ally to Kalanick and his departure, which comes in the wake of a series of high-profile executives leaving Uber, is a major blow to the CEO as he fights to maintain control of the company. One move believed to have been under consideration is whether to require a leave of absence for Kalanick, whose aggressive management style has been cited by many as the root cause of the company’s troubles. (Guardian)


McGill taps Green Chemistry to develop chemical-free metal refining solution

A team of chemists at the Canadian university McGill have uncovered a way to produce and refine metals without the aid of toxic solvents or reagents. The discovery could prove to be invaluable as natural deposits of metal continue to decline. According to an associate professor from McGill, applications of green chemistry in metals “lag far behind” other areas yet “metals are just as important for sustainability as any organic compound.” There is no single ore rich in germanium and so it is generally obtained from mining operations as a minor component in a mixture with other materials. Conventional processing techniques to purify metals typically rely on the application of chlorine and hydrochloric acid whereas McGill’s process uses organic molecules. The widespread use of the new technology could help usher industrial manufacturing towards a more sustainable model by eliminating toxic solvents and reagents. (Sustainable Brands)

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