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July 24, 2017

Corporate Reputation

Pepsico, Unilever and Nestlé accused of complicity in illegal rainforest destruction

Pepsico, Unilever and Nestlé have been accused of complicity in the destruction of Sumatra’s last tract of rainforest. Plantations built on deforested land have allegedly been used to supply palm oil to scores of household brands that also include McDonald’s, Mars, Kellogg’s and Procter & Gamble, according to a new report by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). RAN says the palm oil reaches major brands via a twisting supply chain that stretches from the PT Agra Bumi Niaga logging company, which delivers to a processing mill owned by PT Ensem Sawita, which then sells the palm oil on to some of the world’s largest traders. A spokesman for Pepsico, singled out by RAN as “the ultimate snack food 20 laggard”, said it had been assured that its suppliers were taking corrective action. Unilever said it had requested a “response and action plan” from its suppliers, Wilmar and Musim Mas. (Guardian)


Boots apologises for saying women might ‘misuse’ morning after pill if it reduced the price

UK high street chemist Boots, part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, has said it is “truly sorry” for the way it responded to a campaign calling for it to cut the price of emergency contraception and announced it is looking for cheaper alternatives. The chain faced criticism after refusing to reduce the cost of the morning-after pill over fears it could incentivise its use. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which launched the campaign, found the pills can cost up to five times more in the UK than other parts of Europe. The move comes after Labour MPs attacked the company for taking an “unacceptable” moral position and health campaigners claimed women were being hit with a “sexist surcharge”. (Independent)


Deloitte has decided diversity groups for minority employees are a relic of the past

Deloitte US has decided that it is time to move past diversity groups focused on gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or even veteranship, Bloomberg has reported. Over the next 18 months, the firm will phase out groups like its Women’s Initiative (WIN) and LGBT group Globe, to replace them with “inclusion councils” where all employees are welcome. WIN’s national director told Bloomberg that it was not an abandonment of any progressive principles but rather an attempt to bring the majority of leaders – “older white men” – into the conversation to advocate for women. Bloomberg reported that leadership at Deloitte is associating employee resource groups with Baby Boomers and Generation X, and associating total inclusion movements with millennials. (Business Insider)


New grid system to manage energy use in Singapore

Research money will be channelled towards managing Singapore’s gas, solar and thermal energy under a smarter energy grid system, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced. Some of the S$19 billion set aside as part of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 plan will be dedicated to developing the new grid. Researchers will look at options such as using “cold energy” – which comes from converting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to its gaseous form – to cool buildings, industry and vehicles, which could save more than S$180 million a year. Under the Paris climate agreement, Singapore has committed to cut carbon emissions per dollar of gross domestic product by 36% by 2030 – down from 2005 levels – and to stabilise emissions. (Today Online)


Plastic bag use in England tumbles thanks to 5p charge

The number of plastic bags issued to customers has tumbled since major UK supermarkets enforced a 5p charge for their use in 2015. The latest statistics published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show that the seven major retailers issued around six billion fewer single-use plastic bags during 2016/17 – an 83% drop compared to the 2014 calendar year. This would be equivalent to each person in the population using around 25 bags during 2016 to 2017, compared to around 140 bags a year before the charge, according to Defra. The data was compiled from bag use figures from Asda, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, the Co-operative Group, Waitrose and Morrisons for their stores in England only, with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland having separate rules and reporting requirements. (Business Green)


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Image Source: Tree trunks by ChristophZimmermanm at Pixabay. CC 0.