Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Circular Economy, Climate Change, Daily Media Briefing, Human Rights, Tax, Waste

Top Stories

December 08, 2017

Human Rights

Primark and Sports Direct named for underpaying staff

UK high-street retailers Primark and Sports Direct have had to pay thousands of pounds back to staff for paying them below the minimum wage. The companies had to repay the most of 260 firms named on the government’s list for paying their staff below the legal minimum. Primark had to repay £231,973.12 mainly due to charging staff for uniforms. Sports Direct – together with the two agencies, Transline and Best Connection which it used to supply its staff – underpaid more than 4,000 staff in total and reportedly payed back a total of £1.1 million to their workers. Among the government’s list, a number of football clubs were named including Bristol Rovers, Wolves and Torquay in England, and Motherwell, Greenock Morton and Falkirk in Scotland. Earlier this week, a report found that British employers are withholding over £3 billion from at least 2 million workers. (BBC)


France’s war on waste makes it most food sustainable country

A war on food waste in France, where supermarkets are banned from throwing away unsold food, has helped it secure the top spot of the Food Sustainability Index 2017 published by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Japan, Germany, Spain and Sweden rounded out the top five out of the 34 nations graded based on food waste, environment-friendly agriculture and quality nutrition. It is “unethical and immoral” to waste resources when hundreds of millions go hungry across the world, Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said. France was the first country to introduce food waste legislation and loses only 1.8% of its total food production each year, and plans to cut this waste by half by 2025. Although high-income countries generally performed better, the US lagged in 21st place, dragged down by poor management of soil and fertilizer in agriculture, and excess consumption of meat, sugar and saturated fats. (Reuters)


Australian tax office says 36% of big firms and multinationals paid no tax

The Australian tax office has revealed 36% of the largest public companies and multinational entities in the country paid no tax in the most recent financial year on record. Covering the 2015-16 financial year, the report unveils key details of 2,043 of the largest companies with operations in Australia and shows that corporate tax collected was 8.7% lower than in 2014-15, as the number of entities paying no corporate tax increased from 678 to 732. Foreign-owned entities, which represented over half of the companies analysed, only accounted for one-quarter of tax payable. According to the data, IBM, Glencore and Ikea payed no or little tax in 2015-2016. The data also revealed details of the controversial petroleum resource rent tax, subject of two separate inquiries following concerns it is failing to generate adequate revenue, with Chevron and ExxonMobil Australia, Origin Energy and Shell paying no tax despite billion-dollar revenues. (Guardian; Reuters)

Climate Change

UK pension fund body warns members on climate risk

The UK’s pension fund association has warned its members that climate change poses severe risks to their investments. In partnership with environmental law charity ClientEarth, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has produced guidance for pension funds to act on climate change. It recommended that funds carry out a programme of measures to mitigate risks and take advantage of opportunities relating to climate change, including incorporating climate change expertise into trustee boards and other governance bodies, and instructing asset managers to engage with investee companies with regard to their plans to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Earlier this year, ClientEarth called on trustees to engage with asset managers about voting against the remuneration policies of oil and gas companies, outlining potential liability if they did not take action. (IPE)

Circular Economy

G-Star RAW unveils first-ever “Cradle-to-Cradle” certified denim

Denim brand G-Star Raw has unveiled the first-ever pair of Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Gold level certified pair of jeans. The denim was developed in partnership with suppliers Dystar, Artistic Milliners and Saitex, to identify opportunities to reduce environmental impact. The result is a denim fabric made from 100% organic cotton, using the cleanest indigo-dyeing process, which was developed with Dystar and Artistic Milliners and requires 70% less chemicals, no salts and produces no salt by-product. With Saitex, the brand developed new washing techniques that ensure 98% of the water used can be recycled and reused, with the remaining 2% evaporating. G-Star also removed all components that could not be easily recycled, such as rivets and zippers, replacing them with eco-finished metal buttons. G-star said it will ensure all labelling and carton packaging is responsibly sourced. (Sustainable Brands)


Image Source: Denim by it’s me neosiam at Pexels. CC 0.