Top Stories

January 05, 2018

Corporate Reputation

Apple products under threat of data-hack

Apple products, previously regarded as being less vulnerable to security issues than those running on Microsoft systems, have been revealed as possessing the Meltdown and Spectre flaws that could allow hackers to steal data. All modern computer processing units, or microchips, made by Intel and ARM possess these flaws meaning that almost the entire global computer market is affected by the security threat. Google and Microsoft have already made statements regarding which of their products are affected, with Android phones protected if their security systems are up to date and Microsoft fixes already released for many services. Apple have released ‘mitigations’ against Meltdown in their most recent iOS updates for iPhones/iPads and MacBooks/iMacs with patches against Spectre (in the form of an update for the web browser Safari) still forthcoming. (BBC)

Major electronics manufacturers fined for price fixing

Five electronics manufacturers (Panasonic Industrial Devices Singapore and Panasonic Industrial Devices Malaysia, Rubycon Singapore, Singapore Chemi-con, Nichicon (Singapore), and ELNA Electronics) have been fined a total of S$19.5 million today by the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) for the price-fixing of aluminium electrolytic capacitors – electrical components used in devices such as computers and domestic electric appliances. Collectively holding more than 60% of the market share these five manufacturers have been revealed as having engaged in price fixing for more than ten years – infringing upon section 34 of the Competition Act that outlines that competitors should independently determine their respective market conduct. Whilst the other companies were fined Panasonic was not, having applied for immunity in 2013 under CCS’ leniency programme which incentivises the reporting of colluding behaviour in exchange for reduced fines. Rubycon, Nichicon and ELNA are also under investigation in the US for price fixing in the capacitors market. (The Straits Times)

Social Business

Waitrose ban sales of ‘energy drinks’ to under-16s

Waitrose has become the first UK supermarket to ban sales of ‘energy drinks’ to under-16s due to concerns regarding high levels of sugar and caffeine in these drinks and their subsequent impact on the health and behaviour of children. This will come into effect on the 5th of March with customers buying drinks with more than 150mg of caffeine per litre having to prove that they are over 16. Waitrose’s decision to implement this policy change is framed by Simon Moore, Waitrose’s director of technical and corporate social responsibility, as a move to align with drink labelling discouraging the consumption of these high-caffeine drinks by children. Calls for these drinks to be banned have been made by the teachers’ union NASUWT as well as by medical experts and the TV chef/food campaigner Jamie Oliver. (The Guardian)


H&M launch sustainable sportswear range

H&M have launched a new sportswear collection that is made “solely from sustainable materials” with a range of tights, sports bras, hoodies and tops made of recycled polyester and elastane (lycra). Whilst the exact percentage of recycled polyester in the range is yet to be released this range overall represents H&M’s aim to source 100% recycled or sustainable materials by 2030. This launch has occurred weeks after the company unveiled their new sustainability strategy, involving using ambitious closed-look and renewable targets to become climate positive by 2040. The circular economy principles demonstrated by this new range will be applied to 80% of H&M store concepts by 2025, having already collected 39,000 tonnes of unwanted textiles for reuse as a part of the global Garment Collecting initiative. (Edie)

Supply Chain

NRDC launch IPE Green Supply Chain Map, with New Balance, PUMA and others featured

The IPE Green Supply Chain Map created, and launched this week, by the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) and China’s Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) openly links multinational corporations with their suppliers’ environmental performance. The first companies featured on the map are Target, Esprit, New Balance, PUMA, Gap Inc. and Inditex, publically sharing the details of their supply chains and subsequently allowing customers an effective tool through which to assess the environmental impact of these brands. Founder of the NRDC’s Clean by Design sustainable supply chain programme praises this development – “These companies that have stepped up to put their names on this inaugural map are showing new levels of transparency on their manufacturing abroad and are demonstrating real leadership in supply chain responsibility.” (Sustainable Brands)


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14-15 March 2018, London, UK

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Image Source: Microprocessor by Jakub Jankiewicz at Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0