Top Stories

January 30, 2018

Supply Chain

UK retailers yet to renew Bangladesh factory safety deal

Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Debenhams, Next and Sainsbury’s are among a group of British retailers yet to join international rivals in renewing their commitment to a factory safety deal in Bangladesh. The legally binding Bangladesh accord on fire and building safety was set up after the fatal collapse of the Rana Plaza textile factory complex in 2013, which killed 1,135 people and is considered the world’s worst garment-industry accident. With only weeks to go until the fifth anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy, at least one major British company, Sainsbury’s, has decided not to sign up to the new deal with other companies holding back amid concerns over costs and lack of support from factory owners and the Bangladeshi government. (The Guardian)

Circular Economy

IKEA receives circular economy award at World Economic Forum

During the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, IKEA was recognised for its efforts to incorporate circular principles across all the company’s operations in comparison to its multinational counterparts and was awarded the “Accenture Strategy Award for Circular Economy”. More specifically it was the company’s efforts to implement circular design principles and adapt its supply chain to reduce environmental impact and increase re-usability that were praised. Peter van der Poel, Managing Director, Range & Supply at Inter IKEA Group, said: “Transforming IKEA into a ‘circular’ business is one of our biggest ambitions and challenges for the future” with IKEA UK currently constructing its most sustainable UK store to date in Greenwich, London. (Climate Action Programme)


Easyjet CEO takes pay cut to match female predecessor’s salary following disclosure of 52% mean gender pay gap

EasyJet’s new chief executive will take a pay cut to match that of his female predecessor Carolyn McCall, as the company looks to narrow its substantial gender pay gap. Johan Lundgren took the helm at the airline on the 1st of December with a starting salary of £740,000 – 5 percent more than his predecessor received in her final year, after almost eight years as CEO. EasyJet have said that their mean gender pay gap of 52 percent, as reported in line with the UK government’s gender pay gap reporting guidelines, is driven by the imbalance in the number of male and female pilots across the industry with recruitment of female pilots difficult due to a “deep seated view in society that being a pilot is a male job”.  Mr Lundgren said he had asked to take a pay cut to show his “personal commitment” to equal pay as well as his commitment to address the gender imbalance within easyJet. (Financial Times*)


Qantas runs first ever biofuel-powered flight between Australia and the US

A Qantas plane powered partly by mustard seeds has become the world’s first biofuel flight between Australia and the United States. The 15-hour flight used a blended fuel that was 10% derived from the brassica carinata, an industrial type of mustard seed that functions as a fallow crop – meaning it can be grown by farmers in between regular crop cycles. The world-first used a Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 on a scheduled passenger service, QF96, and reduced carbon emissions by 7 percent compared with the airline’s usual flight over the same LA to Melbourne route. Compared pound for pound with jet fuel, carinata biofuel reduces emissions by 80 percent over the fuel’s life cycle. Qantas aims to use a form of renewable fuel – not necessarily carinata-derived – for all Los Angeles-based flights by 2020, supplied by US company SG Preston. (The Guardian)


Fitness app, Strava, reveals routes taken by staff at military bases

Security concerns have been raised after a fitness tracking firm, Strava, showed the exercise routes of military personnel in bases around the world. The online fitness tracker has published a “heatmap” showing the paths its users log as they run or cycle which is understood to show the structure of foreign military bases in countries including Syria and Afghanistan as soldiers move around them. It also appears that location data has been tracked outside bases – potentially showing commonly used exercise routes or patrolled roads. A US Department of Defence spokeswoman, Maj Audricia Harris, said it took “matters like these very seriously and is reviewing the situation to determine if any additional training or guidance is required” with the BBC’s defence and diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus suggesting that the existence of these digital “signatures” is indicative of the complexities modern life has brought to operational security. (BBC)


Social Value Summit

The fifth Social Value Summit, the leading event in its field, will take place on 28th February in London. The Summit brings together more than 350 commissioners and providers from across the public, private and social sectors.

This year, the event will cover not only current best practice, but also future challenges and opportunities, asking the questions:

  • Does Brexit provide an opportunity for social value to grow?
  • Are devolved areas where the greatest potential is?
  • How do we use social value to tackle our employment challenge?

Click here to buy your tickets and read the agenda


*Subscription required

Image Source: Easyjet plane by Tracy Vickers on Flickr. CC BY-ND 2.0