Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Strategy, Sustainable Investment

Top Stories

March 06, 2018

Corporate Reputation

BlackRock puts pressure on gun makers and retailers

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has announced it will re-examine its holdings in both gun makers and gun retailers in the wake of the recent shooting in Parkland, Florida. The company is currently the largest shareholder in gun makers Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor Brand, and the second-largest shareholder in Visa Outdoor. In a statement, BlackRock said that it will start offering clients the option to invest in funds that exclude firearm manufacturers and retailers. It also said it will more actively engage with such companies, including asking gun makers how they deal with the reputational and legal risks associated with manufacturing civilian firearms, and if they monitor whether their products are used in crimes. It will ask retailers what proportion of their sales firearms and ammunition represent, and what steps they have taken to prevent the misuse of firearms that they sell. (CNN Money)


Google and Facebook among giants “making profits” from pop-up brothels

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has accused firms such as Google and Facebook of “making profits” from the trafficking of vulnerable women, suggesting that web companies have become the “key enabler for the sexual exploitation of trafficked victims in the UK”. In the US, landmark legislation has now reached the Senate that would make technology firms and social media giants responsible if they publish content that leads to trafficking. These new laws, resisted for months by the Internet Association, a lobbying group funded by companies such as Google and Facebook, will overturn more than 20 years of blanket immunity afforded to web companies that profit from criminality on their sites. (The Times*)

Sustainable Investment

Report: Auto-enrolment pension savers could face significant losses due to poor climate risk practice

A new report by ClientEarth and ShareAction has revealed that millions of UK pension savers, including those signed up under the government’s auto-enrolment legislation, may face significant future losses due to lack of action from pension providers and their regulator on climate risk. The report states that contract-based pension providers have not taken sufficient action to address climate risk and that the FCA, which regulates these providers, has so far failed to investigate or address this problem. The findings of the report include the need for industry-level guidance on incorporating climate risk into investments, with this recommendation formally endorsed to the FCA by Legal & General and Scottish Widows. (ClientEarth)


Nigeria plans to scale-up green finance initiatives in 2018

The Nigerian government is planning to scale-up its green finance initiatives over the coming year, including issuing green bonds worth $150 billion naira ($415 million) to help fund a range of sustainable and climate-sensitive projects. Speaking at a conference in Lagos, Ahmad Salihijo, an adviser at the Ministry of Environment said that the news came on the back of the country’s successful $10 billion naira issuance in December 2017 – given an “excellent” grade by the ratings agency Moody’s. Nigeria was the first African country to offer a sovereign green bond, which was certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative. One of the new projects, the Energising Education Programme, aims to provide reliable, off-grid power supplies to 37 universities and 7 university hospitals across the country through the utilisation of renewable energy. (Climate Action Programme)


Amazon in talks to offer bank accounts with JPMorgan Chase

Amazon is discussing a potential partnership to offer its customers bank accounts via JPMorgan Chase, in a deal that could unite America’s biggest bank with its biggest ecommerce platform. The company is in talks to develop a checking account-like product, according to people familiar with the discussions, as it seeks to strengthen ties with millions of consumers who rely on the site for an increasingly large share of their day-to-day consumption. Plans are likely to be complicated by discussions with the regulator, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It is also unclear whether a tie-up between Amazon and JPMorgan would give customers the ability to write cheques, directly pay bills, or access the bank’s network of ATMs. JPMorgan and Amazon are already partners in other areas having last month joined forces with Berkshire Hathaway to create a non-for-profit healthcare company. (Financial Times*)


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Image Source: Amazon’s front door by Robert Scoble on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.