Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Employees, Human Rights, Strategy, Supply Chain

Top Stories

March 20, 2018


BlackRock spells out what Larry Fink’s letter to CEOs meant

When BlackRock’s Larry Fink sent a letter to CEOs in January 2018, some executives and directors were stumped about what he meant by asking companies to explain how their business makes “a positive contribution to society”. The $6.3 trillion asset manager has since spelled out what its chief executive officer was asking for – by posting documents on its website that set out its approach to engagement, and contain specific questions it may discuss with boards and executives, on issues including climate risk, human capital management, board diversity and executive pay. When engaging with companies on their long-term strategy, purpose and culture, BlackRock may ask questions such as how the company defines “long-term”, how employees are involved in shaping strategy, and how the board and management balance short-term pressures against long-term strategy.

BlackRock expects to meet with hundreds of board members and executives in its portfolio over the next few months ahead of the US annual meeting season. The firm, which is frequently the biggest holder of many public companies, has been trying to raise the profile of governance issues for long-term investors. (Bloomberg)

Human Rights

Report: Amnesty International accuses Shell and Eni of negligence in cases of Nigerian oil spills

In its latest report, Negligence in the Niger Delta: Decoding Shell and Eni’s poor records on oil spills, Amnesty International has accused the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria and Italian oil giant Eni of “serious negligence” in cases of oil spills in the Delta region. The report alleges that Shell and Eni are failing to fulfil their responsibility to respect the human rights of communities living in the Niger Delta. When contacted for response, Shell described Amnesty International’s claims as false and “without merit”. The oil company accused the organisation of failing to recognise that security – a sole prerogative of government – “remains a major concern” in its working environment. Reacting to the report, Eni said it aims to achieve “zero spills target” in its operations and has put measures in place to prevent oil spills, including “replacing pipelines, removing old clamps and early detection through increased surveillance and community engagement. (Business & Human Rights Resource Centre)

Supply Chain

One in seven EU companies have moved supply chain out of UK

One in seven European companies with UK suppliers has moved part or all of their business out of Britain, according to the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (Cips), which added that prices have risen since the Brexit vote and are likely to continue to rise. As Britain and the EU27 agreed a transition deal to keep trading relationships within Europe unchanged until the end of 2020, a survey of over 2,000 supply chain managers by Cips showed that these commercial links are already being disrupted. As well as the decision by EU companies to relocate their supply chains, a third of UK suppliers were found to have raised prices because of a weaker pound. Another 41 percent plan future price rises to offset Brexit-related issues, such as diverging regulations and border costs. (Financial Times*)

Corporate Reputation

Weinstein Company files for bankruptcy and frees staff from secrecy orders

US film and TV studio The Weinstein Company, whose ex-chairman Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment and assault, has filed for bankruptcy with an offer from an affiliate of private equity firm Lantern Capital Partners to acquire its assets. Crucially, the company also said it was releasing all employees from non-disclosure agreements that have been reported as being used by Weinstein to silence his accusers. The Weinstein Company, which has about 100 employees, filed for bankruptcy, listing $500m to $1bn in liabilities and $500m to $1bn in assets. The company said in a statement it has entered into a “stalking horse” agreement with a Lantern Capital affiliate, that would purchase the assets of the company. The offer from Lantern will set the floor for higher and better bidders in a court-supervised auction. (Guardian)


Report: Environment & sustainability profession outstrips UK average for job satisfaction, pay and employment

Job satisfaction for the environment and sustainability profession continues to outperform the UK average as revealed in the latest results of IEMA’s annual State of the Profession survey, which has been running since 2005. Statistics from the survey reveal that almost seven in ten environment and sustainability professionals say they are satisfied or highly satisfied in their jobs. The high satisfaction appears to be due to a number of factors including rising pay, stable employment and career mobility. There is also positive news about closing the pay gap between genders, which has caused concern in previous years. The difference between men and women’s earnings has narrowed by 2.6% in the last twelve months, however at 14.1%, the gap remains higher than national average with women still under-represented in senior roles. (IEMA)


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Image Source: Shell by Ed Dunens on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.