Top Stories

May 09, 2018

Corporate Reputation

Facebook to block foreign spending on Irish abortion vote ads

Facebook is blocking all foreign spending on advertising around Ireland’s upcoming referendum on abortion in an effort to adhere to the “principles” of the country’s election spending laws – restricting advertising to organisations and people based in the Republic. The move follows accusations that attempts have been made to swing votes across the world through foreign-funded campaigns. As part of the process, Ireland has also become the first country outside the US to receive a set of advertiser-transparency tools Facebook promised in early April. “Our view ads feature – which enables Irish Facebook users to see all of the ads any advertiser is running on Facebook in Ireland at the same time – has been fast tracked and is operational today,” the company said. Irish law bars foreign money from going to political parties and registered campaigns. But the legislation does not cover money spent directly on digital advertising, a loophole that observers say has been exploited by groups overseas wishing to influence the vote. (Guardian)

Climate Change

Report: Oxfam calls for stronger aid to help poor countries adapt to climate change

A recent report by Oxfam has found that aid to low income countries to help them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions is lagging behind the targets set by the Paris Agreement. The historic 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change agreed a target of $100 billion worth of financing for low income countries. Although taxpayer-funded finance has increased since 2015 and the private sector has introduced new initiatives, the funding raised is likely to still miss the intended goal by 2020 to low income countries. The report, Climate Finance Shadow Report 2018: Assessing Progress Towards the $100bn Commitment, found that between 2015-2016 funding from higher income countries was only half of the amount agreed in the Paris Agreement and claims that funding announced by donor countries often involves projects that are not directly related to climate change. (Climate Action Programme)


California heads toward requiring solar panels on all new houses

California is set to become the first US state to require solar panels on all newly built single-family houses. The state’s Energy Commission is scheduled to vote on the rules, which are expected to pass and take effect in 2020. The regulations, which would also apply to multifamily buildings of three stories or fewer, don’t need the approval of the Legislature. The new building standards – which also include updated insulation mandates – are a piece of California’s ambitious plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions in coming decades. While addressing one of the state’s most pressing challenges – reducing greenhouse gas emissions – the requirements are thought to, at least in the short term, exacerbate another: the increasingly high cost of housing. These new rules are expected to make a single-family house $9,500 more expensive to build on average, which includes the effect of the Trump administration’s tariffs on imported solar panels, according to the Energy Commission. (LA Times)


Nissan to phase out diesel cars in Europe

Nissan is to phase out diesel from its cars in Europe, becoming the latest carmaker to shun the fuel source. The Japanese group will cease to launch passenger vehicles with diesel engines from 2021, though it will still offer diesel options in its commercial vehicles and pick-up trucks. Nissan’s move comes amid plunging diesel sales across Europe as governments rush to limit the fuel source that once dominated the continent’s cars. Because diesel engines emit about a fifth less CO2 than petrol, many car manufacturers had been relying on them to meet stringent EU-wide emissions targets that come into force in 2021. Falling sales have forced several companies to accelerate their plans to roll out electric and hybrid vehicles to comply with the new rules and avoid potentially massive fines with Nissan stating that by 2025 it wants half of its cars sold in Europe to be electric or hybrid. (Financial Times*)


Wales unveils ambition to become world’s first “refill nation”

The Welsh Government has outlined the country’s plan to become the world’s first “refill nation”, where access to drinking water in public places is universal. The Welsh Government will work with City to Sea – a group campaigning against single-use plastics – on developing a refill campaign for Wales, and will collaborate with water companies, businesses and charities to achieve this aim. Welsh Environment Minister Hannah Blythyn also announced an additional £15 million funding to further improve local authority recycling collection systems and infrastructure, while additionally confirming the Welsh Government has signed up to WRAP’s new Plastics Pact – a commitment by businesses to make unnecessary single-use plastic packaging “a thing of the past”. Wales is also developing a new behaviour change initiative in a bid to make residents “see the value of tap water” and choose it over bottled drinks. (Edie)


Innovation Forum: How business can measure the impact – and ROI – of corporate sustainability

This two day conference (19th-20th June, 2018, London) will provide business delegates with the latest tools and techniques for understanding, measuring and communicating the impact of sustainability programs. The emphasis will remain on how business can use these insights to drive strategy, justify budgets and communicate work effectively. You can see full details in the conference brochure here.

Some of the issues covered include:

  • Understanding impact:How can business measure and communicate social and environmental impact effectively?
  • ROI in action:In-depth corporate case studies on how companies can attribute a clear and quantifiable return from sustainability programs
  • The investor perspective:What do they want to hear about company performance and how do they want to hear it?

Register here and get a 20% discount using the code CCimpact18 


*Subscription required

Image Source: Solar Bungalow by Michael Coghlan on Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0.