- Human rights activists name and shame giant companies
- Amazon adopts new policy to promote board diversity
- World Health Organisation pushes for ban on trans fats
- Lloyds Bank announces further £2 billion funding for sustainable investment
- Fears for post-Brexit climate laws as UK green watchdog plans revealed
Event: Net Impact Approaches Conference on Tuesday 22nd May 2018
See below for more information on a conference exploring the latest in companies measuring, valuing, and setting target for environmental and social impacts for reporting and decision-making.
Kraft Heinz, the food and drinks company, and fashion businesses Macy’s, Hermés and Prada have been criticised for a lack of transparency on human rights issues in their supply chain after failing to engage with a government and investor-backed group. The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) has warned that a quarter of groups it targeted in the clothing, agriculture and extractive industries have failed to engage, ignoring letters from an investor coalition that oversees $5 trillion in assets as well as invitations from CHRB. These large companies, including Kraft Heinz, Macy’s, Hermés and Prada, had some of the lowest scores in the benchmark, indicating what CHRB said was a lack of transparency and public commitment to managing human rights risks and impacts. Backers of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark include Aviva Investors, APG and Nordea, as well as the Swiss, Dutch and British governments. (Financial Times*)
Amazon has announced that it is adopting a new policy to promote diversity in its board directors, saying that women and minorities are to be among the company’s board nominees. “The Amazon Board of Directors has adopted a policy that the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee include a slate of diverse candidates, including women and minorities, for all director openings,” said Amazon in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The new policy follows a shareholder proposal jointly submitted by the Master Trust of the Service Employees International Union and CtW Investment Group, which works with pension funds affiliated with a federation of unions, which said Amazon’s board has failed to convert verbal support for diversity to practical action. Amazon’s board currently has ten members, all of whom are white, including three women. (Reuters)
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling for governments and food makers to cut industrial trans fats in a move targeted at saving lives and improving health. WHO outlined that trans fats, often found in baked and fried food, are contributing to the deaths of more than 500,000 people annually who have cardiovascular disease. The International Food & Beverage Alliance, which represents major food companies such as General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars and McDonald’s, has backed the plan. Whilst the WHO does not have the power to enact a global ban, its influence could pave the way for a crackdown on manufactured trans fats with the push to ban trans fats a key pillar of the WHO’s strategic plan for 2019-2023. WHO have suggested that healthier alternatives to trans fats can be used and would not affect the taste or cost of food. (USA Today)
Lloyds Bank has announced £2 billion of funding to help UK businesses invest more sustainably as part of the Clean Growth Finance Scheme. Lloyds said: “The Clean Growth Finance Scheme aims to deliver the most inclusive UK green funding in the market by providing the incentive of discounted lending to help businesses invest in reducing their environmental impact as well as boosting productivity more generally.” This new round of funding raises the bank’s commitment to drive sustainable investment in the UK to £3 billion, building on the existing £1 billion of support to improve the energy efficiency of large Commercial Real Estate and the Helping Britain Prosper plan pledge to support projects powering 5 million homes through renewable energy by 2020. (City AM)
The UK government has excluded climate change from a proposed post-Brexit green watchdog, raising concerns about the enforcement of climate laws when the country leaves the EU. In a consultation document, the department for environment, food and rural affairs (Defra) outlined plans to establish a body that could issue “advisory notices” if the government fell short of its duty to implement environmental law. It would not be empowered to take the government to court, nor would it cover “matters related to climate change”, which Defra argued were covered by existing bodies, principally the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). “The Committee on Climate Change is a really important body and we are not saying that any of its functions should be taken away from it,” said Amy Mount of Greener UK, a coalition of 13 environmental charities. “What we are saying is in addition to that, you need a process for enforcing all of the environmental laws including climate-related laws. (Climate Change News)
2018 Net Impact Approaches Conference (22.05.2018), 15 Hatfields, London
Building upon the success of the 2017 event, this conference will bring together the different communities involved in Net Impact Approaches to: share best practice, highlight key initiatives and approaches, move the topic forwards by addressing pressing issues, and facilitate collaboration with key players.
Corporate Citizenship Briefing is delighted to be supporting the conference again. We are pleased to be able to offer a 10% discount for CCB subscribers members using this link https://netimpactapproaches2018.eventbrite.com/?aff=CCB and promotional code CCBNIA18).
Sustainability leaders contributing to this event include: Schroders, UNEP WCMC, Solvay, Olam, Yorkshire Water, Interface, Novartis, Forum for the Future and more.