Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Climate Change, Daily Media Briefing, Diversity, Employees, Sustainable Investment, Tax, Technology & Innovation

Top Stories

June 13, 2018

Responsible Finance

Goldman Sachs Asset Management launches exchange-traded fund to track JUST Capital’s Index

Goldman Sachs Asset Management has announced the launch of JUST, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that seeks to provide broad exposure to US large cap equities, with a focus on companies that demonstrate just business behaviour, as measured by JUST Capital. The ETF seeks to track the JUST US Large Cap Diversified Index, constructed by JUST Capital. The Index is designed to provide the broad market exposure of the Russell 1000 Index, while featuring only companies with above-average scores across all major social, environmental, and governance issues critical to the American people. Historically, companies in the Index on average pay better, create more jobs, pay fewer fines, give twice as much to charity, emit less greenhouse gas and have a 7 percent higher return on equity compared with the rest of the Russell 1000. (BusinessWire)

Gender Pay Gap

UK MPs urge banks to end “alpha male culture” to close gender pay gap

MPs have called on Britain’s banks and other financial firms to tackle their “alpha male culture”, in a parliamentary report that recommends measures to close the City’s gender pay gap including clearer criteria for awarding bonuses and senior male executives taking up flexible working. The Treasury committee’s report follows its investigation into women in finance, and found the alpha male culture was the main reason women gave for not wanting to work in senior management at City firms. The Women in Finance report found that the median bonus pay gap is 49% in favour of men at UK banks, and 38% at building societies. The bonus gap is 43.5% overall, meaning that for every £100,000 of bonuses handed out to men, women are only getting £56,500. The gender pay gap per hour in finance is 28%. (Guardian)


Seattle City Council repeals “head tax” following big-business opposition

The Seattle City Council has repealed a newly enacted “head tax” on the city’s largest companies, including Amazon, in the face of seemingly insurmountable big-business opposition to a revenue measure meant to combat homelessness. The 7-2 vote in favour of repeal capped an acrimonious public hearing interrupted by chanting supporters of the tax, conceived in response to a local economic boom that has driven up real estate costs at the expense of the working class. Amazon, the city’s largest employer, was at the forefront of a coalition of businesses running a well-financed campaign to place a repeal referendum on the ballot for the November elections. Sponsors of the tax said Seattle’s biggest-earning businesses should shoulder some burden for easing a low-cost-housing shortage they helped create through an over-heated real estate market that has left the working poor and many middle-class families unable to afford to live in the city. (Reuters)


Asia Pacific computer users most vulnerable to cyberattacks due to high percentage of unlicensed software use

The Asia Pacific region continues to have the world’s highest percentage rate of unlicensed software use and greatest amount of dollar losses, with computer users in the region remaining highly vulnerable to the risks of cyberattacks linked with the use of unlicensed software. Findings from a survey, Software Management: Security Imperative, Business Opportunity, conducted by BSA: The Software Alliance include that in Asia Pacific 57 percent of software installed on computers in 2017 was unlicensed, a modest decrease from 61 percent in 2015.The commercial value of unlicensed software in AP decreased to US$16.4 billion, compared to US$19.1 billion in 2015, but still remains the highest in the world. The survey also pointed out a clear correlation between malware and the use of unlicensed software; if enterprise software is unlicensed, organisations run a significant risk of encountering often-crippling security threats. Businesses that reduce unlicensed software use also reduce the risk of cyberattacks, while benefiting from improved end user productivity and enhanced brand reputation. (Networks Asia)

Climate Change

Germany to miss 2020 climate target, government concedes in official report

Germany will miss its 2020 climate target according to a report due for release today by the government, as seen by Climate Home News. The country’s target is a 40 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, but the report has suggested that Germany will only achieve a 32 percent reduction by 2020. “This will lead to a gap of about 8 [percentage points],” states the report draft. The report said the government’s 2014 Climate Action Programme was insufficient to close the gap to the 2020 goal, due to “the unexpected dynamic economic development and the unexpected significant population growth”. Population growth will exceed projections by one to 1.8 million people by 2020. It added the government is working on a programme for a 55 percent emissions cut by 2030, based on Germany’s 2050 Climate Action Plan. (Climate Home News)


Image source: Intel Demo by Yosomono on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.