Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Governance, Supply Chain, Sustainable Investment

Top Stories

July 05, 2018

Supply Chain

Tesco unveils zero deforestation soy goals

Tesco has unveiled a new set of targets designed to curb deforestation fuelled by rising global demand for soy. The company revealed that it has developed a new strategy in support of the commitment made through the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) to achieve zero-net deforestation in the sourcing of agricultural raw materials by 2020. In a blog posted on the company’s website Tesco responsible sourcing manager Daniel Salter said that the most important raw material for the company in relation to this pledge was soy. Specifically, Tesco confirmed new goals to transition to zero deforestation soy credits schemes from 2018, transition to Area Mass Balance certified soy by the end of 2020, and transition to sourcing from verified zero deforestation areas by 2025. (BusinessGreen)

Sustainable Investment

Investor group adds 61 companies to climate target list

A group of major investors is ramping up its efforts to influence carbon intensive companies. So far, 289 investors, including HSBC, AXA and Legal & General, with $30 trillion in assets under management have pledged to take action on the risks posed by climate change as part of the Climate Action 100+ initiative. The initiative was initially launched in December 2017 to engage with an initial focus list of 100 of the world’s largest emitters of industrial greenhouse gas emissions. Since then five new investors have come on board and 61 more companies have been added to the list.  The initiative reports that engagement with focus companies over the past six months has led to tangible commitments on reducing emissions and climate reporting. 18 percent of focus companies now officially support the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). A further 22 percent have pledged to set science-based targets to reduce their emissions in the long-term. (Climate Action Programme)


Wilmar co-founder resigns amid deforestation scandal

Wilmar International’s co-founder, Martua Sitorus, has resigned a week after Greenpeace revealed his links to Gama Plantation, a related palm oil business responsible for massive deforestation in Indonesia. Sitorus’ brother-in-law, Hendri Saksti, who is the group’s head for Indonesia has also resigned. Whilst Wilmar committed to end its links to deforestation in 2013, the investigation carried out by Greenpeace revealed that Gama had deforested an area approximately twice the size of Paris. Responding to the news, Kiki Taufik, global head of Greenpeace’s Indonesia forests campaign, says, “This shows that Wilmar is determined to blame someone else for its failings. This is not just about Gama or Martua Sitorus. It’s about Wilmar’s refusal to do what it takes to keep forest destroyers out of its supply chain. If Wilmar is serious about reform, the first step is to prove its palm oil suppliers are clean by making them publish maps of all their concessions.” (The Edge – Singapore)

Corporate Reputation

Lafarge charged with complicity in Syrian crimes against humanity

The French cement giant Lafarge has been charged with complicity in crimes against humanity and financing terrorists, for allegedly paying millions to jihadists, including the Islamic State group, to keep a factory open in war-torn Syria. The company, whose Syrian subsidiary paid the armed groups through intermediaries, has also been charged with endangering the lives of former employees at the cement plant in Jalabiya, northern Syria. Lafarge is suspected of paying nearly €13 million to Isis and other militant groups to keep the Jalabiya plant running long after other French companies had pulled out of Syria. Lafarge, which has since merged with Swiss firm Holcim, immediately said it would appeal against the charges. Eight former executives, including the former chief executive Bruno Lafont, have already been charged with financing a terrorist group and/or endangering the lives of others over Lafarge’s activities in Syria between 2011 and 2015. (Guardian)

GSK director sued over US opioid epidemic

A director of GlaxoSmithKline, the British pharmaceuticals company, has been sued by the state of Massachusetts for her alleged role in fuelling the US opioid addiction epidemic. Judy Lewent, who served on the board of opioid drugmaker Purdue Pharma for more than four years until 2014, was named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by the state’s attorney-general. The legal action comes as US authorities step up their campaign against those they hold responsible for a crisis that resulted in 42,200 opioid overdose deaths in 2016. The legal complaint filed by Massachusetts alleges that Ms Lewent and the other defendants deceived patients and doctors on the risks of prescription opioids. It alleges that Purdue marketed the painkillers to vulnerable people, including the elderly, and encouraged physicians to prescribe them for long periods of time. (Financial Times*)


Ethical Corporation’s 13th Responsible Supply Chain Summit Europe 2018

10-11 October 2018, Novotel London West #RSCEU

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Image source: 20090725 Deforestation by Wagner T. Cassimiro “Aranha” on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.