Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Climate Change, Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Sustainable Investment, Waste

Top Stories

July 10, 2018

Sustainable Investment

Church of England threatens climate change shares sell-off

The Church of England’s £12 billion endowment and investment funds will sell their shares in any fossil fuel companies that are slow to tackle global warming from 2023 after Anglican clergy voted in support of divestment in a hugely symbolic move. At its General Synod, the church’s parliament, bishops, clergy and laity voted 347 to 4 in favour of selling their holdings in any fossil fuel companies that by 2023 have not aligned their businesses with the Paris Agreement to restrict global temperature rises to below 2° Celsius. The move by the UK’s established church marks one of the toughest stances taken yet by a large religious group. The Church of England said the vote made clear “that the Church must play a leading role and exercise its moral leadership on the urgent issue of climate change”. (Financial Times*)


Starbucks to ditch plastic straws globally by 2020

Starbucks will eliminate plastic straws from its stores globally by 2020, in a nod to the growing push for businesses to be more environmentally friendly. The Seattle-based company has said that it will instead use straws made from other materials, and lids designed not to need straws. The strawless lids will begin to appear in Seattle and Vancouver Starbucks in autumn 2018, with phased rollouts within the US and Canada to follow in 2019. Starbucks says that it already offers alternative straws in Seattle, where a ban on single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service outlets has recently taken effect. A global rollout of the strawless lids will follow, beginning in Europe where they will be used in selected stores in France and the Netherlands, as well as in the United Kingdom. (Guardian)

Climate Change

Europe’s Mayors call for zero-emissions target by 2050

10 Mayors from around Europe, including Paris, London, and Barcelona, have written an open letter to the European Commission on its long-term climate strategy. “We urge the European Commission to set the 1.5°C and net-zero emissions goals of the Paris Agreement as objectives of this strategy to be achieved by 2050,” the statement reads. The letter, addressed to the Commission’s Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič & climate chief Miguel Arias Cañete, was released to coincide with a two-day summit in Brussels on how the European Union plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build a low-carbon economy. The city Mayors, which also include Milan, Stockholm and Copenhagen, made clear that the EU’s current reluctance to set a date for a zero-emissions target is insufficient and a clear net-zero goal needs to be established alongside the target to limit global temperatures to below 1.5°C. (Climate Action Programme)


US lawmakers press Alphabet and Apple on smartphone users’ privacy

US lawmakers are demanding information from Alphabet and Apple about how the companies handle users’ personal information, including spoken words, email content and location data. In letters to the companies’ CEOs, leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said recent media reports and related information obtained by the panel have raised questions about how the companies gather and use consumers’ information. Both letters posed questions on the collection and transmission of extensive user-location data even when location services are disabled, among other issues such as the collection of audio data. Congress also is asking Google for “a comprehensive list of the companies with access to a user’s email contents on Gmail,” as well as details about what restrictions it places on the use of email data by app makers. The letters mark the first time the committee has queried companies besides Facebook concerning specific consumer-privacy issues. (Wall Street Journal)

Corporate Reputation

Nestlé products removed from Melbourne zoos over palm oil

Products from the food and drink giant Nestlé will no longer be stocked at the stores and food carts at Melbourne and Werribee zoos. Zoos Victoria made the decision after the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) suspended Nestlé’s membership when the company failed to submit a 2016 progress report, and its 2017 report lacked a timetable for producing or buying certified sustainable palm oil. Zoos Victoria’s director of wildlife conservation and science, Rachel Lowry, said the zoo’s stance was clear. “We will continue to keep our zoo shelves clear of Nestlé products until they take the necessary steps to comply with the RSPO standards, for we remain confident this is the best and most reliable way that we, as an organisation committed to fighting wildlife extinction, can guarantee that the food that we are selling across our zoos is not contributing to the loss of wildlife such as orangutans and Sumatran tigers abroad.” (Guardian)


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Image source: Caged Tiger by Linh Do on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.