Top Stories

July 31, 2018

Responsible Investment

Investors and corporates step up calls for “zero deforestation”

A group of leading global investors have issued a joint statement calling for a renewed effort to bring an end to deforestation in Brazil’s Cerrado region, where almost half of the forest cover has been cleared to enable agricultural expansion designed to meet booming global demand for commodities such as soy and beef. The statement is backed by institutional investors that together manage over $2.8 trillion of assets, including APG, Robeco, Legal and General Investment Management, and Green Century Capital Management. It signals their support for the Cerrado Manifesto, which was launched in 2017 and which has secured backing from 70 global companies, including household names such as McDonalds, Tesco, Walmart and Unilever. The investor statement was orchestrated by the FAIRR investor network, which argued ongoing deforestation posed a clear material risk to institutional investors. (BusinessGreen)


Whistleblowers report Legal and General arm to watchdog

Several employees at Legal and General Investment Management have reported the UK’s biggest fund house to the Financial Conduct Authority, accusing the $1 trillion asset manager of a series of compliance and risk failures that potentially cost its clients millions of pounds. The complaints shine a spotlight on the internal workings of the asset manager and raise questions about the robustness of its risk processes. “I feel obligated to report these issues now because I feel the risk culture of LGIM has become so toxic that it is reaching a crisis level. Investors in Legal & General and LGIM products, many of them UK retail investors, are having their savings and investments put at risk by the current toxic risk culture,” said a whistleblower. LGIM said it does not comment on individual performance, disciplinary or whistleblowing activities but is taking these allegations very seriously. (Financial Times*)


Supreme Court rejects Trump bid to halt climate change case

The US Supreme Court has rejected a bid by President Donald Trump’s administration to put brakes on a lawsuit filed by young activists who have accused the US government of ignoring the perils of climate change. In the lawsuit, 21 activists, ages 11 to 22, said federal officials violated their rights to due process under the US Constitution by failing to adequately address carbon pollution such as emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. The Trump administration, inheriting the case, had asked for the lawsuit to be thrown out or put on hold. The brief unsigned order said the Trump administration’s request was premature. The court did, however, note that the claims made in the ambitious lawsuit are “striking” and the question of whether they can be considered by a jury “presents substantial grounds for difference of opinion.” (Reuters)


Spanish taxis block roads in “anti-Uber” protest

Taxi drivers across Spain have joined a strike against ride-hailing companies like Uber, demanding the government restrict their numbers. The striking taxi drivers, some of whom have been camping out for days, say the services threaten their livelihood and are putting thousands of jobs at risk. As a result, they have blocked main roads in Madrid and Barcelona with their parked cars. Taxi unions want the government to enforce a law which requires just one ride-hailing licence for every 30 taxi licences and have rejected the government’s offer to give licensing powers to each of the regions. Union representatives said in a statement that “Uber and Cabify are putting the viability of the taxi sector and 130,000 jobs at risk”, adding it “considers this unfair competition intolerable”. (BBC)


LA’s $3 billion plan to turn Hoover Dam into a giant battery

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power wants to equip the Hoover Dam with a $3 billion pipeline and a pump station powered by solar and wind energy to turn the dam into a vast reservoir of excess electricity. The pump station, downstream, would help regulate the water flow through the dam’s generators, sending water back to the top to help manage electricity at times of peak demand. The net result would be a kind of energy storage — performing much the same function as the giant lithium-ion batteries being developed to absorb and release power. The Hoover Dam project may help solve the problem of how to come up with affordable and efficient power storage, which is seen as the key to transforming the energy industry and helping curb carbon emissions. “I think we have to look at this as a once-in-a-century moment,” said Mayor Eric M. Garcetti of Los Angeles. “So far, it looks really possible. It looks sustainable, and it looks clean.” (New York Times*)


Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business West Summit

In San Diego this November, Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business West Summit (Nov 12-14, San Diego) will bring together 400+ CEOs and heads of business to share ideas on how to navigate the issues facing digital-first business. This will be a must-attend event for businesses tackling ethics and responsibility in a digitalised world.

ForgeRock, Barrick Gold, Cylance, DigiCert, Human API, Blitzmetrics are just a few of the companies sending C-Suite executives to help share ideas and shape the future of ethics in digital business.

Register here quoting CC200 to receive £200 off your ticket.


*Requires subscription

Image source: Taxi by oatsy40 on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.