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August 20, 2018

Technology & Innovation

C&A launches ‘world’s most sustainable jeans’

C&A launched what it claims are the world’s most sustainable jeans late last week. The Dutch-headquartered fashion company said it took more than a year to design the jeans, which are the first to earn ‘Cradle to Cradle’ (C2C) gold certification. Developed in collaboration with Fashion for Good, the jeans are made from sustainable and non-toxic materials with some elements, such as the lining and thread, having been completely redeveloped, C&A said. The product is made in factories that run on renewable power and enforce high social standards. The jeans’ materials can be recirculated safely back into industrial process or composted into the soil at the end of their life – although C&A encourages customers to keep the clothes in use for as long as possible. The firm said it hopes to make sustainably produced fashion “the new normal” and is therefore pricing the jeans at €29 per pair. (BusinessGreen)

Technology & Innovation

Apple culls apps in China after state media criticism

Apple has removed thousands of gambling apps from its China app store, according to state media, which criticised the technology company for inadequately filtering out illegal material. “Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China. We have already removed many apps and developers for trying to distribute illegal gambling apps on our App Store, and we are vigilant in our efforts to find these and stop them,” the company said on Monday. The statement came a day after CCTV, China’s state broadcaster, accused Apple of not doing enough to screen out gambling and other illegal apps. CCTV said Apple had taken offline 500 apps with the keyword “lottery” in the app name between July 31 and August 13, and had removed 4,000 gambling-related apps on August 9. (Financial Times)*

Renewable Energy

UK’s Northern Powergrid begins next stage of £83m smart grid project.

Electrical distribution firm Northern Powergrid has begun work on the next phase of its £83m smart grid programme, which aims to future-proof its network in preparation for the rapid growth of low-carbon technologies. The new program, which is set to be installed at 860 substations at a cost of £15m, will act as an interface to the electrical plant within a substation, marshalling alarms, plant status and data regarding voltage, current and power. It will allow control engineers to operate equipment such as circuit breakers and tap changers within the substation, enabling them to undertake more advanced control schemes. The project is anticipated to deliver savings of up to £500m to consumers by 2031 by reducing requirements for traditional grid reinforcements. These cost savings depend on the uptake of technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs), heat pumps and renewable generation. (Edie)


South African mining industry association launches initiative to address ‘unacceptable’ rise in work-related fatalities

The Minerals Council of South Africa launched a National Day of Safety and Health in Mining, calling the “current crisis” unacceptable.  The initiative will see all 66 mining companies who are members of the industry body holding safety and health days at their operations over the coming month. There have been 58 mining deaths in 2018 alone, up from 51 in 2017, which was also an increase from the 2016 fatality figures. Sibanye-Stillwater, one of the world’s largest gold producers, has accounted for 20 of these deaths, and faces the wrath of trade unions and the Department of Mineral Resources. CEO Neal Froneman said the high number of fatalities at their operations has been “traumatic…We’ve stumbled as an industry…but our resolve is clear and evident in terms of getting back on track and breaking through the barrier and getting back down to our zero-harm targets.” Froneman, who is also a Vice President of the Minerals Council, said that improving safety was a combination of continuously engineering out risk and changing people’s attitudes to encourage them to withdraw from unsafe conditions. (Business & Human Rights)


Australia waters down commitment to climate accord amid domestic political fight

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday stripped requirements for reducing greenhouse emissions from his centrepiece energy policy in the face of political opposition, although the country remains a signatory to the Paris Agreement. The National Energy Guarantee had mandated that greenhouse emissions from its power industry be lowered by 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. “The legislation to move forward with the emissions component of the National Energy Guarantee will not be able to pass the House of Representatives,” Turnbull told reporters in Canberra. The decision drew immediate scorn from critics, who argued it was meaningless to be committed to a treaty without working to hit its targets. “It’s a complete capitulation to the right wing members of the Liberal Party of Australia, who want to perpetuate Australia’s coal economy,” said Robyn Eckersley, Professor and Head of Political Science at University of Melbourne. (Reuters)


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The ASEAN Responsible Business Forum

27-28 August 2018 | Singapore

Join leading industry and sustainability professionals at the forthcoming ASEAN Responsible Business Forum (ARBF) in Singapore to discuss the role of responsible and inclusive business.

ARBF is designed to provide a platform for key stakeholders from governments, ASEAN bodies, the private sector and civil society to engage in practical discussions about the future of businesses. ARBF will enhance the understanding of how responsible and inclusive business can help address key challenges faced by ASEAN, including human rights due diligence in the supply chains; business integrity and anti-corruption; financial inclusion; micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) development; climate change and environmental sustainability.

Register now or view the programme to find out more.


Image source: Stapel mit Jeans-Hosen by Marco Verch on FlickrCC BY 2.0.