Top Stories

August 24, 2018


Uber to pay $1.9 million to settle 56 workers’ sexual harassment & discrimination claims

Uber is close to reaching a final settlement relating to several sexual harassment and discrimination claims. The firm will pay $1.9 million (£1.5m) to 56 current and former workers who claim they were victims of sexual harassment, or about $34,000 each. They will also get nearly $11,000 each as part of a class action involving 485 people who claimed discrimination. The pay-outs will be part of the ride-hailing company’s total settlement of $10 million agreed in March 2018. The US-based class action case is being led by two Latina engineers who allege they were paid less than their white, Asian and male colleagues. The pair filed their legal claim against Uber in October 2017, claiming they suffered harassment and a hostile work environment due to their gender and ethnicity. A hearing to make final approval of the settlement is due to be heard by a California court in November. (BBC)


Facebook removes data-security app from Apple store

Facebook has pulled its data-security app from Apple’s app store after the iPhone maker ruled that the service violated its data-collection policies. Apple’s decision widens the schism between the two tech giants over privacy and is a blow to Facebook, which has used data gathered through the app, called Onavo Protect, to track rivals and scope out new product categories. Apple officials have informed Facebook that the app violated new rules outlined in June 2018 designed to limit data collection by app developers. Apple informed Facebook that Onavo also violated a part of its developer agreement that prevents apps from using data in ways that go beyond what is directly relevant to the app or to provide advertising. The move comes after a summer-long push by Apple to bring apps into compliance with the iPhone maker’s new guidelines, which were designed to close longstanding gaps that opened user data to abuse. (The Wall Street Journal)

Sustainable Investment / Policy

Investors warn European Commission over definitions in sustainable finance proposals

Sustainable finance proposals tabled by the European Commission could sideline many popular ESG strategies or approaches, investors have warned. The Commission proposed a regulation on reporting requirements related to “sustainable investments and sustainability risks”, but the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) said that, as currently drafted, the proposal seemed to equate sustainable investments with impact and thematic investing. “Unless this drafting is changed, this would mean that a large majority of investment approaches and products that today are adopted as ‘sustainable’ on objective and legitimate grounds may no longer be considered so,” the industry association stated. According to UK insurance group Aviva, the way the Commission’s proposed regulation on disclosures was worded “might discourage sustainable investment through proactive stewardship of investments to promote sustainability.”(IPE)


ISO 50001 revised to reflect changing energy landscape

The ISO 50001 energy management standard has been revised for the first time since it was published to account for trends such as rising energy costs and climate change. The standard, developed by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) and represented in the UK by the British Standards Institution (BSI), provides step-by-step guidance on how businesses can reduce energy costs, become more resilient, comply with legislation and grow more sustainably. The new version features updated terms and definitions and greater clarification of certain energy performance concepts. It also places a stronger emphasis on the role of top management – an approach which the UK government has sought to implement through the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). BSI’s head of sustainability David Fatscher said the update addresses the “marked” changes to have occurred in regards to technology, scientific knowledge and the regulatory environment over the past seven years. (Edie)


London commits to global cities ‘net-zero carbon’ building pledge

The leaders of 19 global cities have committed to eliminating carbon emissions from new building portfolios by 2030, in order to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement. By signing the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration, the mayors of cities including London, Los Angeles and Paris have pledged to introduce planning regulations that will require all new buildings to operate at net-zero carbon by 2030 and all buildings by 2050. The declaration, orchestrated by the C40 group of cities, requires the mayors to establish a net-zero building roadmap, develop supporting incentives and programme and report annually on their progress towards the 2030 goal. Outlining how London would deliver on the commitment, Mayor Sadiq Khan said he would expand the existing standard of zero-carbon new homes to apply to all new buildings in 2019. The move will form part of his pledge to make London a carbon-neutral city by 2050. (Edie)


Ethical Corporation 12th Sustainability Reporting and Communications Summit

10-11 October 2018| London

 The Sustainability Reporting & Communications Summit will tackle the core issues the industry faces in the drive to a more inclusive, sustainable society. Hear and learn from the best in European sustainability reporting in October [10-11].

Business is undertaking a shift, with momentum building to shift away from a short-term mindset and towards a long-term, sustainable economic model. To reach the 2-degree target and impact upon the SDGs businesses are required to disclose accurate data to showcase future risks and enable long-term value creation.

 Key topics include:

  • Disclosure for long term value creation
  • Impact of NFRD and TCFDs on the future of reporting
  • Quantifying and communicating impacts against the SDGs
  • Monetising your climate impacts to transition to a low carbon economy
  • Reporting to investors that ensures investment decisions are made from accurate disclosures
  • Reporting to drive integrated thinking and create long-term value

Discover the full un-rivalled agenda topics and speaker line up here.

Image source: World Class Traffic Jam 2 by joiseyshowaa on FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0.