- Australian Government considering digital tax to target tech giants
- New research findings accuse H&M of failing to ensure living wages for its supply chain workers
- Bank of America pledges to help make EVs the ‘new normal’ by 2030
- UK government unveils new £15 million scheme to tackle retail food waste
- Singapore: MP calls for surcharge on all single-use bags
Australia could be one of the world’s earliest movers in introducing an interim tax on digital companies in a bid to raise more money from multinationals. A long-awaited Treasury discussion paper suggests Australia could consider mirroring a European Commission proposal that would see companies with significant digital revenues pay a 3 percent tax on their European turnover. The European plan is estimated to bring in an estimated 5 billion euro a year. The Treasury paper warns such a tax could discriminate against American technology companies, and those companies may decide to pass on the cost to consumers by hiking their prices. (ABC)
Human Rights / Supply Chain
New research findings published by Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) on 24 September 2018 allege that many workers making H&M’s clothes live below the poverty wage, forcing many employees to work overtime – despite H&M’s commitment to ensuring workers in its supply chain are paid a living wage. The new research, based on interviews with 62 people in six H&M supplier factories in Bulgaria, Turkey, India and Cambodia, forms part of the campaign “Turn Around H&M” launched by CCC and International Labour Rights Forum on Labour Day 2018. In a response H&M have said “we agree that wages are too low in garment producing countries. This is one of the most important questions for our industry,” and emphasised the need to “work together towards transformative change on industry level.” (Business & Human Rights)
Bank of America has become the latest Fortune 500 company to join the EV100, a global initiative led by the Climate Group that seeks to make electric transportation “the new normal” by 2030. As part of its membership, Bank of America committed to install additional EV charging infrastructure at its owned properties. The company has already installed around 100 workplace charging points for employees in the U.S. and U.K., with more planned in 2019. Additionally, nearly 10,000 employees have participated in its low-carbon vehicle reimbursement program—which the company established a decade ago to incentivize purchase of electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. (TriplePundit)
The UK Government has announced that it will spend £15 million on a new initiative aimed at redistributing almost £1 billion worth of food waste from supermarkets, other retailers and manufacturers. Announced by Environment Secretary Michael Gove, the scheme will see the equivalent of up to 250,000 meals each year – which would otherwise be disposed of by retailers – sent to charities or platforms such as FareShare and Neighbourly for redistribution. “Nobody wants to see good food go to waste – it harms our environment, it’s bad for business and it’s morally indefensible,” Gove said. “Every year, around 100,000 tonnes of readily available and perfectly edible food is never eaten. This has got to change.” (Edie)
Consumers should pay for single-use carrier bags made of all materials, not only plastic, said Member of Parliament Mr Louis Ng on 1st Oct. Mr Ng cautioned that the issue of plastic waste has “reached a turning point”. The issue of charging consumers for plastic bags has been the subject of animated debate for years in Singapore. Dr Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, said Mr Ng’s proposed approach complicates the system and makes enforcement more difficult. Some reports have stated that non-compliance by retailers in Hong Kong is about one-third to half, she said. (Today Online)
3BL Forum: Brands Taking Stands – The Long View
23-25th October | Maryland, USA
With the theme Brands Taking Stands – The Long View, 3BL Forum features engaging sessions with 50+ speakers, interactive “issues tables” for peer-to-peer discussion, the annual CR Magazine awards dinner to honor the Responsible CEO of the Year. This year’s Forum will also include a Town Hall on Brands Taking Stands: A Moment or a Movement? with journalists from the Los Angeles Times and NPR and leaders from MSL U.S., Univision, and National Basketball Players Association Foundation.
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