- Report: Know The Chain 2018 Apparel and Footwear Benchmark released
- Insurance company goes under after California’s most destructive wildfire
- ‘Mother of all sustainability challenges’: report urges global diet and farming overhaul
- Singapore’s Ministry of Health considers whether to ban or tax high-sugar drinks
- Banking giants pledge to align investment portfolios with Paris Agreement
Supply Chain / Human Rights
The 2018 Apparel and Footwear Benchmark, which ranks the top 43 global apparel and footwear companies on their efforts to address forced labour in their supply chains, finds that two-thirds have a low ranking with an overall score below 50/100, and nearly a quarter scored below 10/100. The benchmark, released today by Know The Chain, finds that industry-wide progress is uneven and lacking on key issues such as responsible recruitment—one of the areas with the most direct impact on workers’ lives. Adidas had the strongest overall score (92/100), followed by Lululemon (89/100), which overtook Gap Inc. (75/100) to secure the second highest spot in the ranking. Adidas and Lululemon are the only companies that require the direct employment of workers in their supply chains, thus eliminating the risk of exploitation through employment agencies. The lowest scoring companies include luxury brands Prada (5/100) and Salvatore Ferragamo (13/100), footwear companies Skechers (7/100) and Foot Locker (12/100). (KnowTheChain)
California’s Camp Fire has left an insurance company unable to pay millions of dollars to policyholders. A US state judge ruled that Merced Property & Casualty Co. can’t meet its obligations after last month’s Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. Merced’s assets are about $23 million, but it faced about $64 million in outstanding liabilities just in the city of Paradise, court filings show. Judge Brian McCabe’s decision allows the California Department of Insurance to take control of Merced. According to court documents, the state’s Conservation & Liquidation Office will start liquidating what’s left of the company. Merced’s policyholders are, however, covered by the California Insurance Guarantee Association, which “protects resident claimants in the event of an insurance company insolvency.” (CNN)
Sustainable Agriculture / Climate Change
People in heavy meat consuming regions such as Europe, the US, Russia, and Brazil may have to limit their intake of beef, lamb and goat to 1.5 servings per week by 2050 if the planet is to sustainably feed its population and avert runaway climate change. That is one of several key recommendations from a new global report by the World Resources Institute (WRI). The report estimates that by the middle of the century nearly 60 per cent more food will be needed to feed the planet’s growing population. This rise in food production must be achieved while holding back expansion of farmland, as well as significantly reducing GHG emissions from agriculture and land use, it argues. The report’s suggested solutions include limiting meat intake in more developed regions of the world, vastly improving agricultural efficiency and productivity, and boosting R&D funding for farming technology and methods. Report co-author Janet Ranganathan, WRI’s vice president for science and research, described food as “the mother of all sustainability challenges.” (Business Green)
Tax / Consumers
Singapore could become the first country in the world to ban the sale of packaged drinks with high sugar content. This is one of the moves the Ministry of Health (MOH) is contemplating in its efforts to cut the high sugar intake of citizens, as it is a major factor for obesity and diabetes. The MOH and the Health Promotion Board are asking people for their views on four measures to cut sugar intake from drinks, which include 3-in-1 mixes, cordials, yogurt drinks, fruit juices and soda drinks. Singapore already does not allow the sale of high-sugar drinks in schools and on government premises. There is also the voluntary ‘Healthier Choice Symbol’ to identify healthier drinks. The public consultation is to gauge people’s reactions to pushing these boundaries further. (Straits Times)
BBVA, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered and Société Générale have pledged to measure the climate-related impacts of their lending portfolios and assist companies they invest in with aligning their respective sustainability strategies with the Paris Agreement goals. The four big-name banks have signed a letter committing to align their respective loan books – which collectively cover €2.4 trillion of assets – with a 2oC trajectory. Under the pledge, the banks will initially focus on their most carbon-intensive areas of investment, such as shipping, aviation and road transport. They will be required to share data on the assets that clients use for production, as well as future investments, with each other in a bid to share best practice. The letter states that alignment with a 2oC trajectory will mark the beginning of the banks’ actions on climate change, with an ultimate goal of “climate neutrality.” (Edie)
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