Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Climate Change, Daily Media Briefing, Energy, Health & Nutrition, Reporting, Sustainable Fashion, Technology & Innovation

Top Stories

April 21, 2020

Health/Tech for Good

Google unveils tech to make it easier for doctors and patients to share health info

Tech giant Google is announcing the general availability of technology that, if widely adopted, could make it easier for patients to access their own health information via third-party apps. Health care systems could warm to the technology, known as the Google Healthcare API, as new government mandates loom that will require them to make it easier for patients to see and use their health data. However, Google’s dominant business as an advertising company that uses customer data to target ads has created negative publicity and stalled some past initiatives in the health space. Google is currently the third largest cloud tech provider, behind Amazon and Microsoft, and it’s Cloud’s health care leaders note that the Covid-19 pandemic shows again why health data interoperability is important. It can help support the kinds of efforts that are already underway, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new app that aims to share information from electronic health records with public health departments. (CNBC)

Energy/Climate Change

Green energy could drive Covid-19 recovery with $100tn boost

Renewable energy could power an economic recovery from Covid-19 by spurring global GDP gains of almost $100 trillion between now and 2050, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency. The agency found that accelerating investment in renewable energy could generate huge economic benefits while helping to tackle the global climate emergency. The agency’s director general, Francesco La Camera, urged governments to invest in renewable energy to kickstart economic growth and help meet climate targets. The agency’s landmark report found that accelerating investment in renewable energy would help tackle the climate crisis and would in effect pay for itself. Investing in renewable energy would deliver global GDP gains by returning between $3 and $8 on every dollar invested. It would also quadruple the number of jobs in the sector to 42 million over the next 30 years, and measurably improve global health and welfare scores, according to the report. The report comes as the price of US oil has turned negative for the first time in history. (The Guardian, BBC)

Indices/Climate Change

S&P Dow Jones debuts Paris-Aligned and Climate Transition indices

Index provider S&P Dow Jones Indices has this week strengthened its portfolio of green products with the launch yesterday of two indices designed to track the performance of companies that are committed to deep decarbonisation. The new S&P Eurozone LargeMidCap Paris-Aligned Climate Index and the S&P Eurozone LargeMidCap Climate Transition Index have been designed to incorporate a broad range of climate and sustainability-based objectives, the firm said. Specifically, the indices will assess corporate performance against the minimum standards established through the EU’s Paris-Aligned Benchmark (PAB) and Climate Transition Benchmark (CTB) set out last year by the EU Sustainable Finance Technical Expert Group (TEG). Similarly, the indices aim to incorporate data provided by firms reporting in line with the recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures’ (TCFD). The new Indices will draw on data provided by ESG specialist and S&P Global subsidiary Trucost. (Business Green)

Sustainable Fashion/Transparency

H&M tops 2020 fashion transparency index as 10 brands score zero

The H&M Group, C&A, Adidas/Reebok, Esprit, Marks & Spencer and Patagonia are the world’s most transparent major fashion brands, according to the 2020 fashion transparency index from the campaign group Fashion Revolution. The annual report, now in its fifth year, ranks the amount of information companies disclose about social and environmental policies, processes and effects within their operations and supply chains. Puma, Asos, Nike and VF Corporation – the company behind brands including The North Face, Timberland, Vans and Wrangler – are also in the top 10. The joint lowest-scoring brands included Bally, Jessica Simpson (the pop star’s label), Max Mara and Tom Ford, all of which revealed nothing at all about their practices for 2020. The report investigates brands with a minimum turnover of $400 million, scoring them based on a detailed analysis of 200 indicators ranging from human rights to the use of plastics. This year’s report investigated more brands than ever – 250, up from 200 last year. (The Guardian)


Facebook bans events that violate social distancing orders

Facebook has banned event listings that violate government social distancing policies. On Monday, the social media giant removed the listing for anti-quarantine protests in California, New Jersey, and Nebraska. The discussion sparked outrage from some, including the son of President Donald Trump who claimed the company’s move violated free speech. Protests have been planned for across the US calling for the lifting of stay-at-home orders. Facebook said it consulted with local governments and would only take down events that violated states’ guidelines. In several US states, in-person protests have been carried out or planned with the goal of convincing local governments to lift lockdown measures. Facebook has been working to remove false information about Covid-19 from its platforms. The social media giant’s aggressive action against coronavirus fake news has led some to question why the company seemed to have trouble managing false claims in the past. (BBC)


Image Source: black and silver stethoscope on white surface by Markus Frieauff on Unsplash.