Top Stories

January 06, 2021


Apple will modify executive bonuses based on environmental values in 2021 

Technology giant Apple Inc said in its annual proxy filing on Tuesday that it will modify executive cash bonuses based on whether the executives act within the company’s social and environmental values. Apple lists six values that include environmental practices, such as using recycled materials in products, diversity and inclusion among its workforce, and the privacy and security of its devices. However, the company did not specify how it would evaluate progress toward the company’s publicly stated targets, such as removing carbon from its supply chain by 2030. While minimum performance requirements, targets and maximum payouts of cash bonuses to executives will remain unchanged, the compensation committee of its board of directors will use the new modifier to increase or decrease bonus payouts by up to 10%. (Reuters) 


German cabinet agrees quota for women on company boards 

Germany’s cabinet has approved legislation to force larger listed companies to have at least one woman on their management boards, following years of debate over the issue. The law builds on a 30% quota for supervisory boards introduced in 2015 and will apply to listed companies with more than three management board members. The new law affects around 70 companies, of which around 30 currently have no women on their management boards at all. The German legislation also sets out stricter gender equality rules for government-controlled companies, where boards with more than two members will have to have at least one woman on them. Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats long resisted the move; however, the chancellor has expressed frustration that companies were moving too slowly to appoint woman leaders. (Reuters 


Electric cars rise to record 54% market share in Norway 

Norway became the first country in the world where the sale of electric cars has overtaken those powered by petrol, diesel and hybrid engines in 2020, with the German carmaker Volkswagen replacing Tesla as the top battery-vehicle producer. Battery electric vehicles made up 54.3% of all new cars sold in Norway in 2020, a global record, up from 42.4% in 2019, the Norwegian Road Federation said. Contrastingly, cars with diesel engines tumbled from a peak of 75.7% of the overall Norwegian market in 2011 to just 8.6% in 2020. Seeking to become the first nation to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2025, Norway exempts fully electric vehicles from taxes imposed on those relying on fossil fuels. (The Guardian 


UK banking customers want greener financial services, says poll 

Banks that finance fossil fuel infrastructure and engage in other types of environmentally destructive activity are running the risk of losing customers, according to a recent poll of public attitudes undertaken by professional services firm Deloitte. More than 60% of some 1,250 British adults polled in the summer said they would leave their bank if they found out it was linked to environmental or social harm, even if it had the best financial offer available. Financing of fossil fuels was selected by nearly half of respondents as a reason that they would switch banks. The findings reflect growing calls from investors, regulators, and customers for the banking sector to reduce its exposure to climate risk. (Business Green)  


Banks in Southeast Asia lack recognition of deforestation and biodiversity risks 

Two-thirds of Southeast Asian banks do not recognise deforestation and biodiversity risks although over half of the world’s GDP— worth $44 trillion—is moderately or highly dependent on nature and its services, according to a new study by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The Sustainable Banking Assessment, found that, while banks have made progress in integrating environmental and social considerations into their financial activities, there are large gaps that leave portfolios vulnerable to risks arising from climate change and nature loss. Of the 48 banks assessed, only eight banks fulfilled more than half of the 70 ESG-related indicators. Furthermore, only four of the banks assessed prohibit the financing of coal-fired powerplants without exception, and just three of the banks require high-risk clients to have commitments to prevent deforestation. (Eco-Business)*  

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Wednesday, 27th January and 3rd February

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