Top Stories

March 12, 2021


Nike sets fresh diversity targets for 2025 and ties them to executive compensation

Footwear brand Nike has laid out a five-year roadmap to creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce, as corporate America is increasingly held accountable for its values and actions. Nike will tie its executive compensation to the company hitting its 2025 goals in deepening diversity and inclusion throughout its workforce, protecting the planet, and advancing ethical manufacturing. By 2025, Nike aims to achieve 50% representation of women in its global corporate workforce, and 45% representation of women in leadership positions. It’s also targeting 35% representation of racial and ethnic minorities in its US workforce by 2025, and investing $125 million to support businesses that work to “level the playing field” and address racial inequalities.  (CNBC)


Goldman Sachs to invest $10 billion over 10 years to support Black women

US investment bank Goldman Sachs has put forward its “One Million Black Women” initiative to impact the lives of 1 million Black women over the next 10 years. The company will partner with Black women-led organizations and institutions to commit $10 billion in direct investment capital and $100 million in philanthropy, focusing on areas including healthcare, job creation, housing and education. The bank estimates that America's Black women hold more than 90% less wealth than American White men, and fare worse than their white and male counterparts on a number of issues, including wage and business ownership rates. Goldman Sachs estimates that reducing the earnings gap for Black women could potentially create 1.7 million jobs and GDP growth of 2.1% in the United States.  (Reuters; CNN)


France’s biggest insurer dumps German power giant over coal

France’s biggest insurer Axa SA, is dropping German energy giant RWE AG as a client in a decision that highlights the recent move of financial firms to divest from the coal business. The French company will sever all its ties with the utility by the end of 2022, even refusing to insure RWE’s renewable projects. The move comes despite RWE’s Science-Based Targets initiative-approved targets to become a carbon-neutral company by 2040. RWE surpassed Axa’s limits for coal production, as it extracted 65 million tons of coal and its installed coal capacity exceeded 10 gigawatts in 2020, accounting for 25% of its total power capacity. (Bloomberg)


Shipping industry backs ambitious $5 billion decarbonisation project

The global shipping industry has given "full and unequivocal" support to an ambitious project, or "moonshot", submitted by various national governments that would create a $5 billion fund to reduce the carbon impact of the sector. The plan would see the creation of a $5 billion research fund by placing a $2 (£1.40) levy per tonne of fuel used, and would aim to accelerate the complete decarbonisation of the sector by deploying zero-carbon ships within the next decade. The fund would also support carbon reduction projects in developing countries such as the Pacific island nations. The project has been submitted by various governments worldwide and has received support from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents 80% of the global shipping industry. (Edie)


UK Government launches £150 million rainforest protection push

The UK government has today launched a new multi-million pound fund designed to protect tropical rainforests that cover an area equivalent to the size of Wales. The ‘Mobilising Finance for Forests Programme’ will see the government invest £150 million in businesses and investors who support and deliver sustainable land-use projects and protect rainforest regions such as the Amazon and Indonesian basins. The projects that could benefit include those that promote transparent supply chains and implement deforestation-free standards, as well as eco-friendly projects supporting local economies while curbing deforestation. The initiative could help cut millions of tonnes of carbon emissions and improve the lives of over 600,000 people, including small-scale farmers and food producers, in tropical forest communities across Africa, Asia and Latin America. (Business Green)


2021 Actions for Business