Top Stories

March 17, 2021


Uber to pay drivers a minimum wage, holiday pay and pensions

Ride-hailing app Uber will grant all 70,000 of its UK drivers minimum wage, holiday pay and pensions, after losing a legal battle over its drivers’ status at the UK’s Supreme Court last month. Drivers will earn at least the National Living Wage for over-25s, £8.72 an hour, in a move that could shake up the gig economy. All drivers will be paid holiday time, be enrolled into a pension plan with both Uber and driver contributions, and keep receiving free insurance in case of sickness or injury as well as parental payments. Drivers will retain the freedom to choose if, when and where they drive. However, Uber will still not pay drivers for the waiting time in between jobs, or apply changes to couriers in its food delivery business, Uber Eats, who remain self-employed. (BBC News)


Campaign group asks S&P to cut Adani Ports from Dow Jones Sustainability Index

Environmental campaign group Market Forces has asked rating agency S&P Global to remove India’s port operator Adani Ports from the Emerging Markets Dow Jones Sustainability Index, citing its ties to the Myanmar military and role in developing a new thermal coal mine. The Adani Group is developing a $290 million port in Yangon, on land owned by the Myanmar Economic Corporation, which is controlled by the military. Aside from Myanmar military links, campaigners are asking Adani Ports to be scrutinised for its role in opening up a thermal coal mine in Australia, as well as past ecological damage at some of its ports in India. The Dow Jones Sustainability Emerging Markets added Adani Ports at number 14 in the transportation and transportation infrastructure sector in November, causing its shares to rise 6%. (Reuters)


Brunel Pensions Partnership targets net-zero as Nest accelerates renewable energy investment

The UK's largest Government-backed pension scheme, Nest, has pledged £250 million to renewable energy projects this year, while Brunel Pension Partnership, which manages £30 billion investments, has outlined a new net-zero target. Nest has partnered with Octopus Renewables, and aims to funnel £250 million into solar and wind farms in the UK and mainland Europe this financial year. The pension scheme is targeting net-zero financed emissions by 2050 at the latest, with an interim goal to halve financed emissions by 2030. Meanwhile, Brunel confirmed it will aim to halve financed emissions by 2030 and reduce emissions to net-zero by 2050. It will use its partnership with the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change to determine the mix of divestment, new exclusions and client engagement to meet these targets. (Edie)


Chevron accused of ‘greenwashing’ in complaint lodged with FTC

A group of environmental NGOs have accused US oil major Chevron of “greenwashing” in a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), providing an early test of what role the regulator will play in enforcing the Biden administration’s climate goals. Earthworks, Global Witness and Greenpeace accuse the oil firm of misleading claims in its advertising and marketing, claiming Chevron misrepresents its image to the public in order to appear “climate-friendly” despite fossil fuels being at the heart of its operations. US oil companies have sought to improve their green image under growing pressure from investors, who are increasingly prioritising environmental, social and governance issues in their mandates. The activist groups want the FTC to take action against Chevron for “egregiously misleading consumers” by exaggerating its investments in clean energy. (Financial Times*)


SEC calls on public for input in crafting new ESG disclosure rules

The acting head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) called on the public for input in crafting new disclosure requirements on risks related to climate change and other environmental, social and governance issues, including more transparency around corporate political spending. The SEC formally requested business leaders, market participants and other stakeholders for comment on what the Commission should consider when communicating new rules that require public companies to disclose risks related to climate change. Among its 15 questions for consideration, the SEC is evaluating whether new climate disclosures should be one component of a broader ESG disclosure framework. (MarketWatch)

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2021 Actions for Business