Top Stories

April 28, 2021


Investors urge big brands not to ditch Bangladesh Accord on workers’ rights

BNP Paribas, Nordea and the Church of England Pensions Board are among 176 investors urging global fashion brands not to ditch the ‘Bangladesh Accord’, a workers’ rights agreement created in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013. The $2.2 trillion investor coalition issued a statement calling on companies to recommit to the legally-binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety, which expires in May. Brands including Hugo Boss, H&M and John Lewis are signatories, committing to be transparent about suppliers, and to use suppliers that participate in workplace health and safety initiatives, undergo inspections and take part in remediation programmes. However, there are concerns that the responsibilities of the Accord will be transferred to the national RMG Sustainability Council, that does not have the same legal status or enforcement mechanisms. (Responsible Investor)


Redington and Fidelity align investment advice and strategy with net-zero

Investment consultancy Redington will align all default client advice with its goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest, as outlined in the Paris Agreement. It estimates that, as a result of this change, most clients will achieve a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. The move sits alongside the firm's broader seven-point climate action plan to integrate sustainability across its entire business, including commitments to reduce and offset its own emissions. This comes as asset manager Fidelity International pledged to reduce carbon emissions within ‘FutureWise’, its default investment strategy for UK-based pension schemes, to half by 2030, and to become net-zero by 2050 or before. (Business Green; ProfessionalPensions)


Timberland, The North Face, Vans develop regenerative rubber supply

The VF Corporation, which owns brands such as Timberland, Vans and The North Face, is partnering with a Thailand-based design consultancy to create the fashion industry's first regenerative rubber supply system. The fashion brands have confirmed a partnership with Terra Genesis International in Thailand to create a regenerative supply chain for rubber to be used in footwear. Plans are in place to pilot a regenerative rubber product collection in 2023, depending on the results of the new partnership. The supply system will be open to brands across and outside the industry. Regenerative practices aim to reverse the fashion industry’s detrimental impact on nature, and typically involve planting a variety of crops to preserve biodiversity and soil health. (Edie)


UK MPs warn Treasury over lack of plan to manage fossil fuel tax loss

UK MPs have warned that the Treasury cannot explain how it will manage declines in tax revenues worth £37 billion from fossil fuels as the UK shifts to a “green economy”. A report from the parliamentary public accounts committee also warned that the Treasury had not set out how the tax system was going to help the government meet the target to cut emissions to net-zero  by 2050. The report warns that immediate priorities have often outweighed action needed to support long-term environmental objectives, such as the freeze in fuel duty to help with the cost of living. The committee has made calls for the Treasury to set out a clear vision of how it would help the UK achieve net-zero, before Cop26 in November in Glasgow. (The Guardian)


Calls grow to end bosses’ bonuses for zero workplace deaths

Calls are growing for an end to the practice of paying executives health and safety bonuses if none of their employees dies at work, with arguments that such practices are “dispassionate”.. Research by the shareholder advisory firm Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC) looked at annual reports from 38 FTSE 350 companies in which at least one person died at work between 2015 and 2019. It found that at least two did not report docking their top executive’s bonus after employees died, while those that did imposed an average cut of £33,628 – the equivalent of less than 1% of the executive’s total annual pay. PIRC is calling for the link between bonuses and health and safety to be broken, making employees’ safety a basic requirement, rather than a pay incentive. (The Guardian)


Thursday, 6th May 2021

Worker Health & Wellbeing: A Material Sustainability Issue for Business