Top Stories

April 22, 2022


Financial regulator moves to boost number of women in UK boardrooms

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published long-awaited rules to boost gender representation across companies listed in London. The new rule comprises targets to increase the number of women in boardroom roles, including in senior positions such as chief executive or finance director, and ensuring boards have at least one ethnic minority member. The FCA has told listed companies to disclose a standardised numerical table on the diversity of their board and executive management by gender and ethnicity in annual financial reports. The new policy is expected to add pressure to smaller FTSE 250 groups that are lagging behind efforts to introduce greater diversity, as many larger companies already meet previous rules set by the FCA. The rules will apply to accounting periods starting on or after April 1, 2022. (Financial Times*)


World’s biggest meatpacker JBS comes under fire over 50% emissions rise

Green groups are calling on firms that invest in or source meat products from JBS, the world’s largest meatpacking company, to cut their ties, after an investigation concluded the firm’s operations and supply chains generated more emissions in 2021 than the whole of Italy. Non-profit advocacy organisation the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy published research outlining how JBS’s value chain emissions are likely 51% higher than in 2016, as a result of emissions from the increasing number of animals in the company’s global supply chain. JBS has denied the accuracy of report. The findings come despite JBS’s stated intention to set approved science-based emissions targets to reach net-zero by 2040. JBS supplies to clients in the retail and hospitality sectors globally, including Costco, Tesco, McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC. (Financial Times*; edie)


Octopus Energy to ‘matchmake’ landowners & communities with onshore wind

Octopus Energy Generation, the renewables development arm of the energy supplier, has created a "dating agency" service as part of its new ‘Plots for Kilowatts’ campaign to match landowners interested in hosting onshore wind farms with communities keen to benefit from discounted bills from renewable energy. The company pointed out that the UK's top 30 landowners own over 1.5 million hectares of land, and if just 1% of that land was used to host wind farms, over 1,500 turbines could be built. Launched yesterday, the new dating agency-style platform also incorporates data on grid availability, local wind speeds and environmental impact of potential developments, with a view to identifying at least 10 viable sites for new onshore turbines by the end of this summer. (Business Green*)


Northern Ireland faces cut of 1 million sheep & cattle to meet climate goals

Northern Ireland will need to lose over one million sheep and cattle to meet its new legally binding climate emissions targets, according to an industry-commissioned analysis conducted by KPMG. The large-scale reduction in farm animals comes after the passing of the jurisdiction’s first ever climate act, requiring the farming sector to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and reduce methane emissions by almost 50% over the same period. Agriculture accounts for about 27% of Northern Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions, with the vast majority coming from livestock. Its heavily export-driven meat industry principally supplies Great Britain, but also exports to China and North America. It is estimated that pig and poultry sectors have a minor impact on agriculture carbon emissions – 2% and 1%, respectively – meaning efforts to decarbonise will unlikely be concentrated here. (The Guardian)


Co-op to ditch use-by dates on its yoghurt in a bid to cut food waste

The Co-op is removing use-by dates from its own-brand yoghurt in an attempt to address the problem of millions of pots that are still safe to eat being wasted each year. From next month, Co-op’s own-brand yoghurt will carry a best-before date with shoppers encouraged to “use their judgement” to gauge if they are edible. According to the food waste charity Wrap, about 42,000 tonnes of yoghurt – £100 million worth – is thrown away in British homes each year because it is out of date, with half dumped in unopened packs. The acidity in yoghurt means eating it beyond its use-by date is not harmful. While use-by dates are about safety and applied to foods that go off quickly and could cause food poisoning, best-before dates are used as an indicator of quality. (The Guardian)

*Subscription required




Would you love to work in sustainability, supporting big brands in their responsible business journeys? Click here to see info on our current openings. We can't wait to hear from you



Actions for Business 2022

B4SI Annual Review 2021