Top Stories

May 03, 2022


EFRAG releases proposed European Sustainability Reporting Standards

Private association the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) announced the release of its initial draft of European Sustainability Standards. The draft sets out the proposed rules and requirements for companies to report on materiality assessments of sustainability-related impacts, opportunities and risks, as well as on strategies and business models, governance and organisation, policies, targets, action plans and performance under the EU’s upcoming Corporate Sustainable Reporting Directive (CSRD). EFRAG’s proposals cover a broad set of topics from climate change to workers in the value chain and business conduct governance among others. The CSRD is designed to upgrade the current Non-Financial Reporting Directive, significantly expanding the number of companies required to provide sustainability disclosures to over 50,000 from around 12,000 currently. (ESG Today)


Amazon to pay US staff travel costs for abortions and other treatments

E-commerce giant Amazon will reimburse staff in the US who travel for a wide range of non-life-threatening medical treatments including elective abortions. A message to Amazon staff said that the firm will pay up to $4,000 in travel expenses annually for treatments not available nearby. Several other companies have announced similar plans to ensure staff have access to abortions. Amazon’s new benefits are effective retroactively from 1st January. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the benefit expansion and said it also includes bariatric care, oncology, congenital anomalies from within 24 months of birth, mental health treatments and in-patient substance abuse disorder services. The benefits will be available to all employees enrolled in two different health plans offered by the company, including those working in offices or in warehouses. (BBC News)


‘Potentially devastating’: Climate change may trigger future pandemics

New research predicts that climate change will help exacerbate a “potentially devastating” spread of disease over the next 50 years. Researchers have found that as the planet heats up, many animal species will be forced to move into new areas to find suitable conditions, bringing their parasites and pathogens with them, causing them to spread between species that haven’t interacted before. This will heighten the risk of what is called “zoonotic spillover”, where viruses transfer from animals to people, potentially triggering another pandemic of the magnitude of Covid-19. The research paper states that at least 10,000 types of viruses capable of infecting humans are circulating in wild animal populations. The paper concluded that at least 15,000 cross-species transmission events of one or more viruses will begin between now and 2070. (The Guardian)


General Motors asks suppliers to commit to its ESG Partnership Pledge

Automotive giant General Motors (GM) has announced that it is asking suppliers to sign its new Environmental, Social and Governance Partnership Pledge, with specific commitments on climate, human rights and sustainable procurement. The ESG pledge asks suppliers to commit to achieve carbon neutrality for their Scope 1 and 2 emissions, with target dates based on their respective industries. It also asks suppliers to reach specific scores by 2025 for sustainability management systems covering issues such as employee health and safety, social dialogue, diversity and non-discrimination, child and forced labour, corruption and anticompetitive practices. The score will be measured on a system built by sustainability ratings provider EcoVadis. GM stated that suppliers representing over half of the company’s $76 billion direct material annual purchase value have already signed on to the pledge. (ESG Today)


Deliveroo backs off plan to cut pay of UAE delivery riders after strike

Food delivery service Deliveroo has put on hold plans to cut pay and extend working hours for its drivers in the United Arab Emirates after a rare strike. The company said in an email to restaurants that it had paused proposed changes in its rider pay structure and that it would engage with riders over the weeks and months ahead. A day earlier, Deliveroo informed restaurants that “riders are striking and refusing to attend their shift or deliver orders” and that it would “protect Deliveroo rider earnings to remain the most competitive in the market”. Deliveroo riders stated that the company had sought to cut earnings by around 15% per delivery. Human rights groups have criticised the UAE for its treatment of low-paid migrant workers who comprise Deliveroo’s workforce. (Reuters)





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