Top Stories

May 04, 2022


Roe v Wade leak: US Supreme Court may overturn abortion rights

Millions of women across the US could soon lose their legal right to abortion according to a leaked Supreme Court document. The document suggests the country’s top court is poised to overturn the 1973 Roe v Wade decision that legalised abortion nationwide. If the court overturns the Roe v Wade ruling, individual states would be allowed to ban abortion. It is expected abortion could then be banned in almost half of US states. The Supreme Court’s justices are expected to issue a ruling in late June or early July 2022. Roe v Wade is in the court’s sights because Mississippi asked for it to be overturned. Thirteen states have already passed so-called trigger laws that will automatically ban abortion if Roe is overruled this summer. Some 36 million women could then lose abortion access. (BBC News)


IFS: biggest boom in City bonuses for years risks driving up inequality

A report from think-tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has found that inequality in the UK risks being driven up by the biggest boom in City bonuses and pay since the 2008 financial crisis. The think-tank said the return of bumper finance industry pay-outs meant the top 1% of highest-paid workers were beginning to pull further away from the rest of the UK workforce despite the cost-of-living crisis hitting the country. The report finds that the mean monthly pay packet in the finance sector in February 2022 was 31% higher than in December 2019 in cash terms, compared with 14% across all sectors. IFS said city bankers, fund managers and other finance workers also accounted for almost a third of all employees in the top 1% income bracket. (The Guardian)


Philippines' BDO Unibank blue bond gets US$100 million investment from IFC

The International Finance Corporation, the private investment arm of the World Bank Group, is investing $100 million into Philippine banking company BDO Unibank’s blue bond, which aims to finance projects that will help tackle marine pollution in the Philippines. The country is considered the third largest global contributor to ocean plastic, with an estimated 0.75 million metric tonnes of mismanaged waste entering the ocean annually. BDO UniBank’s blue bond, the first of its kind in the country, is slated to raise money for projects such as water conservation, wastewater treatment, plastic recycling, sustainable tourism, fisheries, and sustainable seafood processing. The bond will be issued under the International Capital Market Association following the guidance of the Blue Finance Guidelines – a blue bond-specific framework and metrics that monitor the use of proceeds and report on impact. (Eco-Business)


Lidl debuts pioneering ‘smart’ refill plastic-free station in UK store

Discount retailer Lidl has launched a fully-automated laundry detergent refill station at a store in the West Midlands in the UK that it claims will reduce plastic waste and cut costs for customers. Lidl stated its refill station would be piloted at its Kingswinford store for six months as part of an ongoing partnership with Chilean sustainability start-up Algramo. The retailer forecasts its pilot programme could avoid the use of 2,970 single-use plastic containers, while also helping to reduce spillages that sometimes occur at manual refill machines. Customers will be able to purchase a 100% recyclable refill bottle to purchase four different types of Lidl home-range laundry detergent. The bottle will come with a smart chip which enables the machine to register and recognise it and issue a receipt. (Business Green)*


Survey reveals disparity between business leaders and public on ESG issues

A poll commissioned by financial services company Lloyds Banking Group has found that many businesses are failing to live up to customers’ environmental and social expectations. The survey asked over 1,100 senior UK business decision makers and over 2,300 members of the public. It found that while 50% of business decision makers said they have no net-zero strategy, 75% of UK adults thought they should have one. It also found that while only 13% of businesses said it was important to tackle precarious employment, 64% of the public expected businesses to take steps to address low paid and precarious forms of employment. Similarly, 52% of the public said the gap between highest and lowest paid employees should be published. Despite this, only 14% of businesses said they publish such data. (Business Green)*

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