Top Stories

June 10, 2022


Co-op and Microsoft develop platform to reduce food waste

UK supermarket Co-op and technology company Microsoft have developed a new service designed to make it easier for businesses to tackle £4 billion in annual food waste. The two companies have launched a digital platform designed to connect food businesses such as supermarkets, restaurants and factories with community groups and volunteers who redistribute surplus food that would otherwise go to waste. Named ‘Caboodle’, the non-profit platform aims to tackle an estimated 1.1 million tonnes of wasted food across food businesses. Caboodle is designed to streamline coordination between community groups and food retailers. The platform is currently being trialled in Co-op’s food stores in Northern Ireland, Milton Keynes and London and goes live nationally in July 2022 across a further 2,500 food stores. (Business Green)*


Google creates tool that shows planetary changes in real-time

Technology company Google and non-profit World Resources Institute have collaborated to develop a new dynamic tool that can track the Earth’s climate and biodiversity in near real-time. The tool leverages satellite datasets from Google Earth Engine to build detailed maps which can zoom in on the planet in 10-by-10-meter squares from imaging collected every two to five days. The tool uses artificial intelligence to classify each pixel based on 9 categories that range from bare ground to trees, crops and buildings. The tool can now enable researchers to monitor if even one or two trees have been logged in tropical forests. It also allows city planners to identify which neighbourhoods lack green space. The data goes back five years, allowing people to enter date ranges to see environmental changes over time. (Fast Company)


P&G to restore more water than used across key locations

Consumer goods giant P&G has unveiled new water targets that will see it restore more water than is lost from its manufacturing sites in 18 water-stressed areas globally. P&G announced its plans to advance long-term programmes across areas of California and Arizona, as well as new water projects in Utah and Idaho. P&G’s projects include improving water quality, preservation of cultural history and enhancing irrigation efficiency for local communities. To deliver on its promises, P&G will work with the World Resources Institute Water Program to ensure the new water targets align with science-based requirements. P&G will also work with on-the-ground partners to deliver solutions such as managing wetlands, reforesting land, improving irrigation systems, using sensors to identify and stop leaks, and supporting transformational conservation programmes. (edie)


Upfield to add carbon labels to 500m products by 2025

Plant-based food producer Upfield is planning to add carbon labels to 500 million of its products by 2025, after surpassing a previous milestone. In 2020, Upfield targeted the introduction of 100 million carbon labels to its products by the end of 2021 and confirmed it surpassed this target by 20%. Upfield – which sells to US, UK and European markets – said its carbon labels help consumers understand and minimise the carbon impacts of their diets. To reach its newly set target, Upfield has invested in an independently designed in-house tool that will enable accelerated roll- out of on-pack carbon labelling across all its brands in Europe and North America. The tool uses inputs based on ingredients, production, transport, packaging and distribution of each product to automate a lifecycle assessment of the product’s environmental footprint. (edie)


Signet Jewelers signs $175m settlement for gender bias lawsuit

Diamond retailer Signet Jewelers Ltd has announced a $175 million settlement of long-running gender bias litigation. The settlement resolved claims on behalf of 68,000 female Sterling Jewelers employees that the retailer paid women less and promoted them less often than men, coining an internal phrase “they start low and they stay low”. Sterling Jewelers is owned by Signet Jewelers, a Bermuda-based company which took a $190 million pre-tax charge for the settlement. Though the settlement focused on pay and promotions from around 2004 to 2018, mainly for sales associates, the case drew greater attention after some female Sterling employees submitted sworn statements that they had been sexually harassed. In 2020, Signet reached a separate $240 million settlement of shareholder claims that it concealed sexual harassment allegations against senior executives. (Reuters)

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