Top Stories

July 06, 2022


Schroders expelled from fair pay group over voting activity

Asset manager Schroders has been asked to leave ShareAction’s ‘Good Work Coalition’ after the company publicly revealed it would oppose the living wage proposal filed at supermarket Sainsbury’s. A spokesperson for ShareAction confirmed that Schroders – which disappeared from the list of investor members since it disclosed its vote – had been asked to “step away from the coalition with immediate effect”. Schroders is a top five shareholder in Sainsbury’s and refused to back the resolution which calls for the supermarket to gain accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation. ShareAction said Schroders’ position contradicted its own engagement framework. Schroders’ decision puts it at odds with peers, including Legal & General Investment Management, HSBC Asset Management and Aviva Investors, which are backing Sainsbury’s living wage proposal. (Responsible Investor)*


Twitter challenges India orders to take down accounts

Social media platform Twitter has mounted a legal challenge in India against government orders to take down content. The orders relate to the removal of the tweets and accounts of investigative news magazines, activists, protest groups and other political opponents. Twitter filed a petition with the high court in Karnataka state resisting “several” orders, in a reaction to a letter from the Indian government warning of “serious consequences” of non-compliance of government orders. The orders fall under India’s information technology law which allows the government to block online content that “threatens the security of the state” and public order among other things. However, Twitter believes that the orders are “procedurally and substantially deficient” of the requirements of the law and many of them “demonstrate excessive use of power”. (BBC News)


Food redistribution in UK reaches record high in 2021

UK food businesses redistributed 16% more surplus food in 2021 than they did in 2020, new figures released by climate action NGO WRAP show. Collectively – in partnership with charities, community organisations and other platforms – retailers, manufacturers, food services firms and hospitality businesses have redistributed more than 106,000 tonnes of surplus food with an estimated value of some £330 million. Retail was the largest supplier of surplus food to the charitable sector. The hospitality and food service sector were the sectors which increased their level of redistribution the most year-on-year. While tonnage of food redistributed has been rising year-on-year, WRAP warns there is still room for progress. The charity’s figures show 200,000 tonnes of food that could be redistributed went to waste in 2021, despite increased prevention efforts. (edie)


‘Sand battery’ development could solve green energy storage

Finnish researchers have installed the world's first fully working "sand battery" which can store green power for months at a time, in a move developers say could solve the problem of year-round supply, a major issue for green energy. Using low-grade sand, the device is charged up with heat made from cheap electricity from solar or wind. The sand stores the heat at around 500°C, which can then warm homes in winter when energy is more expensive. The device uses around 100 tonnes of builder’s sand, piled high inside a dull grey silo. Installed in the Vatajankoski power plant, the battery stores heat through resistive heating which generates hot air that is circulated in the sand by means of a heat exchanger. (BBC News)


Singapore government affirms support for deep-sea mining

Singapore has affirmed its support for deep-sea mining, as opposition to the controversial pursuit of ocean minerals gathers steam. The island nation stated that any sea-floor extraction must be done according to “robust rules, regulations and procedures for the protection of the marine environment.” The city-state’s Ministry of Trade and Industry said it “fully supports” efforts by the regulator of the deep sea, the United Nations-affiliated International Seabed Authority (ISA), to ensure harmful effects due to deep-seabed mining activities are adequately monitored, addressed and mitigated. Though not currently permitted in international waters, industrial-scale seabed mining could go ahead in the Pacific Ocean as soon as July 2023, once regulations are finalised by the ISA – a prospect that has prompted protests at the UN Ocean Conference. (Eco-Business)


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