Top Stories

July 19, 2022


US CEO pay far outstrips median pay, UK wages drop to inflation

S&P 500 chief executives made $18.3 million on average in 2021, 324 times the pay of their median workers and higher than the ratio in 2020, a leading labour union has reported. Corporate leaders’ raises far outpaced wage gains that failed to keep up with inflation, according to the AFL-CIO. The 2021 CEO-to-worker ratio in the S&P 500 was the widest since 2018, the report added. This comes as the UK Office for National Statistics reports that regular pay is falling at its fastest rate since 2001 against inflation. Between March and May 2022, pay excluding bonuses was down 2.8% from a year earlier when adjusted for inflation; the fastest drop since records began. Pay including bonuses was down 0.9% when adjusted for inflation. (Reuters; BBC News)


FTSE 100 firms outpace US &Canadian business on diversity

FTSE 100 companies perform better than their US and Canadian counterparts in diversity and inclusion. The 30% Club, which campaigns for 30% representation of women on FTSE 100 boards, commissioned a report on diversity and inclusion performance across the FTSE 100, S&P 500, and TSX 60. Overall, the FTSE 100 scored 65.7 out of a possible 100 for diversity, inclusion and commitment. The S&P 500 scored 58.8 and the TSX 60 scored 55.1. The report found there had been progress on gender diversity at board level across all three, with female representation at 40% in the FTSE 100, and 26% at executive level. Regarding racial diversity, FTSE 100 companies wee found to have an average of 14% representation at board level, and 13% at executive level. (Personnel Today)


Court rules UK plan to hit net zero for emissions too vague

The UK government’s plan for reaching net-zero emissions was unlawful because it provided insufficient detail in how the target would be met, a judge has ruled. Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy launched the country’s net-zero strategy in 2021. But neither he, nor the minister who approved the strategy on his behalf, knew how individual policies would materially contribute to achieving the legally binding target, and therefore could not assess the credibility of the plan, Justice David Holgate said. That was a breach of the government’s obligations under the ‘Climate Change Act’, the judge said. The judge ordered ministers to publish an updated strategy by March 2023, and stated that detailed explanations on how policies are expected to deliver net-zero are important for holding ministers accountable. (Financial Times)*


Google faces £920m damages over anti-competition class action

The UK competition tribunal gave the green light to group action against technology company Google, which could cost the company as much as £920 million in damages if successful. The claim alleges Google breached competition law by excluding competition and/ or charging an unlawfully high level of commission on digital purchases, including purchases of and within apps, causing around 19.5 million users of the UK ‘Play Store’ app to be overcharged. The Competition Appeal Tribunal certified the claim, filed on behalf of almost 20 million consumers and businesses in 2021. A spokesperson for Google said in a statement: “Android gives people more choice than any other mobile platform in deciding which apps and app stores they use”. The Competition and Markets Authority is separately investigating Google’s conduct. (City AM)


Boeing and Alder Fuels partner to 'make SAF a reality'

Aerospace giant Boeing has announced a partnership with low-carbon fuel specialist Alder Fuels with a view to expanding production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). The companies announced their venture at the Farnborough International Airshow, as part of an agreement that will see Boeing test SAF in its planes. Alder Fuels’ proprietary technology comprises the conversion of sustainable forest residues and regenerative biomass into a low-negative carbon “greencrude” for jet fuel conversion. The company said its product is suitable as a drop-in SAF, meaning it can be produced by existing refineries with current equipment and used by conventional jet aircraft. It expects to complete its first production plant in 2024. Boeing and Alder added that they will use their venture to accelerate SAF adoption across the aviation industry. (Business Green)*


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