Top Stories

August 03, 2022


Toyota affiliate falsified emissions data from at least 2003

A major affiliate of automotive manufacturer Toyota has been found to have falsified emissions data on some engines dating back to at least 2003, according to a company-commissioned probe. The investigative committee tasked by truck and bus maker Hino Motors blamed the scandal on a work environment where engineers did not feel able to challenge superiors. Its findings detail an inflexible atmosphere for staff to feel “psychological safety”, the committee said in a report. The committee added that a sense of past success on the part of management helped foster the culture. Hino apologised to reporters and said it would develop a new corporate governance system within three months. Hino has recalled close to 47,000 vehicles made between 2017 and 2022, with an additional 20,900 to be recalled. (Reuters)


Insight Investment: quarter of ESG bonds are unsustainable

Specialist asset manager Insight Investment has rated a quarter of ESG-labelled bonds as unsustainable, according to its head of responsible investment. Speaking at the Oxford Sustainable Finance Summit, the asset manager’s Head of Responsible Investment said a quarter of use of proceeds and sustainability-linked bonds that Insight assesses fall into the “red” category of its evaluation framework. The firm recently switched from a traffic light system to a classification of dark green, light green and red. Insight Investment suggests that around 25% of sustainability-linked structures lack tangible impact. It also raised concerns over the emergence of 25 basis points as the standard step-up for sustainability-linked bonds, arguing it does not go far enough to incentivise behaviour. Peers at bank HSBC have similarly echoed Insight Investment’s concerns, calling the 25 basis point step-up “arbitrary”. (Responsible Investor)*


Supermarket petrol prices more expensive than wholesale price

UK supermarkets Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s are facing criticism for failing to reduce their petrol prices in line with falling wholesale costs. Roadside insurance firm RAC has warned that customers could be paying almost £9 a tank more than they should be. While wholesale costs of petrol fell by 20p since early June, UK retailers continued to increase prices, only dropping prices by an average of 9p during July. RAC added that while several retailers recently reduced their prices, the cuts are not enough to reflect wholesale costs. RAC concluded that motorists should shop at independent retailers to find prices that better reflect petrol wholesale costs. A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said the company prices locally and competitively. (Sky News)


YouTube must face artists' lawsuit over copyright protections

A US court has denied video platform YouTube’s request to throw out a contentious lawsuit brought by a group of content creators who say the company only protects the interests of large copyright owners. Composer Maria Schneider sued YouTube in 2020 on behalf of a proposed class of small copyright owners, arguing the platform only protects large copyright owners from infringement while allowing pirated content from others to draw in users. The group said major companies have access to YouTube's advanced ‘Content ID’ software to scan for and automatically block infringing content, while individual creators are excluded. YouTube argued the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate copyright ownership and registration before suing. However, the judge argued the lawsuit identifies specific works whose copyrights YouTube allegedly violated, which was enough to give YouTube "fair notice" of the claims. (Reuters)


India planning carbon credit market for energy, steel and cement

India is planning to start a carbon trading market for major emitters in the energy, steel and cement industries, as part of its efforts to hasten the transition to cleaner fuels. The platform is likely to be announced at Independence Day celebrations in mid-August. The plan has been in development since March 2022, when consultation with ministries and companies began. The market would initially be limited to hard-to-abate sectors, allowing participants to trade credits earned from cutting emissions. One of its goals is to ensure state-owned energy firms as well as steel and cement companies can benefit from planned investments in carbon-capture projects. India’s proposed market follows a similar one in China with a more detailed plan for establishing it expected to be ready in the fourth quarter. (Bloomberg)*

*Subscription required







Would you love to work in sustainability, supporting big brands in their responsible business journeys? Click here to see info on our current openings. We can't wait to hear from you



Actions for Business 2022

B4SI Annual Review 2021