Top Stories

August 19, 2022


Coca-Cola EP unveils sustainability-linked finance for suppliers

Coca-Cola bottler Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) has teamed up with specialist food and agri-bank Rabobank to develop a sustainability-linked finance scheme. The scheme is designed to offer firms in its supply chain discounted financing rates if they meet key environmental and social goals. CCEP’s finance scheme will give incentives and rewards for suppliers that deliver sustainability improvements in their business, with the financing linked to several key performance indicators that, if met, will unlock incremental discounts against the initial funding rate. CCEP said the initiative would support its 2040 net zero emissions target, which also includes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its entire value chain by 30% by the end of the decade, against a 2019 baseline. (Business Green)*


Google employees petition for abortion policy to include contractors

Over 650 workers at Google owner Alphabet are demanding it offer abortion benefits to contractors, suspend donations to anti-abortion politicians and better protect users from abortion-related disinformation and police requests. The demands were sent in a petition to executives. They reflect concerns across the US since a Supreme Court ruling in June prompted the possibility of new restrictions on abortion and reproductive care in over half of the 50 states. Many companies including Google have established policies to assist employees seeking abortions. The petition states that temporary staff and contractors should also receive those benefits, such as reimbursement for travel to states where abortion procedures remain legal. In addition, the petition says Alphabet should not direct political contributions towards groups and candidates campaigning to restrict abortion access. (Reuters)


Researchers develop new method that destroys ‘forever chemicals’

According to a new study, scientists have developed a new process to break down PFAS, or “forever chemicals”, leaving behind only benign end products. The researchers said the new technique could be a major solution for disposing of chemicals linked to dangerous health effects in humans, livestock and the environment. Current measures aimed at destroying these chemicals involve high temperatures and pressures. The study found that when PFAS were targeted by heating them in the solvent dimethyl sulfoxide, it “decapitated” a section of the molecule and left behind only the “safest form of fluorine”. Although the health effects of PFAS are not fully understood, previous research suggests that exposure is linked to decreased fertility, developmental effects in children, increased risks of various cancer, reduced immunity to infections, and increased cholesterol levels. (The Independent)*


Leading grain traders ‘sourcing soy beans from farm linked to abuse’

Two of the world’s biggest grain traders are accused of sourcing soy from a Brazilian farm linked to abuses of indigenous rights and land, a report from the environmental group Earthsight claims. Earthsight found that Bunge and Cargill sourced soy produced on a farm located on ancestral land of the Kaiowá indigenous group. The Kaiowá were forcibly evicted by landowners more than half a century ago, but the group have continued to stake their claim to land they know as Takuara. The land was subsequently deforested to make way for cattle and soy plantations. Both companies account for 30.7% of Brazilian soy exports to the EU and UK. Cargill confirmed it bought soy from the farm, but claimed there was “no illegality” in its procurement. Bunge said its suppliers “complied with Brazilian legislation”. (The Guardian)


Bonuses for water execs up 20% despite worst year of performance

The annual bonuses paid to water company executives rose by 20% in 2021, despite most of the firms failing to meet sewage pollution targets. Figures show on average executives received £100,000 in one-off payments on top of their salaries, during a period in which polluted water was being pumped for 2.7 million hours into England’s rivers and swimming spots. The analysis of water companies’ annual reports found that their bonus pool for executives now stands at more than £600,000 a company on average. Data suggests recent discharges have taken place in coastal areas of Cornwall, Cumbria, Devon, Essex, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Northumberland and Sussex. The south coast has been particularly effected, with Sussex facing beach closures. In a report, the Environment Agency described the sector’s performance in 2021 as the “worst we have seen for years”. (The Guardian)

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