Top Stories

August 26, 2022


SEC: US companies to disclose CEO pay versus performance

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has voted for a measure requiring US-listed companies to disclose how the pay of their top executives aligns with overall company performance. The SEC said the rule will require firms to provide disclosures outlining executive compensation and financial performance measures over the previous five fiscal years. In addition, US-listed companies will have to provide a clear description of the relationship between each financial performance measure and CEO pay versus other named executives. Companies will be required to report total shareholder return, the total shareholder return of companies in the firm’s peer group, net income, and a financial performance measure chosen by the company. The measure is aimed at making it easier for shareholders to assess a publicly traded company’s decision-making on executive compensation policies. (Reuters)


Google found airbrushing carbon emissions in flight results

Technology company Google has been accused of “airbrushing” aviation emissions after changing its flight search engine ‘Google Flights’ to halve the CO2 emissions attributed to any given trip. Google Flights flags routes with higher or lower than typical emissions, and also reports the total CO2 emitted per passenger on any given journey. Google previously reported emissions in kilograms of “carbon dioxide equivalent” (CO2e), a measure that includes damage to the climate from other aviation emissions, such as water vapour emitted at high altitudes. The change means that it began reporting just the CO2 emitted on each journey, effectively halving the stated environmental impact of any given flight. In a statement, Google said: “We believe that non-CO2 effects should be included in the model, but not at the expense of accuracy for individual flight estimates”. (The Guardian)


Twitter whistleblower raises security concerns on data handling

A former security chief for social media platform Twitter has turned whistleblower, testifying that the company misled users and US regulators about gaps in its security. Peiter Zatko accuses Twitter of failing to maintain stringent security practices. Twitter argues that Mr Zatko's allegations are inaccurate and inconsistent, noting that he was sacked in January 2022 for ineffective leadership and poor performance. In a complaint to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr Zatko criticsed the way Twitter handled sensitive information and claimed it had failed to accurately report matters to US regulators. He added that insider threats went “virtually unmonitored”. Mr Zatko also alleged that too many employees had access to sensitive systems and user data and the company failed to properly delete the data of people who cancelled their accounts. (BBC News)


Ofgem confirms price cap to rise to £3,549 from October 2022

Domestic energy bills in the UK are set to rise by 80% from October 2022 after energy regulator Ofgem confirmed the price cap for the average household gas and electricity bill is to rise to £3,549. The huge increase – which represents a 178% increase on the cap from a year ago – is largely in line with analysts’ expectations, fuelling fears that still rising wholesale gas prices could result in further significant increases in the price cap in the winter of 2022. Analysts are projecting that bills could hit £5,386 in January 2023 before rising to £6,616 in April 2023. Ofgem argued the onus was now on the UK government to act. The government is considering a suite of support packages including an extension of the windfall tax on oil and gas companies. (Business Green)*


Lidl & Waitrose to sell ‘wonky’ fruit & vegetables amid drought

Supermarket chains in the UK, Lidl and Waitrose, will start selling “wonky” fruit and vegetables that have been “stunted” by UK drought conditions as part of efforts to support farmers struggling with the driest summer for 50 years. Lidl said it had written to its British suppliers who may need extra support and would try to accommodate produce hit by extreme weather, even if it was different from what shoppers were used to. The discount retailer said it wanted to ensure that perfectly good fruit and vegetables did not go to waste. Meanwhile, Waitrose said it would relax size and shape guidelines for new season potatoes, carrots, strawberries, apples, pears and peppers. The supermarket added that it would divert wonky and misshapen vegetables into its own-brand soup, ready meals and smoothies. (The Guardian)

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