Top Stories

September 01, 2022


John Lewis & Waitrose offers free food to staff over winter

Department store John Lewis and supermarket Waitrose are offering staff free food from October to January to help with the cost of living. The meals, during work hours, are for permanent staff, as well as temporary and agency workers. Soaring food costs have pushed UK inflation to 10.1% with prices continuing to rise at their fastest rate for more than 40 years. Food and non-alcoholic drinks were the largest contributors to rising prices in July, according to the Office for National Statistics. A spokesman for John Lewis explained that an employee working a four-hour shift could choose one meal - breakfast, lunch or dinner - depending on the time of day. An employee working an eight-hour shift could choose two meals. (BBC News)


US Appeals Court upholds $14m judgement against Exxon

The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a $14.25 million judgment against oil and gas company Exxon Mobil for pollution from its Baytown, Texas, refining and petrochemical complex. The judgment stems from a US ‘Clean Air Act’ lawsuit brought by two environmental groups, Environment Texas and the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter. This is Exxon’s second appeal of a Houston US district court’s ruling that Exxon was responsible for repeated releases of pollution from the refinery and chemical plants in Baytown. An Exxon spokesperson said that “While we respect the court’s opinion, we disagree with the decision”. Environment Texas called on Exxon to accept the repeated decisions in the case against the company, stating Exxon must take responsibility for years of illegal and toxic pollution. (Reuters)


Persil advert banned for “greenwashing” claims by authorities

FMCG giant Unilever’s advert for one of its laundry detergents, Persil, has been banned for being misleading about its environmental benefits. The advert said Persil was “kinder to our planet”, and featured children picking up litter on a beach. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the advert’s claim was unsubstantiated. Unilever said it is "disappointed" with the result. It follows a crackdown by the ASA on "greenwashing" – claims made by firms branding products as eco-friendly, green or sustainable. ASA added that Persil’s claim could only be justified if the product provides an environmental benefit over other similar products. ASA concluded that “we had not seen evidence or analysis to demonstrate the overall impact of the featured liquid detergents over their full-life cycles… in support of the claim”. (BBC News)


Diageo launches nature innovation trials with African farms

Global brewer Diageo has unveiled a new round of funding to trial innovations that aim to improve biodiversity, water quality and carbon sequestration on smallholder farms in Africa. The company, which owns brands like Smirnoff and Guinness, has committed £450,000 towards innovations to combat environmental degradation and improve sustainable practices for smallholder farmers. Pilots will take place across East Africa and will focus on methods that improve water efficiency and quality, biodiversity and regenerative practices and improving soil quality to act as carbon sinks. If successful, the pilots will be rolled out across Diageo’s smallholder farmer network across India, Mexico and South Africa amongst other locations. In 2020, Diageo committed to achieving net-zero operational emissions within a decade and to halving its Scope 3 emissions within the same timeframe. (edie)


TotalEnergies strikes deal to store CO₂ under Norwegian seabed

Petroluem company TotalEnergies strikes an agreement to transport captured CO₂ for permanent storage under the seabed to the west of Norway. Set to start in early 2025, the deal would see up to 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide captured, compressed and liquieidd at an ammonia and fertiliser plant in the Netherlands before being transported to its ‘Northern Lights’ carbon storage facility. TotalEnergies aims to permanently store the CO₂ in geological layers some 2,600 metres under the seabed. The Northern Lights Project, owned in equal shares by TotalEnergies, Equinor and Shell, is a cross-border value chain solution designed to permanently store CO₂ emissions underground. Phase one installations for the geological storage site are scheduled for 2025 and are designed to handle up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO₂ per year. (Business Green)*

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