Top Stories

October 26, 2022


Failure to investigate UK imports linked to Uyghur labour unlawful

UK government agencies have broken the law by not investigating the importation of cotton products manufactured by forced Uyghur labourers in China, the high court has heard. The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is challenging the home secretary, HM Revenue and Customs and the National Crime Agency (NCA), claiming a failure or refusal to investigate imports from Xinjiang, allegedly home to 380 internment camps, was unlawful. In written arguments, the WUC said 85% of Chinese cotton was grown in the Xinjian Uygur Autonomous Region and named four Chinese companies with connections to the UK. Lawyers added that there was a high risk that product sourced from the region was produced wholly or partly by prison and forced labour. Representatives added that “well-known” UK companies sourced products from three of the four Chinese firms identified.  (The Guardian)


Businesses call for mandatory nature impact disclosures by 2030

More than 300 businesses, including Unilever, Sainsbury’s and Nestlé, have urged world leaders to make it mandatory for companies to assess and reveal their impact on nature by 2030. In an open letter, businesses and financial institutions in 56 countries are pushing for governments to agree to the disclosures at COP15, the UN biodiversity conference being held in Montreal December 2022. The letter warns heads of state that the business and financial status quo is “economically short-sighted and will destroy value over the long term”. The firms, which have combined revenues of more than $1.5 trillion and also include BNP Paribas, Aviva Investors, Salesforce, Tata Steel and H&M, have agreed to assess their impacts on nature, publicly disclose the information and commit to reducing their negative effects. (The Guardian)


Only half of businesses decarbonising in line with 1.5°C target

Major businesses have recorded a ‘noticeable drop’ in climate action following COP26, with analysis warning less than half of businesses are decarbonising in line with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C target. New analysis published by climate consultancy EcoAct warns that 48% of FTSE 100 businesses achieved Scope 1 & 2 emissions reduction in line with 1.5°C, in comparison to 72% in 2021. FTSE 100 businesses are also failing to set long-term targets to reduce emissions across the value chain. EcoAct warns that net-zero commitments have also started to slow. Despite a 21% year-on-year increase in businesses setting net-zero targets in 2021, the increase has slowed to just 11% in 2022, with 75% of major businesses now covered by a net-zero target. (edie)


Mondelez pledges to invest $600mn on sustainable cocoa sourcing

Chocolate maker Mondelez International has pledged to spend an additional $600 million by 2030 on efforts to combat child labour, farmer poverty and deforestation in cocoa. The Cadbury chocolate manufacturer will bring its total spend on cocoa sustainability from 2012 to $1 billion and comes as multinationals face increased reputational and legal pressures to clean up their supply chains. Mondelez said its ‘Cocoa Life’ scheme is now one of the four pillars of its long-term growth strategy, and aims for its new investment to help catalyse sector-wide collaboration to address environmental and human rights challenges in cocoa. The company said Cocoa Life will “aim to increase the number of farming households reaching a living income, enhance child protection systems and seek no deforestation on Cocoa Life farms globally”. (Reuters)


Adidas cuts ties with Kanye West over anti-Semitic comments

Clothing giant Adidas has cut ties with Kanye West over recent antisemitic comments, saying it does “not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech”. Adidas’s Yeezy brand collaboration with Mr West was put under review after he showed a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt design at Paris Fashion Week. Days later, the rapper posted anti-Semitic comments on his Twitter account. His products will be pulled from sale with immediate effect, said Adidas. The company said cutting the partnership means it will make a net loss of £217 million in 2022. Instagram and Twitter suspended Kanye West’s account in the days following his anti-Semitic remarks. His business partnerships have also come under increasing pressure with bank JP Morgan and clothing retailer Gap adding they were ending their relationships with West. (BBC News)










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