Top Stories

November 04, 2022


Pharma bosses form net-zero alliance to decarbonise supply chains

Pharmaceutical companies have launched a net-zero healthcare alliance, which aims to commit companies to decarbonise supply chains, power systems, and establish sectoral emissions standards. The Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) ‘Health Systems Task Force’ was launched by the CEOs of AstraZeneca, GSK, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Roche, Samsung Biologics and Sanofi. The alliance aims to establish a set of common supplier standards to incentivise decarbonisation, collaborate on joint renewable power purchase agreements and collectively explore the potential for shared ‘green transportation corridors’ by 2025. Members will aim to build an end-to-end emissions calculation standard that measures and tracks emissions across the “care pathway” and publish product-level lifecycle assessment data to increase transparency on emissions generated through client treatment. The Task Force is also aiming to establish a common framework to measure the emissions footprint of clinical trials. (Business Green)*


Twitter announces 50% staff layoffs, company tells staff in email

Social media platform Twitter will tell employees by email about whether they have been laid off, after temporarily closing its offices and preventing staff access, following its takeover by Elon Musk. Twitter said in an email to staff it would alert employees by 9am Pacific time on the 4th of November 2022. Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, is looking to cut around 3,700 Twitter staff, or about half the workforce, as he seeks to slash costs and impose a demanding new work ethic, according to internal plans. The company said employees who were not affected by the layoffs would be notified via their work email addresses. A class action lawsuit was filed against Twitter by its employees, who argued the company was conducting mass layoffs without providing the required 60-day advance notice. (Reuters)


Companies leading on climate action see better financial returns

Companies leading on climate action are more than twice as likely to exceed financial targets, a survey of professionals at hundreds of large businesses has revealed. Published by professional services company EY, the ‘Sustainable Value Study’ assesses the actions taken by over 500 large businesses, each with a valuation of over $1 billion, to reduce emissions across their value chain. The research found that 37% of climate initiatives conducted by the scoped companies generated a notable positive financial impact. The report also found a link between companies exceeding financial targets and showing leadership on climate action. Companies with industry ambitious targets were found to be 2.4 times as likely to report significantly higher returns than expected, including Unilever, Cisco, Cemex and Anheuser-Busch. (edie)


Canadian bill would fine workers C$4,000 for each day they strike

The premier of Canada’s Ontario province is under fire for a “draconian” bill that would fine school support staff C$4,000 (US$2,900) a day for striking. Doug Ford’s conservative government tabled legislation that would unilaterally impose a contract on education workers, and levy hefty fines for striking. The move escalates a dispute over pay for education workers, including custodians, early childhood educators and educational assistants. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticised the Ontario government’s decision to “suspend people’s rights and freedoms”. The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents 55,000 education workers, has called for an 11.3% raise for its workers – often the lowest-paid in schools – arguing that stagnant wage growth and high inflation have hit lowest earners hardest. The government countered a 2.5% annual raise for the lowest-income workers and 1.5% raises for others. (The Guardian)


Dutch state to end export credit insurance for fossil fuel in 2023

The Dutch government has announced its intention to stop giving companies and banks credit insurance for exports in the fossil fuel sector as of 1st January 2023, following pledges made at the COP26 climate summit. Around 20 countries including Germany, the United States, the UK and Canada made similar statements, but only a few including France have implemented them into policy. Like most industrial nations, the Netherlands grants state export credit insurance (ECI) on qualifying exports when private insurance is insufficient, usually on large transactions or exports to developing countries. In 2021, the state took on €7.3 billion in new ECI obligations. Petroleum and petroleum products made up 9.3% of Dutch exports in 2021. The Finance Ministry warned it might consider the policy if other countries fail to adhere to their COP26 pledges. (Reuters)

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