Top Stories

November 11, 2022


UN and standard setter ISO launch net-zero guidelines

The United Nations (UN) and standard setter the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have launched a set of guidelines to help organisations construct net-zero emissions plans. The UN and ISO said its work would act as a core reference text on what investors should include in their net-zero plans. It follows a UN report at COP27 which said action was needed to tackle rampant “greenwashing”. The ISO’s guidelines were developed by a group of 1,200 organisations and experts from over 100 countries. While around 80% of global emissions are covered by net-zero pledges, many organisations lack a clear strategy, and the new ISO guidelines are intended to provide practical advice. The guidance will also act as a reference point for other standard setters such as the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). (Reuters)


Elon Musk tells Twitter staff remote working policy will end

Elon Musk has told social media platform Twitter staff that remote working will end, and “difficult times” lie ahead. In an email to staff, the new owner of Twitter said workers would be expected in the office for at least 40 hours a week. He added that there was “no way to sugar-coat the message” that the slowing global economy was going to hit Twitter’s advertising revenues. In May 2020, Twitter promised its staff a permanent work-from-home policy. However, Musk has demonstrated a record of criticising remote work when in June 2022 he told staff at electric car manufacturer Tesla that remote working was no longer acceptable. Twitter has already announced half of its staff were being let go following Musk’s takeover. (BBC News)


Almost all companies could miss net-zero targets by 2030

More of the world’s largest companies are setting net-zero targets, but nearly all will fail to meet these targets unless they double emissions reduction rates, warns consultancy Accenture. In its report, Accenture found just over one-third (34%) of its list of the world’s top 2,000 largest public and private companies had publicly stated net-zero targets to date, but 93% of them could miss their decarbonisation targets based on current socio-economic trends. The report found that accelerating energy price inflation, supply insecurity and labour shortages are making emissions reduction targets harder to achieve. It observed that only 7% of companies are forecast to achieve net-zero targets for Scope 1 and 2 emissions at the current rate of change. However, it also noted that setting targets works in lowering emissions, which more companies are doing. (Eco-Business)


Executives should get below-inflation pay rises, say investors

Investment managers have urged FTSE 350 businesses to rein in executive pay packets during the cost-of-living crisis, in order to curb inflation and maintain employee productivity. In a letter to the remuneration committee chairs at all FTSE-listed companies, the Investment Association (IA) highlights investor focuses for pay practices in 2023. While the IA has previously said salary increases for executives should be limited to inflation or salary increases given to employees, the letter says additional restraint should be shown while inflation remains high in order to tackle rising costs, echoing a similar pay restraint plea from the Bank of England. The letter says that boards need to balance the need to incentivise executives and employees, suggesting that bumper executive pay packets could demotivate the workforce. (Personnel Today)


UK retailers not passing on tampon tax savings to women

Women were short-changed by the abolition of the “tampon tax” in 2021 as the saving was not passed on in full by retailers in the form of lower prices, according to a report by not-for-profit advisory firm Tax Policy Associates. The report found that UK retailers seem to have kept the money rather than passing the saving onto customers. The research found that at most, tampon prices were cut by around 1%, with the remaining 80% of the benefit retained by retailers. The Treasury said ending the tax would cut each 20-pack of tampons by 7p and each 12-pack of pads by 5p, saving the average woman £40 over her lifetime. Researchers used data from the Office for National Statistics to analyse price changes before and after the “tampon tax” ended. (The Guardian)











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