Top Stories

December 02, 2022


BrewDog loses its ethical B Corp certificate after investigation

Beer brand BrewDog has lost its status as a B Corp less than two years after joining the scheme. It has achieved B Corp status in February 2021. The company, was recently called out as “hypocritical” by critics for running a World Cup ad highlighting Qatar’s poor human rights record despite being criticised by the Unite Hospitality union for the treatment of its own workers. The brewery issued an apology in 2021 after current and former employees signed an open letter alleging a “culture of fear” in which workers were bullied and “treated like objects”. BrewDog is understood to have been subject to an investigation by B Lab after staff submitted complaints following a BBC documentary which looked at the brewer’s workplace culture. (The Guardian)


P&G faces shareholder rebellion over deforestation debate

Shareholders have called on FMCG giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) to appoint an independent chair, following the firm's decision to ignore a proposal to curb deforestation. In 2020, a shareholder proposal demanding P&G evaluate how it can eliminate deforestation and primary forest degradation from its supply chains won 67% of the vote. However, Tulipshare, which led the proposal, has since claimed that “no progress has been made by the company since”. Tulipshare highlighted that P&G are currently targeting primary forests, like the Canadian boreal, to harvest palm oil for many of their products. P&G scored an ‘F’ for adaptation of deforestation policies by the Rainforest Action Network, in comparison to competitor Unilever’s ‘C’ rating. Tulipshare argues P&G was complicit in destroying rainforests and the livelihoods of Indigenous communities. (Business Green)*


BMW invests in low-carbon copper technology firm Jetti

German carmaker BMW has invested in Jetti Resources, which has technology to extract more copper from low-grade resources and produce metal with a low carbon footprint. BMW, which is aiming for at least half of its vehicles to be all-electric by 2030, did not disclose the size of the investment it had made. Since Jetti’s technology involves leaching instead of smelting, it requires less power and cuts CO2 emissions by about 40%. The technology can also extract metal from low-grade material stored in dumps and considered waste. Electric vehicles require about 2.5 times more copper than internal combustion cars, according to S&P Global, which also forecasts shortfalls because demand for the metal used in the power sector is due to double to 50 million tonnes by 2035. (Reuters)


Regulator investigates UK telecoms firms over contracts

The telecoms regulator Ofcom has launched an investigation into whether companies are exploiting customers by not informing them of bill increases when they sign contracts. Ofcom will investigate the sales practices used in the UK telecoms market – which is dominated by BT, EE, Virgin Media O2, Sky, Vodafone, Three and TalkTalk – after complaints that customers were not told about mid-contract price rises when they signed up. Telecoms companies make billions of pounds annually by instituting price rises to mobile and broadband bills midway through contract periods, with many using a mechanism to raise prices by the rate of inflation as measured by the consumer prices index, plus 3.9%. Ofcom said after an analysis of complaints it was “concerned” consumers may not have been provided with sufficiently clear information about in-contract price rises. (The Guardian)


Florida to pull $2bn from BlackRock in spreading ESG backlash

Florida will replace BlackRock as the manager of $2 billion in state Treasury funds, part of a spreading Republican backlash against sustainable investing. The move comes after Florida governor Ron DeSantis, led a resolution to stop the state’s pension funds from considering environmental, social and governance principles to guide investment. Republican state leaders have argued that ESG investing incorporates unwarranted concerns about climate change and curtails exposure to oil and gas companies in a way that can hurt performance. Florida will divest $1.4 billion of long-term securities and $600 million in short-term funds from BlackRock. The assets represent a tiny fraction of the $8 trillion BlackRock managed at the end of the third quarter. At least 19 Republican-leaning states including Florida have taken action to restrict ESG investing. (Financial Times)*

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