Top Stories

December 05, 2022


Report finds rise in diversity at board level of FTSE firms

Two-thirds of FTSE 350 companies now have at least one board member from an ethnically diverse background – a significant increase from 45% in 2021. A study by Thomson Reuters shows that the best-performing companies in terms of representation of different ethnicities at senior levels are in the FTSE 100, where 84% have at least one board member from an ethnically diverse background, compared with 55% in the FTSE 250. The study also found directorships of FTSE 100 companies were now comprised of 40% women, with 417 directorships being held by women in 2022. This was up from 2021, when women made up 39% of director positions. The research found just 16 FTSE 100 companies fell short of having at least 33% female directors on boards. (Personnel Today)


Earthshot Prize: UK waste-free packaging start-up among winners

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced the second cohort of winners for their Earthshot Prize, providing £5 million in funding for innovative global environmental projects. The five funding categories focus on: improving air quality, protecting nature, restoring oceans, addressing climate change, and building a waste-free world. UK start-up Notpla won funding for developing plastic-free biodegradable packaging made using seaweed. Kenyan start-up Mukuru Clean Stoves won funding for providing homes with cleaner cooking stoves and fuels that reduce indoor air pollution. Indian smallholder farming project Kheyti won funding for helping farmers adopt nature-friendly, low-carbon methods. Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef won funding for combining indigenous knowledge with digital solutions to drive marine nature restoration. And Oman-based start-up 44.01 won funding for developing a permanent approach to carbon dioxide storage. (edie)


Asda offers cheaper refill offer with new ‘price promise’

Supermarket Asda has issued a new ‘refill price promise’, which will guarantee its refill products are always cheaper than packaged alternatives. Announced as part of a revamp of its ongoing two-year project to assess the effectiveness of refillable produce aisles that can slash levels of packaging waste, the supermarket said the new pricing strategy would help customers struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and minimise confusion over whether or not refill products are cheaper than pre-packaged goods. The retailer offers cereals, pet food, and store cupboard products such as tea, coffee, rice, pasta and pulses which can be sold with refillable packaging. Asda operates four stores with refill aisles in Leeds, Glasgow, York and Milton Keynes, with shoppers able to bring their own containers or buy a reusable container in-store. (Business Green)*



Canada, China prepare to open COP15 biodiversity summit

More than 10,000 scientists, government officials and activists will gather in Montreal for the world’s most important biodiversity conference. The UN COP15 biodiversity summit will see countries negotiate this decade’s targets for protecting nature after more than two years of pandemic-related delays and just over two weeks since the end of the COP27 climate summit. There is growing hope that the summit will develop a treaty to protect the natural world and mend deep rifts between the co-hosts, China and Canada. The COP15 summit, delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, was originally scheduled to be held in Kunming in China, but was moved to Montreal when Canada agreed to co-host the event. Trudeau plans to attend, but China has not issued invitations to world leaders. (The Guardian)


UK staff to have right to ask for flexible working from day one

Employees are to get the right to request flexible working from the moment they start a job under new UK government legislation. Millions of people across the UK are currently working flexibly, which can take various forms including working from home, job-sharing, compressed hours, flexitime and part-time and term-time-only working. The government said the legislation would give employees the right to request such arrangements from the moment they start a job. Employers will be required to discuss other options before rejecting a request. The government also said about 1.5 million low-paid workers, including some gig economy employees, students and carers, would benefit from a new law ensuring they are free to boost their income by taking on a second job if they wished. (The Guardian)

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