Top Stories

January 06, 2023


US lawmakers see EU ban on deforested goods as benchmark

A ground-breaking EU deal to ban the import of goods linked to deforestation has set a global benchmark and will hasten the passage of a similar law in the US, American lawmakers have said. From 2024, the EU will require firms working in deforestation hotspots to certify that their goods have not harmed forests. The EU says this will in effect prohibit the import of commodities such as beef, soya, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, rubber, charcoal and paper, and derived products, unless their origins can be traced using geolocation data. From 2025, a review clause in the law could extend it to “other wooded land”. Democratic lawmakers said the EU’s agreement had given a new impetus for the US Forest Act, which shares similar aims to the EU regulation. (The Guardian)


Aldi to donate excess warehouse stock to Community Shop

Multinational supermarket Aldi is ramping up its efforts to reduce food waste across its UK business, announcing it has extended its partnership with Company Shop Group to redistribute surplus food. Excess stock from the supermarket chain’s regional distribution centres which cannot be sold in its supermarkets will now be offered to Community Shop’s redistribution stores, where the food will then be sold at discounted prices. Aldi first began collaborating with Community Shop in 2015, and the two claim their partnership has since helped prevent more than 14,700 tonnes of food from going to waste. By extending the collaboration to include food from Aldi's warehouses going to waste, the retailer estimated it could help prevent a further 2,860 tonnes of food from being wasted each year. (Business Green)*


Zenobē partners with bus maker Marcopolo to drive EV rollout

Electric vehicle (EV) fleet and battery storage specialist Zenobē has announced a partnership with bus manufacturer Marcopolo in a move to drive the growth of electric passenger transport. Marcopolo is the world’s third-largest bus manufacturer with buses operating in over 100 countries. In 2022 it launched the company’s first 100% electric bus model. Its partnership with Zenobē is set to initially run over the next 12 months and includes joint development and feasibility studies in Australia, the US, and other markets. The joint venture will link Zenobē with Marcopolo’s international network of subsidiaries and fleet partners, which the companies said would grow its presence in these markets. Zenobē’s smart-charging software will be used to provide Marcopolo with data and analysis on the operation and optimisation of its EV fleets. (Business Green)*


US government approves use of first vaccine for honeybees

The US government has approved the world’s first vaccine for honeybees, raising hopes of a new weapon against diseases that ravage colonies that are relied upon for food pollination. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted a license for a vaccine created by US biotech company Dalan Animal Health to help protect honeybees from American foulbrood disease. The vaccine, which will initially be available to commercial beekeepers, aims to curb foulbrood, a serious disease that can weaken and kill hives. The vaccine works by incorporating some of the bacteria into the jelly feed which is ingested by the queen. The developing bee larvae then have immunity to foulbrood as they hatch. Dalan said the breakthrough could be used to find vaccines for other bee-related diseases. (The Guardian)


Meta fined €390 million over use of data for targeted ads

Technology company Meta has been fined €390 million by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) for breaking EU data rules. The DPC says the way Meta asked permission to use peoples’ data for ads on its social media platforms Facebook and Instagram was unlawful. Meta has three months to change how it obtains and uses data to target ads. The regulator said that Facebook and Instagram cannot “force consent” by saying consumers have to accept how their data is used or leave the platform. As the platforms have European headquarters in Ireland, the DPC takes the lead in ensuring they comply with EU data law. Meta said it was “disappointed” with the ruling and intends to appeal, stressing that the decision does not prevent personalised advertising on its platforms. (BBC News)

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