Top Stories

January 11, 2023


Nestlé launches pilot paper packaging for its KitKat brand

Food and beverage giant Nestlé announced that it is testing out the introduction of paper packaging for its KitKat chocolate brand, with the launch of a pilot in Australia. Under the new initiative, Nestlé will produce more than 250,000 KitKat bars wrapped in recyclable paper packaging, in an exclusive partnership with supermarket Coles. The paper-wrapped bars will feature a QR code, enabling consumers to provide feedback. Nestlé has committed to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable, and to reduce the use of virgin plastics by a third by 2025, with initiatives to use less plastic, utilise recycled plastic and explore alternatives to plastic packaging. The paper for the new packaging was adapted and tested at Nestlé’s Confectionery Research and Development Centre in York, UK. (ESG Today)


Deforestation policies put other biomes at risk, study warns

Current zero-deforestation commitments (ZDCs) may have the unintended consequence of pushing agriculture to other biodiversity-rich biomes, a study by the University of York shows. The research demonstrates how habitats in tropical grassy and dry forests remain open for expanding agricultural production, threatening ecosystems often overlooked in Latin America and Africa. While many palm oil companies have joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) commitments, evidence suggests that other areas are being put at risk, particularly grasslands and dry forests. A growth of expansion in currently unprotected biomes could affect a third of the vertebrates on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Researchers argued other biomes, such as grasslands, are also important for carbon sequestration as they carry high below-ground carbon stocks, in plant roots and soil. (Eco-Business)


UK laws to blunt strikes begin journey through parliament

The British government introduced legislation to parliament which would require key public services to maintain minimum safety levels during strike action by workers. The UK is experiencing a wave of industrial action as pay rises fail to keep up with double-digit inflation, which is now at 40-year highs. Nurses, ambulance staff, and rail workers are among those who have staged walkouts. Talks between ministers and trade unions failed to avert further planned strikes. The government has said it will consult on minimum safety levels to be set for fire, ambulance and rail services as part of the new law. Other sectors include health services, education, nuclear decommissioning and border security. Trade unions have criticised the plans, arguing evidence from other countries shows such legislation prolongs disputes. (Reuters)


Alliance launched to support women across energy sector

Nine organisations supporting women in energy-related careers in the UK have teamed up to launch a new alliance, designed for collaboration and resource-sharing for women across the sector. Called the Women’s Energy Network Alliance (WENA), member organisations of the initiative will collaborate to develop plans for supporting women at a variety of career levels, across a diverse range of energy-related industries and disciplines. The aim is to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for women seeking professional advice and collaboration, regardless of what stage they are at in their career – including those seeking to enter the industry for the first time and those pushing for promotion to a middle management or leadership role. The International Energy Agency found that developed nations have 76% fewer women than men in energy sectors. (edie)


Germany’s supply chain ethics law begins, with violation fines

Germany has introduced its ‘Supply-Chain Law’ which applies to companies with at least 3,000 employees, though that threshold will be lowered to 1,000 workers starting in 2024. The law, which was passed in 2021 forces companies to introduce a strict risk management and analysis and documentation system to ensure minimum standards in human rights and environmental rights, both domestically and internationally. The government estimated introducing such systems will incur one-off costs for the German economy of €110 million ($117 million), followed by an annual surcharge of €43.5 million, though lobby group IHK expects those numbers to be higher. Both France and the Netherlands introduced similar measures in 2017, while the European Commission is working on a broader set of rules for the entire EU. (Bloomberg)*

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