Top Stories

January 25, 2023


US gov accuses Google of 15-year anti-competitive misconduct

The US justice department and eight states have filed a lawsuit against tech giant Google over allegations that it abused its dominance of the digital advertising business. The complaint alleges that “Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful means to eliminate any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies”. The government alleges that Google’s plan to assert dominance has been to eliminate rivals through acquisitions and to force advertisers to use its products by making it difficult to use competitors’ products. The antitrust suit claims Google has pursued anti-competitive conduct for 15 years which has resulted in a halted rise of rival technologies and manipulated the mechanics of online ad auctions. The justice department asked the court to compel Google to divest its ‘Google Ad’ manager suite and its ad exchange ‘AdX’. (The Guardian)


Indonesian palm oil smallholders welcome EU deforestation law

Legislation designed to uproot deforestation from European supply chains has been opposed by palm oil producer countries Malaysia and Indonesia. The countries say it will marginalise smallholder farmers unable to meet sustainability standards. But Indonesia’s smallholders’ union has welcomed the law and appealed for help from companies, governments and donors to meet the requirements. The EU’s regulation gives forest-risk commodities 18 months to comply with rules that require producers to prove their crops were grown legally and deforestation-free. Indonesia’s Palm Oil Farmers Union (SPKS) confirmed it welcomes the law, because it proposes financial and technical support for smallholders to grow sustainability, promotes a living wage for farmers, and pushes for better traceability systems. SPKS said smallholders needed more support from large palm oil companies’ corporate social responsibility funds. (Eco-Business)


Patagonia taskforce outlines plans to protect Albania’s Vjosa River

Apparel company Patagonia has announced plans to partner with the Albanian government to action a roadmap and feasibility study to protect the Vjosa River. The river, which flows through Greece and Albania, is the longest free-flowing river in Europe outside of Russia, but has been threatened for decades by hydropower development and oil and gas development from oil giant Shell. In 2021, the Albanian government announced it would make its section of the river a national park. A working group of Albanian and international experts published aims to put the Vjosa River under the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Category II level standards of protection. The 30-person taskforce includes representatives from Patagonia, IUCN, and NGO EcoAlbania. The taskforce will coordinate to implement Phase I in Spring 2023. (Business Green)*


Sky set to add carbon labels to food at all UK staff restaurants

Broadcasting giant Sky is set to roll out carbon labelling on food served to staff and guests at all 15 of its UK sites. It believes the move could shift habits in favour of more sustainable diets. Sky has partnered with Foodsteps, a platform specialising in the calculation of lifecycle environmental impacts of food, to create the labels and related campaign, called ‘Carbon Counts’. These labels will soon be added to foods served at all 29 restaurants at Sky’s 15 UK sites. Collectively, these sites host around 25,000 employees. The scheme provides each meal or snack with an “impact rating” grade between A and E, with the former being the highest and applied to food items with the lowest carbon intensity. (edie)


Fifth of LGBTQ+ people in UK subjected to conversion practices

Over 400,000 people in the UK who are gay, transgender or non-binary have been subjected to someone trying to change or suppress their sexual orientation or gender identity according to research. Polling for Galop, an LGBTQ+ anti-abuse charity, found that one in five LGBTQ+ people and more than a third of trans people in the UK have been subjected to attempted conversion, which campaigners describe as abuse. The proportion is higher than previous estimates and comes amid Conservative backbench unrest at the government’s announcement to ban conversion practices. The bill has yet to be placed before parliament and the way it is worded will be key. Conservative MPs likely to vote against the bill argue that a ban on conversion therapy could impact concerned parents and professional clinicians alongside fundamentalist religious preachers who disdain gender and sexual diversity.(The Guardian)

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Corporate Citizenship Briefing has been published for over 30 years, making it the longest running daily news and analysis service in the responsible business sector. We've issued a daily news update by email since 2006. Over that time, we've often adjusted the format as technology has changed and the needs of practitioners have shifted. However, our mission has remained the same: to provide practitioners, companies and enthusiasts alike with key insights into the big issues facing corporate responsibility and sustainability. Now another shift is coming. We are moving away from reporting on a daily basis to focusing on analysing and interpreting the big trends in responsible and sustainable business on a monthly basis. The final Corporate Citizenship Daily Briefing will be published on Tuesday 31st January 2023. Thank you for being part of our journey.