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Japan axes targets to cut emissions
decision to drastically scale back its target for reducing emissions from 25% to just 3.8% on 2005 figures makes it the first major economy to abandon the greenhouse-gas promises made in the 1...



Charity advises against eating North Sea cod
an encouraging rise in cod stocks, Marine Conservation Society keeps its advice that “fish caught in that area should remain firmly off the menu”.

The charity says that accordi...




Unilever commits to 100% traceable palm oil by end of 2014
consumer-goods giant, Unilever, pledges that all the palm oil it buys globally will be from traceable sources by the end of 2014.

The company committed in 2008 that all palm oil it uses w...




Environmental groups identified the most polluted places on earth
parts inside Russia, Indonesia and Argentina are reported to be among the top 10 most polluted places on the planet, according to recent research by Green Cross Switzerlan...



Microsoft signs long-term deal to buy wind energy
announced that it has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for an 110MW wind project in Texas, as part of its efforts to become carbon neutral.

This is the high-tec...



World's first international standard for waste reduction goes live
Carbon Trust launches the world’s first international standard for organisational waste reduction, awarded to organisations able to demonstrate that they are measuring, managing and reducin...



Miners intend to dig into G4
21 companies who are members of industry’s International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) promise to prepare their sustainability reports in accordance with the core option of the new



Morgan Stanley launches Institute for Sustainable Investing
Stanley
has launched a new institute, aiming to achieve a significant scale of sustainable investment by attracting a broad range of private sector capital.

The new investment body, na...




Fossil fuel companies under pressure to avoid carbon bubble
a letter sent to 45 of the world’s top oil and gas, coal and electric power companies, a group of 70 global investors controlling more than USD3 trillion collective assets requested them to assess ...



Apple’s environmental chief elected member of Chinese government’s advisory body
vice president for environmental initiatives, Lisa Jackson, was elected member of China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) and met with the mi...



The Body Shop calls for global ban on animal tested cosmetics
Body Shop and Cruelty Free announced their global pledge calling for a worldwide ban on animal testing for cosmetics.

This pledge has been signed by one million Body Shop customers...




WRI to design a global standard for measuring food loss and waste
World Resources Institute (WRI) announced in Copenhagen that it has started off the work to design a global standard, called the “Global Food Loss and Waste Protocol”, aiming to enab...



Businesses join forces to tackle migrant worker abuse
UK food businesses have come together to try to combat exploitation of migrant workers in the food sector.

The companies – Co-operative Food, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's




UN treaty to end mercury use in three decades
commercial use of mercury could be eliminated within three decades under a new global treaty, the Minamata Convention on Mercury, signed as international law by 92 countries to date.

This...




L’Oréal unveils new sustainability pledges
products multinational L’Oréal has published a set of sustainability commitments for 2020, including a promise to make sure all its products have an environmental or social ben...



China predicted to have a national carbon-pricing mechanism by 2020
joint survey by the Australian National University’s Centre for Climate Economics and Policy and China Carbon Forum, a Beijing-based NGO, found strong confidence that China will introd...



Chemical sector gets help on calculating emissions
that advise chemical companies on how to measure and manage greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chain have been launched by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA)...



Pilot integrated reports get decent reviews
have given a guarded thumbs-up to a series of pilot integrated reports drawn up by companies at the behest of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC).

The 21...




New forced labour index identifies world’s hotspots
Haiti, and Pakistan have the highest rates of forced labour in the world, according to the first global survey to catalogue slavery on a country-by-country basis.

The Global Slaver...



Disney expands backing for financial literacy in supply chain
Disney
is to expand its support for an initiative to provide financial literacy programmes for factory workers throughout Asia and Latin America.

The global media corporation will ...



Anti-corruption group calls for more transparency from emerging market multinationals
style="background-color: transparent; line-height: 1.7;">A recent study shows companies from India are leading the way among the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) i...



Credit Suisse creates world’s first LGBT investment index
Suisse
has launched a groundbreaking investment index that will track the equity performance of companies with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-friendly policies.
Caterpillar to earmark $8m for safe water programme
machinery company Caterpillar is to put US$8.3 million into improving access to safe water and sanitation in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Peru.

The money will be channelled through C...




Bangladesh safety accord attracts 100th corporate supporter
number of companies to have signed up to the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety has now reached 100.

Woolworths Australia and Wunsche Group of Germany have become the lat...



Oil exploration company accused of OECD breaches
oil and gas exploration company Soco has been accused of human rights and environmental infringements that breach the OECD guidelines.

A formal 34-page complaint against ...




Security companies launch ethical association
security companies have created a membership association that will oversee a global code on their ethical behaviour.

The companies and various stakeholders launched the International ...




Patagonia to challenge dominance of ‘growth-dependent capitalism’
outdoor apparel company Patagonia is to urge the corporate world to move away from unsustainable business strategies that are based on continued growth.

The California-based business, whi...




NGO pulls out of technology sector coalition over lack of transparency
group that campaigns for ‘digital freedom’ has pulled out of a major cross-sector coalition on the topic after complaining that it no longer has the confidence to work with its corporate memb...



South African Airways goes down biofuels route
African Airways (SAA) is to work with Boeing on developing ‘sustainable’ aviation biofuels for its planes.



Access to Medicines Index changes its research partner
job of carrying out research for the high-profile Access to Medicines Index, which assesses the social responsibility of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, has been handed over t...



Chevron wins latest round in fight against Ecuadorean villagers
oil giant Chevron has won a bid to ensure that a case it has brought against a group of villagers from Ecuador is heard only in front of a judge, and not a jury.

The decision is the latest...




Tanzania starts to draw up corporate responsibility guidelines
government of Tanzania has begun to draw up a set of corporate responsibility guidelines for companies in a bid to help them tailor their programmes more effectively for local communities.

Minis...




Intel sets up programme to improve female digital literacy in Africa
is to establish a programme to improve digital literacy among women in Africa.

The US-based IT giant will run its ‘She will connect’ initiative with global and local NGOs as well...




UN agrees outline of airline emissions reduction scheme
United Nations has agreed in principle to implement a global ‘market-based’' scheme that will encourage the airline industry to reduce its carbon emissions.

The U...



Multinationals to set up safe drinking water centres
major companies – including IBM, UPS, and Coca-Cola – are to team up to introduce hundreds of safe drinking water centres in 20 countries by the end of 2015.

The eight wil...




JP Morgan Chase helps create global health fund
investment fund has been established by JPMorgan Chase and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help investors finance new health technologies and products that could save milli...



Food giant commits to sustainable sourcing of top ten ingredients
Mills has said that it will sustainably source ten ‘priority ingredients’ – including wheat, milk, cocoa and corn – by 2020.

Because the ingredients make up 50 per cent of Gen...




Ikea pumps a further $80million into India
has committed a further US$80million to support United Nations programmes for children in India.

The Scandinavian home furnishing giant will channel the money to Unicef through it...




McDonald’s makes new pledge to promote healthier eating
has pledged to help customers eat more fruit and vegetables as part of a new commitment to promoting healthier lifestyles.

The world’s largest fast food franchise has signed ...



Scotch whisky makers bid to reduce carbon emissions
Scotch whisky makers have banded together to cut carbon emissions by switching deliveries of their products from road to rail.

The manufacturers – Diageo, Chivas Brothers, J...




Toys R Us vows to end gender stereotyping
R Us
has announced that it will put an end to gender stereotyping of the way it sells its toys.

The US-based company, which has around 800 stores in 35 countries, says that in future its...




Syngenta launches plan to address global food security
the world’s largest agricultural chemicals company, has set out a plan that it hopes will help improve food security around the globe.

The six-point ‘Good Growth Plan’ promi...




New initiative aims to boost corporate responsibility in Arab world
bid to raise the corporate responsibility performance of the Arab world has been launched by the United Nations.

The UN, through its Global Compact, has signed a partnership with the United...




Lion’s share of greenhouse gas emissions come from 50 companies
50 companies are responsible for nearly three quarters of the greenhouse gas emissions of the 500 largest listed businesses in the world, according to a new study.

Research by the Carbon Dis...




Gap opens up human rights review to the public
clothing chain Gap has made public a review of human rights practices in its supply chain.

The review, which was commissioned by Gap from the US-based non-profit Sh...



Worker-friendly programmes boost tea sector production by up to 20%
estates that have introduced programmes to empower workers are reaping up to 20 per cent increases in production, according to a new study.

An independent assessment of 23 tea estates in Sr...



FTSE4Good ends 12-year relationship with Eiris
investment indexing company FTSE has decided to end its relationship with the Ethical Investment Research Service (Eiris), the body that has provided research for...



Chevron agrees to pay out over oil spill
giant Chevron has signed an agreement that should lead to a US$42million payout over an oil spill in Brazil that took place in 2011.

The company had been facing civil lawsu...



Vodafone is dropped from Dow Jones sustainability indexes
and Johnson & Johnson have been deleted from the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) as part of its annual review of constituents.



Business group launches new water pledge
around the world are being urged to commit to a new pledge on water that has been launched by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).


The...




Chinese businesses cause concern in South Sudan
global NGO has raised concerns about the increasing presence of Chinese companies in the conflict-torn Republic of South Sudan.


Saferworld, a non-profit organisation ...




UK produces action plan on business and human rights
UK government has become the first in the world to produce an action plan based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The pl...




Food giant to help Peruvian artichoke farmers
of the world’s largest food companies has launched a $1.1million ‘sustainable sourcing programme’ in Peru.
General Mills, which owns brands such as Haagen Das, Green Giant, ...



GRI tries to excite interest in XBRL with new taxonomy
new effort to revive interest in the use of eXtensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, in sustainability reporting has been launched on 9 September with the release of an XBRL ‘t...



Global Fairtrade sales fall in wake of US split
sales of officially branded Fairtrade goods fell last year as the fall-out from a 2011 split in the fair trade movement made itself felt.

New statistics from Fairtrade Internatio...



Apple accused of obfuscation over tin sourcing
of the Earth
has accused Apple of ‘failing to give a straight answer’ to questions about its sourcing of tin from Indonesia's Bangka island, where labour and environmental standa...



Facebook opens up on government requests for user information
has for the first time published details of the number of requests it has received from governments for information on its users.

The social media site has released the figures, whic...




Retailers targeted over use of ‘bee-killing’ pesticides
centre retailers in the US are being targeted in a new campaign by environmental groups over the use of pesticides on plants that are believed to be one of the main reasons for the collapse in ...



US group to set standards for Bangladesh imminently
group of more than 20 US clothing retailers has promised to have safety standards in place for suppliers in Bangladesh by 10 September.

The businesses, which are part of the recently-created Al...




Shipping industry gets global workforce standard
new global workforce standard for the shipping industry came into effect on 20 August as the International Labour Organization’s Maritime Labour Convention became binding in international law...



Chinese airline steps up corporate responsibility activity
Chinese business Hainan Airlines has begun moves to improve its corporate responsibility profile by signing a co-operation agreement with the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef)...



Norwegian pension fund drops boycott of Israel firms
companies have been allowed back into the investment universe of Norway's US$587 billion oil fund, owned by the Norwegian Government, after satisfying its ethics council that they are no longer in...



FSC gives cold shoulder to Indonesian paper company
of Indonesia’s biggest pulp and paper companies has been stripped of any association with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) over complaints that it has been involved in large-scale defor...



AT&T shares its water use lessons with other firms
telecoms multinational AT&T has produced guidance for businesses on how to cut back on water use.

The US-based company says its ‘Building Water Efficiency toolkit’, if taken up...




Banks have four months before new Equator Principles kick in
institutions will have until the end of 2013 to switch to a new version of the Equator Principles on ethical project financing.

The Equator Principles Association, which recently la...




AEP Teams Up to Educate Female Students on STEM Career Opportunities
teams of female students and teachers from schools across Ohio discovered practical strategies for teaching energy concepts and activities during the AEGIS (Activating & Energizing Girls...



Samsung faces court case over Brazilian factory conditions
Brazilian government has threatened to take Samsung to court over what it alleges are poor working conditions at one of its factories in the Amazon region.

The Ministry of Labour h...




Water disclosure guidelines close to being finalised
finalised set of corporate water disclosure guidelines should be published in the first half of 2014, the United Nations has declared.

The UN, which has been developing the guidelines under...




Business groups to appeal against conflict minerals ruling
business organisations in the US are to appeal against a recent court ruling that upheld a new rule requiring large companies to disclose whether any conflict minerals are used in their pr...



Consultation begins on sustainable agriculture principles
are being sought on how to draw up a set of Sustainable Agriculture Business Principles for business.

The voluntary principles, which will be developed by the United Nations, are expect...




Environment risks ‘could lead to huge losses’ in food sector
in the food industry may face huge losses in the future due to environment-related risks that they have not been factored into their investment equations, a leading think tank has warned.

...




Work begins on ISO standard for private security firms
International Organization for Standardization
is to create a global standard on the responsible use of private security companies.

The ISO standard will cover various aspects of the oper...




World Bank green bonds are snapped up
World Bank has issued a further US$550 million worth of 'green bonds', which have been bought up immediately.

The Washington DC - based international development bank says revenue ...




Office Depot makes new commitments on green paper
supplies multinational Office Depot has publicly released a 'Greener Paper Purchasing Policy' that it expects suppliers to follow around the world.

The Florida-based business, w...




Mandatory CR spending legislation is finally passed
Indian Bill that will force large companies to spend at least two per cent of their profits on corporate responsibility has finally been approved by parliament.

India’s upper house, the Rajya ...




Burma to start formal process of joining EITI
has signalled that it will begin the formal process of joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) by the end of this year.

The EITI says the government of Burma, a...




Smart phone app helps firms track human rights risks
global NGO has launched a smart phone app that will help companies assess their human rights risks in various parts of the world.

London-based International Alert, which describes itself as...




Investors start to sidestep firms with climate change risks
majority of mainstream asset managers decided to divest or not invest in some companies last year because they had concerns about their climate change policies and programmes, a new study has reveal...



Firms get new guidance on freedom of association
guidance to help companies uphold the right to freedom of association within their supply chains has been published by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI).

The advice, which draws on the...




First sustainability accounting standard sees light of day
first sustainability accounting standard has been released as part of an ambitious long-term project to publish such standards for more than 80 industry sectors over the next decade.

The debut sta...




Wrigley helps educate children in mint growing areas
chewing gum company Wrigley has launched a three-year programme in India to provide education for underprivileged children living in one of the world’s key mint-producing regions.

The £1m...




Shareholder activists taste success
than 40 shareholder resolutions on the environment were withdrawn in the latest US proxy voting season after companies agreed to take action to address the concerns behind them.

An analysis of ...




Conflict minerals rule survives legal challenge
new US rule that requires large companies to disclose whether any conflict minerals are used in their products has been upheld by a federal court in Washington.

The regulation, devised by the U...




Food giant says it will withdraw from disputed land contracts
US food processing giant Bunge has said it will not renew contracts to source sugar cane from farmers in Brazil who are alleged to be growing their crops on disputed land that once belonged...



Apple looks to academics for supply chain advice
has established an academic advisory board to advise the company on its global supplier responsibility programme.

The unpaid board is to be chaired by Richard Locke, director of the ...




Tullow Oil pledges revenue transparency – if Uganda allows
Oil
has said it will make details of its contracts with the Ugandan government public, but only if the government gives the go-ahead.

The oil sector multinational, which was founded in...




Kuwait catches human trafficking firms
700 companies in Kuwait have been charged with human trafficking offences after a crackdown by the government, according to local reports.

Arabic daily newspaper Al-Qabas has said that...




Indian firms get help with water management
operating in India are to be provided with new help to measure their water risks and impacts in the country.

The assistance will come from the World Business Council on Sustainable Deve...




Draft law on mandatory reporting ‘needs strengthening’
European Union
’s draft law on mandatory sustainability reporting needs to be strengthened if it is to have any lasting effect, a Europe-wide civil society body has warned.

In a new positi...




American Electric Power in the US top 50 in NYSE Euronext Vigeo Index
Electric Power (AEP)
was recently named one of the 50 most advanced companies in the U.S. for their performance in corporate responsibility in the new NYSE Euronext Vigeo index...



Mining company loses battle to stop human rights case
court in Canada has ruled that a human rights lawsuit against a Canadian mining company can go ahead even though the alleged breaches took place in another country.

Justice Carole Brown of the Sup...




Building supplies companies sign up to water efficiency labelling
stores, builders’ merchants and manufacturers are to introduce a voluntary labelling scheme in the UK to help consumers identify the water efficiency of their products.

The new labell...




GSK pledges support for bribery investigations
pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has committed itself to cooperate fully with authorities in China over allegations that some of its senior executives in the country have been involved ...



New palm oil group aims to shake up RSPO
agricultural products companies have set up a cross-sector group designed to shake-up the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and galvanise it into more concerted action.

The businesses –...




Fishing business pledges to carry out human rights assessment
Norwegian fishing company has agreed to carry out an environmental and social impact assessment of its activities off the coast of Western Sahara and to publish the results.

Sjovik, which i...




Coca-Cola sets new environmental goals
has developed a new set of global environmental goals with the help of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The US-based multinational, which has nearly 300 bottling partners in mo...




Retailers to get training on use of homeworkers
retailers are to be offered training for their staff on the ethical use of homeworkers in their supply chains.

The new programme, which will begin in October, has been devised by the Ethi...




Mandatory climate reporting is not easy
is pocketing $295,000 (€226,000) from nine companies as the penalty for making mistakes and missing deadlines in reporting their greenhouse gas emissions. Air Resources Board (ARB) C...



Germany ‘dropping behind’ on business and human rights principles
government in Germany has come under attack for failing to do enough to promote the United Nations’ guiding principles on business and human rights.

NGOs in Germany say the government the...




Two big mainstream investors steer away from tar sands
of an investor backlash against companies involved in tar sands have emerged with the news that a major Norwegian pension fund advisor and a large Dutch bank have decided to disassociate themsel...