Friday 22nd August 2014                 Change text size:

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HSBC chairman criticises banking reform amid profits fall

The chairman of HSBC has criticised banking reforms, which aim to deter irresponsible behaviour within the sector, stating that there is a “growing danger of disproportionate risk aversion”. His comments come as the bank reports a 12% fall in first-half profits. HSBC’s first-half results report a pre-tax profit of...


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Wellcome Trust buys Co-op Group’s farm business for £249m

The Co-operative Group has confirmed the sale of its farms business for £249 million to the Wellcome Trust. Concerns have previously been raised about the ethics of a potential buyer, but the group has asserted that the trust has values that align closely with its own. It was first...


Photo: LAGI 2014 submission - Artist Team: Hareth Pochee, Adam Khan, Louis Leger, Patrick Fryer

Green ‘energy duck’ to bring clean, solar energy to Copenhagen

A team of British designers has come up with a bizarre green energy solution, submitted to the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) design competition, in the form of a giant duck. The energy duck is an entry to the Copenhagen competition, which aims to make renewable and zero carbon...


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Government needs to up support for green start-ups, say MPs

The government is “punching below its weight” when it comes to supporting businesses operating in the green economy, according to the Energy and Climate Change Committee. In a new report, MPs are critical of the government’s progress in working with low carbon start-ups and entrepreneurs. A 2010 report from...


Photo: jonasclemens via Flickr

Subsidy loophole to be closed for dirty fossil fuels

The UK government has announced it will close a legal loophole that could have given billions of pounds to old coal power plants. However, the news has reopened the debate over why subsidies for fossil fuels are continuing to undermine carbon reduction policies. The loophole was found in the...


Photo: sunshinecity via Flickr

Competition inquiry into energy companies should also investigate wholesale gas market, warns MP

Tim Yeo, chairman of the House of Commons’ Energy Committee, has written to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) urging it to investigate the wholesale gas market as part of an inquiry into the UK energy sector. In June, energy regulator Ofgem announced an 18-month investigation into competition in...


canopy trees by James Knight via freeimages

Integrated sustainability key to business resilience, according to new report

Long-term thinking and integration is key when it come sustainability and making business strategies more resilient, a report from consultants Corporate Citizenship argues. The report – Creating Resilient Strategies – addresses the current strategy debate and considers if strategies are sufficiently far-sighted and robust enough to cope with a...


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Conference set to explore human rights and businesses

A conference that will look at the practical implications and challenges of implementing the human rights guiding principles across business is set to take place in London on 10 November. The conference, which is organised by the Innovation Forum, aims to bring together key players to look at the...


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McKinsey: company leaders rallying behind sustainability

Company leaders are increasingly seeing the value of incorporating sustainability into their businesses to address environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, according to a survey conducted by consultancy firm McKinsey. The results suggest that sustainability is becoming a more integral part of businesses. Some 43% said their companies are...


Photo: US Embassy New Delhi via Flickr

Climate and civil activists criticise proposed World Bank environmental and social framework

The World Bank released its draft social and environmental safeguards on Wednesday, following their leak last week. Environmental groups and activists have said the new framework weakens protections for disadvantaged groups and doesn’t address climate concerns. The proposals aim to improve upon the bank’s old environmental and social framework...


Photo: Ambra Galassi

Low numbers of children in state-funded primary schools offered sustainable fish – study

Research from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has found only 14% of England’s 16,784 state-funded primaries provide a choice of sustainable seafood. The ‘end of year report’ also found the majority of children in the midlands and north of England had a choice, as opposed to the south. Data...


Photo: William Murphy via Flickr

Campaign group calls for end of imported horsemeat from non-EU countries

A campaign group has raised concerns over the safety of horsemeat imported to Europe from non-EU countries. The Humane Society International (HSI) renewed the call after concerns horsemeat with drugs banned in the EU for human consumption could be entering the food chain. Thursday marked the four-year anniversary of...


stefan lins via Flickr

Pacific Islands Forum closes with climate change and sustainable tourism commitment

The 45th Pacific Islands Forum has concluded on Friday in Koror, Republic of Palau, gathering the leaders of the Pacific nations to discuss increasing threats posed by rising sea levels and solutions for sustainable development. Political leaders and ministers of Pacific Islands have gathered to discuss issues related to...


images of money via flickr

Startup loans scheme reaches £100 million

Government-funded programme to help British entrepreneurs and startups has supported 20,000 loans so far, moving beyond £100 million and significantly helping previously unemployed people. Founded in 2012 by Lord Young and chaired by entrepreneur James Caan, the Start-Up Loans scheme aims to help those with creative and innovative ideas...


Photo: Department of Energy and Climate Change via Flickr

Centrica backs out of giant £40m offshore wind project Celtic Array

British Gas owner Centrica and Danish company Dong Energy have announced that they will withdraw from proposed offshore wind development in the Irish Sea, as assessments of the area found challenging conditions on the seabed that make the project “economically unviable”. Centrica announced the news in their interim results...


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