Millennial pay gap, ethical investment in Oz, numbers add up for women and young have most energy
Average earnings for UK citizens born between 1966 and 1980 (so-called "Generation X") are estimated to be around £825,000 higher than those born between 1980 and 2000 (known as "millennials). Calculations by the Resolution Foundation, a think tank, suggest that millennials aged 27 years old earn on average £8,000 per year less than members of Generation X did at the same age. The previous generation of baby boomers (born between 1946-1965), meanwhile, were 50% more like to own a home at the age of 30 than a millennial at the same point in their life. As a result, millennials will have spent £44,000 more on rent by the time they are 30 than baby boomers at the same age. The statistics bring to the fore a growing concern around the intergenerational wealth gap. In the UK, those aged 65-74 presently hold more wealth than the entire population aged under 45, despite this latter group being more than twice as numerous as the former.
Baby boomers 50% more likely to own home at 30 than young today
On the up down under
Responsible investment in Australia is shooting upwards, with nearly half (47%) of all investments now incorporating social, environmental or ethical criteria. Better-than-average returns for responsible investment products over the past one, three, five and 10 years have seen money shift from mainstream funds into this sector. At the moment, A$633 billion of assets are managed within some kind of responsible framework, according to the Responsible Investment Association Australasia. The volume shrinks, however, when stricter parameters are set. So-called “core responsible investment” funds – i.e. those that are ethically screened, “sustainability-themed” or oriented towards social impacts – comprise $51.5 billion of the total responsible investment universe (equivalent to 3.8% of total assets under management). That said, this narrower segment of the responsible investment market has grown by 62% in the last year.
A$633bn assets are managed within responsible framework
Accountancy: good(ish) for women
Of the largest 10 accountancy firms in the UK, only EY has more than one third women in senior leadership positions. At 34.1%, London-headquartered EY pips competitors KPMG (32.1%), PwC (31.7%) and Deloitte (31.6%) in the gender diversity stakes. The poorest performers are RSM (21.6%), Mazars (18.8%) and Moore Stephens (15.8%). Drilling into the data, women account for 22% of executive committee members, 24% of business unit leaders and 51% of functional heads. This compares favourably with the average for large UK corporations, where women comprise 8% of executive committee members and 9% of functional heads. PwC has the most balanced executive committee with 42.9% women, followed by EY with 40%. Only one of the 10 largest accountancy firms has a female chief executive: Sacha Romanovitch at Grant Thornton.
Women account for 22% of executive committee members
Millennials drive demand for energy
Nearly one in four (24%) of 18-34-year-olds wants to be the first to sign up for new energy products and services, research by management consultancy Accenture finds. This compares to 17% of those in the 35-54 age range and 7% of those over 55. In terms of home energy management, six out of 10 (61%) millennials are likely to sign up for an application to remotely monitor and control home elements in the next five years. For those over 55, the average is closer to one third (36%). Similarly, more than half (56%) of millennials are likely to sign up for solar panels in the next five years, double the expected rate of those over 55. The findings are based on the views of almost 10,000 respondents in 17 countries.
Half of millennials likely to sign up for solar panels within five years
Labour provisions help trade flows
The inclusion of labour provisions in trade agreements has no impact on resulting trade flows, according to a major cross-country study conducted by the UN-backedInternational Labour Organisation.According to empirical research commissioned by the Geneva-based organisation, trade deals with labour provisions boost trade on average by 28% between the signatory nations. This compares to 26% for agreements in which labour provisions are lacking. In addition, trade agreements that contain labour provisions are shown to bring larger proportions of working-age women into the workforce. A possible reason for this is that the negotiations around such deals raise expectations of better working conditions.
The report also highlights the “exponential increase” in trade agreements in the recent past. Almost 55% of exports are now conducted within the framework of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, compared to 42% in 1995. One quarter of the value of international trade is currently covered by trade agreements that have labour provisions (which were a rarity before the mid-1990s). Since 2013, over 80% of agreements contain specific protections and guarantees for workers. A dozen of the 31 International Investment Arrangements concluded in 2014, meanwhile, refer to the protection of labour rights as well.
The report highlights the “exponential increase” in trade agreements
Appraisal of climate risks for Pacific Islands
Retrofitting buildings in the Pacific Islands to withstand cyclones could decrease expected financial losses by between 35%-50%, according to a new report by the World Bank. Infrastructure adaptation measures in general would increase on "business as usual" expenditure by between 2% and 20% across the Pacific Islands by 2040. These costs are expected to be more than compensated by the subsequent reduction in climate change impacts. The Pacific Islands are vulnerable to a range of climate-related threats, from cyclones and floods through to droughts and rising sea levels. Since 1950, natural disasters have caused around 10,000 reported deaths and resulted in estimated damage costs of $5bn.
The Pacific Islands are vulnerable to climate-related threats
Pearson: pursuing SGD goals
Pearson, the world’s largest education and publishing company, is planning to integrate a number of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals into its sustainability strategy. Its new 2020 roadmap focuses on nine themes, ranging from improvements to quality education provision through to fostering “21st century skills”. According to its new annual sustainability report, Pearson invested £10.7m in community investment projects in 2015, equivalent to 1.5% of pre-tax profits. Among its projects is a £1 million investment in two education centres for refugee children in Amman, Jordan. The project, run in association with Save the Children, is anticipated to support 1,400 Syrian refugees and host community children aged between five and 13 years old. The initiative marks a response to a startling statistic from children’s charity Unicef, which finds that 462 million children –nearly a quarter of school-aged pupils worldwide – now live in countries affected by crisis. An estimated 62 million girls, meanwhile, do not attend school, according to Unesco.
Kimberly-Clark: increasing use of sustainable tissue
Nearly one in four people around the world touch a Kimberly-Clark product every day. As the owner of brands such as Kleenex, Scot, Cottonelle and Huggies, many of those products contain towel and tissue materials. Ten years after joining the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), 100% of the tissue Kimberly-Clark now buys comes from sustainably managed sources, according to the company’s latest sustainability report. This equates to 73.5% of all its purchased fibre, totalling 2.41 million tonnes. The remaining 26.5% is recycled fibre (measuring 870,000 tonnes). Nearly two-thirds of its virgin fibre is FSC-certified. The remainder is mostly certified under the Sustainable Forest Initiative (23%), with a small amount covered by the Canadian Standards Association (7%), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (3%) and FSC Controlled Wood (3%). Other highlights in the company’s latest sustainability report include a $29 million community investment spend (equivalent to 2.9% of net income), 95.6% of manufacturing waste diverted from landfill, and a 7.2% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2010.
Samsung: e-waste efforts
Samsung collected 2.26 million tonnes of waste products from its consumers around the world between 2009 and 2015, the South Korean electronics manufacturer reports. The company, which specialises in electro-domestic goods as well as smartphones, has set itself the goal of collecting 3.8 million tonnes in total by 2020 (from a 2009 starting point). Electronics companies are under increasing pressure to take back end-of-use products. In the US, around 40% of the 3.14 million tonnes of e-waste generated each year is collected and recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Designing products to be more environmentally efficient has emerged as another key priority for the industry. According to Samsung’s latest annual sustainability report, nearly three-quarters (74%) of all its products under development use less energy, contain fewer hazardous substances or meet one or more if its other “eco-product” criteria.
TUI: eating away at airline emissions
UK travel conglomerate TUI, whose TUIfly airline was ranked the world’s “most efficient airline” for the third year on the trot, garnered €63 million in savings between 2012-2015, thanks to its efficiency measures. Tight management of energy use and fuel consumption means that the average carbon emissions of its airlines (which include Thomson Airways) amount to 66g per passenger kilometre – 2.3% better than last year. TUI has committed to reduce the carbon intensity of its operations by one tenth by 2020. In 2015, the company was responsible for emitting a total of 6,889,276 tonnes of carbon dioxide. It operates 14 Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes, in which it carried nearly 2 million passengers in 2015. The Dreamliner is about 20% more efficient than comparable aircraft. TUI intends to buy 60 737 MAX aircraft from the start of 2018. This will help it phase out older Boeing 737s from its fleet. The newer 737s are 14% more fuel efficient.Oliver Balch gender pay Environment sustainability energy millennials labour climate e-waste CR Reporting CSR