February global temperatures point to climate emergency

Global temperatures in February were 1.35C warmer than the average temperature for the month according to NASA data, the Guardian reports. Climate scientists referred to this temperature leap (coming on the back of the previous average month global record set in January) as “a true shocker”. “We are in a kind of climate emergency now,” Stefan Rahmstorf, from Germany’s Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research said.

Investment funds at risk due to bad sustainability thinking

Some of the world’s largest equity funds have their heads in the sand when it comes to investing responsibly, the Financial Times reports. Research company Morningstar has studied 20,000 funds and is about to publish ratings that “show none of the world’s largest investment products scores highly when it comes to environmental, social and governance factors”. Morningstar's ESG risk and opportunity ratings evaluate how equity funds take into account issues such as board diversity, fossil fuel exposure and corruption at the companies they invest in.

Why Ryanair is starting to play nice

Faced with increased competition and falling profits, famously confrontational low-cost airline Ryanair has hit on a winning strategy - being nice to passengers, the Wall Street Journal reports. For years Ryanair, and its CEO Michael O’Leary, courted an almost Trumpian reputation of being bombastic to passengers and regulators. That worked when it was seen as a spiky upstart but soon other airlines began matching Ryanair on price and being rude no longer looked so smart. Now, as it claws its way back to the top of the low-cost airline heap, O’Leary has adopted a different tack. “Standing room only and charging for toilets was a great PR wheeze when we were young, dumb and growing rapidly..[but]…the laddish noise was displacing the great fares, brilliant punctuality and new aircraft,” he said.

Why mining needs to embrace corporate responsibility

The mining industry faces many challenges at present. One that will only grow (even as commodity prices improve) is its environmental and social responsibility. As an op-ed in Barron’s notes, “no major mining company is a stranger to its share of unwanted controversy,” - a situation increasingly stoked by social media protests. In order to build trust and secure access to new deposits, companies must become better corporate citizens it argues, writing: “Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is becoming a core nontechnical function of mineral extraction, as companies scour frontier states to accommodate emerging market booms and consumer demands. Neglect of local populations and their ecosystems can sound the death knell for billion-dollar projects.”

The North Face harnesses local talent with The Backyard Project

Finally today, as Republican front-runner lambasts US companies for outsourcing manufacturing jobs abroad, The North Face is demonstrating how you can harness local talent to make quality clothes in the US. Its latest version of The Backyard Project (first launched in 2014) brings “together a collective of farmers, artisans and small businesses to achieve increased production, new styles and colors and a lower price point for consumers,” Apparel writes.

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