Mitsubishi admits to fuel economy scam

Shares in Mitsubishi Motors Corp tanked 15% yesterday at one point after the company admitted to improperly manipulating fuel-economy data on at least 625,000 of its vehicles in what the Wall Street Journal euphemistically terms “the latest self-inflicted wound by an auto maker.” Multiple employees were involved in the fuel economy scam that involved over-inflating tyres and other ruses. Some of the cheating had been taking place since 2002 but no-one knew because Mitsubishi was trusted to run its own quality tests. 

Flint water scandal brings criminal charges

From Japan to Michigan now and the rusted heart of the motor industry, Flint, Michigan, where criminal charges have been filed against three state and local workers for their role in the ongoing lead pollution crisis in the city’s water supply. The charges involve misconduct in office, tampering with evidence and, in one case, “authorizing a permit for the Flint treatment plant “knowing it would fail to provide clean and safe drinking water to families,” The Washington Post reports.  “These charges are only the beginning, and there will be more to come,” Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette declared.

The true fallout of Deepwater Horizon

Staying with environmental tragedies, it’s been six years since the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill but we’re only just getting to grips with the full extent of the disaster. In a new study scientists have “found oil along 1,313 miles (2,113 kilometers) out of 5,930 miles (9,545 kilometers) of surveyed shoreline after the spill, an increase of 19 percent from previously published estimates,” National Geographic reports. That makes Deepwater Horizon the largest marine oil spill in history when measured by length of shoreline affected by oil. 

Can H&M be fast fashion and sustainable?

As the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza Bangladesh garment work disaster approaches, was it the best time for H&M to launch World Recycle Week, a sustainability marketing campaign aimed at showing the company can be sustainable while also creating fast (and some would say disposable) clothing? That’s the question posed by columnist Lucy Siegle a Business of Fashion article. She writes that the fashion industry in general is lagging behind other sectors in understanding the importance of sustainability and warns that it will suffer at a time when consumer tastes and demands are shifting. As Siegle writes: “I also believe we’re about to see a revolution across sectors, driven by an emergent aspirational class of consumers who want to be part of something bigger than just the product. They’re looking for brands that can be leaders, and they’ll sniff out the inauthentic in a heartbeat.”

Airbnb launches live like a local campaign

Finally today, Airbnb has launched a new advertising campaign encouraging its members to live like a local when they stay in a city. It’s a neat way of demonstrating the sharing economy giant’s commitment to local community and respect for the neighbourhoods it depends upon. It’s also possibly a subtle way to deflect criticism that the service is to blame for rising rents in cities like San Francisco and New York and for everyday people being squeezed out of urban locales as professional Airbnb rental outfits take charge.

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