The UK takes a giant leap into the unknown

There’s only one big story today - the decision by voters in England and Wales (not Scotland it should be noted) to leave the EU. Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned, Scottish political powerhouse Alex Salmond has called for a new Scottish independence vote and the value of the sterling has plummeted against the dollar. What does it mean for the world of sustainability? Much will depend on the confidence of companies to steer their business growth through the philosophy of sustainability as they navigate uncertain economic times ahead. Meanwhile, a note of caution from the Daily Telegraph to all those Brexit supporters who thing leaving Europe and curbing immigration will protect their jobs in the future. It looks forward to an era where automation and robotics shapes the employment landscape far more than any Polish builder or Romanian farm hand. “What neither side will admit is that the EU referendum is largely a substitute for a much bigger argument that will shape the next decades: How on earth are vast numbers of going to make a living now?” it writes.

VW to settle US case for $10.2bn

From political woes to business mea culpas and news that, in the US, Volkswagen will pay vehicle owners around $5,000 apiece to settle claims from its diesel emissions cheating scandal, the Guardian reports. It says the total price tag for the repayments and other fines could exceed $10.2bn.

Demand for sand takes an environmental toll

It is a crucial ingredient in the concrete that forms the infrastructure of our urban built environment. Now we hear from The New York Times that the growing global demand for sand is taking a devastating environmental toll and also raising the spectre that we could be running out of the granular stuff. It writes that, in order to build the new cities of the future, “people are pulling untold amounts of sand out of the ground. Usable sand is a finite resource. Desert sand, shaped more by wind than by water, generally doesn’t work for construction. To get the sand we need, we are stripping riverbeds, floodplains and beaches.”

Why Millennials prefer Toms to Nike

If you’re a legacy brand searching for a sense of purpose you’ll want to read this story from Fast Company. It documents how millennial consumers, when asked to choose, will select Toms over Nike despite the Portland, Oregon sportswear giant spending billions on marketing each year. Citing new research about consumer brand awareness Fast Company notes that both Toms and Nike have a clearly defined sense of purpose. “But awareness of purpose does not necessarily translate into motivation to support that purpose: People are less motivated to actively support Nike’s purpose than Toms’s. And people say Toms's purpose is more likely to drive purchase than Nike’s.”

Goldman Sachs to recruit grads via video

Finally today, news that Goldman Sachs is doing away with face-to-face interviews on university campuses in a bid to attract a wider range of talent. The bank hires about 2,500 students as both summer and full-time analysts each year. By switching to video interviews, Goldman hopes it can find students who do not attend top-tier US universities, the BBC reports. 

Have a good weekend.

 

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