Oscars take steps to embrace diversity

Stung by widespread criticism that the Oscars is ignoring acting performances from people of colour The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited many more minorities and women to join its ranks, The New York Times reports. Now, the academy says, 46 percent of this year’s 683 invitees are women, and 41 percent are minorities. However, notes the NYT, “Many observers have said the root problem lies not with the academy, but with the film industry at large and the lack of opportunities it provides for women and minorities.” 

VW’s record fine good for corporate sustainability?

“Could the regulatory hammer dropped on VW actually be a good thing for environmentalists?” That’s the question GreenBiz asks in the wake of the record fine imposed on Volkswagen in the US. It notes that Volkswagen has to pay the Environmental Protection Agency $2.7 billion to compensate for its emissions contributions to climate change. Volkswagen also says it will invest $2 billion in new clean car development. Tellingly this incident also makes clear that environmental misdeeds can’t just be swept under the rug anymore. “The risk of such a mistake provides leverage to people inside corporations attempting to bring the physical dimensions of sustainability into routine corporate decision-making,” GreenBiz quotes Steven Cohen from Columbia’s Earth Institute as saying.

Unilever makes the case for embracing UN SDGs

It’s hardly news that Unilever has embraced sustainability in business. Nevertheless it is still interesting to read CEO Paul Polman’s arguments for why all companies should make the UN Sustainable Development Goals a business priority. As he writes in the Huffington Post: “The SDGs offer the greatest economic opportunity of our lifetime. With an estimated investment of $2-3 trillion a year, the potential value that can be unlocked for society will be immense.”

Formula E needs a London home

Can the fast-growing Formula E find a new home in London? This weekend the electric vehicle race will be run in Battersea Park for the final time following NIMBY objections by local residents. Formula E chief executive Alejandro Agag says he is talking with the  Mayor of London's office about alternative venues in the capital but nothing yet is sealed. "London is really important for us and we want to be here but you can only do what you can do. If we don't find the right venue, we're not going to force it,” Agag told Reuters.

Facebook focuses on friends and family over news

Finally today, news that Facebook is tweaking its algorithm to favour posts from friends and family while “reducing the visibility of posts from publishers,” the Independent reports. Changes to the Facebook news feed “can lead to huge impacts on the media industry and on people, since the feed is seen by more than 1.65 billion people each month,” the Indy notes. Bet it won’t change the volume of Donald Trump and Brexit news we consume though.

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