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Indian workplace diversity, APP peatland plans, Amazon investigation and Monsanto law-suit
L’Oréal India leads on gender equality
L’Oréal India has become the first company in the country to receive the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (Edge) certification, a standard launched in 2011 to foster a balanced workplace for men and women. The cosmetics giant was awarded the certification following a comprehensive review of its approach to gender equality, including gender policies and the analysis of gender-related data.
As part of the process, employees took part in a survey on gender equality that covered areas such as recruitment and promotion, leadership development, equal pay, flexibility and company culture. Aniela Unguresan, co-founder of Edge, says that by receiving the certification L’Oréal India has “achieved a substantial milestones in creating an inclusive workplace culture". The certification was granted to the company following independent third-party verification.
APP’s move to protect peatland
Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) says it is retiring 7,000 hectares of commercial plantation areas in order to protect threatened carbon-rich peatland, the first time plantations on tropical peatland have been retired for conservation purposes worldwide. The land marked for retirement is spread across five individual acacia plantation areas in the Riau province and South Sumatra.
Aida Greenbury, managing director sustainability at APP, says the decision to retire these areas of commercial plantations is “an important milestone in the delivery of our Forest Conservation Policy and we believe it is an unprecedented commitment. The retirement of active plantations is not an easy decision for any business to take, but we believe that taking urgent steps to protect remaining areas of peatland forest, as well as reducing and avoiding climate emissions from peatlands, must be a priority.” Peatland development in Indonesia represents a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Amazon chief rejects scathing portrayal
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has said he doesn't "recognise" the company depicted in a scathing report by the New York Times called "Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace”.
According to the report, for which the New York Times interviewed more than 100 former and current Amazon employees, managers at the multi-billion-dollar internet retailer are forced to rate all employees and fire the lowest-scoring workers to satisfy performance quotas; managers expect employees to respond instantly to emails; and in one instance, a woman who had breast cancer was told that she was put on a “performance improvement plan” – Amazon code for “you’re in dan-ger of being fired” – because difficulties in her personal life had interfered with her work goals.
In response, Bezos wrote to staff claiming the article didn't describe the Amazon he knows or the caring Amazonians he works with, adding that anyone working for such a “soulless, dystopian” company would be “crazy to stay”.
Monsanto hit with pollution lawsuit
Monsanto is facing a new lawsuit following claims it knowingly sold harmful chemicals that endan-gered human health and resulted in environmental pollution. The lawsuit filed by the city of Spo-kane, Washington, alleges that the agrochemical giant is responsible for the high levels of polychlo-rinated biphenyls (PCBs) which have flowed into the Spokane River that stretches from northern Idaho to eastern Washington.
PCBs were produced by Monsanto from the 1930s until 1979, when the US Congress banned them over dangers they pose to humans and the environment. The latest lawsuit follows similar legal ac-tion taken by the city of San Jose, California, alleging that Monsanto knowingly polluted the San Francisco Bay with PCBs, and demanding that Monsanto pay to clean up the contamination. In a statement, Monsanto said it was reviewing the latest allegations coming out of Spokane.
L'Oreal India gender equality APP FCP forest deforestation Amazon employee Monsanto pollution