Stay on top of important issues that are shaping your businesses and the world with this curated weekly roundup available exclusively to members.
September 25, 2015
Stay on top of important issues that are shaping your businesses and the world with this curated weekly roundup available exclusively to members.

Please note the Media Monitor will not be delivered the week of November 29th; we will resume service the following week.

Walmart, Nike, Starbucks commit to 100% clean energy
Companies including Nike, Walmart and Salesforce have committed to using 100% renewable energy as part of greater efforts to lower their carbon footprint. While the time constraints of the goal vary, the commitments point to a greater trend in concern for the environment and the affordability of renewable energy. They join companies such as Johnson and Johnson and Goldman Sachs in the RE100 campaign organized  by the non-profit advocacy organization The Climate Group and environmental data company CDP.

McDonald's supports struggling U.N. effort to feed Syrian refugees
McDonalds recently assisted in funding a commercial for the UN World Food Programme which aims to raise money and food assistance for Syria and the surrounding region. The UN World Food Programme is seeking additional funding as the crisis continues to escalate. Currently the relief program provides food for millions of Syrian refugees. Companies including Burger King, Google and MasterCard are also supporting the humanitarian effort.

Bangladesh says it meets US factory safety conditions
The Bangladesh government says the country has met all sixteen of the safety and worker's rights standards set by the US. These standards were established following two garment factory disasters in 2013. Bangladesh seeks to regain its preferential trade status with the United States.

The great divide in workplace benefits*
Working Mother Magazine recently released the top 100 ranked companies who offer workplace benefits like paid maternity leave, telecommuting and flexible hours. Currently, 21 percent of American companies offer paid maternity leave, 60 percent offer telecommuting and 54 percent offer flexible hours. The list highlights how far removed these companies are from the vast majority of employers.

Daily Report: China promises to work with U.S. to prevent cybercrime
This week in Seattle, China's President Xi Jinping met with top American CEOs in a state that exports more to China than any other. Also joining him in Washington State were the heads of Chinese tech firms, who attended a summit hosted by Microsoft and the Chinese government.
President Xi Jinping called for “a high-level joint dialogue mechanism with the United States on fighting cybercrimes.” and assured his audience the Chinese government will not engage in commercial theft and hackers will be punished.

Employer health coverage for family tops $17,000*
Average employer health care cost $17,545 this year according to study by Kaiser Family Foundation along with the Health Research & Educational Trust. This is a 4% increase from last year. The portion paid by workers also increased, continuing the five year trend.

Kickstarter values altruism over profit
Kickstarter has reincorporated as a public benefit corporation, assuring that its social goal to "help bring creative projects to life" is protected under their corporate charter and by the board of trustees.  According to the article, public benefit corporations are expected to report their social impact with a higher standard of transparency.

After Volkswagen revelation, auto emissions tests come under global scrutiny*
Emissions test are being called into question for being ineffective and easily corrupted. In the United States, emissions tests are performed by automakers themselves, while in Europe, automakers hire companies to test them on their behalf. Regulators will begin to take a closer look at the current standards countries have in place.

This new idea could change recycling in the U.S. forever
Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and Walmart among other firms are funding the construction of a high-tech recycling center in Baltimore. The new center would be among the largest of its kind, servicing a 500 mile radius. Funding from corporations enables growth within the recycling industry which has been stagnant for nearly 10 years.

China to adopt cap and trade system to limit trade emissions
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a nationwide cap-and-trade program to curtail carbon emissions, adopting a mechanism most widely used in Europe to limit greenhouse gases. This pilot program will impose a nationwide ceiling on emissions from the most carbon-intensive sectors of the Chinese economy and require companies exceeding their quotas to buy permits from those that have sharply reduced emissions. This cap and trade system is part of China' efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent per unit of GDP by 2020.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Will Give Employees $7,200 for Student Debt
Starting in July, accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers will offer some employees a practical perk: $1,200 a year for up to six years toward their student debt. The benefit will be available to those with associate and senior associate titles, entry level positions that make up 45 percent of PwC's 46,000-person U.S. workforce.

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