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News >> Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

The New Zealand (NZ) Commerce Commission has announced that the Auckland District Court has fined Pacrite Industries Ltd (Pacrite) NZ$30,000 after the plastic rubbish bag manufacturer pleaded guilty to ten charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act 1986 (NZ) through its claims about the oxo-biodegradability and environmental friendliness of its "Greensac" plastic rubbish bag product, also known as "The Green One".

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has made available its Sustainability Reporting 2013 (undated) (the report), which "[m]easur[es] and communicat[es] [CBA's] progress across all sustainability-related areas". The report chapter titled Responsible financial services indicates that the total number of customer complaints received by CBA in 2013 was 446,224, representing a 66% increase from the figure for 2012, which in turn was more than seven times the figure for 2011.

The government of Canadian province British Columbia (BC) has announced that Powerex has agreed to pay a number of parties, including the Attorney General and utility companies of the United States (US) state of California (CA), US$273 million as part of a settlement to resolve claims related to the 2000-01 CA energy crisis "that resulted in rolling blackouts and record-high electricity prices".

The United States (US) Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have released Business Continuity Planning (undated), a staff advisory on "business continuity and disaster recovery planning" that follows a review conducted by regulators of the impacts of Hurricane Sandy on business.

The United States (US) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that fuel distributing company Wondrack Distributing Inc's (Wondrack) has settled allegations that it exhibited various failures in implementing its oil spill prevention plan for a facility in Washington state.

A water utility corporation based in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has announced that a 2012 earth tremor that took place almost 1,000 kilometres away in the neighbouring state of Victoria caused a power failure at its Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant in south-east Sydney. The Sydney Water Corporation (Sydney Water) stated that the power failure "resulted in untreated wastewater being released from the cliff-face discharge point at Yellow Rock [in NSW]", while The Age reports that the volume of the release was approximately 63 megalitres.

United States-based natural gas company Range Resources Corporation reached a previously undisclosed settlement with a couple in 2011 under which the couple's two children, then aged seven and ten, were banned from ever talking about either the Marcellus Shale or the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

The United States Department of Labor (DoL) has announced the publication in the Federal Register of a Notice of Final Determination (23 July 2013) which revises the list of products requiring federal contractor certification as to forced or indentured child labour pursuant to Executive Order 13126 (12 June 1999).

IndustriALL Global Union (IndustriALL) is developing a legally binding agreement which would secure signatory retail corporations' commitment to the safety of factory workers in Pakistan, following the execution of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (13 May 2013) (the Bangladesh Accord) earlier in 2013.

The United Kingdom (UK) Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has released a consultation paper A Call for views - Corporate Responsibility (June 2013) for public comment. The consultation paper seeks comments to inform the development of a framework for action on corporate social responsibility in the UK, setting out what the UK's priorities are "in respect of corporate responsibility and the actions [g]overnment, business and wider society will need to take in order to get there".

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