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Allianz Lists Five Sustainability Trends To Watch For Companies

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Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), the corporate insurance carrier of Allianz SE, hosts Allianz Group’s ESG Business Services team and has identified five key trends that will impact businesses’ ESG footprint in 2020 and beyond: climate change, water management, biodiversity degradation, exploitation in the supply chain and increasing scrutiny on corporate governance.

1: Address climate change in business strategy

Combatting climate change is the key challenge of the coming decade. It ranks 7th in the Allianz Risk Barometer 2020 – its highest-ever position – and is already affecting businesses in many ways, such as an increase in physical losses from more severe weather events or potential market and regulatory impacts such as carbon-emissions offsetting. There are also litigation risks as climate change cases targeting ‘carbon majors’ have already been brought in 30 countries around the world, with most cases filed in the US.

2: Ensure access to fresh water for communities
By 2050, the world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion[1] – while global water demand is expected to increase by 20% to 30%, mainly due to demand in the industrial and domestic sectors. Currently over two billion people[2] are living in areas of high water stress and almost half of the global population – about four billion people – experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year. “Water is a big issue for citizens and companies, alike,” says Bonnet. “Not just concerns about its abundance, but also its purity, its scarcity in a warming climate and its over-use and poor management.”

3: Protect biodiversity and finite resources

Oceans full of plastic waste, species extinction and severe land degradation due to storm, drought or increasing industrialization, as demonstrated in the felling of the Amazon rainforest, are just some of the most obvious examples of the deterioration of the planet. Sustainable consumption practices can slow future biodiversity loss.

4: Prevent human right violations in supply chains

Human exploitation can take on many forms in the business environment – forced labor, child labor or insufficient labor standards – and it can be difficult to detect in today’s global supply chains. It is estimated that around 40 million people are trapped in modern slavery globally[3]. Industries such as textiles, food and agriculture, electronics, sports, construction, or hospitality have been connected to modern slavery, although all sectors are vulnerable.

5: Governance issues continue to demand business diligence

Businesses and their directors are under increasing pressure to maintain sound corporate governance, as more investors, in evaluating a company, hold it up to ESG standards. Acts of corporate misconduct such as bribery or corruption, inadequate handling of data privacy, financial misconduct and money-laundering have all made headlines in recent years.

 

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Banks’ CEOs Hold Emergency Meeting Over BDCs’ Forex Ban 

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Bank Chief Executive Officers on Thursday, held an emergency meeting on how to ensure compliance with the new forex directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

After the meeting, they spoke during a webinar organised to give an update on the banks’ preparedness to be the main channel of forex distribution, following the recent discontinuity of forex supply to the BDC operators by the CBN.

The executives assured the public that banks would make forex available to customers in accordance with the CBN’s directives.

After the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had ordered all Deposit Money Banks to set up teller points at designated branches across the country to fulfil legitimate FX request for personal travel allowance, business travel allowance, tuition fees, medical payments and SMEs transactions, among others.

Speaking at the webinar, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, said, “The banking industry as a whole was willing and ready to carry out this function. The banks have very strict compliance measures, in terms of verification and making sure that people who do apply are eligible.

“All Nigerian banks will be able to meet these requirements. If you look at all the branches nationwide, you will know that the banks have more than enough capacity to do this.”

He said if the banks saw any compliance issues, or people attempting to do things cunning, they would be reported to the CBN because the banks would ensure full compliance with the order.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, while speaking on the capacity of the banks to meet the customers demand, said, “It is not only the CBN that has the ability to fund the market; the banks also have the resources to meet the demand, and we have agreed collectively that it will start immediately.”

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NERC: Over 1m Electricity Consumers Have Received Prepaid Meters

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Labour Warns FG Against Electricity Tariff Hike 

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The Nigeria Labour Congress faulted plans to allegedly sell the Transmission Company of Nigeria, saying it will lead to an increase in electricity tariff.

The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, said this in a statement titled, “This Kite will not Fly’’ on Friday.

Wabba explained that instead of allegedly planning to sell the transmission company, FG should focus on improving the electricity supply.

He described the attempt to hand over the TCN to a few ‘privileged’ Nigerians as self-serving, obtuse, odious, morally reprehensible and criminal.

The NLC president said, “The TCN is a strategic economic asset of immense national security implications. This is because the TCN traverses all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.

“It will be wrong that our country will be deliberately exposed to an avoidable vulnerability and thus, provide an opportunity to others to restrain the Nigerian state.

“We apprehend that the planned sale of the TCN is only an attempt to further confound the people and concurrently raise electricity tariff. Unfortunately, this time around, Nigerians have had enough.

“The government cannot promise improved power supply to consumers by the planned sale of TCN. The under-the-table scheming as transparent privatisation cannot pass muster.

“It is an unsavoury narrative for our country, that even the privatised assets, which have survived the rapacity of the new owners, have been turned into unrealisable collaterals for unpayable loans.

“This constitutes a bone stuck in the throat of financial institutions and sundry creditors.”

Wabba explained that the plan would “fundamentally weaken the security of the nation and above all, deprive the people of their age-old investments in the commanding heights of the Nigerian economy”.

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