As Myanmar cracks down on protesters, oil companies keep up controversial ties

28 09 2007

France’s Total SA and Malaysia‘s Petroliam Nasional Bhd., or Petronas, currently pump gas from fields off Myanmar‘s coast through a pipeline to Thailand, which takes 90 percent of Myanmar‘s gas output, according to Thailand‘s PTT Exploration & Production PLC. But investing in Myanmar has brought accusations that petroleum corporations offer economic support to the country’s […]


Dell to go ‘carbon neutral’ by late 2008

26 09 2007

Dell Inc. will neutralize its carbon emissions and become carbon neutral by the end of 2008, Chairman and CEO Michael Dell announced Wednesday. Dell is the first major computer manufacturer to announce its intention to balance its carbon emissions with activities that reduce carbon in the atmosphere. Companies have a responsibility to improve the environment, […]


Clinton Showcases Wal-Mart’s Efforts on Environment

26 09 2007

President Clinton today sought to highlight the efforts of Wal-Mart, a company long criticized by Democrats for its health and labor practices, to safeguard the environment and provide a template for growth in developing countries. Sharing the stage during the opening session of the Clinton Global Initiative with the CEO of Wal-Mart, H. Lee Scott, […]


Chevron‘s $15B stock buyback pleases shareholders, riles critics

26 09 2007

Enriched by high oil prices, Chevron Corp. will spend up to US$15 billion buying back its own stock _ a commitment that pleased shareholders and rankled critics clamouring for bigger investments in projects that might help lower energy costs. The three-year repurchase program announced Wednesday served as yet another reminder of the cash cascading into […]


Merck giving Gardasil to poor countries

26 09 2007

Drugmaker Merck & Co. plans to donate enough doses of its cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil, to inoculate 1 million women in some of the world’s poorest countries. Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck announced the gift today at the third annual Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York. The company said at least 3 million doses of […]


Child bondage continues in Indian cotton supply chain

25 09 2007

More than 416.000 children under the age of 18, of which almost 225.000 younger than 14, are involved in (often bonded) child labour in India’s cottonseed fields. Most of them are girls. They work in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Compared to the 2003-2004 harvest season the total number of […]


Norwegian ethics ruffle financial world

23 09 2007

Last year, the Church of Norway asked the Norwegian Government Pension Fund to consider divesting the fund’s holdings in Caterpillar Inc. The reason: Caterpillar was selling the Israeli army bulldozers that were being used against Palestinian civilians. Given the avalanche of negative publicity that swamped Wal-Mart last summer when the pension fund dumped its stock […]


Of Exports and Other Exits: Women in the Garment Industry

22 09 2007

Inside the ‘parks’, within each factory, a carefully calculated use of imported machines and local labour in finely calibrated proportions, is designed to maximize returns for the investor. It is not difficult to figure out why for certain orders, specific machinery is switched off and manual processes used. According to these mysterious formulae, each member […]


Italian IBM Workers Launch Virtual Strike

21 09 2007

During the talks to renew IBM’s Italian internal collective agreement, an employee group asked for a salary increase, prompting IBM to cancel their “productive results benefit”, resulting in a loss of more than $1300 / year per employee. This prompted a majority of IBM Italy employees to vote to strike in Second Life for the […]


Western cos launch greener products

18 09 2007

Many Western companies are waking up to the importance of going green. Boeing is one such company that has undergone an image makeover and gone green. The Boeing 787, which is scheduled to enter service in May 2008, is twenty per cent more fuel efficient than other mid-sized wide body aircraft. “The 787 will be […]