Top news: Lego has announced sweeping changes to its procurement processes; the Yellowstone River oil spill could have been prevented; Greenpeace report demonstrates why McKinsey shouldn’t be trusted to advise on rainforests; genetic study reveals polar bear ancestors interbred with brown bears in ancient Ireland.
#Forests Fantastic news as Lego becomes the first company to announce significant changes to its packaging following a campaign by Greenpeace. A report by the environmental charity showed that Lego – along with Mattel, Hasbro and Disney – use packaging material derived from deforested Indonesian rainforests. The changes mean that Asian Pulp and Paper (APP) will no longer supply the materials used to make Lego’s packaging. It is great to see Lego leading the way on these reforms and it would be even better to see the other three companies follow their example and remove deforested packaging from their products. Read Lego’s official statement here.
#Oil Spill In the world of completely unsurprising news, it has emerged that the rupture of an oil pipeline in the US is the result of negligence by both ExxonMobil and industry regulators. Despite nearly a year of violations cited by safety authorities, no action was taken and has resulted in an estimated 160,000 litres of oil being spilled into one of America’s last undammed rivers, the Yellowstone. Thankfully, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration finally ordered Exxon to make safety improvements to the pipeline on Tuesday – just four days after the breach, while clean-up crews are still yet to arrive on the scene nearly a week later.
#Forests In what must surely be seen as a top contender for British journalist John Rentoul’s Questions to Which the Answer is No (QTWTAIN) series, Johann Hari’s latest article asks ‘Would you trust a management consultant with the world’s rainforests?’ As a Greenpeace report from April reveals, the answer to this question is obvious, particularly when that management consultancy is McKinsey. It appears that, while the company has been hired to advise countries on the cheapest and most effective ways to stop deforestation, what they have actually been doing is rewarding the industries and interests that cause it.
#Irish Bears A study by Penn State University has revealed that polar bears originated in Ireland. The overlap of territories caused by climate change around 50,000 years ago resulted in the interbreeding of two different types of bear in ancient Ireland. This evidence goes against accepted theories that polar bears are descended from bears that lived on several Alaskan islands 14,000 years ago. However, the scientists didn’t comment on whether the bear’s dark body, white top and popularity in Irish pubs were related to the country’s iconic beverage.