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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rubber bandits

Rubber bandits: "Word of the tyre-based landscaping quickly reached the ears of street urchins from a neighbouring suburb who had a plan of their own – for a giant Halloween bonfire up at the back of St James’s Hospital somewhere. So even though the tyres were behind security fencing, there followed nightly attempts to liberate them, some successful.
This looked like one of the successes. And as two tyres were wheeled past the pub, the men in the doorway looked on, more or less amused. “Where’s the guards?” asked somebody. “Out fitting water meters,” quipped another.
But in general, the onlookers were indulgent. “We did worse ourselves,” said one. “We did of course,” said another. And with that, they were off on down Memory Lane, while the tyres headed up Bow Lane, in the opposite direction.
There’s a certain phrase that, in my opinion, is vastly overused these days in the context of corporate plans. Even so, in this case, it would have been fully justified, both for the landscapers and the pyromaniacs.
In fact, if the bonfire planners were in the habit of issuing press releases, they would surely have predicted the “roll-out” of all the remaining tractor tyres by October 31st. But a bit like Irish water, which had a similar deadline, they ran into logistical difficulties."



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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Guardian overtakes New York Times in comScore traffic figures | Media | theguardian.com

The Guardian overtakes New York Times in comScore traffic figures | Media | theguardian.com: "The Guardian has passed the New York Times to become the world’s second most popular English-language newspaper website, according to the latest monthly traffic figures from comScore.

Last month theguardian.com website network recorded 42.6 million worldwide unique visitors, a 12.3% month-on-month increase, according to the latest comScore report on desktop web usage. The New York Times drew 41.6 million worldwide unique visitors, up 8% month on month.

The Guardian ranks 5th biggest in comScore’s newspaper category, behind the Daily Mail’s Mail Online, which drew 55.8 million worldwide unique users last month.

The top three slots are taken by Chinese newspaper websites: Xinhua News Agency (90.2 million uniques), People’s Daily Online (89.1 million) and China Daily Sites (56.4 million)."



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The Guardian overtakes New York Times in comScore traffic figures | Media | theguardian.com

The Guardian overtakes New York Times in comScore traffic figures | Media | theguardian.com: "The Guardian has passed the New York Times to become the world’s second most popular English-language newspaper website, according to the latest monthly traffic figures from comScore.

Last month theguardian.com website network recorded 42.6 million worldwide unique visitors, a 12.3% month-on-month increase, according to the latest comScore report on desktop web usage. The New York Times drew 41.6 million worldwide unique visitors, up 8% month on month.

The Guardian ranks 5th biggest in comScore’s newspaper category, behind the Daily Mail’s Mail Online, which drew 55.8 million worldwide unique users last month.

The top three slots are taken by Chinese newspaper websites: Xinhua News Agency (90.2 million uniques), People’s Daily Online (89.1 million) and China Daily Sites (56.4 million)."



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Sunday, October 19, 2014

From Apple to Wal-Mart, Companies Make Bets on Climate Change - Bloomberg

From Apple to Wal-Mart, Companies Make Bets on Climate Change - Bloomberg: "CDP grades companies based on how aggressively they are setting and meeting carbon goals, and on how forthcoming they are about this work. CDP started with a pool of about 2,000 companies that shared information about their climate-related work earlier this year. The 187 companies that received an "A" from group this year made the index. They include some of the world’s leading brands — Apple, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BMW, CVS Health, Google, Northrop Grumman, Samsung, Unilever.

At least part of the strong performance of the CDP carbon index can be attributed to its heavy concentration of tech and financial stocks, sectors that grew faster than average in the last five years. Businesses in those industries have embraced pollution cuts much faster than their counterparts in industries where burning fossil fuels is more central to the core business. The energy sector, for example, "has very few companies" -- five -- "that are able to meet the leadership criteria" laid out by CDP this year, according to the report.

"Energy companies struggle to really put themselves on a path of a low-carbon transition," says Paul Simpson, CDP's chief executive. "Their core business is very carbon-intensive."

The results challenge the still-pervasive assumption that climate-friendly business is automatically bad business. "The A List" study complements a library of research into the benefits to businesses and investors of considering environmental and other sustainability criteria when setting strategy. There's some evidence of a “halo effect” associated with do-gooder companies on low-carbon diets. More likely, the CDP results are a case of already-successful companies taking on climate change, not climate change activities per se categorically pushing stocks higher somehow.

If nothing else, CDP’s new report is a reminder that rational executives atop leading companies are embracing the changes that are already underway in consumer sentiment, regulation and the climate itself."



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