Lufthansa Cargo and DB Schenker to operate first CO2-neutral freighter flights
Lufthansa Cargo and DB Schenker have come together to carry out the very first CO2-neutral freighter flights powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The first of these flights were on November 29th and operated from Frankfurt to Shanghai with a Boeing 777 freighter aircraft.
Goods from Siemens Healthineers and other companies were transported on the flight. This endeavor follows the announcement that they have agreed to exchange views on environmental issues and to promote them, including the move away from fossil fuels in airfreight transport.
They are committing to the increased research and use of SAF, so that sufficient quantities of the alternative fuel can be available in the future. By using SAF, the fossil CO2 emissions of a flight with conventional kerosene are avoided. The companies say that this is the first real alternative to fossil aviation fuel and the key to climate-friendly, CO2-neutral air traffic.
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Swiss government decides on new rights abuse rules that affect supply chains
The Swiss recently voted on a law that would have made Swiss businesses financially and legally liable for human rights violations or environmental damage. The law would have affected their supply chains anywhere in the world. However, the Swiss government and both houses of parliament rejected this proposal and decided to introduce other rules in this area.
Corporate responsibility is a priority for multinationals, and companies such as Nestlé say they scrutinize their supply chains to ensure fair working practices and to prevent child labor or environmental damage. The new law sought to enforce these standards, which would have allowed victims of alleged human rights violations or environmental damage to sue Swiss companies in Swiss courts. The companies would have had to prove they had taken all necessary measures to prevent any harm.
While rejecting the people’s vote, the Swiss government is instead committing to introducing new rules that require companies to strengthen checks on their overseas operations, and to also tie Switzerland to responsible business laws being considered by the European Union.
Most were wary of the proposed new law, particularly because they believe it will put Switzerland on a different and more radical path than the rest of Europe, thus putting Swiss businesses at a disadvantage. But the fact that Switzerland voted on such a law at all is a reflection of changing attitudes.
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Black Friday 2020 online sales set to grow as much as 42%
Early data forecasts online sales from Black Friday will hit between $8.9 billion and $10.6 billion, which represents growth of 20-42% year over year.
The data firm Adobe Analytics expects that Black Friday and Cyber Monday will become the two largest online sales days in history, as consumers begin to shift more toward e-commerce spending amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanksgiving sales hit a record $5.1 billion, up 21.5% over 2019. Despite this representing a new high, it didn’t come with the kind of aggressive growth rate seen at the beginning of the pandemic.
Led by some of the largest in the industry, retailers have been spreading discounts across the month of November and earlier, as they try to steer consumers towards getting their holiday shopping done earlier and online.
Many retailers opted to stay closed for Thanksgiving, with Walmart and Target the first to announce they would stay dark for the holiday. For Walmart, this was the first time in more than 30 years. Some retailers who stayed closed encouraged consumers to shop online, marketing their curbside services. 56% of online purchases were set to be received via curbside or expedited shipping. The analytics firm said that retailers who offered curbside pickup had a 31% higher conversion rate of traffic to their sites.
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