FirstGroup has won the franchise for the West Coast main line, the most lucrative service in the UK. Their success has come as a blow to Virgin Trains who previously had a monopoly over the line for 15 years. For those outside the UK, this may not mean a huge amount (though those same people may still be familiar with Richard Branson), but the quirks of the bidding process have some interesting lessons that go beyond a rail dispute.
GreenPalm has recently come under fire in light of Unilever’s change to its palm oil pledge, extending its target to buy all its palm oil from traceable sources by 2015 to 2020. The news resulted in criticism towards GreenPalm certificates with some sources questioning its influence in the move towards sustainable sourcing of palm oil.
There has been a vast amount of debate surrounding the use of palm oil in products due to its unethical sourcing. Used in products ranging from food and cosmetics to biofuel, the demand for palm oil is increasingly high and acquiring it at such quantities comes with a price - but sustainability campaigns aren't making the progress businesses might have hoped.
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