Boardroom Briefing: ICT community goes green, coronavirus and radical salary adjustments


The UN releases new global greenhouse goals for the ICT industry, world economy at risk from the coronavirus outbreak and the company where everyone earns the same. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

ICT industry get new green targets

The UN has published global greenhouse guidelines for the ICT industry.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), part of the United Nations responsible for the information, communications and technology (ICT) sector, has released clear new global greenhouse guidelines.

The ICT wants to reduce greenhouse emissions in the ICT industry by 45 per cent by 2030 and this is the first set of targets from the UN that are specific to the industry.

‘This new ITU standard offers authoritative guidance on the pathway towards net zero emissions for the ICT industry,’ said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. ‘The standard is an example of what can be achieved with good collaboration between key partners. It represents a significant contribution to the international effort in pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.’

The shift to renewable and low-carbon energy is expected to account for the majority of the ICT industry’s emission reductions over the 2020–2030 timeframe.

Coronavirus is ‘severe’ threat to world economy

Most industries are examining the impact of the coronavirus on its business. Credit: Manu5/Wikipedia

In a new report, the OECD suggests the world economy is at risk from the coronavirus outbreak, upgrading the economic prospects of the virus to ‘severe’.

The global economic body suggests that the country most at risk from a huge hit to the economy is, naturally, China, where GDP growth is expected fall below 5 per cent in 2020.

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The next hardest-hit countries are expected to be Japan, Korea and Australia.

One of the main threats to the global economy is the drop in Chinese travellers, followed by the fall in demand for goods in China.

The report says the message for governments is that they need to act quickly to increase resources to the health sector and to ensure liquidity buffers for affected industries.

The company where everyone is paid the same

A boss of a card payments company in Seattle, US, introduced a $70,000 minimum salary for all of his 120 staff. That included himself taking a whopping US$1 million dollar a year pay cut, reports the BBC.

The experiment started in 2015, after CEO Dan Price became aware of how some of his staff might be struggling on the lower wages he paid them, but he says it has actually transformed his business for the better.

The staff headcount has doubled, the transactions the company processes have gone from US$3.8 billion (K12.95 billion) a year to US$10.2 billion (K34.75 billion).

There has also been some unexpected productivity – the birthrate among his staff has leapt from one or two babies a year to over 10. And home ownership in the company has skyrocketed.

“There was a little bit of concern amongst pontificators out there that people would squander any gains that they would have. And we’ve really seen the opposite,’ Price told the BBC.

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