Chemicals & Manufacturing

Millard ''Mickey'' Drexler, Gap's chief executive, on Tuesday admitted that the company had ''misread fashion tea leaves'' and violated its own principle of ''keeping things simple'' in making a series of fashion mistakes that led to its reporting a $34m loss.
Describing the proposed Gunns Ltd pulp mill as "cutting edge" was farcical, a toxic chemicals expert said yesterday.
ArcelorMittal, the global steel giant, has been ordered to hand over documents about the environmental impact of two South African facilities to community activists. The Luxembourg-based company, the largest steel producer in Africa, has been accused of polluting the air and water as well as dumping hazardous waste.
Indonesia's economy is riding the recent wave of high global commodity prices. But local pressure is arising towards steel makers and power producers in China and India who have diverted coal supplies abroad by locking in 20-year supply contracts with Indonesian miners.
Asbestos, a known carcinogen, causes 100,000 occupational deaths per year. Although banned in much of the world, asbestos is a common and dangerous building block in much of Asia's development boom, and its export remains both legal and profitable -- to the health detriment of the region.
Residents took to the streets of Chengdu to protest a $5.5 billion ethylene plant under construction by PetroChina, reflecting a surge in environmental awareness by urban, middle-class Chinese determined to protect their health and the value of their property.
A Chinese facility that hasn't been inspected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made the active ingredient in much of the widely used Baxter International Inc. blood-thinner that is under investigation after reports of hundreds of allergic reactions and four deaths among the drug's users, the agency said yesterday.
After Nike's recent disclosure of the names and locations of 705 independent contract factories in its network, a plant visit reveals significant improvements since the 1990s.
The second article in our series on Global Compact companies focuses on Nike. This article, based on ''Still Waiting for Nike to Do It,'' a recent report published by Global Exchange in San Francisco, finds that Nike continually fails to uphold ''freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining,'' which is Principle 3 of the Global Compact. Nike made a commitment to respect this right in 1997 when it signed the Fair Labor Association voluntary workplace code of conduct along with other giant shoe and garment manufacturers like Reebok, Adidas, Liz Claiborne and Patagonia. This article covers the period since 1997.
The CEOs of three-quarters of the world's 100 largest companies have just completed an uncomfortable weekend at the tiny Swiss ski resort of Davos, while their companies' share prices nosedived on global stock markets, amid concern that the U.S. economy is staggering towards recession.