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Germany's First Zero-Waste City & Gender Balance Benefits Companies | WEF | Top Stories of the Week

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This week's top stories of the week include:

0:15 Kiel is Germany's first zero-waste city –Kiel has put 107 waste-reducing measures in place. They include practical changes, such as ‘pay-to-throw’, a scheme in which households pay a fee for the amount of landfill waste they generate. Other measures include recycling collection ‘islands’ around the city, discounts for shoppers who bring their own containers and banning disposable products at all city events.

1:33 Gender balanced companies outperform others – According to a BlackRock study of 1,250 of the world’s biggest companies. Over the past decade, the companies with the most equal gender balance achieved a 7.7% average annual return on assets (RoA). Those with the highest share of men delivered a 5.6% RoA, while those with the highest share of women returned a 6.1% RoA. The study concluded it was ‘diversity that counts’ rather than the dominance of a single gender.

3:08 US wants to convert empty offices into homes – The government will offer funding and technical support to help cities turn unused workspaces into affordable apartments. US office vacancy rates have hit a 30-year peak as more staff clock in to work remotely. Meanwhile, rents in the country remain at historic highs after a surge during the pandemic converting offices to apartments can be challenging.

4:48 Rwanda and Kenya open borders to other Africans – Rwanda and Kenya have made significant strides in promoting African unity by opening their borders to other Africans, enabling visa-free travel for all citizens of the continent. This move positions Rwanda as the fourth African nation to remove such restrictions, following Benin, The Gambia, and Seychelles. Kenya is set to join them on December 31, 2023.
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